Sports and Politics

As most of the folks reading this know, I’m a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs, and it dawned on me that being a fan of the (formerly) beleaguered franchise isn’t much different than being a Republican in Virginia (or sometimes in general) nowadays.

We’re seemingly beset with our own political Curse of the Billy Goat here in Virginia. Our refrain every November is, “Wait ’til next year!” Granted, we Cubs fans got used to saying this phrase by May up until 2016.

Indeed, statewide victory in Virginia has eluded Republican candidates since 2009, and the Old Dominion hasn’t gone red in a presidential cycle since 2004. Sure, this isn’t quite the 108-year drought that the Cubs endured, but maybe we’ll get there if we keep trying. All we’re missing at this point is a political version of Steve Bartman.

Yes, Virginia, we’ve just become accustomed to losing. Like fans of a bad team, we keep showing up knowing we’ll just be disappointed. Each year, we shrug and shake our heads. We blame “NOVA,” “voter fraud,” and “the media.” One particularly tired excuse is “the map.”

Democrats just got done handing Republicans losses on an unprecedented scale in Senate and House Districts across the Commonwealth. Governor Ralph Northam won Virginia Beach by 5% just a year after Trump carried it by a similar margin. The only upside in this is that the Democrats destroyed their own talking points about “Republican gerrymandering” in the process. What more evidence do we need that blaming geography is lazy and nonsensical?

In short, it’s time for new blood and new thinking. It’s time for us to step up, Young Republicans/College Republicans.

Let’s look to sports for another example. NFL teams address many of their issues through the Draft, MLB teams have learned that they can achieve sustained success by building their farm systems and bringing prospects up at the right time.

The plain truth is that this party, on any level, will not change direction unless we start taking leadership roles, particularly in struggling local units. The “old guard” won’t like that much, as evidenced by the sleazy tactics employed by Tom Cherry, chairman of the nearly defunct Norfolk GOP, against Cole Trower.

This approach may seem unnecessarily confrontational to some, but what other options do we have as Republicans who actually want to win elections?

To some, it’s simpler to leave the party and/or check out of politics entirely. That’s their prerogative. I, however, would prefer to stick around and make an effort to right the ship. It won’t happen overnight, but neither did the undesirable turn that the GOP has taken.

  • old_redneck

    Among your first steps should be a purge of Tea Partiers.

    • This.

    • Jim Portugul

      You are just as bad being far left. Your politics are toxic to independents. Anti-American, open borders, anti-affordable healthcare. I bet you even speak Chinese don’t you? Your 24/7 anti-Trump campaign is starting to backfire and actually help Trump.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Dems pull out Hillary again or clone her for 2020. Doubling down on stupid. Trying to run bats—t far left in the Va. 1st., totally stupid.

      Putting on tariffs and keep his promises about healthcare will put me in Trumps corner. Lies won’t.

      • old_redneck

        Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do speak Chinese.

        The Army sent me to the Defense Language School, Presidio of Monterey, CA, for basic Mandarin after which I spent a year at the State Department’s Chinese language school in Taiwan. I then served in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo with temporary assignments in Delhi, Rawalpindi, Rangoon and Kabul.

        I also am fluent in two dialects of American English: MIssissippi and East Tennessee.

        • Jim Portugul

          Yes, and the rest of my comment is correct also.

          • old_redneck

            Dream on.

        • Jay Hughes

          I’ll have won ton soup and General Tso’s chicken please.

    • dalbach

      First step is to ditch the evangelicals.

  • M. D. Russ

    The problem, Andrew, is that Republicans are not interested in winning elections as much as they are interested in being dogmatically correct. They have too many litmus tests of right-wing purity for their candidates to appeal to the 40% of voters who are moderate Independents. That is a loser strategy and one that will keep the GOP from winning statewide until it changes.

    • old_redneck

      It won’t change. The only real policy debates that go on today are within the Democratic Party.

      In spite of the fact that the Republican Party is a coalition of gunservatives, biblethumbers, former Jim Crow Democrats, oligarchs, and TeaPublicans, I always held out hope that somewhere out there were Republicans like the ones I grew up with.

      Sadly, I must conclude those Republicans no longer exist.

      The final straw for me was the reaction to the Parkland students by the NRA, Republicans, and the rightwing in general. The demented hatred the rightwing has for the MSDHS students is breathtaking — but expected.

      The students have been called Nazis, lesbians, puppets. Ted Nugent
      is urging people to attack them physically. Sylvester Stallone’s brother Frank has threatened to punch one of the students. Trump has ignored them just as he ignored the deaths at the school. Halfwit Fox talk show host Laura Ingraham mocked one student because he said some of his college applications had been rejected.

      This whole ordeal since the MSDHS kids started speaking up has
      confirmed my belief that the split in our nation really isn’t left-right
      or liberal-conservative – it’s “reasonable people” versus “raving
      lunatic reactionary assholes.”

      There is no left-right debate between the two political parties. The
      only reasoned debate today occurs within the Democratic Party, and the political fight isn’t liberalism v. conservatism — it’s reasoned
      discussion, facts and logic versus hatred, ignorance, and violence.

      The Republican Party and “conservatives” in general are deranged,
      vicious, bigoted, spiteful, conspiratorial assholes.

      The rest of us are Democrats.

      • David Obermark

        You are a poor example of Democrats.

      • M. D. Russ

        You see, old red, that is precisely why you have no credibility here. To you, all Republicans are evil and all Democrats are good with no exceptions. That is a counterintuitive generalization that is false on its very surface. If you can’t give credit where credit is due, regardless of which party deserves it, then you are living a life of bitter denial and are wasting your time commenting here.

        • old_redneck

          So . . . for what should I be giving Republicans credit?

          Gutting the Voting Rights Act?
          Turning gerrymandering into a fine art?
          Electing a carnival barker as POTUS?
          Ignoring a real threat to our institutions?
          Turning the civil rights clock back to the 1940’s (or earlier)?
          Bankrupting the middle and working class?

          Help me out here.

          • M. D. Russ

            No amount of rational discussion will convince a closed mind. You are beyond help.

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  • Jim Portugul

    Trump is the head of the Republican Party, like it or not. Not BD, RVA, Virginia SCC, etc.. Trump made promises that got him elected. Like it or not, Trump is the face of any electable GOP. To get elected again, Trump will have to keep his promises as he is finding out. He is now purging the despicable, unelectable, traditional GOP garbage from the White House because he evidently wants to distance himself from that traditional unelectable GOP garbage. For Republican’s to win nationwide and in Virginia, they will need to take a course in Trump Politics 101. But, if you do not keep the promises that got you there, you will be out. See below,

  • Paddycakes

    Republican Gerrymandering does not need to be in quotes as if it is arguable or a “talking point” for Democrats.Please remember how it can steer your party to ”batsh–t” right wing candidates, out of touch with the overall electorate of Virginia but who remain quite cozy in their own little district. Continue to line em up and they will contine to strike out.

  • David Obermark

    I voted for Hillary and I am a Blue Dog Democrat.

    I like what Donald is doing on illegal immigration and perhaps on trade. I extremely dislike what he did on taxes and ballooning the deficit.

    Is there a Republican out there willing to run who wants my vote?

  • old_redneck

    Speaking of sports — remember 25 years ago when Roseanne sang the national anthem . . . then grabbed her crotch?

    At least she didn’t take a knee.

  • old_redneck

    From Bloomberg News. And, no, it’s not fake.

    U.S. stocks are on track to have their worst April start since 1929, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 index slumped 2.4 percent as of 1:10 p.m. in New York, a rout exceeded only by its 2.5 percent decline 89 years ago, a prelude to the devastating crash later that year that brought on the Great Depression. (Back then, the index only comprised 90 stocks.)

    China’s retaliatory trade tariffs combined with President Donald Trump’s criticism of Inc. to send equities into a tailspin Monday. Shares in the online retailer tumbled, encouraging a sell-off in consumer discretionary and technology stocks. The S&P 500 broke through its 200-day moving average — a key technical support — sending volatility higher.

    The stock slide also looks pretty bad when compared to the beginning of other quarters. Equities are on pace to lose more than on any other quarterly first day since October 2011, when stocks plummeted 2.8 percent, Bloomberg data show.

    • Jim Portugul

      Yes, and finally Trump is doing something he said he would do on the campaign trail. Now, if he just fixes healthcare and brings home the troops, I may just put a Trump sign in my front yard.

      Thanks for pointing out these wonderful things Trump is doing, and bringing to our attention the Amazon fiasco.

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