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The Slump

You'd think that with all the calamities that have recently befallen the White House -- the fallout from the Katrina response, the Plame investigation, the Miers nomination, the Delay indictment, the disastrous Tikrit teleconference, etc. -- we progressives would be gloating every chance we got. Actually, I've noticed that most of my friends daren't even mention the current state of the executive branch, as if they were afraid of jinxing things. It's like we're seven innings into a no-hitter, but no one wants to mention this fact aloud.

Or it could just be that we here in Seattle are so familiar with this particular brand of meltdown that it hardly bears mentioning any more. Because the trajectory of the Bush Administration almost perfectly parallel any given season of our beloved (and occationally behated) hometome baseball team, the Seattle Mariners.

Things start out promising and soon they are flying high, packing the stadium every night and well over five hundred. But then, just after the mid-season All-Star game (which, in thins case, would coincide with the 2004 election), things start to go south. Soon they go into a full-on tailspin: they can't do anything right, they routinely snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the fair-weather fans desert them, and even the season-ticket holders start grousing about the lousy management.

On the bright side, the Bush administration will probably trade John Bolton to Paraguay for a young but promising diplomat and a yes-man to be named later, and begin scheduling events like a "Press Secretary Night" where the first 10,000 visitors to the White House receive a commemorative "Scotty's A Hotty" jersey and get to attend a special ceremony where they retire Ari Fleischer's number.

Posted on October 17, 2005 to Politics, Seattle


What you describe in Seattle can apply to Boston, too (another fairly progressive area!). Although the Red Sox made it last year, they choked again this year, just when it was beginnning to look good again. :-(

Posted by: Susan Senator on October 18, 2005 4:57 AM

As a Minnesota Twins fan, I also feel your pain.

But I was also in Seattle this past summer, and caught two games at Safeco, and I have to say that even if there is sucking, at least you have one helluva gorgeous stadium to watch it happening in!

Posted by: Anonymous on October 18, 2005 6:24 AM


Have conservatives succeeded so completely in demonizing the word "liberal" that they are now the only ones who are unafraid to use it?

Posted by: MadMonkey on October 18, 2005 6:25 AM

Well, we liberals want you to think we're as innocent and unthreatening as a certain lizard, then we'll sell you our candidate!

Progressives . . .the liberal car insurance salespeople of American politics!

Posted by: cedrictheblack on October 18, 2005 6:48 AM

Matt, one factor in the "don't say anything" approach we liberals are taking to the Bush Meltdown Sequence is that the right is fragmenting so nicely, it's fun just to sit back and watch. I just hope it doesn't lead to too great a degree of complacency, because if the right has shown anything in the past, it's the ability to rise from the dead like a festering corpse to feed once again on the brains of the living.

Posted by: Dan Someone on October 18, 2005 7:43 AM

This is starting to feel so much like Nixon's second term. I expect Cheney to resign "for health reasons" when attention turns to him in the Plame affair. When things get worse, Bush himself may resign giving us a repeat of the 70s.

Posted by: Mike on October 18, 2005 7:57 AM

A similar WWII analogy could be used too Matt.
It was all going soooo well for the Axis Powers and for a while there, it looked like there might be a new world order. Then Stalingrad, Midway and El Alamaine happened and everything started falling apart. Sometimes it just takes a few key battles to turn things round and with any luck, thatís what we are witnessing now.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on October 18, 2005 8:08 AM

Gee, I'd like to be desserted. I'll take Lemon Meringue, please!

Spellcheck is NOT your friend, sir.

Posted by: Dessert Fan on October 18, 2005 8:46 AM

Is it weird that I used to have a big ol' crush on Ari Fleischer? Too bad he got married, that jerk...

Posted by: Jennifer on October 18, 2005 9:29 AM

Well, I was at the Astros/Cards game last night and am also one of 56 LIBERALS in the fine state of TX. While it was crushing to witness in person that game last night, it is also comforting to know that Karl Rove and the rest of the minions are currently pulling a "Brad Lidge" right now. I don't want to see the Astros go down in flames but watching the powers that be stumble has been enjoyable.

For what its worth I am a die hard Red Sox fan and was at game 3 of the ALCS last year when the Sox lost something like 123-1 to the Yankees. I think I need to stop going to playoff games for the teams I root for.

Posted by: John on October 18, 2005 9:44 AM

What's weird is that they'll keep Rove around for three years past the point of any effectiveness because he's "a good clubhouse guy". Mental injuries (nagging cerebellum sprain, a few brain surgeries) will relegate him to the bench where he'll be eating up salary cap space and blocking an ambitious young call-up from the College Republicans from getting to the bigs and showing something. But Rove will do enough good interviews and be sort of funny in commercials so there he will remain. And anytime anyone talks about cutting him, someone will say "yeah, but remember the 2000 campaign?" and everyone else will be all "yeah, but that was a long time ago".

Get all of it!

Posted by: John Moe on October 18, 2005 10:16 AM

It's tough to be happy about failure when that failure represents the United States to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Actionable Mango on October 18, 2005 12:54 PM

Wow - I thought last year would end the Boston fans' grousing. Not that they've had any reason to ever complain. Their teams have three of the last four super bowls and a long rich history of nba championships (not to mention 1918). We in Seattle have had one championship in the three major professional sports, and that was over twenty five years ago (Sonics '79). We've had one championship appearance since then (Sonics '96). Our town gets all weepy and reminiscent about the teams that almost did something (Mariners '95 and Seahawks '83), but who still didn't even make the championship game. I can think of no other city that has had such prolonged futility in all three of these sports (combined 78 years). Someone please tell me there is someone worse off. Someone please tell the Red Sox fans to go somewhere and polish their shiny new world series trophy.

And no, even though I'm proud of them, I don't count the Storm.

Posted by: Nathan Beeler on October 18, 2005 2:58 PM

Careful what you say about the Storm and their championship buddy!!!

Posted by: Sue Bird on October 18, 2005 4:21 PM

I have been saying that for years! It isn't just the Mariners, either, it is also the Sonics and to a somewhat lesser degree, the Seahawks. Thank goodness for female baskteball teams or Seattle would really be the city every season looks a lot like a Bell Curve.

Posted by: kerewin on October 18, 2005 6:05 PM

One time? I went to a soccer game? And it was the NY Arrows (indoor soccer) and the game went into overtime because it was tied, and it was sudden death? And 13 seconds into overtime, the team on the left scored? And the Arrows had been on the left at the end of the 3rd period (it may have been the fourth quarter)? But apparently the teams had switched sides at the end of the regular game? But I stood up and cheered for a second? But everyone else was booing? So I stopped and realized that the home team had lost?

That's what I'm afraid of with the current political situation. So I'm not going to do any cheering until those fwckers are in actual jail and it's on TV.

Posted by: braine on October 18, 2005 6:24 PM

Ok, you regular readers know that I am a mostly conservative sort and have defended W now for 5+ years. I think he's right in the way he is handling the war on terror and he was right to cut taxes when he did. But, damn, he's screwed up almost everywhere else! Katrina (not the immediate response, but the here's-a-pile-of-money-to-quiet-you-down response)and his inability to veto anything, his willingness to give away vast sums of money to things like the farm bill, the Medicare prescription drug giveaway (that seemingly nobody, liberal or conservative, wanted), imposing steel tariffs that he later had to rescind because it was a big-ass mistake, and then finally, springing our girl Harriett on us whose main qualification is that Bush knows "her heart". Worse, when he offers her other qualification, that she is an "evangelical Christian", he loses me. Contrary to what you liberal/progressives/Socialists/Neo-Communists think, not all of us conservatives are Bible-thumpers. In fact, the one thing that could drive me to vote other-than-Republican (notice I didn't say Democratic)is the sort of single-issue horseshit that comes from the Christian right. (One reason I can't bring myself to vote Democratic is because the party is a loosely-connected assortment of single-issue loonies. Each group, the pro-choicers, the civil rights groups, the gay rights groups, the environmentalists, etc. are convinced that theirs is the only issue that is important, to the point of fanaticism. Nonsense. Not for nothing does the word "mental" appear in "environmentalist". But I digress.)

Life in the US under a right or left wing theocracy wouldn't be so different from life under the Taliban. No Wahhabi Baptists wanted!

There, I said it. Now be nice.

Posted by: Davey on October 18, 2005 6:26 PM

Another reason that people might not be talking about it is that after the last election, it's back to tuning into primetime drama to pretend that a liberal actor of our choosing is president.

Posted by: josh on October 18, 2005 10:52 PM

I'm the most progressive of all of you guys. I've seen Rush, like, seven times.

Posted by: Dr. Gori on October 19, 2005 7:52 PM

ohhhhh, PLEASE don't talk about meltdowns just at the moment.

I'm in Chicago, for heaven's sake.

Posted by: gladys on October 22, 2005 2:55 PM