Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Want Barack Obama to Fail

Rush Limbaugh opened a hornet's nets just before the Presidential Inauguration by proclaiming that he wanted Barack Obama to fail. Many in the media took the comments to mean that he wanted the economy to fail and wanted America to fail. Limbaugh reiterated that it was not the case that he wanted the country to fail - only that he wanted Obama to fail in furthering his political agenda. And so they've been bickering back and forth ever since.

I was arguing this very point today with a friend of mine and offered up the following analogy which I think clarifies Limbaugh's position. Suppose that it were reported in the media one day that Doug Melvin were in negotiations with Barry Bonds' agent for him to sign a contract with the Brewers. Some Brewers fan would welcome the news with open arms. Afterall, these are the Brewers, this is Doug Melvin, they have drunk the Kool-Aid and agree with anything that Doug Melvin and the Brewers do just because they are Doug Melvin and the Brewers. They never question. Never second guess. It's a violation of their fan-hood to disagree with anything the Brewers do.

You on the other hand, are a thinking fan. You feel that signing Bonds would be ruinous to the Brewers. You feel he would be a distraction, a disruption, and isn't that good of a ballplayer anymore. He would take playing time away from a younger, developing player and cause disharmony in the clubhouse.

So, do you want Doug Melvin to fail?

Yes. You want him to fail in his attempt to sign Bonds. But that doesn't mean that you necessarily want other things he attempts to fail (unless he's thinking of signing Roger Clemens too.) It certainly doesn't mean that you want the Brewers team or organization to fail. To say that you want Doug Melvin to fail does not mean you are no longer a fan of the Brewers. Quite the opposite. You recognize that there is a distinct difference between wishing for an entity to succeed and wishing for the person running that entity to get whatever he wants. You also have enough conviction to not sit idly by while someone is flushing an organization you love down the sewer under the guise of leadership.

Isn't baseball great? It casts light on everything.

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