The Runback: Madness
The NCAA Tournament isn't the only wild thing about March 2021
Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.
Podcast Episode #25
This week on The Duckpin Podcast, we talk bout the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day and how we can use that meaning to improve our lives.
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News and Politics
A Look at the Congressional Races: We won't know everything until after redistricting, but races are starting to take shape in earnest.
NFL Free Agency: Winners and Losers Day 1: Did your team make the list?
NFL Winners and Losers: Free Agency Day 2: It's not too late to be a winner... for some.
NFL Free Agency: Winners and Losers Day 3: The Patriots are never gonna stop.
Kaminski Outlasts Medina in 5-hole Playoff: Win at 2021 Winter Freeze ties Greater Baltimore Mini-Golf Career win record.
In my latest for The Capital: Race for Anne Arundel executive begins, and it looks bad for Steuart Pittman.
The Monday Thought
I write this on Sunday night, minutes after Oral Roberts defeated Florida 81-78 in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, punching its ticket to the Sweet 16.
The 15th seeded Golden Eagles defeated the 7th seeded Gators only after taking out the #2 seed, The Ohio State University in the 1st Round of the Tournament.
The two upsets by Oral Roberts highlight a string of unexpected results in the tournament. #14 Abilene Christian defeated #3 Texas. #13 Ohio defeated #4 Virginia. #13 North Texas defeated #4 Purdue. #12 Oregon State defeated #5 Tennessee. #11 Syracuse has already reached the Sweet 16; #11 UCLA hopes to join them. Two #10’s from the Big Ten, Rutgers and Maryland (go Terps! ) won their 1st round games.
We of course didn’t have a tournament last year thanks to COVID. But regardless, it’s been madness on a level we haven’t seen in a long time.
It’s also not the only set of surprises we’ve seen this month.
So now comes a delicious twist: President Biden is being hailed as a transformational, once-in-a-generation progressive champion, with comparisons to L.B.J. and F.D.R. aplenty, while Obama has become a cautionary tale about what happens when Democrats get the keys to the car but don’t put their foot on the gas.
The collective smirk was wiped off the face of Obamaworld this past week, as former aides expressed their irritation at the retrospective dissing, and while Biden’s inner circle enjoyed an unfamiliar sensation: schadenfreude. Now the friendly fire once aimed at Biden is coming toward Obama.
All month long, Democrats have been trashing Obama for the size of his itty-bitty 2009 stimulus bill — Chuck Schumer called it “small” and “measly” — and his refusal to sell it to the public.
Now, after President Biden passed the $1.9 trillion cornucopia of liberal delights, Democrats are thinking that if he keeps it up, they’ll soon be picking up their chisels to carve his face on Mount Rushmore, right in the spot Obama must have been picturing for himself.
I remain a little more skeptical than the left and the media about Biden’s bonafide. But there is no doubt that the $1.9 trillion left-wing Christmas tree masquerading as a stimulus package has done more to move the national parties and national governance to the left than anything Bernie Sanders, AOC, or Barack Obama have ever done.
Unfortunately, this is all the fault of Republicans. Allow me to explain.
Back in 2016, the Republican electorate had any number of qualified and capable of conservative candidates to choose from when selecting the Republican nominee for President. Unfortunately, too many of them got seduced by an unlikeable left-wing buffoon who had the good fortune of running in the General Election against the one person more unlikable than he was.
Donald Trump was an objectively bad President by any fair conservative standard. One of the reasons why he was such as failure was in the way he dragged the GOP away from conservatism and toward nationalism. Trump’s nationalism moved the party toward the left, toward the party of bigger government. It’s why Trump’s GOP was for increasing the size of government, for $2,000 stimulus payments instead of $600 stimulus payments, for government overreach in places that Republicans had not supported government overreach since the 1950’s. Those Trump/Nationalist Republicans are many of the GOP caucus members who sit in Congress now.
There are, of course, a few problems with that;
Republicans in Congress don’t seem to be all that sure what they stand for, other than taking back the majority;
Too many Republicans are focused on the presentin the simpleton concept of “owning the libs” as their core value system even if they don’t themselves actually believe it;
Once you go all-in for big government, it’s hard to criticize the left for growing bigger government.
Point #3 is really the bigger problem here. The GOP caucus has always had its own share of chowderheads like Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, or Louie Gohmert. The problem is that the entire House GOP caucus is acting in an irresponsible manner that makes it impossible to promote and defend conservative principles. When your major complaint when comparing your caucus to the Democrats is that you would grow government in a different way than the left, you’ve already lost the argument.
Republicans and their ill-advised devotion to Trumpism gave Congressional Democrats the wiggle room to pass their massive “COVID” bill and has empowered them to go for broke on even more radically left-wing legislation.
Trumpism basically turns into the old proverb:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
The chain of causation here, however, is that for want of Trump to “own the libs” Republicans gave away the game on limited government. And that is truly the greatest madness of all.