By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
Democrat ‘baseball team’ will fall short to ‘Team Bush’ in upcoming political games
The Democrats now have a baseball team.
Such was the analogy Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman drew as a joke when considering the current field of potential Democratic challengers to President George W. Bush. A lot of truth is said in jest:
On the mound right now is Sen. John Kerry from Massachusetts. The quintessential Northeastern liberal, he’s the front-runner. He could be the ace for the Democrats, hurling left-wing heat at the president and his economic policies. But the senator has a trick shoulder in the form of his wishy-washy war stance, along with his constant problem with lying.
Catching for Kerry is his idealogical opposite-Lieberman, who is pro-war and a rare Northeastern moderate. Lieberman has the best chance of throwing out Bush on the 2004 basepaths, but he has to get through the primaries first, which is stacked with far-left core voters.
At third base is former Senate minority leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri. Third basemen need strong arms to sling the ball across the diamond, and Gephardt needs a strong arm to push his way against a steady stream of eroding union support. He’s being attacked for supporting Bush’s war resolution and for losing seats in the House.
Playing shortstop is North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. He’s flashy and can make all the right plays. But he’s a rookie, just finishing up his first term in the Senate. His good looks and southern charm make him a personality favorite, but that’s assuming anyone can figure out who he is.
Pity second baseman Howard Dean, Vermont governor. He may be on the right side of the diamond, but he’s so far left, he’s in danger of bobbling the ball if Bush gets and wins his war in Iraq. Dean’s saying and doing all the right things for the Democratic primaries, but he’s played himself into a leftist corner, and, like many second basemen, he’s too often overlooked.
At first base this evening is the newcomer, Sen. Bob Graham of Florida.
Like many first basemen, his ability to run is questioned because of his slow start.
Heart surgery is a big question mark on any candidate’s record. Graham could have the pro-war, pro-intelligence muscle to hit a home run for the Democrats. Or he could be sidelined before the team is out of spring training.
Former senator Carol Mosley-Braun of Illinois plays center field because she’s got a lot of ground to cover if she truly wants to compete. She has questionable business deals, allegations of theft and corruption and a failed term as senator hanging over her head. She’d need the luck of Willie Mays to catch this nomination.
In right field is Rep. Bob Kuchinik of Ohio. Once the voters figure out how to pronounce his name, they may enjoy his status as the only congressman running who didn’t vote for Bush’s war resolution. But he’ll probably languish out by the fence in obscurity, drowned out by the heckling chorus of fans.
And out-way out-in left field is Al Sharpton, a racist hate monger who has done for civil rights what Clinton did for the Oval Office.
But for all their batting practice bravado and pre-game hype, the Democrats are sorely lacking any kind of message, any kind of game plan. Are they anti-war, pro-health care, anti-Bush, pro-military? It doesn’t seem like they know.
With no manager, no offense and no defense, this sorry lot of players is looking only for defeat in the November 2004 World Series.
And they’re making Team Bush seem ever more like the 1927 Yankees.