Monday, June 07, 2010

I'll Be Appearing LIVE on the Mike Rosen Show!

Great News! Well, it's great news if you like me.

Today, at 12:00 noon EST, I'll be a guest on the Mike Rosen Show, where I will be discussing my new book Generation Right: The Young Conservative in the Age of Obama. You can listen online by clicking the link above.

If you still haven't got your copy yet you can get one here.

Also, be sure to check out the book's Facebook fan page.

Hope you can all tune in!

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Baseball, Obama and the Search for Leadership

Watch this:

What you have just witnessed will undoubtedly go down as the worst call in major league baseball history. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning umpire Jim Joyce blew it in epic fashion.

Umpires make bad calls all the time. This particular call did not cost the Detroit Tigers the game--they eventually won. What made this particular blown call so upsetting was the fact that if Joyce hadn’t botched it, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga would have achieved one of the greatest feats in all of sports--a perfect game.

To his credit, Joyce later came out and took his lumps. He admitted that he had blown the call and made a tearful apology to Galarraga for robbing him of his spot in history. At this point, everyone in the sports world recognizes that Galrarraga did, in fact, throw a perfect game.

So, everyone, including the guy who made the call, knows that the call was wrong. It seemed like a no brainer that the only man with the power to overturn the call, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, would quickly do so and award Galarraga the perfect game that he deserved, reversing this obvious injustice.

Of course if Selig had done this,there would have been no reason for me to write this article.

That’s right. Selig refused to act. In an official statement Selig said the following:

"As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night's game should have ended differently. While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night's call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents....I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address this unfortunate situation honestly and directly."

Upon reading this I thought to myself, “Now, who does that sound like?”

What? You didn’t think that I would switch the focus of my editorials from politics to professional sports that easily, did you?

Selig’s statement reads as though it could have been pieced together from speeches that have scrolled through Barack Obama’s teleprompter over the past year and a half. It fits the template perfectly.

1. Admit that something went wrong.

2. Quickly change the subject by pointing to the need for reform in some related area, in an attempt to distract people from the fact that you’re not going to do anything to fix the situation at hand.

3. Announce that you are going to assemble a blue-ribbon panel of experts (on which powerful unions will have a prominent role.)

4. Absolve yourself of responsibility by repeatedly mentioning the guy who screwed up in the first place. In this case, Jim Joyce.

After hearing about Selig’s refusal to overturn the bad call and reading his cowardly statement, my politcal mind immediately began to think of the parallels between this situation and the Obama Administration’s reactions to various current events.

First I thought of the oil spill. Just as it was BP and not Barack Obama who was responsible for the spill, Bud Selig was not responsible for bad call made by Joyce.

But that’s really where the similarities end. For one, unlike Selig, the Federal government has a limited ability to remedy the crisis in the gulf, and unlike Obama, Selig didn’t spend three weeks attending fund raisers and golfing before asserting his position as the one in control of the perfect game situation.

No, comparing this to the oil spill is a stretch.

However, the failure of leadership exhibited by Selig in Galarraga-gate has far more in common with the failure of leadership that Barack Obama and his predecessors have exhibited in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration.

Both Obama and Selig have the power to remedy what are obviously unfavorable circumstances with little more than a signature. Yet, in both cases, the leaders have decided to put politics ahead of doing what is right. Obama refuses to secure the southern border and uphold the laws of the United States in order to pander to Hispanic voters. Bud Selig has decided not to overturn a call that he has admitted was incorrect in order to avoid upsetting the numerous unions and special interests that keep him in his job as commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Obama’s solution to our illegal immigration problem is “comprehensive immigration reform.” But his proposal is likely to only consist of amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants who are currently residing in the country and would probably do nothing to stop more illegals from crossing into Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. Selig promises an “investigation” into the expanded "use of instant replay” in MLB. This is an equally disingenuous way to avoid doing the right thing when it comes to the Joyce controversy. It was instant reply that proved to the entire world that Joyce’s call was wrong in the first place and Selig already has the power to overturn the call if he so desires. So what’s the problem? Stop making excuses and plug the damn hole, Commissioner!! What exactly is it that you do as commisioner of baseball anyway?

Selig’s decision to punt on this matter is a private sector example of the kind of unresponsive leadership that is driving the American peoples' increasing anger towards the federal government. It is absolutely maddening when the people want their leaders to do something about a problem and the leadership has the power to do it but refuses to without an even remotely adequate explanation for the lack of action.

There is no legitimate reason for Selig not to do the fair and morally just thing and recognize Galarraga’s perfect game. But consider how much worse it is when the leader in question is the President of the United States, the chief enforcer of our laws. As president, Obama is legally mandated to act. The majority of Americans want him to act. He simply refuses to do it.

Finally, there is, perhaps the most eerie similarity between the perfect game controversy and America’s recent illegal immigration stalemate. After Commissioner Selig announced that he would not overturn Joyce’s incorrect call, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm took matters into her own hands and released this statement.

"I, Jennifer M. Granholm, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby declare Armando Galarraga to have pitched a perfect game, and I join Tigers fans all across the globe in saluting his unassailable accomplishment -- the first perfect game in Tigers history."

With this proclamation Gov. Granholm has turned herself into Bud Selig’s version of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who gained national attention by promising to enforce federal immigration law in Arizona when the Obama Administration would not.

Interestingly enough, other Democrats from Michigan’s congressional delegation have jumped on board in an effort to have Congress officially recognize Galarraga’s perfect game and have publically called for Selig to overturn his decision. It’s such a shame that this congressional desire to right a wrong doesn’t extend to seeking justice on the issues that really matter to the nation.

Then again, we wouldn’t want the next Tigers-Diamondbacks game to be interrupted when Arizona officials approach the mound and ask to see Armando Gallaragga’s papers.

One way or the other, Americans recognize a bad call when they see one and they are beginning to realize that giving the Democratic Party complete control over the federal government was far worse than Jim Joyce's now infamous lapse of judgement.

-Dan Joseph

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