Greetings, sports fans! Since we still have a month before the puck drops for Minnesota Wild hockey, let's talk about more recent events at Excel Energy Center. Politics doesn't lend itself to very many hockey analogies because hockey games have three periods, thus making it harder to split something down the middle and compare two alternatives. Football, on the other hand, not only has two halves, but each half also has two quarters, thus making it really easy to do one-on-one comparisons. With this in mind, let's turn it over to Warpyland, where the proverbial football game featuring the Democrats and the Republicans is down to the two minute warning.
First half recap: The Democrats take Bill Clinton to the House. Since he also enjoyed a majority in Congress during his first term, you could say that the Dems spent the entire first quarter on offense, and spent the second quarter on defense after the Reps took over possession of the congressional ball. No matter how you slice it, though, it sure was an exciting, high scoring affair (no pun intended if your name happens to contain "Monica" and/or "Lewinski").
The field was in pretty rough shape early on, due to some soggy deficits left over from the earlier Reagan and Bush Senior bowl games. As we approach halftime, though, groundskeeper Mr. Surplus has successfully dried the deficits off the field, allowing Mr. Economy to run wild and put up hall of fame numbers. Even Mr. Taxes is quietly having a good game; apparently the top bracket players who got hit hardest by Taxes earlier are now getting the last laugh, as Mr. Investments breaks free for some prodigious returns on special teams. The Republicans are going to have a tough act to follow in the second half, but locker room sources say that Bush Junior is giving a pep talk that makes anything ever uttered by Al Gore look and sound utterly boring in comparison.
Second half recap: Whatever that halftime pep talk was, it sure worked; Bush Junior gets the ball and takes it to the House for a two-termer. His Republican teammates had a congressional majority during Dubya's first term, so the Reps stayed on offense for the entire third quarter; an eerie carbon copy of the Dems' situation in the first quarter. The Dems now have possession of the congressional ball in the final quarter and put the Reps on defense, so we'll end up with virtually identical halves (and quarters) for both teams. Not even in his wildest dreams could Pete Rozelle have imagined 16 years of near perfect parity for both conferences.
This game should've been a real nail-biter, but strangely enough, the scoreboard doesn't reflect much parity at all. Despite a fine first half performance, the Reps brass decided to cut Mr. Taxes. This move looked like it would promote Mr. Investments from special teams into regular roster stardom, but Investments ended up getting thrown around for big losses in the second half, and will be playing overseas for the foreseeable future. In another strange personnel move, head coach John McCain and GM Dick Cheney ignored the advice of their own intelligence agents, and agreed to sign untested player Operation Iraqi Freedom to a massive, open-ended contract. In an effort to save salary cap space, former first round draft choice War On Terror (a.k.a. "In Places Where They Were A Genuine Threat") has been put on waivers, and our old groundskeeping friend Mr. Surplus was given his walking papers just before it started raining deficits again, this time harder than ever. Worst of all, our star player Mr. Economy is out on injured reserve, and his much ballyhooed stimulus and recovery has been repeatedly delayed. As the final seconds of the game tick off, the score is surprisingly lopsided, giving both Democrats and the Republicans plenty of time to wonder what would happen if the new cheerleader from Alaska suddenly becomes head coach of the United States Armed Forces.
Bottom line: The playing field has been as level as it can possibly get for both parties over the last 16 years, but the results have been decidedly different. Talk about a tale of two halves! Which half do y'all wanna see a replay of? I'll try the "D" half of the ballot this time, thank you very much, but whether you agree with that or not, at least you've gotta agree with this: if Americans want to see a change in any direction, we've gotta quit voting with one foot on each side of the fence. If we don't give one side or the other a veto-proof and filibuster-proof majority, all we're gonna get is more gridlock.
God bless the USA!!!