This year, however, with my credit card debt getting a bit high, I cut back and canceled the package. It was painful at first, but I’ve become quite happy watching NetFlix, which is a lot less expensive.
The first month of the season, however, I suffered withdrawals. I needed my fix of crack – crack of the bat, that is. Luckily, I found the 10-part documentary “Baseball” by Ken Burns to watch, which satisfied my cravings for a few weeks.
The program profiled many of the game’s great players. Some of them were characterized as the “win at any cost” type – Ty Cobb and Pete Rose to name just two. These guys would run as hard as they could, slam into opponents on the base paths, kick up their spikes, do whatever they had to in order to win. They weren’t always loved for this quality – in fact, this same drive that made them great players made them despicable human beings – but they were respected as players.
Winning at any cost might be fine for sports, but not in politics. That’s why it saddened me to read those very words spoken by Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall, the Democratic Party’s choice to run for the state’s vacant spot in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat, formerly occupied by Dean Heller who slithered his way into John Ensign’s seat after he resigned, represents a huge chunk of Nevada, including large portions of Reno and Washoe County.
“I am running to win it,” Marshall told The Associated Press.
Based on the AP report carrying the above quote from Marshall, she really has her work cut out for her. The article, published June 13, stated that the district – known in the media as CD2 – has only ever elected Republican representatives. This is likely the motivation for Marshall’s statements criticizing President Obama’s economic policies; she wants to distance herself from the Democratic administration in an attempt to win votes in hostile territory.
Don’t get me wrong: I am a Democrat and I generally support the party. That being said, I do not hesitate to vote for a member of another party if I like their ideas or adamantly oppose the Democrats’ candidate. This one statement by Marshall does not automatically cast my vote against her, but it doesn’t win her any points on my scorecard.
The rest of that AP story was about Marshall’s opposition to the president’s health law, deficit plan and lack of job creation. I, too, have my reservations about some of what Mr. Obama has done and is doing, and part of me is just hoping he is right in the long run. What I cannot tell is if Marshall is saying these things because she truly believes them or is saying them to win votes in a largely Republican district.
(Side note: Obama won Nevada as a whole in the 2008 election over Sen. John McCain. That fact is well documented. According to one report I read online, Obama lost Congressional District 2 by just 88 votes; that fact I could not verify but you’d think it could challenge the notion of this as a “Republican-leaning” area.)
The official Republican candidate for CD2 is Mark Amodei, former leader of the state GOP. He came out with a commercial this week criticizing Obama’s running up of the national debt, though his message was more Orwellian in nature. His TV spot depicted a fictional future in which the United States was enslaved to China, which had risen to world dominance by holding all of America’s debt. The ad obviously employed hyperbole that would make Glenn Beck proud, though I can’t argue with the fear of overwhelming debt. After all, that’s why I gave up my baseball on TV.
So it looks like we might be in for a “win at any cost” special election. In this political game, however, it might be difficult to tell the difference between the opponents since it sounds like they’ll be wearing a similar uniform and running the bases with their cleats held high.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go read about yesterday’s baseball games.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.