Today is the first day of the fabled dog days of August in baseball. The season has gotten long by now, most players have a few dings and the temperature is normally high. For teams that are out of it, it is difficult to get motivated and the calendar seems to never turn a page. For teams in the lead the pressure to continue to win is intense less all the good deeds to now end up being for naught. For teams on the bubble the scoreboard can prove to be just as formidable an enemy as the opponent or the mercury. I love baseball and I abhor the Trump administration yet I can draw some parallels. Let’s explore.
The number four spot in the batting order is referred to as the cleanup spot. Today, instead of focusing on a single aspect of the Trump administration I’d like to clean up some notes with a paragraph or two per item.
Much is being made of Reince Priebus’ exit and his replacement by General John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. The root problem in the Oval Office is the guy sitting behind the big desk. You can shuffle the batting order all you want but if you lack pitching you will not win a championship. By all accounts left, right and center General Kelly is a good man. He is tasked with managing the unmanageable because the boss won’t let anyone control him or the operation. Kelly is destined to fail!
No matter what he tweets Trump took a beating in the Senate last week. The buck stops at the top and Trump displayed zero leadership and savvy when it came to getting something passed. In fact I think he did long term harm by trying to bully Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. He not only lost a big game, he angered a couple of umpires who have long memories.
Inadvertently he made Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer look like a master legislative leader ala Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats never deviated. The opposing pitcher looks pretty good when you alternate between keeping the bat on your shoulder and swinging wild.
I came across an interesting statistic the other day. It said that 27% of Americans have a pre-existing condition. When you consider that some of the versions of Trumpcare would have considered being a victim of domestic violence or rape in addition to having experience irregular menstrual periods as pre-existing conditions I think that number is higher. Add to that endometriosis and breast cancer. Those are all conditions that either exclusively or disproportionately claim females. The last time I checked it is biologically impossible not to have at least one female relative. Imagine trying to fill a ballpark if you alienated women or anyone who claimed one or more as a loved one. Plenty of good seats available as the first pitch is thrown.
You need players to win championships but a team is often an extension and reflection of its coach. That seems to be another part of the problem in the Trump administration. Anthony Scaramucci isn’t even officially on the payroll yet and he is already the center of controversy and has played a part in Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus’ departures. Scaramucci is basically Trump with good hair. Inexperience and lack of qualifications are two of Trump’s problems; the same can be said for key players like his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as Scaramucci. To revert a bit, I don’t care how competent a manger Kelly is; he needs some talented players if he is to post wins.
For the most part Trump’s staff reflects him – arrogant and unqualified. To date we have been fortunate in that a major disaster hasn’t struck. The odds are we can’t stay that lucky for three and a half more years. To compound my fear, catastrophic events seem to occur in multiples. Let’s say at category five hurricane hits us and simultaneously or in very short order we have a major terrorist event and/or belligerent military action by a foreign adversary. Are you really comfortable with Trump and team calling the shots? I’m not; I’m scared as Hell!
Well I cleaned out some notes and got to think about baseball for a bit; now if the Rays could only put together several winning streaks.
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Publishing Note: Between writing and posting Anthony Scaramucci exited the White House. I don’t know if this was a good win for new skipper Kelly or sour grapes. Time will tell. It does prove the old baseball adage: You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.