May 11, 2011

GOP 12 Man Rotation

In baseball, a team carries about a dozen pitchers. On a roster of 25 that borders on 50% of the staff. Why so many? Pitchers' arms get tired and they can't pitch every day. They would throw too softly and serve up home run after home run. They would risk injuring their arms and ending their careers. There's a lesson in that which the GOP may have inadvertently stumbled upon.

In the near impossible quest for another Ronald Reagan, no clear front runner has emerged from a pack of potential and declared candidates to grab a lock on the party's nomination for the 2012 presidential election. Sure, people like Trump have surged and faded. I don't think it has been by design, but it may actually help Republicans in the long run (in the 2012 long run).

Consider the shellacking Sarah Palin took when she was the Tea Party voice and clearly a top tier contender. Consider the jibes at Trump from the media as he surged (true, he did bring a lot of it onto himself by giving them lots to work with). Consider the media's one time GOP darling McCain. Once he became the nominee all amity disappeared. Whomever on the GOP side is thrust into the contender's role will have to endure a monstrous coordinated liberals and Democrats and media barrage from the time they emerge until the day after the November 2012 election.

It's no wonder they don't want to jump in early. Mostly, at any rate. Tim Pawlenty is the big name in the ring right now. Newt Gingrich appears to be next. Arguably it's too spoon. The GOP without a clear front runner and a reluctance to mostly enter too early and allow a front runner to emerge may have stumbled on a bullpen approach to dealing with media fire. Trump ate up a month. Perhaps Pawlenty could do two and Newt 2 or 3. With the media wasting their efforts on those who likely will not make the ballot, the eventual winner has a much shorter window to come in and face the onslaught. It's like bringing in the ACE closer in the bottom of the 9th inning to finish off the game.

The media and the Democrats will have to scramble to attack him or her. They will re-tread old ground bashing him. There may not be enough time for any of that to stick. The assault on Obama's record by committee may indeed have a chance to stick, while those throwing those fastballs can have a reliever from the bullpen come in when they get worn out from the media drubbing.

It does entail risk though. The pitchers earlier in the game need to throw a good game to get us to the 9th inning in a position to win. They need to hammer Obama hard and get things to stick. Things like getting Bin Laden does not erase all his other foreign policy failings and shortcomings.

It also doesn't give the closer as much time to make a positive impression with voters. In the baseball metaphor he or she has to warm up quickly and throw heat from the first pitch. That doesn't always work.

And we need the home crowd, the Tea Party, booing every Obama pitch and cheering every GOP pitcher pitch along the way. Not starting in 2012, starting now. Obama can't bring in a relief pitcher. He's got to pitch a complete game. He can be worn down mentally and physically if everyone takes this as a team effort and not an individual game. That means pitchers and fans alike. Good teams can beat star players (and Obama is no star) if they play as a team with a single goal. If that's the case no Babe Ruth second coming (i.e. Reagan 2.0) is necessary.

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