The Republican party is desperate to win the fall midterm election in November, and nothing is being left idle in that effort to win at all costs. Even White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is being drafted to wield his Fox News celebrity-hood to promote Bush Administration achievements to the voters, even though he's still wet behind the ears professionally and wasn't around for most of them.
Personal abuse is another weapon in their arsenal, as anyone who has paid attention to the Republican reaction to Bill Clinton's counter-attack against Chris Wallace the other day knows. The world marvels at how the American reactionaries dominate our society without opposition, using abuse and other forms of bullying to stifle anyone who disagrees with the Bush agenda.
Just the other day, for instance, Rush Limbaugh bragged about how electoral dirty tricks work against 'stupid' Democratic voters. Such 'humorous entertainment' only serves as inspiration to others to take similar actions intended to stifle the anti-Bush vote.
Limbaugh is an example of the amoral 'conservative' who lacks of a sense of fair play and abhors observance of the spirit of the law as well as the letter. He bills himself as an entertainer, but the only audience being entertained is that of the infamous 'Havemores', Bush's wealthy base, which wants only one thing — more.
Such a winning 'attitude' would be at home in professional football, and is. But I'm not about to talk about that sport. I'm going to talk about another sport (and I use that term advisedly in its reference), which doesn't have the brute force reputation of football. I'm talking about golf.
The European equivalent of the Havemores just don't understand their American cousins, and nowhere is this more evident than at the current Ryder Cup tournament. European golfers are wary of the violent way American golfers can (and have, according to Golf Digest's John Huggan) reacted when things haven't gone their way, or which interferes with their self-delusions about their very-public displays of Christianity:
David Feherty, the former European Ryder Cup member from Northern Ireland who is now a popular TV golf commentator in America, believes the very public display of fire-and-brimstone Christianity is still unsettling to most Europeans.
"I think a lot of Europeans find that conservative Christian thing as frightening as conservative Muslims," he said.
Externally, it's hard to tell the European golfers and their retinues apart from the Americans, except that American golfers tend to 'hang with their own kind' rather than mix with groups from other nations.
But internally, the European golfers are extremely cautious about what they say about Bush and his agenda, for the intimidation factor of being harmed in some way for doing so has registered clearly with them. They know what has happened to those who spoke out publicly against Bush — including The Dixie Chicks and baseball player Carlos Delgado.
Why fear? Isn't golf a gentleman's game? That depends on how one defines what a gentleman is.
The vast majority of pro golfers grew up Havemores, and their politics line up with Bush completely down the line. They are mostly rich white Christians who think of themselves as self-made men, deserving in every way of the advantages they hold dear — including the many perks fledgling pros were given by PGA sponsors as they developed into pros.
According to a poll conducted in March by Sports Illustrated of 76 US Tour pros, 88% supported the American invasion of Iraq and 91% supported Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also believe in tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, are pro death penalty, anti-gay marriage, are strongly anti-labour union, and identify with evangelical Christian ideology.
This alignment of pro golfers with the political reactionaries dates back at least as far as 1993 (and likely much earlier during the Reagan years) when Republican Ryder Cup pros threatened to boycott a White House photo op as a protest against Clinton tax policies. By 1996, Golf Digest found only one pro who supported Clinton (and who has since publicly reversed his stance), indicating that the Republican Party has a lock on pro golfers.
Is that why there is so much more golf on TV now?
But pro golfers don't just line up with Bush politically. Their personal activities do as well. For instance, they care little for reading books or discussing world affairs, preferring to inhabit the dream world of manly-men sports in every aspect, including reality TV shows. The U.S. PGA Tour media guide reports that the most popular "special interest" listed by players is fishing, followed by hunting. They are much more likely to be living this fantasy life than even football players, a group which represents the stereotype of the manly-man.
The good news about these bogie boys is that their support base is eroding, especially in the West. Traditional Western values aren't being serviced by Republican policies, so the voters there are reigniting the Sagebrush Rebellion. The only important difference from the last time is that the Democrats should benefit from it this time.
They are also beginning to notice that global warming is ruining their once-pristine landscapes while Bush does nothing but line up his next Diebold putt.
I guess living The Good Life means never having to say you're working — except on the green.Powered by Sidelines