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It Isn’t How You Play The Game, It’s That You Win It

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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.

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About pessimist

  • Maurice

    Wow. Another Bush bashing post. Kind of wanders around so it is difficult to grab any one issue and praise/debunk it.

    Tony Snow has been a pundit for 30 years.

    Rush – who cares?

    ALL sports are competitive to Americans!

    Dixie Chicks – See Rush above

    …so much more golf on TV now…. It just might be that golf is really popular…

    I am going to try and summarize your post: Rich athletes don’t care for high tax policies. Actors and singers are unconcerned about high taxes. Is that what you are saying?

  • Lumpy

    Golf? Who the hell either rich or poor gives a flying fuck about golf. It’s what0you do for a distraction while u wait to die.

  • troll

    didn’t Van Zandt write one of his depressing songs about golf – ?

  • Arch Conservative

    Pro golfers are evil because they are all white rich men who agree with the GOP more than the Dems?

    I guess that even you moonbats have grown tired of your own convrntional slandering and bashing of everything conservative so you have chosen to take a new angle.

    What a total fucking waste of space this article is.

  • Nancy

    “Pro golfers are evil because they are all white rich men who agree with the GOP more than the DEMS”….

    Gee, that’s a pretty good summary, Arch. However, I would point out that golf is also among the most stultifyingly tedious of games to anyone not actively golfing. It says a lot to me of the mentality of whoever attends these things let alone watches them on TV, how pitiful is what they consider entertainment. Besides, lots of rich white Dems golf, too. How to explain that? Maybe it would be better to just say it’s a boring rich white man’s game & let it go at that.

  • Arch Conservative

    Boring rich white man’s game?

    Does the name Tiger Woods ring a bell? Chi chi rodruiges? michelle wi?

    Also not eveyone who plays golf is rich.

    Obviously the professionals you see on TV are the best of the best and make a lot of money playing golf. But this is true for any sport.

    There are millions of middle to lower class Americans who enjoy the game of golf. I bet you some of them even vote Democrat.
    Once again this post is nothing but the same ole’ dumbass rantings of a moonbat with a new spin.