Monday, September 8, 2008

What Hockey, Asian Martial Arts, and Politics Have In Common

I've had a few days to think about this, and I can't help but think that Sean Quinn hit his points perfectly.
The fourth-line, no-scoring-talent, pest agitators (or as we now call them, “energy guys”) have a specific job. Skate in, take a cheap shot, make it after the whistle. Make it against the rules. Stir something up. Put a wet glove in the other guy's face and rub it. Get the outrage flowing. Get the opponent not thinking about the game, get them thinking about your shenanigans. And what happens? The “victimized” team loses its composure, hitting back. The guy who hits second is always the guy who goes to the penalty box.

Watching Sarah Palin this week, and the reaction to her by both sides, and all the talk of hockey mommery, I realized that this is who she is. She skates into the corner, throws up an elbow, and the Democrats cry: “Foul!”
Only it has one more twist - the fans for Republicans can then act indignant (and secretly smug) because they're the ones whom are the underdogs, the one whom are being picked on. And at the same time, they tug along those whom lean Republican, but maybe don't pay as much attention to political minutiae in the race. It's political jiujitsu at its finest as the Republicans have been practicing it since 1968. "Oh, we're persecuted!" "Oh, the media has it in for us!"

Meanwhile, Sarah, and the others like her have knee-capped a wingman and hemmed in a defender up against the boards.

Since Sean's post, I've run across a couple of similar themes from Athenae & Chez.

Working the refs is misnomer - even if it is part of the strategy - the real issue, is working the fans. Focusing on those whom are your natural base with one pitch, and the casuals or influenced with another secondary harmonic. Working your base into a state while working the opposition into a disorganized fury. And since the Democrats' motto is, "I belong to no organized party", their task is easier than democratic attempts to do the same to the Republicans.

It's interesting in how it played out with the media in regards to Palin's retreat after last week:
With McCain, Obama, and Biden all on the Sunday talk shows yesterday, the Democrats began saying that Palin was afraid to be interviewed by a serious reporter. To avoid having this charge become an issue itself, the McCain campaign has backed down and agreed to let her be interviewed by ABC's Charles Gibson. Republicans are hoping for a Larry-King-like softball interview with questions like: "Do you think you have enough experience to be President if the need should arise?" Democrats are hoping for more hardball questions like: "Do you really believe that if a woman is raped she should be forced to bear her rapist's child?" The structure of the interview--taped over a period of several days--is not the way political reporters normally work because it allows the interviewee to recover from a mistake by saying: "Let's try that one again." The reporter can't afford to have the interviewee walk off the set, so he is under pressure to be nice. In an interview broadcast live, there are no holds barred.

And I predict with Palin's media skills, this will be another smashing personal best for her. Not only will she be able to bloody a few noses, but her worst offenses for the refs will get conveniently edited out of the broadcast, just like those boring parts of the Olympics.


Seven of Six said...

Why does it matter, The Rapture is coming!

Of course you're right Id. The McPalin Campaign will be vetting reporters questions.

Anjha said...

She is a former journalism major and a former sports caster. She knows exactly how to handle the media. The wait bullshit and the crap about the media being unfair is just building the anticipation and lowering the expectations.

She memorizes talking points and sound bites...same with her debates as posted in various places. Never answering questions just putting forward talking points.

Really, she is a piece of fucking work and it is working. I am disgusted by her and hate her...I know those are strong words, but she is the antithesis of everything that I believe in.

I watch the Republican women follow her as though she were some kind of saint and they believe every lie that comes out of her mouth and it is really gross.

She is small time on the big stage and she loves it.

Seven of Six said...

Whoa Anjha... I agree completely however.

Talk about evil incarnate... in the form of a woman... now don't take that wrong...

snark said...

She's not evil. She's just a master at seizing opportunity when it's handed to her.

Democracy's great.

Except for the fact that you have to live with the results.

Seven of Six said...

Hey cheney is pure evil... if she takes that side... she is evil spawn as far as I'm concerned.

Anjha said...

She's not evil.

I think he was talking about me, snark.