The other day, i had to have an honest conversation with myself. A conversation about how to justify my laughter at Derek Jeter’s season-ending injury. It’s customary to admit that it’s wrong, 100% wrong to cheer for opposing players’ injury, but i think that most of us here did not have that reaction at first. Laughing at the Yankees was wrong, distasteful, childish… but honest.
Thing is, i don’t think any of us wish the person harm. Baseball players are held to a high standard of civic responsibility by virtue of being on TV every day for six months, and by all accounts he meets and exceeds this. The difference is the uniform. In the pinstripes, he becomes that smug fuck with no range and a closet full of Gold Gloves who’s never taken a called strike. A hated enemy. So i laughed at the player’s injury, and ultimately, i’m fine with that.
But i find an interesting parallel with the reaction to the monthly report of the unemployment numbers, in particular this most recent one. Goodness knows, i’ve anxiously hoped they’d be good. Not because they exactly affect me (heck, recently i suppose i just made them worse by one), but because good numbers are good for the person i want to be the next President. But the crucial question is, if the reverse were true, if i were pulling to unseat the guy, would i then be cheering for bad things to happen?
It’s fairly clear that plenty of us in this country are doing just that. Yet another obvious manifestation of Mitch McConnell’s repugnant rallying cry. Of all the disheartening things that have happened to this country in the last twelve years, it’s possibly the worst. At best, an open admission that the opposition party wants the government to fail utterly, at worst, a brazen exhortation to partisans to impede anything which might reflect well on the administration. And no matter how cynical and how partisan you are, there’s strong correlation that runs in opposition to that idea—a successful president must by definition be bringing some of that success to the citizens of the country. Therefore, Republicans are cheering against us all.
So if fewer people are unemployed, they’re disappointed (or sadder still, in denial). Because they’ve tried so hard to eliminate public jobs that might’ve helped that number, but also put money in the hands of middle-class pockets, who might’ve spent it and helped other Americans make a living. Wouldn’t want to help that along.
It’s laundry. For four years, Republicans’ loyalty has been to laundry alone. Red versus Blue. Awkwardly, my metaphor means that i am exactly the person i started out mocking. Indeed, we’re all (gulp) Derek Jeter, lying on the field. Except, to continue abusing the metaphor, the Republicans aren’t the cackling Sox fan at home on the couch. They’re more like the maniac that ran on the field and kneecapped him with a tire iron at shortstop.
And i don’t think any part of me would be cheering for that.