Replacement refs and politicians come from the same mold

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

Have you been watching the NFL this season? Who am I kidding? Next to NASCAR (And no offense to NASCAR fans, but seriously, other than the wrecks, it’s just cars going in a circle), it’s the most popular sport on the planet. So of course you have.

Tell me the horrible performance of the replacement refs haven’t made the NFL that much more intriguing to watch—unless you have a favorite team like the Packers who just got hosed on Monday night. In that case,

the word hate doesn’t really do justice to what comes to mind when you see the damage the refs have caused in deciding the outcome of a game.

The performance of the replacement refs must remind you of people we all know and hate in the same manner: politicians. Think about it. You have a bunch of folks who’ve been promoted — or in a politician’s case promoted themselves — to a position to which they’re simply not qualified. They then use that position to make calls and decisions in an arena that’s too big and fast for them. They stick their noses into things where they don’t belong. They ignore and miss obvious areas where they should be doing the right thing to enforce the rules. And finally, after all of their blunders of commission and omission, none of the damage they cause to the outcome of our country has any affect on them, just the rest of us. Sadly, this has been the case for politicians and replacement politicians in our country for a long time.

Much like the NFL, there seems to be no hurry to fix this problem with our political system in the country. That’s because all we seem to get are replacement politicians of the same caliber. And that would be another 537 dysfunctional dolts who make the wrong calls. Until the people decide they’ve had it with both the NFL and Washington and rise up in revolt in some manner, nothing will get done. In the NFL’s case that would be not going to or watching the games which will never happen. After all, we still go to the movies. As for Washington, I pray we can continue the small steps taken in the 2010 election.

What I mean by that is we got just enough replacement politicians into the mix that said let the players play and kept the crappy, Division I-level politicians out of the process for the most part. In spite of their best efforts, however, we still got Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and a host of new regulations and tax codes to the tune of a 100,000 pages or more. Think of what would have happened if they were all replacement politicians with the talents of what we’re seeing in the NFL. Ask any sports fan how they feel about the NFL right now and you’ll get an earful — kind of like talking politics today. The fact is, no one wins when the refs try to take over the game.

Don’t get me wrong. Mine is truly an across-the-aisle opinion. I simply don’t trust any politician who says they can create jobs. My reasoning is simple: Politicians don’t create jobs. They create spending programs because they have to look like they’re doing something to “save the free market” or “create 12 million jobs” or be “the jobs candidate.” I say this because experience tells me that once elected, the desire to be part of the game is just too great. And to be part of the game, you have to stick your nose into problems. And the only way most politicians know how to solve problems is by throwing money at something. The worst part is, many of the problems are ones they simply perceive or create (kind of like phantom pass interference calls), stem from other problems they’ve tried to solve or they simply make the wrong call because they have no idea what they’re doing. Unfortunately for the people in the instant replay booth (in our case the citizenry) looking over another horrible call, it’s already too late. At best, the flow of the game is interrupted and the home team — us, our business and our jobs — are affected At worst, the very serious game you or I are involved in is blown.

Trust me, if Mitt Romney takes the same approach as previous replacement presidents, we’ll have the same outcome. The only difference I see with Mitt is that he at least has some BCS-level experience to draw upon in moving up to the professional ranks. That said, if he tries to control the whole game, in this case our economy, he’ll fail miserably. And that is because the economy is a game for the players, the citizens, business owners and consumers of this great country all the way down to the smallest minority: Each individual. The game is simply too big for one president, 100 senators, 435 representatives or even nine politically appointed judges. When the founding fathers set up the league, interference was the biggest penalty they worried about —from the ruling class. That’s the only way to successfully referee this economy.

It’s time to throw our flags. Call the penalties on the real culprits. And if necessary, eject them from the game.