Sen. John Kennedy calls ’em like he sees ’em.
The Louisiana Republican has a well-earned reputation for a rapier wit — the kind of observation that cuts to the core of an issue while generally making a mockery of whatever liberal cause has presented itself for public inspection.
And on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, when that cause was Major League Baseball’s disgraceful decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s new voting law, Kennedy hit it out of the park.
Check it out here. It’s less than 90 seconds long, and well worth the time.
First, Kennedy’s take on President Joe Biden’s announcement last week that he would “strongly support” moving the All-Star Game pretty summed up the Biden presidency in a nutshell:
“President Biden has done this country a great disservice by not telling the truth about this bill,” Kennedy said. “I mean, either he’s lying or he’s lost.”
Then Kennedy got to MLB Commissioner Ron Manfred, and really nailed it. Noting that baseball has a problem with declining attendance (even before the coronavirus pandemic, stadium crowds had been declining fairly steadily since 2006, according to the data site Statista), Kennedy said Manfred’s job should be making the game more appealing.
With the All-Star Game decision, he’s done exactly the opposite — needlessly inserting politics into what should be the national pastime, and effectively telling the conservative half of the country that its presence is not required — nor, apparently, desired.
“He’s just made baseball a blue sport. He did. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I mean, his attendance is declining. If it were my job, I would try to be adding fans,” Kennedy said.
“The only thing I can figure is that Mr. Manfred is part of what I call the managerial elite — the entrenched politicians, the bureaucrats, certain members of the media, the academics, the corporate phonies — who think they’re smarter and more virtuous than the people they make money off of.
“And, as best I can tell, Mr. Manfred just wet his pants in delight at the chance to virtue-signal here. And all they did was make Major League Baseball a blue sport. I don’t get it.”
To be fair, there are a number of things besides the prospect of virtue signaling that might have made “Mr. Manfred just wet his pants” (six words just about no one expects to see in a baseball commissioner story).
It might have been terror at the prospect of standing up to the social media mobs and explaining that baseball is a sport — a matter of entertainment that should be for all Americans, not just those sufficiently woke. (The NFL and NBA might want to get that lesson into their heads, too.)
It could have been the idea he might be criticized in the sports media, a ludicrously liberal bunch led by dweebs like ESPN, which long ago lost focus on being a sports network and decided to dabble in liberal politics instead.
It might have been simply a matter of contagious cowardice from corporate America, where companies like Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and the uber-woke Coca-Cola have been abasing themselves to denounce an election law that is not in the least out of the ordinary in the American political system.
(When Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian denounced Georgia’s law last week, the words came less than a week after his company issued a statement speaking favorably of the bill, as Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton pointed out.)
No matter what was behind baseball’s decision, the reality is that American conservatives just got yet another cue that the cultural powers in this country clearly don’t give a tinker’s damn about their beliefs.
And still, like a guy who keeps getting dumped by his girlfriend and pretends she doesn’t mean it, conservatives are likely to keep watching the games — root, root-rooting for the home team, putting out their money, and pretending they’re not being played for suckers.
That’s what the lords of baseball like Manfred are counting on. It’s what companies like Delta and Coke are counting on. It’s what the degenerates of Hollywood have been counting on for decades.
A doddering Democratic president can lie about the Georgia law being “Jim Crow on steroids,” or be “lost” about it. (Might even be either one, depending on whether he’s napped yet.)
The commissioner of baseball, backed by the liberal media, can move the All-Star Game out of a state that respects voter integrity on the insulting grounds that MLB was demonstrating the game’s “values” — apparently for the benefit of benighted Republican voters.
(These are presumably the same “values” that put contemporary baseball in bed with organized gambling. Anyone want to bet Pete Rose is headed to Cooperstown while he’s still breathing?)
But the final score is the same. To what Kennedy called the “managerial elite,” the concerns of conservatives just don’t count.
Former President Donald Trump lashed out on Friday against MLB, calling for conservatives to boycott the sport itself, as well as the companies that supported MLB’s move.
That’s a start, anyway.
John Kennedy, a man who’s usually handy with a good quote on a current controversy, proved again on Monday that he can call ’em like he sees ’em.
The only question is when American conservatives decide to hit back.
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