As we continue to revel in the "Smackdown in Baltimore", please allow me to point out the basic components of any good WWF "Smackdown" event. After all I am Bubbatoby. And as the name implies, I have been close to the WWF Smackdown/biscuits and gravy culture .
The actual Democrat/Repub Smackdown has been playing for the last 14 months. But what we saw yesterday was not the final round of a good Smackdown.
The first things you need for a good Smackdown are heroes and a villains. For the Nov 2008 to Jan 2010 Smackdown, it’s pretty obvious who played these roles. (At least in our eyes anyway).
Smackdowns are all about righteous indignation. To get attention from the public, you need a cause or motivation for each side to wage battle against each other. The Republicans, are usually fighting to save us from death at the hands of terrorists and our economy from "Godless" communism. Democrats are usually fighting to save us from Republicans. This motivation totally fails when Democrats are in the majority but for some reason we never change it.
Just before the Smackdown begins, the wrestlers make grand entrances and start yelling at their opponents and the crowd, building up the tension and interest. In politics this goes on all the time so I am having a hard time deciding when this occurred in my 14 month Smackdown analogy. Let’s say it started during the minute after Obama won the 2008 elections. I’m not sure but I think it took less than one minute for Republicans to start shouting that we are all doomed and will die soon because Obama was elected President.
So after all the yelling and grandstanding the fighters square off and they get down to business. They circle each other and try a few moves. During the early stages, it’s usually pretty even. Then the inevitable happens, the villain cheats somehow and sends the hero reeling. This always brings the hero’s fans to righteous indignation. They stand up and yell as the villain drags their hero around the ring by his hair. As the hero is getting choked, bashed, kicked and gouged, his fans keep waiting for the moment they know will come. Finally, just when you think that maybe this one is not going to go by the script, the hero suddenly, and I mean very suddenly, goes ballistic and turns the table on the villain.
The energized hero usually punches the villain repeatedly to the delight of his fans. Then the villain’s allies usually try to cheat again but the hero’s allies arrive just in time to help him out.
So I think you could say that Democrats have played out the last year in grand WWF fashion. As fans, we watched our party get dragged around the ring by its hair during the health care debacle. But to make the analogy a little more succinct, I would like to suggest that it was more like a couple of midgets dragging Hulk Hogan around the ring. (Midgets can be pretty mean). Obama stayed out of this fight. He wasn’t in the ring. Fighting is not his style.
And he stayed out of the fight yesterday.
This was no Smackdown in Obama’s eyes. He was a very calm, deliberate man looking for a reasoned debate. He didn’t appeal to the crowd with slogans and wag his head in righteous indignation. He dismantled Republican "arguments" with reason and rhetoric. His demeanor, speech and self control indicated to me that he is more like an exasperated parent who is tired of changing Congressional diapers. He calmly told Republicans (and Democrats)the importance of acting grown up. And he did it in a very respectful way.
That ain’t a WWF Smackdown my friends.