Make no mistake about it. I wouldn’t endorse Tommy Tuberville for Senate if he was running alone. However, current media reports indicate the coach is leading Jeff Sessions in the polls by more than ten points. Not that I would endorse Jeff Sessions either, but still.
The trouble with Tuberville isn’t even that he is grossly inexperienced and unqualified, which he is. The trouble with Tuberville is that he is a former college football coach. The heyday for sports, i.e. for college football especially, has long ago come and gone. Back in the day, before college sports became professional, the whole sports mentality helped to build sportsmanship and cooperation, and even a sense of appreciation for integration and civil rights. Many oppressed minority youths found hope, albeit mostly false hope, in the notion that they could get on up outta here to a successful and happy life through sports.
Nowadays, sports worship has spilled over into everything about American life. You have to be on a team. Everyone is on a team and one team or the other wins. It’s just a game. Be a good sport, play the game, be on a team. Worship the team. Everyone in a uniform is on a team and is to be worshiped. Police are in uniform and they are heroes who abuse their authority and are to be worshiped. Soldiers who fight in Afghanistan are in a uniform, kill people too, and are to be worshiped. They won! Our Team WON! The indoctrination is complete. And wrong. That’s what Tommy Tuberville represents.
As for Jeff Sessions, I haven’t supported him in the past because I see him in the same vein as Roy Moore. And, so long Roy Moore who just found out his authoritarianism don’t jive outside the legal sphere. Trump has endorsed Tuberville over Sessions, and I suppose you can understand that. He’s still POed that Sessions recused himself over the Russia thing. Well, I don’t know, there’s more to it than that, but I might actually have found a modicum of respect for Sessions in that recusal. I don’t always jive with Trump.
I’m sure Roy Moore’s fans luv football, but my impression is that they are less likely to think politics is a game and are not likely to support Tuberville. In spite of Trump’s unendorsement of Sessions, I think Moore’s supporters will mostly sling their weight behind Sessions. If they do so en mass, Sessions will still likely win the Republican nomination. But, it could be a nail-biter. If Sessions does win the Republican nomination, I think he has a pretty good chance of beating Doug Jones to reclaim his old seat.
If Tuberville actually beats Sessions – flushing the only accolade of all three, seniority – down the drain, I don’t think he can beat Jones. It would be like a lukewarm scrimmage between the red shirts and the blue shirts from the same team. I know, Tuberville says he’s something else, but he smells more like Doug Jones to me than a Republican. Although, a match between Tuberville and Jones could also be quite a nail-biter too.
My takeaway for the March 31st runoff: it ain’t a game. We’ve had enough sports in politics.
© 2020 – Jim Casey