The power of sports

RedState’s astute analysis aside, it appears that the North Carolina legislature is poised to repeal SB2 HB2 today, just in the nick of time to dodge a six-year NCAA ban on championship events in that state in response to the law.

Without debating the merits of the proposal from either side (and it’s telling to see that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” practicality of the compromise to do away with SB2 HB2 is drawing fire from both the left and the right), one shouldn’t lose sight of the bottom-line message here.  When it comes to big-time sports today, in a world in which Nevada throws down three-quarters of a billion dollars in public funds to entice the Raiders to jump ship from Oakland and rock-ribbed conservative Cobb County bent every rule in the book to get the Braves to move north, one shouldn’t bet against the threatened impact of an NCAA boycott.

Before we’re Republicans or Democrats, Bernie Bros or Tea Partiers, we’re sports addicts, and the suppliers of our addiction know we are and act accordingly.  You’d think the lesson would have been learned after the NCAA made South Carolina bend over and take down the Confederate flag, but it seems that Southern politicians have short memories, especially when it comes to chasing voters with political posturing that has more symbolic than real effect.

So, congratulations to all you principled pols.  You’ve managed to make an organization that has a hard time avoiding tripping all over itself look noble and steadfast.  That’s not an easy thing to do.  I suspect it’s not the last time, either.

Advertisements

54 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

54 responses to “The power of sports

  1. If you think that there was a basis for the law to begin with wouldn’t this mean that the NC GOP sold out the safety of our daughters for a few bucks?

    If it was a bunch of bs the whole time, and it was, why did so many defend this disposable statute as an absolute necessary bulwark against sexual predation?

    You can’t have it both ways. Either they were were FOS the whole time OR they value $ more than they want to prevent the sexual assault of young girls which is an ACTUAL threat without the law in place.

    So which is it snowflakes? Are the NC GOP whores for cash or political opportunists? Have they put the children at risk or is there nothing to see here because there never was?

    Like

    • Jt (the other one)

      Whores for cash. That one is pretty simple.

      Like

    • MLB2

      On the one hand, pervs are pervs, law or no law. On the other hand, if folks with gender identity issues would just quietly use any bathroom, nobody would care. It’s the insecure person who must be heard and ram their beliefs down your throat that create firestorms which polarize people on both sides regardless of the topic. Constituents start pressuring politicians and politicians react. All without calm discussion and reason. It’s a damn shame.

      Like

      • I don’t think that it’s “insecurity” which drives it. There is a desire among too many that their own views be imposed upon others by force of law. Its not enough to be against abortion. Its not enough to not have an abortion. It’s not enough to announce your opposition to abortion. The only acceptable solution is using the police power of the state to enforce that view. I’m sure you could find some batty shit in Berkeley, CA too. I’m not suggesting that sort of thinking is unique to the right. The left has its share of despotic thinkers too, but fortunately we’ve never given any of them real political power in this country, only right wing statists seem to achieve positions of power. One of the reasons I resent to right’s latching onto trump rather than moderating and trying to appeal to a cross section of Americans, rather than doubling down on white prejudice towards blacks, Hispanic, Muslims, etc.., even if they lose a few cycles along the way, is that it opens to door for greater political power to guys like Bernie. The more unelectable one side becomes the father in the other direction we go and the middle gets more and more “thin.” The more “thin” the middle becomes the more we end up ruled by one set of assholes or the other because there’s no middle to appeal to. There’s no votes there.

        But I digress. I think the motivation is basic arrogance stemming from a lack of appreciation for the fact that freedom from government intrusion into private matters is a basic human right. It’s people in power desperate to exercise it with full endorsement of those who gave them that power.

        We need to get all forms of religion and ideology out of politics. They both suffer from the same flaw: a complete and total disregard for any factual support for their positions. A religious zealot and idealogue both know the answer before the question is even asked because the answer will never change no matter what the current circumstances are. There’s no place for either in matters of public policy.

        Like

        • MLB2

          Politicians justify government intrusion with phrases like “these types of laws are necessary in a civilized society”. Seems the more civilized society becomes, the less decent people treat each other. I think Lamont was right about the deteriorating of social graces due to technological disconnect. I also think that people need some kind of faith in a higher authority to “have a plan” or “work everything together for good” to keep things from escalating into violence, God forbid. I do agree that the federal government should keep religion out of the legislative​process. I must admit that I am confused with your constant referring to Donald Dump as Mein Fuhrgrabber considering some of Slick Willie’s past behavior with you admitting to voting for Killary. Not trying to bait you. I’ve enjoyed our civil discourse over the last couple of days. Just curious.

          Like

          • Lesser of two evils. If you want to debate the obvious truth of that I’m happy to. Like all groups of humans, the democrats have their faults. However, they aren’t evil and they don’t run on exactly the opposite of what they actually will do. They also don’t manipulate people’s fears and prejudices. I’d love a perfect choice. That’s not available. It’s evil vs. well-intentioned incompetence. That’s an easy choice for me.

            Like

            • MLB2

              Sexual assault is OK if you govern in favor of the people? Still confused. Personally, I don’t think men who hold high political office and are worth millions have to rape to get sex. Don’t believe the women on the side of the allegations against either. Didn’t vote for any of the candidates involved.

              Like

              • Clintons assault issues remain allegations. That he was a bad husband was proved.

                Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. If I accused you of sexually assaulting women does that make you the same as Trump? An allegation and an admission do not exist as equals.

                Also, while he’s a horrible human being for a lot of reasons, the sexual assault admission is way down the list on my complaints. I’d say falsely insisting for years that the President was illegitimate while now complaining about his own legitimacy being questioned demonstrates what a POS that guy is. Some 30000 lawsuits from stuffed contractors is another. I could go on. He’s a horrible human being by any measure he lacks any redeeming quality.

                Clinton for all his faults at least had the capacity to handle the office he ran for and if American opinion matters, he left office pretty well thought of and the nation in better shape than it’s been since.

                Like

                • MLB2

                  I get your opinions, I just think you hurt your argument by referencing the sexual situations since both of them have flaws in that area of life. As far as Slick Willie’s legacy, his policies were partly responsible for the housing collapse. I made my money in real estate and remember it clearly. He had good intentions but economic laws are absolute and can’t be bent for social justice without severe consequences. Bush could have prevented it but let Dodd and Frank punk him. It was a terrible thing to witness on a local level.

                  Like

                  • So you can’t question trump’s issues because Bill? Can I insist that republicans never assert they know anything about economics because Hoover? Or of integrity because Nixon? Or of proper use of intelligence/military options because W?

                    On your in logic, republicans shouldn’t be able to say much about anything. Pretty nonsensical position.

                    Like

                    • MLB2

                      Never said “can’t”. I said it hurts your argument. It seems petty. Trump ain’t a Republican. He’s the karma for both parties, imo. If the economy recovers, he’ll be remembered fondly. 90% of people care about their pockets above all.

                      Like

                    • Trump ain’t a Republican.

                      Ding! My bullshit detector just went off.

                      In what way has Trump’s first two+ months on the job been non-Republican?

                      Like

                    • MLB2

                      You are correct. I should have said that I believe time will prove that he is not. He may actually unify the parties against him.

                      Like

                    • Ding! My bullshit detector just went off.

                      In what way has Trump’s first two+ months on the job been non-Republican?

                      This article comes to mind. Trump is a Republican in every sense of how the modern Republican Party operates. The big lie they keep telling themselves is that it’s a party that doesn’t cater to all the worst parts of Trump’s base. Spoiler alert – the “deplorable” part of his base IS the Republican Party’s base, but they just like pretend all the dog-whistling and other bullshit isn’t something they actively do. I miss the days when I wasn’t considered a bleeding liberal because I’m a moderate R. Shit – Reagan is too damned liberal for the modern version of this party.

                      Like

                    • Well that didn’t take long. It’s true that he isn’t a republican. He’s a non-ideological narcissist who will say whatever to gain someone else money and/or power.
                      It’s also true that republicans didn’t give shit. It’s also true that his domestic policies are very republican. The trade issues, foreign policy matters and the “meet my very good friend Vlad” shit is what separates him. So far without exception the Republicans don’t care about that separation because all they really want are spending cuts to programs for the poor or the environment and tax cuts for the rich. They’ll let him burn the country the fuck down if they can get that.

                      Like

                    • MLB2

                      My man , Derek! We reached a common opinion on the Prez. I’m not commenting anymore today. I’m 5 shots of Larceny into my fishing trip and about to go from buzzed to drunk. Enjoyed the dialogue. Have a great Friday.

                      Like

      • 81Dog

        the whole fuss was a solution in search of a problem. If people just quietly and discreetly kept using whatever restroom they’ve been using since restrooms were invented, everything would have been fine, just like always. But the know it alls in Charlotte had to stick a finger in the eyes of everyone not as “enlightened” as they feel themselves to be, which provoked the predictable reaction by the people on the other end of the spectrum in the legislature to show the Charlotte city council may not be the last, best word on all issues, and the whole, avoidable mess got going.

        It may be great for virtue signalers on either side to bow up about it, but to the vast majority of people, I suspect, this is a non-issue that didn’t require either law to begin with. But I’m sure the shrill virtue police will be happy to chastise me for my lack of enlightenment, so at least I have that going for me.

        Like

        • Why couldn’t the voters in Charlotte have resolved it? Why was that seen as insufficient? Why is “local control” favored only when the outcome is met with approval?

          Like

          • 81Dog

            How about “because municipal governments are creations of the state, and are therefore under the control of the state.” How local is local? Should we go city by city? County by county? By district? By block? House to house? The state legislature Is local, perhaps just not local enough for you. I suspect if Charlotte had required one to use the bathroom corresponding to your actual gender (trigger warning!), and the legislature said no, you’d be good with that, just like you were probably cool with the previous presidential administration issuing regulations mandating your preferred approach. That isn’t local, and nobody got to vote for that.

            Try again.

            Like

            • States are the creations of what? That is pretty nonsensical response even from you.

              Like

              • 81Dog

                The federal government is a creation of the States. So, while the constitution, ratifiesbbybthebstates, is the Supreme law of the land, you would note (if you read the constitution) that the states, and the people, grant some powers to the feds, not vice versa. The rights not granted are reserved to the states and the people. Stop me if I’m going too fast for you. Or maybe take political science 101 and pay attention. I know how you FEEL about the law is more important than what it actually is, but you might learn something. Rules are hard,being a snowflake smug know it all is easy.

                Like

                • Since you’re obviously painfully stupid, get someone to read this to you slowly:

                  Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. The original 13 sit in the same position as the following 37 as they agreed to as signatories of the constitution.

                  The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land.

                  After you’ve found a literate person to read this you, gfy.

                  Like

  2. This ought to make for some fun comments.

    Like

  3. Dolly Llama

    Senator, just a small point here, but it’s HB2, not SB2.

    Like

  4. gastr1

    Got your Maxine Waters on today, I see. You go! Love it.

    Like

  5. Got Cowdog

    After all the uproar yesterday with player compensation and concealed carry rights, I was curious what would be the encore. Well done, Sir!

    Like

  6. Former Fan

    The NCAA doesn’t look noble to me in this situation. The comprise at least forbade local communities from further mettlesome regulation like what Charlotte passed that started this blowup.

    Like

  7. doofusdawg

    Can’t wait for the Social Justice vs. Sharia Law ten round fight to the finish on ppv. Live from Charlotte evidently.

    And as an aside I can’t recall how many times some woman came into the men’s room at Sanford Stadium because the women’s line was to damn long. Everybody was ok with that.

    Can’t wait for the next cause du jour. Perhaps we could use my aforementioned suggestion box.

    Like

  8. ASEF

    The North Carolina General Assemblt: A Study in Dysfunction

    Some of the following is just politics, and I am sure people can cite numerous examples of Democratic malfeasance. This is not a Ds > Rs post. It’s a NC’s Rs in Raleigh are complete idiots and crooks post.

    And btw: Redstate = Bleacher Report for politics.

    The idea that HB2 could only be considered economically disastrous if it caused a statewide recession is kind of laughable. It’s like saying the hideous statue you put in your front yard isn’t hideous because the house didn’t burn down.

    HB2 inarguably cost NC thousands of jobs. It’s right there in the press releases of companies saying “no thanks” and going elsewhere. The NCAA was hardly the only entity to cancel event planning in the state. Conventions were lost in all the major cities, costing tens of thousands of hotel room bookings, restaurant meals, etc. Again – it’s right there in press releases. The list goes on.

    And measuring the scale of those losses against the “protection” offered by HB2 should make you either laugh or cry. HB2 was never about protecting children. It was a smoke screen to divert people away from the rest of the NCGA’s SOP. Here are some their other recent greatest hits:

    1) Had a bill on the floor banning research professors. It would have required anyone drawing a paycheck as a professor to teach classes full time and do research in their spare time. This is a legislature operating in the heart of something known as Research Triangle, the economic hub of the state driven by the proximity of UNC, NC State, Duke, and Wake Forest. People had to point out that the best-case result of the bill was the best researchers jumping to Duke and Wake, which would at least keep them in state. The worst case result would be the foundation of the state’s research apparatus relocating to Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, etc. Like HB2, a “hatchet” solution to a “fly” problem. Squashed by Republican CEOs in the area.
    2) Basically closed state courts to any work-related or discrimination-related grievances. They had to pull that one back almost immediately.
    3) 2 years running have passed the state budget by handing out the bill a few hours before voting, making it impossible for anyone to run through the line items before it passes. Incredibly corrupt.
    4) Play budget games where they announce “expansion in education spending” by allocating tens of millions to “education” that isn’t earmarked to any specific budget or purpose – so no one downstream can include it in their planning. Then, a few months later, the money is quietly repurposed to non-education projects (see #3). Effectively cuts education spending while simultaneously creating a massive slush fund. A 2 for 1.
    5) Gerrymandered state and federal legislative districts so aggressively that 80% of the incumbents are winning their general elections by at least 10%. Western NC, where I live, went from a district that elected someone like Heath Shuler, a Blue Dog democrat, to Mark Meadows, leader of the Freedom Caucus. They accomplished that by moving chunks of Asheville into a Charlotte district.
    6) Upon determining that the governor’s race had in fact been lost to a Democrat, the NCGA stripped the position of most its powers, including changing laws to allow the outgoing governor (McCrory) to appoint various government positions instead of the incoming governor (Cooper). Repubican or Democrat, that’s not how democracy should work.
    7) Stripped local municipalities of the right to set their own minimum wage. Asheville has been contemplating a $15 an hour wage, given that housing costs in the area leave some people homeless despite full-time employment. Whatever you think of the measure in your neck of the woods, that’s Asheville’s decision, not Raleigh’s.
    8) Passed a “voter fraud” bill that somehow determined voter fraud was more likely to happen on Sundays than Mondays or at 7 a.m. than 10 a.m. It followed to the T a report outlining when black people preferred to vote versus white people. This is how a key state official attempted to guide local election boards on the issue of Sunday voting after the court threw the bill out:

    “Many of our folks are angry and are opposed to Sunday voting for a host of reasons including respect for voter’s religious preferences, protection of our families and allowing the fine election staff a day off, rather than forcing them to work days on end without time off.”

    Um, horseshit. If you don’t want to vote on Sunday, then don’t. Protection of families? From Sunday voting? Really? And dozens of volunteers in every county were standing by to man the polls on Sunday. Whatever you think about Sunday voting, it’s lazy and transparently dishonest defenses like this that have the NCGA bailing water on issues like HB2.

    And of course, we have HB2 itself, a bill that failed to protect the one person it as designed to protect: Pat McCrory. It was the one district the legislature couldn’t gerrymander, and they thought HB2 would paint Cooper into a corner. Instead, the only races Republicans lost in the state were governor and district attorney, the two positions most responsible for defending HB2. Sen. Burr and Preident Trump both gathered more votes than McCrory. Which means a lot of Republicans left them off their ballots or voted for their opponents.

    I’m a moderate R. Immoderate Rs like to call people like me “liberal,” but I would remind them of a saying I heard a lot growing up in my military, Bible belt town after Reagan swamped Carter in 1980: “I didn’t leave the party. The party left me.”

    And to the Senator’s point, when you’ve put yourself in a position where the NCAA can leverage public opinion against you (the NC-freaking-AA), you might be in similar danger.

    Like

    • North Carolina is a very interesting case study. The western part of the state is basically TN, WV, eastern KY, etc. But then they have Charlotte and the research triangle.

      In normal times, this would make for a very purple state that would govern from the center. Alas, we are not in normal political times, especially with the gerrymandered districts.

      If we are ever going to solve any of our problems, we have figure out a way to stop gerrymandering.

      Like

      • ASEF

        When your only path to losing your seat is your primary, then you cater exclusively to primary voters. And yes, that creates a lot of politicians more interested in posturing than governing. Which in turn creates this aura of an unbridgeable divide.

        What’s most interesting to me is something I’ve been seeing locally for awhile now that’s starting to resonate in national politics – the need for grown-ups on both sides to band together against lunatic fringes. But we’ve got a long way to go on that front.

        Like

      • 81Dog

        I have to laugh at the “gerrymandering” trope I see so much of here lately. It’s more like the unintended consequences of the insistence 20 or so years ago by some folks that the Voting Rights Act actually requires districts to be drawn to “maximize the opportunity for minority voters to choose candidates” based, I guess, on the idea that we don’t approve of quotas, we just don’t approve of delegations that don’t match the mathematical distribution of a state’s population …..in the south.

        So, many minority legislators, as I recall, and many well intentioned liberal white legislators, enthusiastically created tortured looking districts so that Georgia would have at least two, and arguably 3 “minority majority” districts. This gave us legendary representative such as Cynthia McKinney in the US House. It probably never occurred to any of these well intentioned folks that when you pack the “safe minority districts,” you leave a whole lot of places with nothing but conservative folks. So, in a blink, Georgia suddenly had 2 black Congresspeople, and a whole pile of Republicans. Lather/rinse/repeat for the legislature. Oops.

        Of course, if your answer to everything is just “it’s all racist/stupid/homophobe conservatives fault”, you probably cant admit that isn’t always the case, but maybe you should consider that possibility. Or you can just blame the Russians.

        Like

        • ASEF

          Except that’s not what happened in NC. Not even close.

          They split urban districts into puzzle pieces and apportioned them into super-safe Republican districts to dilute Democratic voters. Which is how you end up with Congressinal districts where a voter can cross the street in Charlotte and be in a different district but still be in the SAME district after a 2 hour drive to Asheville.

          Don’t know how that’s justifiable based on whatever happened in Georgia two decades ago.

          Like

        • Yeah, I’m not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China. Districts should be by county as much as possible (I realize there are limitations to the feasibility of this, but that should be the base operating methodology. If that means that some solidly blue or red districts suddenly flip or become purple, then boo hoo.

          Like

        • Really 81? Explain this … Cumberland County, NC which is Fayetteville.

          Like

        • Shorter version – minorities have only themselves to blame for gerrymandering. They can vote but it just can’t have an impact and if it does and they elect representatives that have agendas that reflect their constituency then we will be sure to minimize their districts to get rid of them.

          Like

      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        it’s an interesting thing, where partisans of both sides hate gerrymandering in states whose legislature they don’t control. Everyone gerrymanders. No one is better or worse at it. It’s rotten, but it ain’t going to change, sadly.

        There are whole sites devoted to crazy district shapes that make zero sense other than to protect an incumbent or carve out the support from an incumbent.

        also, as mentioned elsewhere, the Voting Rights Act is likely responsible for 4-5 republican house seats from the south that would otherwise be democrats, but for the minority-majority rules and interpretations of the Act.(Per 538)

        Basically, politicians are political and do stupid stuff when left to their own devices. See California, Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, et al.

        Like

    • I’m a moderate R. Immoderate Rs like to call people like me “liberal,” but I would remind them of a saying I heard a lot growing up in my military, Bible belt town after Reagan swamped Carter in 1980: “I didn’t leave the party. The party left me.”

      Pretty much sums up my experience.

      Like

      • Mine too, although I note that in the state I reside, Alabama, i am considered a flaming, tree hugging, wacko, hysterical wimpering sicko, etc. In my home area of Puget Sound, I am a moderate R.
        Then there are folks on here who consider Puget Sound the land of EVIL.

        Like

  9. AusDawg85

    Senator, I’m totally missing the point of some of these posts. Explain more clearly how we can blame Kirby for some of this?

    Like

  10. UGA85

    I guess it’s just me, but I don’t understand why the NCAA is so involved in a state’s politics. Why not be more involved in the education of collegiate athletes? For instance, why not require a college diploma before an athlete can play a professional sport? Why not require an across the board standard ACT score for all athletes? Why not emphasize the “C” in their name instead of becoming a professional lobbying organization? I wonder what becomes of all our collegiate athletes who don’t play pro ball and don’t receive a decent education because the NCAA just doesn’t care, or is too involved in politics. An education is the key to a future in this world, regardless of one’s athletic status. Imagine if the NCAA had time to actually consider this issue.

    Like

    • Student athletes get the education they want for the most part. By and large – the vast majority are realistic about the opportunities of playing professionally – If they take crap classes or don’t show up to class, how is that the NCAA’s fault? I suppose you could argue that X percentage of their time is taken up by sports, but the NCAA does put limits on hours per week. They can’t force a kid to study hard any more that a professor can.

      Like

      • UGA85

        Well, if a decent ACT score and GPA were required to play sports, then athletes would have to study. If a legitimate field of study and diploma were required to play professional sports, then athletes would have to study. And, yes, more limits on practice time, etc. would allow athletes the time to be well-rounded and actually experience college. End result? Education, not sports, is emphasized, so athletes actually have the tools to succeed in life after athletics.

        Like

  11. Sides

    The NCAA did not “make South Carolina bend over and take down the Confederate flag.” That ban was in effect for 15 years before it came down. It was the shooting in Charleston that brought that flag down.

    Like

  12. The Republicans beat the D’s to the punch on gerrymandering. For that I give them props and the R party left me a long time ago. It still resides in force with some of the folks on the blog.
    That is what makes this an interesting place to visit. The senator throws out the bait and wham the hook is hit.

    Like