We forgive children when they make mistakes. I will never forgive Mark Judge for writing “Bryce Harper, Conservative Hero” on the opinion page of the Daily Caller.
Remember the first truly horrible thing to happen to you? That moment when your bubble of childhood innocence was shattered by the realization that your cousin Bart’s devotion to eating a gallon of Haagen Dasz a day was directly responsible for his premature death in the second grade?
Even if you never had a cousin who learned to roll because he could never learn to walk, you probably had such a moment—an inflection point in your life after which everything around you was just a little bit worse. And remember what you were told? “That’s life. . .bad things happen.”
What you weren’t told, however, is that sometimes bad things are written down. And sometimes, no one stops them from being printed. And sometimes, you read them.
It’s times like this that I wish I could trade places with Bart. Or at least banish Mark Judge’s “Bryce Harper, Conservative Hero” article into the kiddie pool we buried him in.
Well, let’s get to it.
“watching [Harper play] has reminded me of nothing so much as the collapse of the old political paradigms and the inevitable and upcoming rebirth of conservatism in November.”
So this clause happened. Is this the first time Chipper Jones’ knees have been romanticized as “old political paradigms”?
I think what concerns me most is that this sort of… makes no sense. Let me make a chart.
Old political paradigms and the upcoming rebirth of conservatism in November
|-Is an individual||-Is an encapsulation of slowly changing societal mores|
|-Is related to baseball||-Is in no way related to baseball|
I think this is a helpful way to think about the article. Whenever he talks about Bryce Harper, substitute in any non sequitur for Column A, and, voila! You write for the opinion page of the Daily Caller.
But don’t worry! Mark Judge explains himself with an anecdote.
“This [all] became clear to me on May 26 of this year. The Nationals were playing Atlanta, and in the fifth inning Harper, with his team leading by two, singled to right. The ball was hit to Braves right fielder Jason Heyward. Heyward strolled up to the ball as if he were walking to the corner for a paper.
Harper promptly headed for second base. Heyward suddenly woke up and fired to second base, but too late.”
Oh, okay! Now it’s just so clear.
“More than one sports writer has noted that this moment was no small thing for baseball. It was like the part in the movie “Awakenings” when the guy who was asleep for 30 years wakes up.”
You laugh, but livelihoods were ruined. Hustle doubles had been theorized, but most believed them to be myth.
“Heyward was like one of those public school teachers who, because they are a union member, can’t be fired and so are relegated to the “rubber room” to sit and read the paper and gather a check for the rest of their lives. Or even Obama, who went from Hawaii to Harvard to the White House and never seems to have had to slide head-first into a base his entire life.”
For you baseball ignoramuses, let me explain.
Jason Heyward is a bureaucracy (look it up!).
Ballplayers cannot be cut, they can only be relegated to right field (known informally as “Shit Field”).
Barack Obama is President, but has been African-American since at least 2006.
Are you still with me? Let’s keep going.
“Watching Bryce Harper play is like listening to an economic speech by Paul Ryan: It’s long on reality and short on excuses.”
MOST OF WHAT BRYCE HARPER DOES, HAPPENED. PERIOD.
“Harper has slapped baseball awake, and every time he steps up to the plate, years of crusty baseball routine no longer apply.”
I am concerned about baseball. We knew Bart was approaching his end when he started shedding years of crust.
Notable changes since Bryce Harper ascended to MLB:
-Roger Clemens now did not use steroids. Even in the past.
-Brad Lidge has fled the game.
-Batters ride horses to the plate and hit beach balls with their necks.
“Manager Davey Johnson tries to bench him for being hurt, and Harper confronts him and says, like a person with enough dignity to refuse welfare: Let me work. Then he wins the game with a crucial hit.”
Clinton’s welfare reform was supposed to change things, but poor people still lack the resolve and courage to play professional sports. Tsk tsk.
If only they’d just hit home runs!
Related: Bryce Harper wears a suit and tie to the plate, and keeps his briefcase and blackberry with him in centerfield.
“Harper also adapts. When pitcher Livan Hernandez froze the 19-year-old Harper with a slow curve ball, Harper adjusted his batting and next time up Harper hit a game-winning home run.”
Can you imagine what he could do if we tried to drown him?!
“Ironically, it is modern conservatives who have embraced change more than liberals, who are dogmatic in their adherence to old ways of doing things. The left, like Jason Heyward dozing in the outfield, sees nothing wrong with the way things have worked, or even not worked, for the past 40 years.”
Look, Judge. Jason Heyward’s been in that outfield, rain or shine, offseason or on, home game or away, for forty straight years. And he knows that batters aren’t supposed to take second until the umpire signals a double.
So let’s not pin this on him.
It’s all conservative Bryce Harper, who’s changing the game’s status quo by doing things the way they always have been done but have never been done before! What an ideologue!
“Teachers should never be fired, no matter how incompetent. It is anathema for public-sector union members to pay for even a small percentage of their own health care. Sex-ed taught without reference to the human soul can only do good, and has nothing to do with promiscuity and the collapse of female self-esteem. And we can spend all the money in the world and never have to pay it back.”
Yawn. Standard boilerplate baseball rhetoric. Sounds a lot better coming out of Vin Scully’s mouth.
Bryce Harper was, however, the first to use a dramatic reading of this as his walk-on music.
“Conservatives, and even a few young liberals, accept that life isn’t fair, but that winners tend to be people who shake things up and pivot, even while never forgetting sound fundamental principles. This a good definition not only of Bryce Harper, “
Bryce Harper’s Scouting Report, 2009
“but Mitt Romney, who understands the creative destruction of modern capitalism even as he has mastered the fundamentals of economics. Liberals will falsely claim that Romney wants to return to the 1950s, while never admitting that they are stuck in the much more dysfunctional 1960s.”
You know, I’ve never vomited through my nose. But it’s pouring out now.
…let me go clean my computer.
…Okay. I think the takeaway is that while our current partisan gridlock has ironically sent us back in time to an era of historic US political and economic effectiveness, growth and stability, we should applaud Bryce Harper, who’s firmly rooted in the now, a period of US political and economic nose-vomit.
Hooray? I think I need a neti-pot.
“If America is to be solvent and healthy, we cannot keep doing what we have been doing since the Miracle Mets won the World Series in 1969.”
America’s Biggest Mistakes of the Last Fifty Years:
1. Allowing the New York Mets to join the Major Leagues
2. Being complacent about #1
3. Pivoting less
. . .
58. Erosion of the middle class
59. Dippin’ Dots
“We have to do things differently, just as Bryce Harper is not playing baseball the old way. Harper is not going to sit back and accept what the status quo tells him to accept (where does he get off stealing home?).”
Theft is a crime and there is a warrant out for Harper’s arrest.
If Major League Baseball knew Harper would steal home, they would not have left it just sitting there in plain sight. Home plate will now be kept in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“(In a strange way, conservatives are not only like Bryce Harper, but have become like the do-it-yourself punk rockers of the late 1970s and early 1980s.”
We all remember that Sex Pistols song, right?
“I am an anti-Christ
I am an anarchist,
Don’t know what I want
But I know how to get it.
I wanna destroy the passer by
‘Cos I wanna be anarchy,
Ho dogs body”
Ho dogs body being British slang for “We support unbridled private sector influence and power, though we believe government should nonetheless provide for a strong national defense and uphold traditional morals.” Obviously. Haven’t you ever been to England?
“Meanwhile, liberals occupy everything so that they can demand — what was it again? Oh yeah, peace. And taxes.”
Conservatives are great because they break the mold! And get what they want by their own effort!
Liberals suck because they’re trying to break the mold and get what they want through their own actions!
And therefore—. . .Bryce Harper?
Also, I like the idea of two wealthy individuals, sitting on a grand terrace overlooking some Occupy Protest:
Octavius: “Tut tut, Basil, what are the masses doing? They seem to be… speaking! “
Basil: *adjusting his monocle* “It appears they are… articulating a demand, of sorts. Peace, I believe.”
Octavius: “Tut tut, peace? What fags!”
Judge goes on to compare Harper to his grandfather who a) also played baseball and b) sort of did it similarly in that he was also left handed.
The similarities may or may not end here, but Mark Judge may or may not spend an entire additional paragraph talking about it.
The article really reads like a template into which anything (and as this article proves, ANYTHING) can be inserted to serve in the position of “Conservative hero and harbinger of 1,000 years of conservative dominance.
The article could well have been written about:
1. Mount Vesuvius
2. The Meiji Restoration
3. My cousin Bart
Mount Vesuvius could have been like a normal mountain, and just sat there, but it broke the status quo and erupted!
The Meiji Restoration could have sat back and let the government modernize their government for them, but they had the dignity to do the work themselves!
I miss Bart so much.