A bench-clearing brawl erupted at yesterday's spring training game between the noble Tampa Bay Rays and the odious New York Yankees. Bad blood has been simmering between the two squads for ages, and recent contests were marred by hits on batters, collisions at plates, etc.
Then yesterday, Yankees goon Shelley Duncan, who had made threats via the media that he was contemplating some type of dirty play against the Rays, slid into 2nd, clearly aiming his spikes at Ray's 2nd baseman Iwamura's wedding tackle. An honest to god melee ensued, resulting in several ejections.
Of course, Duncan was all innocence later, claiming that he meant nothing by showing the iron and that he was sorry for the subsequent brouhaha. Duncan assured everyone that he was merely trying to dislodge the ball from Iwamura's glove to make a play. Yeah, riiiiiiigggghhhht.
That reminds me of a tactic employed by another prominent New Yorker: Senator Clinton, who yesterday issued an equally insincere apology about the race flap that has been roiling the nomination process. She addressed Bill Clinton's comparison of Obama to Jesse Jackson following Obama's waxing of Senator Clinton in South Carolina and the tensions that have been exacerbated by Geraldine Ferraro's inability to shut her yap. Said Clinton:
"I want to put that [Bill Clinton's dumb remark] in context. You know I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive. We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."
Get it? She's not sorry her husband made a boneheaded comparison clearly intended to marginalize Obama based on his race -- she's sorry if anyone was offended by it. Moreover, she took the opportunity of the non-apology to once again put Jackson and Obama in the same box, just in case anyone missed it the first time. She continued:
"Anyone who has followed my husband's public life or my public life know very well where we have stood and what we have stood for and who we have stood with."I think she honestly believes that. So does Ferraro, who was aghast that anyone could accuse her of uttering anything that was in the least bit racist. And really, I don't think they are racists in the classic sense. But there's an offensive subtext to their remarks which can be summed up in the following sentence: I've always been good to you people!
They aren't stupid enough to come right out and say that. But you can see those words reflected in their genuine bewilderment when confronted with their own sleazy race-baiting. And you know what? For their time, they were on the side of the angels. In the 60s and beyond, the Clintons, Ferraro, Ed Rendell, etc., did fight the good fight and stood in sharp contrast to the David Dukes and Axe-Handle Maddoxes of the world. Good for them.
But that was then, and this is now. And the twin sense of moral preening and entitlement so apparent in both Clintons and Ferraro, et al, is one of the reasons I am so hoping to never again have to vote for a professional politician who came of age in the 60s. It's time to turn the fricking page already.