Friday, June 15, 2012

The Washington Nationals and the Presidential Election

In their first incarnation in 1901, the Washington Nationals/Senators were a lousy team. From their inception, for over a decade the losses outweighed the victories. It was not until 1912 that the capital of the nation was home to a winning team. And, coincidentally or not, it was in that year that Woodrow Wilson became the first Democrat to sit in the oval office in the 20th century.

There has always been a fascination with finding harbingers in events seemingly unconnected to the presidential political process. Chief among the sports connections, at least in the province of the nation's capital,  might be the so called "Redskins rule". This found a direct link, at least from 1936 until 2004, in the outcome of the last Washington Redskin home game and the decision of the nation on the President. If the last game was in the win column, so the theory went, the incumbent would remain in power. On November 4 of this year, the Carolina Panthers will appear in Washington to pre-determine that Tuesday's election.

I would suggest that one consider adding the Washington baseball franchise to the discussion. The Washington Nationals were reborn in 2005 and have suffered, much as their predecessors did, through a succession of early failures. In 2012, one hundred years after the first winning season in the history of the franchise, there is another Presidential election, and another baseball team on the rise. The Nationals are in first place and seem poised to bring success to a franchise that has tasted defeat far too often.

If history is meant to repeat itself, and all of us believe somewhere in the recesses of our minds that everything inevitably does, then what does this mean for the first Tuesday in November?  After all, we have already had a Democrat elected to the highest post in the land in the 21st century. Will the first winning record since the rebirth mean a repeat of the success for the party of Wilson exactly one century later? Or does the initial glory for the team, mean that the Republican party will likewise rise to glory again? I would ask Nate Silver to shed light on this conundrum.

I am wearied by political pundits and prognostications based on unrelenting polling data. I want certainty and clarity and I believe that the connection between the 1912 team and the 2012 team provides the answer. If only I could find it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a loyal and avid Met fan, all I can say (for this weekend only) is "Let's's Go Yankeeeeeees. "