When the Refs Take Over the Game

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Running a government is to a great extent analogous to refereeing a sports event. Apart from the conduct of diplomacy and warfare, government is optimally an arbitrating presence intended to prevent the social arena and the economic contest from degenerating into violence and anarchy. It is there to police irregularities, standardize procedures, exercise a certain control over allocation of resources and supervise the profusion of voluntary transactions among market participants in the interests of fairness and adherence to rule. And it must obviously possess an intimate knowledge of the rulebook if it is to perform its mandate appropriately.

Similarly, the job of the referees is to establish a level playing field, to see to it that the rules are obeyed and that infractions are detected and punished. Their function is not only to ensure that the game is played properly but that there is a game to be played in the first place.

Problems will arise in three specific circumstances, two practical and one imaginary. First, if the referees are demonstrably incompetent, the game will not reflect the actual nature of the play, and the weaker team may come up  with a victory it does not merit. Secondly, if the referees are corrupt and on the take—as happened with former NBA official Tim Donaghy, who placed his own wagers and attempted to manipulate the outcomes of matches through “the frequency of his foul calls”—the game will once again be malformed and will not approximate real-world conditions.

Thirdly, we can imagine for the sake of analogy a completely fictional situation in which the referees field their own team, substituting their own members for the prospective losing side, playing the game and calling the game at the same time. In this case, the identity of the winner is determined before the opening whistle. A subset of this hypothetical scenario would see the referees embedded in their team of choice, which would lead to the same result.

When we consider the modus operandi of Team Obama, it is immediately evident that it embodies and enacts all three forms of ludic distortion. That it consists of a retinue of incompetents is undeniable—Tim Geithner at Treasury, Stephen Chu at Energy, Eric Holder at Justice, John Holdren at Science, Hillary Clinton at State, Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security, Austan Goolsbee as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Joe Biden in the vice-presidency, and indeed Obama as, of all inconceivable things, Commander-in-chief. The damage this collection of duffers has inflicted on the domestic economy and on the geopolitical stage is incalculable.

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  • watchful

    Many people I know are saying they will never buy another car from them. I wonder if team Obama will just continue to throw our money at them.

    • http://www.wiiconverter.com dfdf

      we need justice!

  • John Beatty

    Welcome to the 2tst century, where the whiners who detest the sucessful are called "columnists."

    Wake up! The only "rule" in the "game" called "governance" is "WIN!" The Bobblehead emperor and his acolytes are better at it than your sniveling "players" will ever be because they do not grap the simple truth that "rules" are used to justify behavior, not control it. The Ten Commandments make punishment of their violation OK as long as its done by the strongest bully with the most convincing interpretation.

    There's no "winning" or "losing" here, only survival. If you want to survive grab your rivals by the throat, throw them to the floor and kick their guts out, then explain to bystanders that it was a matter of "him or me."

    Then wait until the next strongman comes for you. It will not end in November, nor ever. Cain slew Abel for a reason, and Obama slays his enemies for the same one.

    • Deborah

      Cain slew Abel for a reason, and Obama slays his enemies for the same one.
      Oh I like that!

  • dgene

    Outstanding powerful metaphor.

    Every even half decent Democrat must be ashamed of theirself – or at least they are hiding and afraid to run as the rats they are – their only hope is to pretend they are conservative – why even republicans ! They are even trying to siddle up to the decent G.W. Bush – who is not a conservative, in any event.

    Scum. Liars. Corrupt.

    • Deborah

      Mostly, politicians are bottom feeders of America's hard working people. They wanted it all. With the populace one one side and their greed on the other, they sold themselves and now they want the rest of us to go with them.
      America is being described as post America to the world. I do hope they are wrong. I don't want to be a slave or dead because of our corrupt government.
      Steady as she goes….election coming up. Hope we make it.

    • SECREV

      no, not a single democrat i found who is even remotely ashamed of themselves or their blatantly anti-constitutional regime. Forget about half-decent, even otherwise thoroughly decent Democrat individuals that i know have not even flinched at the thousand transgressions of this 'democratically elected' governement. And most have actually claimed that they are 100% behind Obama and his goons, regardless of what they do, and mosty *because* of what they do. We must understand one thing, Democrats of today are anti-reason, anti-truth, anti-Constitution, and anti-America. And they are all that by virtue of a fanatical religious belief directly in contradistinction to truth—historical, political, military, social, and economic. There are evil ones who perpetuate this religion, and then there are automatons who follow. I have yet to come accross a single *honest* intellectual with whom you can discuss anything using facts and reason. Even truly marvelous minds in every respect other than Leftism show immediate derangement when faced with someone challenging their cherished beliefs, even in a 'civil discourse'. It is very very very similar to the case of Islam. I have several extremely good friends who are also extremely good human beings, and exceptionally gifted minds. However, the first word, even if unspoken, they hear which can be remotely construed to be a criticism of Islam, its history, its progenitor, or anything even remotely related to islam, and they immediately loose their minds. After that, there is no appeal to reason and facts that can bring them back to reality. So a brief answer is—no Dems are NOT ashamed.
      They never will be. Even when we try them for treason on the National Mall and consequently look for the nearest wall, they will still be in their religious fervor, staring at everybody in disbelief, and total self-righteous indignation.

  • stephencuz

    In C.S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man", he refers to those that seemingly step out from behind the rules in order that they may manage the game. The emphasis being to overcome what thus far has been seen as nature until the final conflict is to overcome man himself. I fear this group has jumped right to the final phase as Lewis saw it. They see themselves as the authors of the rules and therefore, apart and above them. They know best and any sacrifice to their desired ends is worth it. They approach like an amoral God of Greek Mythology. Woe unto us that must endure them. They are fools calling themselves gods.

  • Guest

    What Solway has done with this article is to provide us with a superb definition of FASCISM. Obama might well be the reincarnation of Benito Mussolini.

  • PAthena

    Note that Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in Italy as a nationalist socialist party. Fascism is a form of undemocratic socialism.

  • http://www.mocconverterformac.org mvoconverter

    I surpport obama

    • hardroad1999


  • hijinx60

    MVOCONVERTER……………..I support his impeachment for treason.

    It seems to me that the next step would be just to call a winner and not even bother with a game. It is happening now through his czars who create rulesthat we "must obey". Obama rules through Executive Fiat and Congress has no say. He fires ceo's and literally takes companies, money, etc. and began by stealing the election with illegal voters and campaign donations.

  • StlMom

    Speaking of stealing elections, go to http://www.wewillnotbesilenced2008.com (if it is still available) to see how BO beat Hillary in the primaries. Hard to believe this stuff goes on in the USA; I used to think it was only those "corrupt foreign" governments that do that! Ha!

    • hijinx60

      The first video stops working after about 2 1/2 min and the other has been taken down. Many posts that show the facts on Obama either will not run or quit after barely getting started(?). I've got my opinion, you can draw your own.