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David Webb: Baseball and the GOP

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“When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time.” — Gen. George S. Patton

It is American as apple pie — sports is part of our cultural makeup. And in politics, just as in baseball, playing the full season could lead to playoff wins in 2014. Played well, this could give the GOP a better chance of winning the World Series of politics: the presidency in 2016.

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The preseason was the period between the 2012 elections and now. The season began March 4 in Texas with its primary and runs all the way through August, followed by the playoffs in one crucial day, Nov. 4. The GOP must play the full political season.

In baseball you don’t win every game but you play every game to win, and you don’t burn out your players early in the season. We have disagreements both publicly and internally within the party. It is a healthy aspect of the conservative movement to not march in lockstep. In the primaries we Republican, libertarian, conservative, independent or otherwise identified voters choose our ideal and values. It is important that we understand the primary process and its role.

After each state’s primary, the second half of the season begins in earnest. We now know which candidate is most likely to hit singles or home runs and even who will likely strike out. The Democrats do the same thing in their primaries, and then they do something else that matters: they show up and vote. We need to do the same thing. We can’t let purity of ideals and disagreements overwhelm the simple fact that in politics, it’s numbers that matter first.

Here is some simple advice. Do not fall in love with politicians, because at some point he or she will break your heart. No politician in reality can deliver exactly what he or she says on the campaign trail. I would rather argue and cajole as necessary the politician with the same party registration as me. Remember, if they don’t do the job, you have the opportunity to vote against them next time around.

The season-long record matters not just in the numbers of wins and losses but in how the game is played. At the state level, governors and state legislators must solve problems using sound conservative principles, as Gov. Scott Walker did in Wisconsin.

At the federal level, we are in real trouble. The purported team leaders seem to be throwing the game. Face it, for whatever reason, we are not getting closure from the Republican leadership on multiple issues: on “Fast and Furious,” Benghazi, the NSA, the IRS, challenging President Obama on unconstitutional use of his pen and phone and more.

It’s time to prosecute, not posture, in congressional hearings, with key questions utilizing just a few capable committee members following an applicable line of questioning. We the American people are sick of the dog and pony show for the C-SPAN cameras and the sound bite of the day. Some common-sense advice for the committees during their investigations follows:

  • You all have an example of someone in your constituency that has been harmed by ObamaCare or is concerned about Benghazi or the IRS. So mention it in the beginning of the hearing and then get to the business at hand.
  • Quit complaining about what the other side will say — just play your game better.
  • Redirects during questioning should come from observation, not posturing by everyone on the committee for camera time.
  • Committee members not asking questions can participate by tracking testimony and providing valuable input during or for the next round of questioning.

When will Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership step up to the plate? Dare to swing for the fences and hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, and while you’re at it, include Lois Lerner for her role in the IRS illegal targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups and release of information to progressive groups. The latter is a direct violation of federal law.

Why does Boehner refuse the call for a select committee on Benghazi? The embarrassment of having been briefed on our CIA covert operations pales when compared to dereliction of duty and the deaths of four Americans. These are all political fastballs right at the numbers and home runs waiting to be hit. The GOP needs to do this for the entire season of 2014.

My coaches always said to study your opponent, learn what they are capable of and play your game better. That’s how you get to the playoffs and win championships.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded Tea Party365 in New York City, and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His
column will appear twice a month in The Hill.

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