Last night we can all agree that there was a gross miscarriage of officiating during the Packers-Seahawks game. But forget the football: is there a way to parlay a sporting travesty into partisan gain? The political world is trying its hardest. From President Obama to Paul Ryan to Rush Limbaugh, politicians on both sides of the aisle, field, lockout seemingly had something to say about last night's game. Obviously, they all think, as the NFL sort-of said, that the Packers were robbed and that the refs should come back, but there's no solid agreement on what that Packers loss and the referees who induced it portend for the rest of America and, most importantly, which party deserves to be blamed.
Here are the political lessons we learned from last night's game and today's commentary:
Obama Is Ruining the Economy and Maybe We Were Wrong About Fact-Checkers
"I mean, give me a break! It is time to get the real refs. And you know what it reminds me of? President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it is time to get out," said Paul Ryan at a campaign stop in Cincinatti this morning. The clear message here is that Obama is doing a bad job, and Paul Ryan is sad his Packers lost.
"Unlike the Seattle Seahawks last night, we want to deserve this victory," Ryan added. "We want to deserve" is a funny phrase in itself, but it kind of rubs against his ticket's disregard for the fact-checking process. If fact-checkers are the referees of the political world and Ryan wants to be handed a fair victory, letting loose with factually incorrect speeches doesn't really jibe with that notion of "wanting to deserve" a victory.
This Is What Happens When You Work with Republicans
Barack Obama made an appearance on his official Twitter to with this smirky comment:
NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 25, 2012
Of course, Obama's tweet echoes Obama's oft-repeated talking point of how bi-partisanship is both needed and at times impossible when it comes to dealing with the Republicans in Congress.
Only in Obama's America
Rush Limbaugh, being the ultimate contrarian and ultimate troll stretched yesterday's refereeing travesty into a point about Obama's tax plan, affirmative action, and redistribution (did we miss any there?).
Doesn't Obama, and the left in general, don't they promote the advancement of the incompetent based on the fact that they're incompetent? Screw standards in testing. We don't need to go find the best. That's unfair, in fact. If somebody's better than somebody else, we're gonna penalize 'em. Outcome based education. Remember that? Two plus two is five. It is, if you think so, rather than humiliate you and tell you you're wrong.
There's at Least One Union Scott Walker Supports
That's the tweet that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sent out this morning, walking right into a joke tailor-made for him: Walker, who sought to weaken the power of public workers unions in his state, is calling for the support of the referees union, which has been locked out by the NFL. His sentiment for the unionized referees to get back to work was echoed by Communications Director Sean Spicer for the Republican National Committee:
Seriously give the refs what they want -- these replacements are horrible— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) September 24, 2012
Sometimes a game is not just a game. Sometimes it's an opportunity to engage in America's least favorite sport: partisan bickering.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.