What will change the dynamic?
The other day I was perusing ESPN.com and spotted a sports news story about the foibles of the Los Angeles Lakers this season. I took particular interest in it for two reasons: first, originally hailing from southern California and having grown up in the 70’s and 80’s a huge Lakers fan (when the players were actually entertaining and good -- remember, Kareem, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, etc…?), I still follow the team on a detached superficial level and casually note their ups and downs with as much interest as I would the winners and losers of a dog show competition.
The second reason is because the Lakers have become “woke” central, which places them in the epicenter of the putrid decline of professional sports civilization. As the team where the eternally annoying and divisive spoiled brat athlete LeBron James plays, it’s become amusing to read about the once proud hoops organization regularly stumbling and bumbling its way to 30-point home court losses -- and then enjoying the players’ sad comments afterwards, something akin to, “we need to work harder”, “it’s not time to give up yet”, “heck no I don’t take it (the fans’ boos) home with me”, “we have a lot of talent on this team and we’ll get there” and, and… blah, blah, blah.
Not that it really matters here, but the Lakers have worked hard during the LeBron James era to acquire talent to complement him and allow the team to win consistently. Obviously, the franchise’s most recent moves haven’t worked out very well. I don’t watch them -- or any NBA team -- but it’s apparent that the chemistry on the roster packed with prima donnas is lacking. Or Father Time is catching up with them individually and as a team. Or their enormous egos prevent them from making necessary micro adjustments to gel as a unit. There is only one ball, after all.
But what’s most elusive for the Lakers players, coaches and front office is how to change the rotten dynamic that they’re all suffering under. Something ain’t working. Everyone can see it. It’s not simply a case of one or two bad games, or one untimely injury or the referees carrying a grudge against them night after night. Something is out of kilter, and there’s no simple cure for the losing -- and being embarrassed -- disease.
In essence, the poor Lakers have morphed into the sports world’s version of today’s Democrat Party (how ironic, with politically backwards LeBron James there, right?). It’s not a perfect comparison. Prominent Democrats don’t gather behind long tables in a big media room after each legislative failure in Congress or event at the White House, and they don’t patiently take questions from reporters while wearing sweatpants and headbands, but much of the feeling is the same.
Wouldn’t you yearn to ask a post-vote Nancy Pelosi, “What can your caucus do to stave off a massive turnover in November?” Or, how about querying Chucky Schumer, “Your Democrat numbers don’t give you any advantage, what besides whining about the filibuster would bring you better success in the latter half of this year before the election?” And, last but not least, “Mr. President, what can you do to change the awful dynamic in your administration?” Chances are if Americans were to get a chance to conduct such an impromptu news conference, they’d receive nothing in return but quizzical looks and overly spun replies from Democrats that are surefire lies and deflections. That’s what leftists do, make excuses and concoct a narrative. They’d win that game every time!
Changing the dynamic ain’t in the cards for the liberal party. They’re too far gone. And the damage is already done. Should conservative voters start demanding apologies from the Biden voters they encounter? It’s an interesting concept. Joy Pullmann wrote at The Federalist:
“We have at least three more years of this ahead. Is anyone with half a brain looking ahead to those three years with equanimity, let alone optimism? If so much could go so badly in just one year, just think about how much more aggression and chaos Biden’s weakness will likely invite within the total four years of his presidency. It’s a terrifying thing to ponder.
“It also surfaces at least one clear conclusion: The allegedly 81 million Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 got played, hard. And they owe the rest of us a big apology, and a promise to never screw our nation over like this again. Yes, Trump was a jerk. You know what he wasn’t? Dangerously incompetent. Or barely kept motoring with a personalized daily slushie of embalming fluid.
“It’s time for the Americans who saddled us with this embarrassment of a president to realize that they did exactly what they self-righteously accepted from mass media they were saving our nation from: voting for a four-year national disaster.”
One would guess that the Biden voters -- at least the token few honest ones among them -- have already come to this same conclusion. A small subset of the American voting population (together with diehard Democrats) fell for the establishment media’s ruse, the polished production, full court press, whatever you want to call it, of making senile Joe and his Democrat cohorts look appealing.
It was all phony. Conservatives realized it before the first ballot was cast in the fall of 2020 (factoring in early and mail-in voting). Joe Biden wasn’t the answer to anyone’s political prayers. He opportunistically offered a glass encased resume that could be packed in sufficient layers of bubble paper so that it wouldn’t shatter when it hit a bump. COVID lockdowns provided cover for their sham. Cram people in their homes long enough watching CNN and any Democrat comes out looking like a savior.
But when it came to governing, the façade was exposed. Incompetent decision-makers surrounded by equally hapless policy implementers leaves an awful mess. Democrats seemed shocked last year when they discovered that halting work on the southern border wall together with hamstringing the border patrol produced the disastrous consequences of sex-trafficking, drug smuggling cartels with human carriers, waves of COVID positive migrants and an American public that couldn’t believe what it was seeing.
The only thing that would change the dynamic in this scenario is to re-adopt the Trump administration’s successful policies and to start adhering to strict enforcement of the laws. Liberals couldn’t possibly admit Trump did anything right, though, or the old crows on The View would squawk about inhumanity and cruelty to children. Likewise, there’s very little Democrats can do to reverse the public’s negative opinion of the party on energy policy. Give credit where it’s due; when senile Joe realized that cutting domestic oil and natural gas production created shortages while world demand was skyrocketing -- and it resulted in impossibly high energy prices -- he ran to the Russians and OPEC to beg them to pump more fossil fuels to help stabilize the markets. It didn’t work. Now there’s a shocker.
Now, even if Biden and congressional Democrats were to wholesale abandon their “climate change” delusions and adopt an all-of-the-above-type energy philosophy, the damage has already been done. Vladimir Putin took it as a sign of weakness and stupidity that a man like senile Joe would purposely weaken his own economy and America’s national security at the same time by pulling the rug out from underneath the nation’s productive and clean-operating energy industry. On top of that, the American rulers refused to permit additional nuclear power to perhaps fill the void.
This policy wisdom deficit isn’t going to get any better in basketball or in life.
The Lakers are past the season’s trade deadline and can’t do anything about adding new players to their roster to try and change the group dynamic. Whatever decisions were made by team management are locked up in internal secrecy, but to the rest of the world, it appears as though the glitzy Lakers have thrown in the towel for this season. The highly paid woke-sters are left to their own maladroitness for a couple more months. No doubt there will be many more unintentionally funny news items about the Lakers losing again and “not having an answer”.
The same holds for the Democrats. They’ll do their best to shift blame on Ukraine, inflation, COVID vaccine and mask mandates, illegal immigration, crime in the streets, etc., but short of taking complete responsibility, contrition, and asking for forgiveness, there isn’t much they can do. Senile Joe certainly showed no going back the other night during his first State of the Union Address. If anything, he doubled down on everything he’s done since day one and provided no indication that his policy course would change.
Even if we were to suggest that people who voted for Biden should acknowledge the wrong and apologize for the deed, it isn’t likely there’d be many takers. The individuals would simply make excuses for the Democrats or argue that the notion of having Donald Trump for another four years would’ve been even worse. The dynamic won’t change.
For the Lakers, it means an early end to the season. For the Democrats? Time will tell.
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