Web content for Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
First Guess: Who's Ready to Play "Fantasy Politics"?
Video via Current.com
How to Make The Republican Presidential Field Interesting. Sort Of.
I'm Keith Olbermann from the Countdown Newsroom with a First Guess.
As ever, with the caveat that in politics, not Game-Changing but Stadium-Changing events do occur - ask Osama Bin Laden, nevertheless, right now several Republicans are striving for the honor of getting their heinies kicked in November of next year.
We - the media, the Republicans themselves, even the nation as a whole - have to do something to make it more meaningful.
I think I have it: Fantasy Politics.
No, no, I'm not talking Donald Trump's fantasy that he could get elected, nor Sarah Palin's fantasy that she could tomorrow morning wake up smart. I'm talking about combining the Republican Presidential race, with Fantasy Sports.
You could go a lot of ways with this, but here's my suggestion: Every participant in a league drafts 5 politicians - 1 running for president, 2 running for the Senate or the House, 1 international leader, and a non-politician who only becomes active for you if he or she runs for office - like when Charlie Sheen runs for Congress.
Your league chooses one poll - CNN/USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Gallup, whatever. Your Presidential candidate moves up a point in that poll? You get a point. He moves down two? You lose two. Then there are the other categories: two points for each network television news program. Two more points for each such appearance in which they don't get asked a tough question (meaning, all of them).
Minus one point for every guest hit on Fox News. Plus one point for every show hosted for Fox News. Plus a thousand points for every tough question asked by Fox News.
If you want your Fantasy Politics League to be on the sophisticated side, additional categories could include debate performances, wardrobe choices, scandals, campaign money funneled to the candidate by the U-S Chamber of Commerce, the sudden appearance of children out of wedlock, and the number of references to 9/11, and, of course, VORP.
Now remember, this is a competition. You don't just want to draft your favorite politicians, you want to draft the ones you think are going to win, or the media loves to show. It doesn't matter whether you like them, it just matters that a lot of other people do. If you're a left-leaning liberal with no insurance, and there's a right-wing conservative who just got a bag of cash from FreedomWorks, well, you might have to choose them anyway. Fantasy politics is a game of predictions, not preferences.
Not to say rooting interest doesn't spice up the league. You're liberal and Uncle Stosh is a Conservative who thinks Nixon was a saint? Give him a team. Sure, it may be too complicated for him, but somebody has to finish last.
And isn't that what politics is all about? It's not "wrong or right" - it's about winning or losing. So why shouldn't we, the people, get to play along? Aren't you sick of sitting on the sidelines? It's time to get in on the game.
So, start thinking up a clever name for your team, and join me on Current on June 20th for all your fantasy political advice. And, sorry, the team-name "The Ging-Grich That Stole Christmas"...is taken.