Post-election, post-abuse

On November 13, one week after getting their jack asses handed to them by The Elephant Men (and women), the Democrats of the U.S. Senate did something rather uninspiring, undramatic, and predictable. They elected Our Boy Harry Reid to be the new minority leader. Which really is kinda too bad.

What would have been more exciting and impressive would have been if Harry had voluntarily stepped down from the job so the Dems could have fired up some new blood like, say, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or Chris Murphy from Connecticut—a rising new star who will bring a fresh energy to the party and a new face to deliver incendiary quotes to the press and nation. Harry had his time. He did his thing. And now, he needs to admit what's obvious to all of us who are even mildly observant of politics—his act is stale, tired, and finished. He's like the manager of a baseball team that just finished the season with a record of 50-112. When you're the owner of that team, what's the first thing you do? Fire the manager. Duh.

Harry could have passed the proverbial baton, made a graceful, classy exit, received some nice tributes on the news and a rundown of his accomplishments as majority leader, which are not to be sniffed at. Hell, it was just a year ago that Harry was being praised as the man who broke up the logjam that resulted in that nasty government shutdown. How things change in the modern world of mercurial American politics.

So, yes, Harry could have uncorked a pleasant surprise and voluntarily jumped out of the plane, smoothly pulling the ripcord and landing on both feet, ready to guide and counsel whomever would have been his handpicked successor. But no. He's back in the saddle, admittedly a smaller, less flashy one, ready to do—what? Maybe he has his eye on that recently established filibuster record.

Football Fetish Nation, part 3: As I write this morning, the NFL is still trying to figure out how to properly punish exuberant spankologist Adrian Peterson. One thing that people never seem to consider in cases like these is the de facto punishment that has already been dished out to people like Peterson, Ray Rice, Donald Sterling, and Tiger Woods—that of Enormous Life Altering Shame and Humiliation.

I would put forth the proposition that having your pants figuratively pulled down in the howling press—your crimes, indiscretions, and screw-ups aired again and again, over and over, where you are suddenly the target of millions of opinions, and the butt of millions of jokes, all bringing about a tsunami of vicious overall ridicule that results in your becoming the latest Asshole of The Month—is, in and of itself, some seriously severe punishment, inflicted instantly via media and social networks at absolutely no charge by a country that seems to lust for fresh new inductees into the AOTM club at a frightening and ravenous clip.