Congress Plays Hardball

The annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was held Thursday night in a tradition that pits Democratic members of Congress against their Republican colleagues. Everyone is committed to raising money for charity in a show of bipartisanship. The touchy-feely event was held at Nationals Park, where we usually see athletes in peak form showcasing years of conditioning so that we can see what greatness can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The Congressional game is filled with bloated, elderly men hobbling around the bases like turtles on quaaludes. So, it’s a little different.

Before the game got underway, we got to mingle with these “athletes.” They were all wearing detailed uniforms from their home state or district, which added a touch of surreality to the whole event. Sort of like “Field of Dreams” on acid. The member with the most fanfare was Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). He was being inducted into the game’s Hall of Fame that evening. Paul tells FBDC that he wished he could be out there playing, but guaranteed that the Republicans “will be a LOT better than they were last time.” Last year, Democrats demolished the GOP by a score of 8-2, so it couldn’t get much worse than that. Or could it?

This year was a bloodbath. After a slow first inning, the Dems unleashed a brutalizing second inning and scored 11 runs. IN A SINGLE INNING. One ballpark attendant remarked that they should implement a slaughter rule. Democratic fans added insult to injury by chanting “Ju-stice Ro-berts” at Republican batters. I’m guessing that the GOP’s wounds of Chief Justice John Roberts‘ vote that saved Health Care legislation hadn’t fully healed from earlier in the day.

Highlights included Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) nearly jacking a home run, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) doing a great Chris Sabo impression with his sport glasses, and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), the lone female, wearing her jersey with Roman numeral IX to commemorate Title IX. It was touching to see Ron Paul throw the first pitch to his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-TX).

Spectators donned blue foam fingers to cheer on the Democrats and red foam fingers to cheer for the Republicans and then sat behind their teams dugout, so it wasn’t entirely bipartisan. We noticed that the lines for food on the Republican side were much longer than the ones on the Dem side. We spotted more chili cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl than any other food item in the ballpark. We watched as one Congressional staffer attempted to buy “8 Coors Lights” for his group of friends. He was denied the booze purchase.

While Republicans eventually scored a few runs, it would have been nearly impossible to overcome the dramatic 2nd inning and the Democrats cruised to an easy victory, 18-5.

Of course, this is Washington. So there was very little celebrating the win of the actual baseball game. The only joy we heard emanated from Democrats still basking in the SCOTUS ruling on healthcare hours earlier.