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Big-government Republican

Ruth Marcus weighed in Wednesday about the peculiarly male sense of priorities that led a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to take up and approve a bill forbidding big-time college football from labeling the annual game between the two top-ranked teams as the “national championship game” unless big-time college football establishes the kind of playoff system that exists in other sports. The idea has been championed by President Obama, and the bill is authored by Texas Republican Joe Barton, one of the conservative leaders of the conservative wing of his conservative party, which makes this not only an idea with distinctly male origins, but also one of the few bipartisan ideas afloat in the Washington ether.

Now, there’s nothing inconsistent in Obama’s wish to alter the structure of the college football bowl games. We know he supports government regulation of the private sector when he believes it’s in the public interest. The question is: What on earth is Joe Barton doing supporting -- actually, authoring -- this bill? He who believes it a mortal transgression for the government to establish a consumer-protection agency to monitor the banks, or to set up an exchange on which Americans without health insurance can buy some, or to invest in auto companies to keep the Midwest from disappearing, or to impose regulations on derivatives -- he who believes all that now believes the government should step in and push college football to restructure its bowl system? What about the genius of the private sector, Joe? The inability of government to pick winners? The post office? Joseph Stalin?

You’re headed down a slippery slope, Joe. Next thing, you’ll be waving a little red book.

By Harold Meyerson  | December 10, 2009; 5:17 PM ET
Categories:  Meyerson  | Tags:  Harold Meyerson  
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Comments

Texas=big football state with college teams that COULD become champions. I'm sure Joe wants this for the state he is representing as it would be beneficial to the colleges in his state.
This is sports politics, not partisan politics. I guess there's a reason you're an op-ed columnist and not making any actual political decisions.

Posted by: axxionx12 | December 10, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Like BS, hypocrisy is abundant in the American political system.

Posted by: mraymond10 | December 10, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

mraymond10 wrote, "Like BS, hypocrisy is abundant in the American political system."

I'm guessing that BS here is not an abbreviation for "brilliant syllogisms".

Posted by: douglaslbarber | December 10, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

douglasbarber, "you betcha" sweet A. This article immediately reminded me of a Dopin' Dan cartoon from the 70's. During the gas crisis, the boys have converted an old car to run on the only thing that is in plentiful supply: government BS.

Posted by: mraymond10 | December 10, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't our elected officials have more pressing business, more important business, than whether college football has a playoff format or not? What's next? Will Congress be voting soon on a bill to determine who will head coach each NFL team?

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | December 10, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

What's sad is that we still use up our youth to a sport that damages their brains at younger and younger ages. And we pay homage to it with multi-million dollar complexes on college campuses that siphon money away from improving the brains of all of our youth and multi-million dollar contracts that make coaches the highest paid individuals linked to most state governments - higher paid than governors or Nobel winning professors. And on campus after campus, too many of these athletes can barely read at a high school level.

And in the face of this, Congress looks at the mythical way we choose a number one team in college football? Insipid beyond words.

Posted by: kcbob | December 11, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Did you know in texas (and florida and several other Universities) that buying season tickets is tax deductable ?
yep their mulitmillion dollar programs are a registered charity.

Disgusting

Posted by: tru-indy | December 11, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Did Barton graduate from TCU by chance?

Posted by: DM_Inf | December 11, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

SOCIALISM.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic Congress Has Been On A Historical 4 year Spending spree, the
new president can't find enough ways
to spend the money we don't really have,
and this bozo is worried about a Republican
representing his voters about thier concerns for the college Game?

Come On'

How about a story on the Democrats who are
bitterly opposed to the War Escalation in
Afghanistan!!

I want to know how every american who voted Democrat in 06' and Obama in 08'
To END the Unjust Wars OF George Bush,
have been rewarded with THIS!

This is a Misrepresentation of the first order!
Bring Our Troops Home!
You Lie, You Lie!!!

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 11, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

kcbob wrote:
"What's sad is that we still use up our youth to a sport that damages their brains at younger and younger ages. And we pay homage to it with multi-million dollar complexes on college campuses that siphon money away from improving the brains of all of our youth and multi-million dollar contracts that make coaches the highest paid individuals linked to most state governments - higher paid than governors or Nobel winning professors. And on campus after campus, too many of these athletes can barely read at a high school level."
-------
You must also keep in mind that the revenue generated by these sporting events keeps tuition costs lower. Want to know what raises tuition costs? Federal Government backed student loans.

Posted by: axxionx12 | December 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

And where is the editorial about the 200 republicans in congress that are on medicare while they rant and rave about government run programs?

Posted by: dutchess2 | December 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Actually college sports revenue are rarely sent back to the larger school. The proceeds typically go to the benefit of the program, coaches making million dollar contracts. The casual student rarely sees that.
And seriously do so few people get the fact that there is serious irony in a republican who preaches such serious limited government writing this bill?

Posted by: flyersj0044 | December 12, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This is the most important issue to Joe Barton? Government run college football?

Please, with 25% of Texans uninsured, I'd think this clown could put his time to better use.

Barton is just living proof of the hypocrisy and uselessness of todays republican party

Posted by: NotFooledTX | December 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Well, bless Joe Barton's heart.

There really is something in the world a conservative Republican can say yes to.

Posted by: amelia45 | December 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

flyersj0044 wrote:
Actually college sports revenue are rarely sent back to the larger school. The proceeds typically go to the benefit of the program, coaches making million dollar contracts. The casual student rarely sees that.
---------------
The college student sees it in free tickets to a game that otherwise costs over $50 each as well as increases in application rates (higher standards) and more donations due to its increased popularity as a big name football school.

Posted by: axxionx12 | December 12, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Barton is practicing hypocrisy. It comes easily and cheaply to him.

Posted by: annegreen | December 12, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

He's from Texas ... what do you expect??

Posted by: knjincvc | December 14, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

What do you expect!! He's from Texas!!

Posted by: knjincvc | December 14, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

How about a story on the Democrats who are
bitterly opposed to the War Escalation in
Afghanistan!!

I want to know how every american who voted Democrat in 06' and Obama in 08'
To END the Unjust Wars OF George Bush,
have been rewarded with THIS!

This is a Misrepresentation of the first order!
Bring Our Troops Home!
You Lie, You Lie!!!

Posted by: simonsays1
***************************************
If they voted for Obama hoping he would end the war in Afghanistan, where Bin Laden was being protected by the Taliban, then they apparently never listened to Obama during the campaign.
They're idiots.

Posted by: kreator6996 | December 14, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

If you're drawing a government paycheck, you're a big government anybody.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Joe probably thinks differently now that Texas is in the National Championship game, unless of course he is doing a favor for TCU. We may not get much action on the bill, which was likely written by an intern (maybe one from TCU?). This is a matter for the NCAA to settle. Of course, many won't like how a national playoff would work. You could not have all the teams in the division participate, you would likely have to split the Division into BCS schools and non-BCS schools for the playoff. Indeed, I can think of at least one BCS division (the Big East) which has no business in the national championship hunt. Perhaps swapping them for the WAC might solve the entire problem.

Posted by: michaelbindner | December 14, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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