“Super Bowl Syndrome” Hits Politics

As Obama’s been putting together his Cabinet, picking Clintonista revistas, staunch military types and general centrists for key positions, we’ve heard howls of pain from many of the NetRoots/YouTube  troops who were among Obama’s most fervent supporters. They smell a sell0ut. Hey, they say: We put you in there to change things, and you said a zillion times you would Change things, so. . .

The reactions of many of these dev-O-tees  can be explained by Super Bowl Syndrome.

 You know what happens at the typical Super Bowl party. Because the game is a national religious holiday, one of the only giant communal occasions still shared by most of America, everybody gets in on the action. And that includes many a newbie who knows almost nothing about the game.

 Forget the finer points.  Not only do these  folks not know how the Steelers have fared since 1995 when traveling on  consecutive Sundays to play sub-.500 teams on artificial turf, they don’t even know what gets you three points and what gets you six. At a SB  party a couple of years ago,  I talked to a charming woman who revealed she did not know the difference between the offense and the defense. This revelation was especially embarrassing because I’m married to her.

You see the connection. For millions of voters, the Obama campaign was the Super Bowl, bringing in scads of raw recruits  so new to the game they probably couldn’t pick Mike Dukakis out of a police lineup.

They haven’t been around long enough to know that there is a huge gap between what is said in order to win office and what is done after one wins. They may have really believed that a candidate whose every fourth word was “change” really meant stark, bold change, as in, “Let’s get a whole bunch of new people in here, tear this thing down to the floorboards and get a revolution going.”

I don’t know who they thought O would pick to staff the Cabinet, but it obviously wasn’t the well-worn likes of Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson and Tom Daschle. But the Super Bowl’s over, and now Obama’s got to wipe the spilled nacho cheese off the TV remote and get things done.


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