As some of you know, the Sidney Hillman Foundation gives out its monthly Sidney, in honor of exceptional journalism. It’s a great thing to follow; sometimes it honors stories at major publications, other times more obscure pieces.
Inspired by this, although depressed by the nature of it, I feel like there should be an award for worst column written each month. We can call it the Bobo. Like the Hillman, the competition is brutal. Think about all the terrible columns you read each month. Then think about all the ones you are lucky enough to miss. How to choose?
Well, I think January is pretty well locked up by Matthew Dowd for his “Tebow for President” column at ABC News:
I do think this Tebow boomlet is about faith. And it’s about confidence. And leadership. And humility — a humbleness born of strength and conviction. It is about Tebow’s faith in his own teammates. It is about his faith and confidence in his own organization. It is about him acknowledging his own weaknesses and failings and mistakes and understanding that if his team looks good, then he looks good.
Obama, and so too the Republican candidates for president, can learn a lot from what is going on in the Mile High City. Our economy, and this country, are struggling with huge deficits of confidence and faith. We need a leader who can bring us together, exude confidence in us as a team, and lead us to where we need to go in the 21st century. A leader who is willing to admit mistakes and approach politics not by pointing fingers or scoring points but by helping us all be better people.
Take a look at Obama’s latest interview. It does not make you feel better about where we are heading. You don’t feel like we are going to win under his leadership. He points fingers and refuses to admit his own mistakes or weaknesses. I often wonder where is the Barack Obama of the 2007 and 2008 campaign. That Obama was much more like the leader we need at this time. He offered hope, he had soaring rhetoric, he offered a change from the bitter politics in Washington, and he made us feel we could win.
Tebow is the kind of leader for his football team that our country needs at this crucial moment in history. Yes, the Denver Broncos streak will probably end, and the odds are a team like the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. But no matter the outcome, Tebow has shown what faith, and confidence and humility can do for a team of limited skills that was losing consistently before. This is exactly what President Franklin Roosevelt and President Reagan understood about leadership.
The stupid really burns here. The idea that a quarterback and a president should be compared. That Obama can Green Lantern the nation into doing what he wants. That Tebow is even remotely humble as opposed to a narcissist hiding behind a cheap veneer of evangelicalism. That Tebow is a passable quarterback. I mean, if Obama really should be Tebow, wouldn’t that actually make Obama the new Warren Harding?
But Tebow is now serving as a metaphor for conservative white people and their dreams. Isn’t Tebow as right-wing politician the most obvious retired athlete career move since Michael Jordan became a plutocrat? We already have Tebow laws being crafted by conservatives. I can only imagine the next step is a constitutional amendment lowering the age of presidential eligibility to 25 so that Tebow can run in 2016.