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Voting Yankee


I read The Week magazine the other day, and it featured a suave-looking Osama bin Laden caricature on the cover wearing a John Kerry T-shirt and a Kerry-Edwards pin. The cartoon had bin Laden passing out Kerry campaign literature with a tagline underneath, "Who would he prefer? A vote for Kerry, says the GOP, is a vote for Osama."

Now you'd seemingly have to make ocean-sized leaps in logic to conclude that Americans would be electing Osama bin Laden if they choose Kerry. I haven't seen bin Laden stump for Kerry. Then again, I'll give Orrin Hatch and Dennis Hastert the benefit of the doubt. They were among the GOP members making such suggestions a couple of weeks ago, and they are certainly closer to the action than I am. Perhaps they saw Kerry-Edwards lawn signs near the hole we've been trying to smoke bin Laden out of for three years now.

We should be grateful that politicians disseminate logic that us stupid Americans can understand. They're usually able to boil down a candidate's complexity into a simple formula such as, "A vote for Kerry is a vote for Osama."

Sometimes, it's a little more complicated, however. A vote for Kerry is also a vote for the New York Yankees, for instance.

New York has not won a World Series with a Republican in office since Dwight Eisenhower in 1958. Under the Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush administrations, it's 0-4, with some really crushing defeats in there, including two losses the last three years under Bush. Under Bill Clinton, New York was 4-0.

So I imagine this enlightening fact would be the source of ulcers and other medical maladies for innumerable voters in Kerry's home state of Massachusetts --- where the Boston Red Sox obviously reside. Do they vote for Kerry, their boy from Massachusetts, even though they'd obviously be voting for Osama AND the Yankees? Well... do they support terrorism AND Major League Baseball's evil empire? That's what Hatch and Hastert want those voters to ask themselves when they're stuck in the booths this November.

And imagine the knots in bin Laden's stomach. By supporting Kerry, he's also supporting the Yankees, and what could be more American than the Yankees? If Kerry wins, America wins.

But back to Massachusetts, where Kerry is the expected victor. Notice how his campaign people have been keeping this little fact about the Yankees quiet. His handlers are undoubtedly afraid that even the slightest acknowledgment of New York's success with Democratic presidents could force millions of desperate Massachusetts- and Red Sox-supporting voters to pull George W. Bush's lever. And that just might give Bush Massachusetts, which Kerry is counting on and absolutely cannot afford to lose.

Unfortunately, the Red Sox impact the quality of Massachusetts life more than the US president, so this is something voters might be heavily considering now that I've brought it to their attention.

Every off-season, the Yankees sign many of Major League Baseball's biggest free agents for exorbitant sums of money. And many people complain about how unfair it is that such a wealthy team can continually outclass its poorer Major League Baseball counterparts.

But they should just relax. With a Republican president, the Yankees are nothing.

If George Steinbrenner has his team's fans at heart, he would take the money he earmarks for free agency and send it to the Democratic National Committee to ensure that Democrats win the White House. He'd be much more successful. New York is an astounding 19-3 (.864) in World Series championships under Democrats and 7-10 (.412) under Republicans.

Sure, you can analyze the Yankees' pitching rotation, and the hitting and fielding and all the stuff that the experts usually break down, but I've got nearly 50 years of history that says the Yankees won't win the World Series with a Republican in office.

As for the Red Sox, they haven't won a World Series since 1918. And, unfortunately, it doesn't matter who's in the White House for them. They're 3-2 (.600) with Democrats and 2-2 (.500) with Republicans.

But don't let those statistics confuse you. Just take it from Hatch, Hastert, and me: A vote for Kerry is also a vote for Osama AND the Yankees. For Red Sox fans, clearly, if they're not voting for Bush, then they're not real Red Sox fans.