Of all the controversial topics to come up during Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS confirmation hearing, the 2017 Houston Astros felt pretty unlikely. While a number of more important issues have been tackled during the hearing, one Senator decided the Astros’ cheating scandal also needed to make an appearance.
That would be Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who spent five minutes trying to relate the Astros’ cheating scandal to how Democrats and Republicans have approached Barrett’s hearing.
.@SenSasse: "I'd like to talk about the Houston Astros who are miserable cheaters...all baseball fans know that the Houston @Astros cheat. They steal signs. They bang on cans...they deserve to be punished probably more than they have been."#SCOTUS #SCOTUShearing #ALCS pic.twitter.com/uBBUOOA84J— CSPAN (@cspan) October 14, 2020
If you’re a baseball fan, that was probably a painful listen. After making small talk about the Astros’ current series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sasse attempts to relate the cheating scandal to the hearing.
“Tonight is Game 4 in the American League Championship Series, and if Houston loses to Tampa, they will be done. And that leads people to feel kinda desperate at times. There are times when you have a game that’s your elimination game, you can imagine people wanting to sort of reconsider anything they can reconsider, the ends might justify the means.
“You can imagine that the Houston Astros, who have cheated in lots of way in the past with sign stealing, might try to go to the umpire and try to persuade somebody to expand the strike zone just for Houston in the game tonight. That would obviously be inappropriate, right?”
Sasse relates that to the hearing by saying questions are being asked to Barrett with the intention of getting her to admit she’ll help one side if she’s confirmed. This, Sasse believes, would be the equivalent of the Astros asking the umpire to expand the strike zone.
Was it an effective metaphor? You can be the judge.
Next time, though, we might recommend Sasse go the more direct route, cut out the sports metaphors and just stick to politics.
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