How to use a baseball bat as a persuasive political tool

As Republican Deputy Whip, John Cornyn was in charge of convincing fellow Senators to vote the party line. Where do the baseball bats come in? You'll have to ask him.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the man in charge of directing the Republican national strategy in the midterm elections, has a Texas superiority complex and a horse fetish.  You can see it in the cowboy-themed decorations in his Senate office — and you can hear it in his totally serious 2008 campaign video dubbing himself “Big Bad John.”

The reverse “1824” reflection you see in the glass is a Texas Revolution battle flag from the days when the Lone Star State fought Mexico to become an independent nation.  Cornyn is underneath the superimposed number “4.”  He’s the one NOT wearing the dress.

Taken by itself, the baseball bat pose below seems quirky and offbeat.  However, in the tough guy context of the rest of his office (wild horses, Marlboro men, Chuck Norris, cowboy hats and Texas battle slogans), this picture reminds me of the baseball scene in “The Untouchables” movie.

Or maybe this is just the 2003 Republican Senate Softball Team.


WARNING: DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU GET SQUEAMISH WHEN SPORTS EQUIPMENT IS USED INAPPROPRIATELY.

In the scene, gangster Al Capone is giving a speech to his thugs about how baseball is a metaphor for life. His obsequious well-dressed goons reflexively laugh at every “joke” he makes.  They are in a fancy dining room at some kind of banquet:

Capone: “A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms… What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team.”

Thugs: “Teamwork!”

Capone: “Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on!”

Thugs: (laughter)

Capone: “If his team don’t field, what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins!”

Thugs: “Team! Team!”

(Without hesitation, Capone proceeds to beat one of the men to death with his baseball bat. Presumably, the victim was not a team player. Perhaps a Wade Boggs type who would rather swing away than sacrifice the runner home.)

Watch the scene for yourself:

Now watch it in Italian and focus on the phenomenal musical score and cinematography…

Lastly, here’s a San Francisco Giants parody ad of the scene featuring superstar pitcher Tim Lincecum:

We’ll see how Sen. Capone’s Texas Rangers do against the fearless Lincecum’s Giants!

Big Bad John was just ranked #9 in our Senate Vanity Index, the first algebraic equation in history to accurately measure and compare political egos!

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Filed under Ego Walls, Election 2010, politics, Sports, Sports Psychology, Using Good things for Evil, Vanity Index

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