Americans have a lot to learn from world soccer, particularly the grand practice of relegation and promotion. This custom ought to be used for the next Republican debate Sept. 16.
If the Premiership could jettison Burnley, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City after hapless showings last season and promote Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich for leading the secondary league, the Republicans should do the same.
In the first debate on Fox – with Megyn Kelly playing the role of the great Collina -- 10 candidates were permitted into the “premier” league in prime time while seven were placed in the “championship” level in late afternoon.
Of course, relegation could be a problem because soccer is far more of a meritocracy than presidential politics.
I mean, you watch Chelsea and Manchester United and Arsenal and the top teams of the Bundesliga and La Liga and Serie A as they move the ball and play defense and you can tell they are the best players in the world.
However, a glimpse of the massive Republican field makes me ask, wait, this is the best we can do? We do not have more impressive business leaders, scientists, teachers, writers, even some politicians, better than this lot? (John Kasich actually seems like a normal adult. How did he get past the bouncer?)
Politics are subjective. Take an obnoxious and not very smart but quite rich candidate like Donald Trump, the Vinnie Jones of politicians. (Jones was the crude defender known for ugly gestures like clutching opponents in intimate places that inhibited their ability to run very far.)
By his own standards – TV ratings – Trump is leading the polls, at least until summer sunstroke wears off. Now the Republicans need to re-arrange the furniture. On sheer instinct, I would make these moves:
*-Dump Mike Huckabee because of the smug righteousness that oozes out of him.
*-Drop Jeb Bush because of his rote recitation of a canned speech, delivered in a sing-song voice. Go down a grade, son, and lose your sense of entitlement.
*-One promotion would be a no-brainer -- Carly Fiorina, who scored verbal hat tricks in the reserve match just by carrying herself with executive poise. Her history will catch up to her, but she had a good match and deserves to move up.
*-The other promotion would go to Lindsey Graham not because of anything he does in the Senate – hardly -- but because his yap-dog attacks just might draw some more bully tactics out of Trump.
The Donald is cruising for a public red card for bad taste.
I had a wonderful time on the #NYTReadalong Feb. 7 with Sree Sreenivasan and Neil Parekh, talking about the Super Bowl and the great paper where I used to work. Thanks to all the nice people who sent messages while I was babbling. The Readalong is Sunday, 8:30-10:15 AM Eastern, and the link is available after that.
has filed an interview with, of all people, me.
It's on his blog. (Just past photo of rat!) My thanks for his interest. GV
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see: