The quarterback is a bit surprised at how well Texas A&M did in its transition from the Big 12.
“I don’t think I ever really envisioned how big this season would be for us,” he said. “I don’t really think anybody envisioned that we would win 10 games at the beginning of this season and that we would all have so much success as a team.”
The celebrity status has been shocking to Manziel, who will turn 20 two days before the Dec. 8 Heisman announcement. He’s still surprised when people approach him at restaurants and other places around College Station to ask for photos and autographs, even though it’s become a daily occurrence.
“I’m a small-town kid,” he said. “I come from Kerrville, Texas and I still see myself that way. I don’t see myself as Johnny Football, I still see myself as Jonathan Manziel, a small town guy from Kerrville who is extremely fortunate and extremely blessed to be able to play football here at A&M.”
He seemed amused by the attention given to some online photos of him at a Halloween party dressed as Scooby Doo alongside some beautiful and scantily-clad young women.
“That Halloween night was something where a lot of guys on the team dressed up and kind of just wanted to get away from all the seriousness and the grind that is college football season and go out and be kids again and dress up and just have fun,” he said, without specifically addressing the pictures.
My column for the Daily News is online. Here it is.
West Bend Daily News 11/27/2012, Page A06
Divide and conquer
Racism card aimed at merely decking GOP opposition
It is being said that the presidential election of 2012 should serve as a lesson that all elections are about demographics and this election proved it. This is the insulting and patronizing concept that voters are not complex beings with multiple interests capable of thinking in higher ideals, but rather buckets of mindless drones to be divided into voting ghettos by their race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or any other characteristic for the purpose of targeted pandering. This election, we are told, is a lesson to future candidates that they cannot win elections with the strength of their ideas and arguments, but only by cobbling together enough targeted demographical subsets of the electorate to form a winning majority.
This line of thinking is an extension of the race, gender and other kinds of divisive politics our nation has been engaging in from time immemorial. But the interesting thing about this vein of low politics is how one-sided it has become.
Take for example the case of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Upon the departure of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rice is been floated as a top choice to replace Clinton as the new secretary of state. Many of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate, which must confirm the president’s cabinet appointments, are expressing vocal opposition to Rice ascending to a cabinet position.
Their opposition is based upon Rice’s role in the Benghazi scandal. On Sept. 11, four Americans – including our U.S. ambassador to Libya – were killed by terrorists in a planned attack on the U.S. Consulate. Despite obstinate obstruction by the Obama administration to disclose information about the attack, we have since learned that the government knew within hours that it was a terrorist attack.
Yet, despite knowing the truth, Rice went on five talk shows five days after the attack to forcefully spin the yarn that the attack was a spontaneous attack stemming from protests of an Internet video. Rice knew, or should have known, that the story she was telling was a lie. That is why she is not fit to be the secretary of state and that is why many Republican senators oppose her appointment (the Democratic senators seem fine with it).
While the Republican opposition is entirely legitimate based on truly objectionable behavior on Rice’s part, they are being accused of being racist and sexist because Rice is a black woman. It is a crass and ridiculous accusation that not only belittles the real concerns over four dead Americans, but dehumanizes Rice into nothing more than her gender and the color of her skin.
In contrast, here in Wisconsin we are seeing the shoe on the other foot and the starkly different reactions. After the election the parties in the Wisconsin Senate held elections to choose their leader. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), who was once seen as a rising moderate in the party, was expected to win the top spot as the minority leader. He had promises from the majority of the Senate Democrats that they would vote for him, but when the vote was held, he lost to the ultra-liberal shoplifting malcontent from Milwaukee, Sen. Chris Larson.
It was soon discovered that it was Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch from Somers who had promised his vote to Erpenbach, but had lied and instead voted for Larson. It only took a few weeks to find out. Last week Larson appointed Wirch to the powerful Joint Finance Committee. In the process, Larson kicked Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) off of the committee to make room for Wirch. In other words, Larson replaced a black woman who did nothing wrong with a white man on the most powerful committee in the legislature.
Will Larson be accused of being racist and sexist like the Republicans in the U.S. Senate? The silence from the race and gender warlords in Wisconsin answers that question.
So what lesson are we to learn from the dichotomy of responses for the voiced opposition to a black woman becoming secretary of state by Republicans versus the actual demotion of a black woman by a Democrat? Simple. Those who throw around accusations of racism, sexism or whatever “ism” are often raging hypocrites with a different agenda who should be ignored and ostracized from the debate about real issues that affect real people.