In one of the most partisan days on Capitol Hill in recent memory, Democrats retaliated against Republicans on the diamond, holding their GOP colleagues in baseball contempt just hours after Republicans had done the same with their attorney general.
Boosted by an 11-run effort in the second inning, Democrats poured on the pain tonight, winning the CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game title, 18-5, on what ordinarily would have been a split day politically.
Earlier in the morning, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Later in the day, House Republicans voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for alleged noncompliance in the controversial “Fast and Furious” invesitgation. But as the sun set over the nation’s capital, lawmakers exchanged political weapons for Louisville Sluggers in a light-hearted and spirited foray into America’s pastime.
And Democrats sure made a statement, displaying some of the most productive offense in the 51-year history of the cross-party baseball classic.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) — in his second year in Congress but playing like a John-Dingell-worthy seasoned veteran — had one of the longest hits of the evening, blasting one to deep center in the third inning. When he scored at home plate later in the inning, he was showered with “MVP!” chants, with a deferential Democratic crowd alluding to his 2011 performance that was perhaps one of the only bright spots for the party that year.
But in an evening of collegiality, perhaps the most telling moments were the ones between fathers and sons and politicians running for higher office but content for an evening just to be part of the team.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was inducted into the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame, enshrined for a home run that he hit in the 1970s. The most striking statement by Paul, known for his independent libertarian streak and his perennial presidential candidacy, was his clothing choice.
Clothed in a late-1970s Houston Astros uniform — dubbed by many as one of the ugliest in the history of sports — Paul, when asked by Roll Call of his sartorial preferences, played up his token line.
“I’ve never been afraid to be bold,” he said.
During his short-lived Congressional baseball career, “They always put me in center, but I had trouble with it, so I insisted they put me in right field,” the libertarian icon said.
His son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), however, was a bit more blunt.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.