Wyoming Political Football Is More Complicated Than It Looks

Wyoming Political Football Is More Complicated Than It Looks

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Brian: Welcome to another Super Bowl half-time show in the Wyoming Political Football League.

Today’s game between the House and Senate has featured some issues we’ve seen before, like Medicaid expansion, guns in schools and the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as some newcomers, including taking away binding arbitration from firefighters. Joining me to analyze the first-half action is Rod, a retired all-star politician who played for both the House and Senate —

Rod: Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here. When you’ve been out of politics for as long as I have, it’s a pleasure to be anywhere.

Brian: — And our special guest, Rudy. Rod, do you know why we asked Rudy to be on our show?

Rod: I don’t. I’ve never seen or heard of him before.

Brian: And he’s never seen or heard of you, either, despite the fact you’re a shoe-in to join the WPFL Hall of Fame as soon as you die!

Rod: I have to die first?

Brian: That’s the WPFL rule. Rudy, can you explain to Rod and our viewers why you’re here?

Rudy: They told me it’s because I don’t know anything about Wyoming Political Football. I’ve never seen a game and I don’t vote. All my friends tell me it’s a waste of time, because the teams are going to do whatever they want anyway.

Brian: We polled 100 Wyoming residents, and no one knew less or cared less about today’s Super Bowl than Rudy. He’s our control group.

Gentlemen, let’s talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the chamber: Medicaid expansion. The Senate really played this issue for all it’s worth and could have scored, but unbelievably threw an interception with a deflated ball at the 1-yard line. Rod, how critical of a mistake was that, and is there any way it can be fixed?

Rod: I think the best way to explain its impact is that the commissioner, who governs this sport, said Medicaid expansion had to cross the goal line for both teams. With the Senate shooting itself in the foot in the first half, it left the House off the hook on Medicaid.

Brian: The Senate has the lead right now, but can it go on to win with such a blunder looming over it and the House playing great defense?

Rod: Ordinarily I’d say no, but you’ve got to remember that the House has some new players this year who are not making the transition to the pros well. The House’s offense is flat and predictable, since 90 percent of the time they run or throw the ball to the right side of the field.

Brian: Rudy, do you know anything about Medicaid expansion you can share with our audience?

Rudy: Well, the other day I read on the Internet how bad Obamacare has messed up everybody’s health care, and it said Medicaid expansion was to blame. So I don’t see how killing it was a mistake at all, like you guys seem to think.

Brian: So are you saying you think the Senate threw that interception on purpose — that it was part of its game plan all along?

Rudy: I reckon so.

Rod: That’s ridiculous!

Brian: Still, an interesting theory. Let’s talk about a fan favorite in the WPFL: guns in schools. Rod, the House came out throwing on this issue and never stopped. Were you surprised by its intensity?

Rod: Not at all, because guns in schools — and everywhere else — is the House’s bread-and-butter play. The real question is if the Senate’s defense can keep the House out of the end zone on this one, like it’s done in past seasons. Personally, I like the Senate’s chances.

Brian: Why is that?

Rod: Because the Senate has had the same nucleus of players for years, and they just don’t think guns should be allowed in schools no matter how popular the idea is with fans. They didn’t like Medicaid expansion either, even though three out of every four fans said it was the right thing to do.

Brian: So the Senate isn’t afraid to show its maverick side, like Sarah Palin?

Rod: Bad analogy there, Brian, because what the Senate is doing on the gun issue makes sense. But sometimes they really are mavericks, simply because they know no matter what they do, voters will renew their contracts.

Brian: Rudy, anything you can contribute on guns in schools?

Rudy: Listen, if either the House or Senate or anybody else tries to take my guns, they’re going to be staring down the barrel of my Smith & Wesson.

Brian: For someone who doesn’t vote, you certainly have some strong political opinions. Ever thought about trying it just once?

Rudy: My Daddy told me not to, because he said it just encourages the bastards.

Brian: The House and the Senate both took away the Board of Education’s right to even talk about adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, but the House kicked a field goal when it repealed that action in the first half. The Senate did the same thing, but was ruled off sides on the kick because it insisted that the board should see if there’s a way to emphasize that Wyoming is unique, whatever that means. Can the Senate make the kick in the second half?

Rod: It’s possible, but I think it’s likely the House will go all-out to block the kick. And if that happens, I wouldn’t put it past the Senate to try a fake field goal and throw it. That’s part of the team’s mavericky nature, you know — it’s not afraid to take chances.

Brian: Your thoughts, Rudy?

Rudy: As long as they use the Next Generation Science Standards to teach that evolution is a theory, not a fact, I don’t care who scores the points on this issue.

Brian: We just have time for one more issue. The Senate looked like it was going to take binding arbitration away from the firefighters, but at the last minute it didn’t, scoring a touchdown on the rarely seen reverse-end-around-screen-flea-flicker.

Rod: That’s why the Senate went into the locker room with the lead, 7-3, and all the momentum.

Brian: Anything the House can do to get the “big mo” back?

Rudy: That’s the trouble with this “sport”: You always have to beat the other guy! Why can’t the House and Senate work together, and compromise once in a while, and work for the common good?

Rod: Are you serious?

Brian: It would compromise the integrity of Wyoming Political Football. If they did as you suggest, who would watch it?

Rudy: I don’t watch it now!

Brian: Exactly. That’s why we’ve got to get you to root for a team, to keep you interested in putting up yard signs and wearing T-shirts and political buttons with your team’s logo.

Rod: If you were going to watch the Republicans vs. Democrats, who would you pick?

Rudy: Since they have three times as many players, I’d have to go with the Republicans.

Brian: It turns out Rudy does know a little something about Wyoming Political Football after all. Enjoy the second half, and pray we don’t go into overtime. My heart can’t take it.



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