The big story in the news today has nothing to do with politics. Well, almost nothing, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The big story today is the ending to last night’s NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. Seattle won the game, 14-12, but there’s considerable controversy as to whether the game-winning touchdown should have been called a touchdown. The NFL is standing by the replacement referees who made the call – and incidentally, those poor guys may be the most reviled people on the planet right now – Packers fans are livid, and Seahawks fans are doing this.
Today – and this is where the politics comes in – two politicos from Wisconsin, home of the Pack, are speaking out about the replacement referees. And we’re not talking state Senators, mind – the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, and the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, both took the time to let their views be known. ThinkProgress has the info on both – first, Gov. Walker‘s response:
After the Green Bay Packers were robbed of a win by an blown call during Monday Night Football, union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — a Packers fan — took to Twitter this morning to demanded the return of the league’s unionized officials:
Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 25, 2012
The point ThinkProgress is trying to make is that, not long ago, Walker pushed through an anti-union bill that got a lot of people mad (and almost got him recalled), so it’s kind of ironic that he’s calling for the return of unionized refs. But this is football. Clearly, it’s too important to worry about whether the people on the field belong to unions. Though I suppose it’s possible Walker will have an epiphany and decide to be nicer to unions from here on out. You never know.
Here’s what Paul Ryan had to say about it:
Did you guys watch that Packer game last night? I mean, ha. Give me a break. It is time to get the real refs. And you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out. I have think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the budget office. They see the national debt clock staring them in the face, they see a debt crisis and they just ignore and pretend it didn’t even happen. They’re trying to pick the winners and losers and they don’t even do that very well.
Paul, you had me in your first couple sentences. You don’t have to root for a particular team – or even follow football closely – to recognize that the officiating system in the NFL is screwed up and the regular refs need to come back. You don’t even have to be a Republican or Democrat. You’ve got America eating out of the palm of your hand here. Then you decide to throw in a political attack which is harder to follow than any color commentator explaining what just happened on the field, ever.
In case you were wondering, by the way, President Obama weighed in on the game as well, calling the ending “terrible” and adding, “I’ve been saying for months, we’ve got to get our refs back.” Mitt Romney has stayed mum on the controversy so far, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he offers some criticism of his own the next time he stops in Wisconsin. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he praised the refs the next time he stops in Washington state.