Ban Golf for the Good of the Republic!

"Golf is a good walk spoiled."
- Mark Twain

On its surface, golf is one silly game. Winston Churchill once remarked that it's, "like chasing a quinine pill around a cow pasture." It's a game comprised of chopping away at a small, dimpled ball using a bagful of expensive equipment, as the players plod slowly through a carefully manicured arboretum toward an appointment with the bartender at the "nineteenth hole". Even it's most devout adherents will tell you it's an exercise in futility that never seems to improve, no matter how much time they devote to its mastery. It was developed by the Scots, which can easily be seen by the equal parts of futility and alcohol embedded in the game. It's equally beloved by the Japanese, where golf courses dot the landscape like lotuses on a pond, and the Americans who've turned it into yet another example of mixing business with pleasure to everyone's detriment.

Golf courses are where mob bosses plot the next big hit or plan the next heist. It features prominently in most corporate takeovers and many national embroglios. Nearly every President and Potentate, including the current Caddy-in-Chief, was a player. A game of golf at a fancy club is the perk a Congressman gets for plugging the pet projects of lobbyists like Jack Abramoff. Just ask Tom Delay, who got more than his fair share of trips to the Shrine of Golf in St. Andrews, Scotland on the company jet.

John D. Rockerfeller once said, "Golf courses are the best place to observe ministers, but none of them are above cheating a bit." Johnny Rock saw golf honestly, as one of the rare games that leaves the scoring to the players, a notion that foxes in the hen-house guarding business seem to relish. Like fibbing on taxes, it's almost an accepted rule of the game that you can shave a point here or a stroke there just to keep the game close and "interesting". There's a mighty temptation for a player to shave more and more and work on improving his game less and less. That's why we have to do something.

This cavalier attitude toward fudging scores and doing backroom deals is at the heart of our political system's problems with campaign financing. We'd wager that almost every dime laundered, every nod or wink at a lobbyist, and every dirty deal done has a golf course somewhere in the picture. That's why we propose the ultimate solution to campaign finance reform - ban golf.

Sure it seems a little reactionary, but it'll work. We must keep those potentially dishonest folks off the course and in the smoke-filled backroom where we can watch their comings and goings and maybe install the occasional bug or wiretap, the better to keep tabs on them. We're sure the President won't mind, provided he isn't the one whose wire is being tapped.

With golf out of the picture, the fair-scoring impaired won't be exposed to the temptation to cheat. After all, we don't entertain alcoholics with umbrella drinks do we? And those little side bets? GONE! As they should be with free-spending gambling addicts like we have in Congress.

However, banning golf will have a downside. All those caddies and lawn care workers will be out of a job, but we're sure the Shrub would pony up a guest worker program to keep them for other slave-labor jobs. Vicente Fox couldn't be happier. They don't play much golf in Mexico you know.

So there you go. No more knickerbocker-clad fat cats wielding irons and woods. It'll be a level-field paradise, especially at the nineteenth hole where we could put in a Hooters. It's no smoke-filled backroom, but we're not against a Congressman having a few perks.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, April 06, 2006

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