Heath Shuler throws another interception

Heath Shuler wasn’t always a Blue Dog, an anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, anti-gun control Democrat, who belongs to the right-wing cult and tax dodge affectionately known as “The Family” and voted against Health Care Reform.  No, Shuler had to claw his way up to being a statesman, one worthy of being sponsored (nay! breath-takingly courted) by Rahm Emanuel to help take the government back from the wackos in charge way back in 2006.

Shuler used dedication and American hard work to become the precursor to Peyton Manning at the University of Tennessee. And that dedication and hard work payed off when he was selected number 3 in the 1994 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins and was hailed as the sure leader to bring back the glory-era to D.C. He used this opportunity, however, to become the precursor to Gus Frerrote. Having made way for a 7th rounder, he moved on to the New Orleans Saints before retiring during the training camp of the Oakland Raiders. During his career he amassed a quarterback rating of 54.3. (For comparison, Ryan Leaf, generally considered the most spectacular failure in the NFL compiled a 3-year quarterback rating of 50.  Peyton Manning’s is 95.2.)  In the regular season he threw 15 touchdown passes and 33 interceptions. Needless to say, he compiled no playoff record.

With a proven track record like that it is no wonder that Rahm Emanuel so heavily recruited ole Number 5.  Once again Shuler was a high draft pick, but this time he did not disappoint.  As we now know, Rahm’s chief criteria was to avoid what he refers to as mentally retarded liberals.  And Shuler, if nothing else, would never be called a liberal.

And this week, all eyes were again on Heath, like they haven’t been since that Sunday, November 16, 1997 in the Superdome, when he put up his last NFL stats:  6 for 14 for 64 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs for a rating of  17.3.  Shuler would be pulled in that game in favor of second year player Doug Nussmeier, who would be out of football by the end of the year, but who would still end up with a higher career passer rating than Shuler. (Nussmeier’s was 55.7.)

Shuler was given the ball with the so-called “Disclose Act” (HR-5175) — the legislative answer to the Supreme Court decision entitled Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which held that the first amendment protects corporations’ right to free speech through their use of money in elections.  This decision was felt to be so egregious that the President, who happens to be the leader of the Democratic party and the boss of Rahm Emaneul, said in this year’s State of the Union address:

“Last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.”

The proposed law would require certain corporations and special interest groups to disclose their funding sources if they engage in certain political activity.  The bill, however, met the objections of the NRA.  The dreaded NRA.  They said:  “[T]he legislation laid out a series of ‘Byzantine’ disclosure requirements that have the obvious effect of intimidating speech” — and of course that organization which represents a million gun owners is so easily intimidated that they believe their members should be armed with assault rifles — and no background checks. When the history of the NRA is written, they will undoubtedly be seen as direct intellectual descendants of Milton, Locke, Voltaire and Madison, except that they do quirky things like targeting Democrats for defeat who do such things as propose banning handguns from the vicinity of elementary schools.

With the ball in his hands, Shuler could see the pocket collapsing, and so he tries to scramble on his gimpy foot and what happens? Yes, friends, another interception.  He brokers a deal whereby any organization with members in 50 states having at least a million members and corporations not providing more than 15% of the revenue, will be exempt.  The numbers were probably just pulled out of a hat , maybe even deduced through close application to principle, but they apply — dictu mirabile! — only to the NRA!  And the Democrats are thrilled!  Because there just isn’t anything that is worth taking a hit for.  If you see those linebackers blitzing, the best thing to do is throw it right into their hands.  That way you can live for another day — to make a debilitating concession on something really important.  That, after all, is why you are selected, by the likes of Rahm Emanuel.  Not to thread the needle, not to scramble, not to throw it away; no sir, any coach will tell you:  Put it right between the numbers on those big boys, that’s why we used such a high draft pick on you.

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