James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Demon sheep and the goat curse: Ricketty anti-Obama plan hurts GOP

Posted by James McPherson on May 17, 2012

It is fitting that Joe Ricketts is the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs. As with the last-place Cubs, Ricketts seems determined to pour his political dollars into losing. The Cubs, some say, will never overcome the “billy goat curse.”

In truth we don’t know if J.R. had anything to do with the supposed “Ricketts Plan” to use Jeremiah Wright to bring about “the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama.” Son Tom Ricketts–now in the process of trying to get $150 million in taxpayer money for stadium funding from former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel–is certainly trying to distance himself from the proposal. Joe Ricketts’ daughter, Laura, has gone much further, serving as one of Obama’s key fundraisers. Of course dear ol’ dad may end up inadvertently raising more money for Obama than Laura does.

Regardless of its origin, we know that the plan has already caused Mitt Romney and the GOP more problems than it will ever cause Obama. Even if Sean Hannity and the occasional right-wing blogger can’t see it.

We also know that earlier this week Ricketts’ PAC improved the Democrats’ chances of holding a Senate seat they were destined to lose. Though it seems unlikely that Deb Fischer will turn out to be another Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle, we can always hope–if only for entertainment purposes. Bob Kerrey certainly has to be happy that she won after Sarah Palin endorsed her. And who knows how far the curses of mama grizzlies or billy goats might extend?

Interestingly, one of the key players in the Ricketts PAC is “best known for attention-grabbing advertisements, including one in 2010 for the California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina that portrayed her primary opponent … as a ‘demon sheep.'” Fiorina, of course, had about as much chance of beating Barbara Boxer as the Cubs do of winning this year’s World Series. OK, any year’s World Series, but as a Seattle Mariners’ fan I try not to kick the downtrodden.

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2 Responses to “Demon sheep and the goat curse: Ricketty anti-Obama plan hurts GOP”

  1. Reuel said

    Been a Cubs fan my whole life, We always say “Maybe next year” As for what to expect in November, I have gone into wait and see mode. The new game of politicking is a changing everyday and most that vote don’t really know anything about the people running except a one (simple) line talking point. I do know one thing, I certainly wouldn’t want that job. The hole dug is to deep and almost to point of impossible to fill. President Clinton said it best just the other day. Taxing all the rich 100% will not even put a dent in our debt”. It may not of been these exact words but close enough for a Engineer Major. Good day to you Sir and have a good weekend.

  2. James McPherson said

    Thanks, Reuel. It was a good weekend–it must have been; I hurt all over from too much work in the garden. A good reminder of how blessed we are to have a home where we can putter and grow some of our own food, though. And I agree–I wouldn’t have the president’s job. Hope you’re well.

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