Washington's Scholar-on-Scholar Softball Action

Little League season is upon us, and an article by Scott Ganz of the American Enterprise Institute caught my eye recently. Its argument about the positive impact of youth sports participation was interesting, but the description of the co-author was what got me thinking. The author, as it happens, also coaches the Institute's softball team.

Wait, AEI's softball team? Does Richard Perle call his homers like Babe Ruth? Does neocon godfather Irving Kristol give a rousing pre-game speech? (I need hitters, not quitters!!!) I'm not sure, but a bit of lunchtime searching revealed that think tanks from left to right aren't just engaged in the battle of ideas. They've also got their own softball league.

Just imagine the trash talk when the liberal Center for American Progress takes on the righties at the Heritage Foundation. I'm sure it's all erudite and perhaps even peer-reviewed, though. Things really got interesting when I found their flickr photostream. . .

Now, let's not jump to conclusions based on these photos. As the grad-school enhanced minds in these pictures would soberly point out, they don't constitute a representative sample. But, strictly anecdotally, they do open a window into the behavior of think tankers in the presence of many, many rounds of cheap lager.

The other thing you'll notice is that these particular scholar-athletes look an awful lot younger and fitter than the think tankers of cable news debates. Ringers? Nah, probably not. But it does seem like a big part of a pundit's progress is slugging it out for the team while you're a young think tank research assistant or intern.



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Our friends at the Center for American Progress like to talk trash, but let's also give them credit for acknowledging Heritage's softball dominance.

Sent by Rob Bluey | 9:02 AM | 5-22-2008

press release:
aei announced victory after its wednesday afternoon game against CAP.

richard perle hotly contested claims that the game was a 154-3 win for CAP, explaining "you don't have access to the intelligence we do. people aren't reporting the true facts on the ground."

john yoo explained that since the country is at war, the president has the power to declare a victory for either team, and cannot be held back by any means until every terrorist in the world is dead.

james glassman predicted that "despite the current score, within a few years aei's run total for the game will be well above 36,000."

when asked for a comment, charles murray muttered under his breath about prenology and the other team's "unfair physical genetic advantages."

michael ledeen announced that iranian supreme leader khameni was dead, and that aei had won by 20 runs, but that the opposition had hidden those runs in syria following the invasion of iraq.

team manager lynn cheney remarked that in the late 19th century, women's uniforms were irrestably attractive to other women, but that violent videogames had destroyed the sport of softball.

Sent by matty | 9:36 AM | 5-22-2008

If you are interested in seeing Heritage Foundation softball players in real field action, check out my blog at and search "softball."

There are two seasons' worth of sports photos to peruse.

Sent by Andrew | 2:45 PM | 5-22-2008

Let's remember that CAP did beat Heritage in the preseason "Clash of the Think Tank Titans Tournament".

Sent by Erin | 4:57 PM | 5-29-2008

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