In every sports competition there are winners and losers. There are not only winners and losers, but there are fans on the losing side who second guess the players and coaches. It is very American after a loss, especially a close loss, to blame someone for the defeat. It is so ingrained in our culture that every city has a sports talk radio station that depends on these “Monday morning quarterbacks” for their ratings.
Besides sports, politics is the next American venue in which the blame game is played and in politics it is practiced not just by the fans, but by the players (in this case, the players are the elected officials themselves). In fact, assigning blame to others and deflecting blame from yourself is a necessary survival skill in politics. I would go so far as to say one’s talent in this area often decides election results.
Nothing brings out the blame as much as a close loss, because in a close loss even the littlest mistake can mean the difference between victory and defeat. In the Race To The Top contest, New Jersey was very close to winning. (more…)