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Great soccer conspiracy

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JULY 01, 2014 5:00 AM

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I try to keep up with things, whatever “things” might mean. But I do try to keep up — well, except for pop culture.

There’s a reason pop culture is called pop culture — something new comes along, stays big for around seven seconds, then pop, the bubble bursts, and the something new becomes something stale. Hence, pop culture.

(Of course, I suppose you could also say that pop culture is nearly the perfect oxymoron.)

Meanwhile, back at keeping up with things, I have to admit the latest conspiracy theory sweeping the right wing (don’t forget to sweep in the corners, too) has me more than a little puzzled.

Apparently, soccer in general, and the World Cup in particular, is a plot to undermine the United States and also to divert attention away from President Obama’s troubles, whatever they might be.

No, really. Apparently, the right wing didn’t forget to sweep in the corners.

Take Fox News pundit (using the word advisedly) Dr. Keith Ablow, speaking on “Outnumbered” before the U.S.-Germany match last week:

“I am suspect because, here’s the thing. Why, at a time when there are so many national and international issues of such prominence — I’m a little suspicious of yet another bread-and-circus routine. Let’s roll out the marijuana, pull back the laws, and get people even more crazy about yet another entertainment event.”

Um, really? FIFA and Obama got together to distract people’s attention with some soccer. Exactly how dumb does Ablow believe Americans are?

Let’s see. The FIFA Executive Committee selected Brazil as the host country on Oct. 30, 2007. What else was happening then?

A CBS News/New York Times poll on May 24, 2007, had Hillary Rodham Clinton leading Obama 46 percent to 24 percent. A CNN poll in September 2007 found Rodham Clinton leading Obama 46 percent to 23 percent.

In October 2007 (why does that month seem so familiar?), Rodham Clinton had extended her lead over Obama in the CNN poll, 51 percent to 21 percent.

So FIFA, which holds the World Cup every four years, come hell, high water (which apparently we will know about rather quickly), and right-wing commentators, got together with a Democratic candidate trailing badly in the polls to schedule a World Cup seven years down the line.

Right.

Then there’s Ann Coulter, who has never met a ludicrous notion that she wouldn’t embrace. She blames soccer for the decay of the United States, because the players can’t use their hands. Um, it’s called football. As opposed to handball, which is also known as American football.

Coulter says the rise in popularity of soccer in this country is traceable to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. Kennedy did support the bill, but it was known as the Hart-Celler Act, proposed by Rep. Emmaneul Celler of New York and Sen. Philip Hart of Michigan.

In 1965, the House of Representatives passed the act on a 320-70 vote; the Senate also backed the bill, 76-18. In both houses, support was bipartisan — imagine that quaint scenario, bipartisan support in Congress for immigration reform.

In the Senate, 52 Democrats backed the bill, as did 24 Republicans. In the House, 202 Democrats voted in favor, along with 117 Republicans.

So to call the 1965 act Sen. Ted Kennedy’s immigration law is more more than a little misleading
The great soccer conspiracy. Could life get any more Da-Da?


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