In advance of the upcoming baseball season, the right-wing blogosphere has gone viral with a parody of Ernest Thayer's immortal "Casey at the Bat," with Barack Obama replacing the Mudville slugger striking out with the tying runs on base. Here's the progressive response, with all due apologies to Grantland Rice. (And if some enterprising young filmmaker wants to get Red Sox fan Matt Damon to narrate the retort at Fenway Park, have at it.)
There were saddened hearts in D.C. for a week or even more;
There were muttered oaths and curses--every Liberal in town was sore.
"Just think," said Rachel Maddow, "how soft it looked with Obama at the bat,
And then to think he'd go and spring a Chi-town trick like that!"
All his past fame was forgotten--Beck dubbed him a hopeless "shine."*
Fox called him "Strike-Out Obama," from O'Reilly down the line;
And as he came to bat each day his bosom heaved a sigh,
While a look of hopeless fury shone in mighty Obama's eye.
He pondered in the days gone by that he had been their king,
That when he strolled up to the plate he made HuffPo's bloggers sing;
But now his nerve had vanished, for when he heard Republicans hoot
He "fanned" or "popped out" daily, like some state legislative recruit.
He soon began to sulk and loaf, his political eye went lame;
No home runs in either house were chalked against his name;
The fans without exception gave Howard Dean no peace,
Even Olbermann and Arianna were calling for Obama's quick release.
The Liberal squad began to slump, the team was in the air;
Their playing went from bad to worse--with not a vote to spare.
"Back to the woods with Obama!" was the cry from the Chris Matthews show.
"Get someone with left field power, and let that moderate go!"
The lane is long, Hartman has said, that never turns again,
And Fate, though fickle, often gives another chance to men;
And Obama smiled; his rugged face no longer wore a frown--
The pitcher, Screwball Sarah, was coming back to town.
All Congress had assembled--ten thousand fans had come
To see the crazy twirler who had put Obama on the bum;
And when he stepped into the box, the multitude went wild;
Palin doffed her cap in proud disdain, but Obama only smiled.
"Play ball!" Alito's voice rang out, and then the game began.
But in that throng of thousands there was not a single fan
Who thought that the Liberals had a chance, and with the setting sun
Their hopes sank low--Limbaugh & Co. were leading "four to one."
The last half of the ninth came round, with health-care reform on the floor;
But when Joltin' Joe Biden hit safely, the crowd began to roar;
The din increased, the echo of ten thousand shouts was heard
When Palin hit Pelosi and gave "four balls" to Rahm the Nerd.
Three runners--nobody out--three runs to tie the game!
A triple meant the highest niche in the Liberals' hall of fame;
But here the rally ended and the gloom was deep as night,
When Barney "fouled to catcher" and Reid "flew out to right."
A dismal groan in chorus came; a scowl was on each face
When Obama walked up, bat in hand, and slowly took his place;
His bloodshot eyes in fury gleamed, his teeth were clenched in hate;
He gave his White Sox cap a vicious hook and pounded on the plate.
But fame is fleeting, as the wind and glory fade away;
There were no wild and woolly cheers, no glad acclaim this day;
Ann Coulter hissed and groaned and clamored: "Strike him out!"
But Obama gave no outward sign that he had heard her shout.
Palin snarled and cut one loose--across the plate it sped;
Another hiss, another groan. "Strike one!" Alito said.
Zip! Like a shot the second curve broke just below the knee.
"Strike two!" Alito roared aloud; but Obama made no plea.
No roasting for Alito now-- his was an easy lot;
But Screwball Sarah whirled again--was that a Wasilla rifle shot?
A whack, a crack, and out through the space the leather pellet flew,
A blot against the distant sky, a speck against the blue.
Above the fence in deep left field in rapid whirling flight
The sphere sailed on--the blot grew dim and then was lost to sight.
Ten thousand hats were thrown in air, Roger Ailes he threw a fit,
But no one ever found the ball that mighty Barack Obama hit.
O, somewhere in this favored land dark clouds may hide the sun,
And somewhere bands no longer play and children have no fun!
And somewhere over blighted lives there hangs a heavy pall,
But Liberal hearts are happy now, for Obama hit the ball.
*Yes, sports fans, that's precisely how it appears in the original.