One last shot.

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Three days after Christmas in 1975 the Dallas Cowboys were faced with ending their season by losing the NFC Divisional Playoff Game. The 10-4 Cowboys were playing the 12-2 Minnesota Vikings. Down by four with the ball on their own 15-yard line and a minute fifty-one left on the clock, Roger Staubach mounted a nine-play drive to get to midfield. With 24 seconds left and no time outs, Staubach took the snap in the shotgun formation, pump-faked left and then turned right to fire a desperation pass to Drew Pearson. Vikings cornerback Nate Wright lost his footing as Pearson trapped the pass against his right hip at the five-yard line and went into the end zone backwards. The point after was good and the Cowboys won the game 17-14.

The Cowboys would go on to play Pittsburgh in Super Bowl X, becoming the first wild card team to play for the championship.

Following the game in Minnesota, Staubach said to reporters, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”

From thence came the term “Hail Mary Pass,” now a commonly used metaphor that means taking one last desperation shot in the face of all but certain doom.

Tuesday’s election is the GOP’s Hail Mary. It represents the Republican Party’s last chance to prove that it is capable of governing. The game, meaning in this illustration the United States of America, is on the line. Time is nearly out and we’re trailing on the scoreboard.

Unless the Republicans in the House mount a serious and principled effort to scale back the size of government, eviscerate Obamacare, curtail the regulatory burden facing business, reverse the automatic tax increase that will happen if the Bush tax cuts expire, dramatically cut spending and take concrete action to address Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the game will be lost and the GOP will never be taken seriously again.

Yes, Obama and Senate Democrats will thwart the Republicans in the House at every opportunity.

But the Vikings’ Nate Wright was a great cornerback and he tried to do the same thing. That didn’t deter Staubach. The beauty of the Staubach years was the fact that Staubach was in the game with everything he had until the very last second ticked off the clock. Lesser quarterbacks, facing the superior Vikings defense and with no time left, might have just gone through the motions. Staubach gave it all he had. That’s what defined Staubach and by extension, the Cowboys.

The Republican House majority of the 112th Congress will be defined by the same measure.

Defenses in the NFL feared and respected Roger Staubach and his Dallas Cowboys.

If the country is to survive, Democrats in Washington must feel the same way about John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Republicans must give it everything they have starting right now. Whatever the Democrats do in defense, the Republicans must still try.

Boehner has the ball and America has one last shot.

Let’s all close our eyes and say a Hail Mary.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. Rick Armstrong says:

    It is too bad that the “Head coach” didn’t get the message. His speech taunted the same ol’ stuff, Green Economy, World Commerce, and Progressive agendas, appointing commisions…Now, he is wasting more money by moving our fleet and his buddies to India to experience the Festival of Lights? The man is insane and his conduct is Criminal…Obama should be impeached for theft…the faster HE is out of office, the better off this country will be…200M a day for his personal pleasure and payback, it’s disgusting.

    Rick Armstrong
    Tyler, Texas

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    We have a very valuable lesson to learn here. Never take anything for granted or at face value.
    That is what the voters did in 2008 and now we are paying the price. The republicans had a chance to prove themselves before and blew it, the question here is…have they learned a lesson or just giving lip service? There is no room for compromise if this Country is going to survive, the republicans need to understand this. It will not be easy to undo the damage obama has done to this Country, but it can be done if the republicans will stand their ground and clarify their position. This means listening to the AMERICAN PEOPLE and doing what MUST be done. This is no time to waver or compromise!

  3. Tom King says:

    Sadly, I hear some of the old line Republicans still trying to minimize what happened in this past election. Too many veteran politicians, Democrat or Republican, see themselves as having all this well-earned political “expertise”. Their expertise is viewed as essential to government. Their expertise defines them.

    So, like the proverbial man that “all he has is a hammer”, they see every problem as a political nail to be driven with the particular hammer that they clutch tightly in their own hands.

    The very idea that, solving the country’s problems may require other tools and other craftsmen, cannot occur to them. That sort of solution would require the “experienced” politician to willingly step aside – something utterly unthinkable to an old-line politico.

    The sad truth is, politicians too long in Washington, soon join the great game of politics. They learn the rules, the nuances of play and how to keep score. Once they’re hooked on the game, they are useless for real work.

    I’m just telling you what I think.

    Tom

  4. Kathryn Myers says:

    As always, your commentaries are well thought out, well presented and a fresh breath of common sense air in the midst of this liberal mess. Given that Obama has decided to follow post-war Germany’s example in inflating our dollars beyond belief in order to attempt to pay off this massive debt, I have dim hopes that we can be pulled back from the brink. The flood of entitlements is bleeding the government to death and anything the Republicans do to try to stop it will be met with great wailing and gnashing of teeth. The groundwork for this liberal takeover of our government was started almost 40 years ago in earnest and it will take some serious and painful actions to turn us around.

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