Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Sandlot, 4th Grade Parliamentary Procedure, and Kevin Costner

I had to share this exchange that I had with my 9-year-old son Jake last night. 

We were returning home from watching the A-Team movie -- an awesomely good action-fest movie in our opinion. Jake and Jonah were watching The Sandlot 3: Heading Home on the DVD player in the van.

Before you ask, we realize that Sandlot 3 and the story of Tommy "Santa" Santorelli's redemption is not nearly as good as the classic original The Sandlot, which is one of the best baseball movies of all time, but let's face it, The Sandlot 3 is SIGNIFICANTLY better than The Sandlot 2, which was less of a sequel and more of a blatant retelling of the original with subtly different characters. C'mon, the kissing booth scene was a definite rip off of the Wendy Peffercorn's rescue of a drowning Squints. Seriously!  But, I digress...

As you are no doubt aware, (I mean who isn't?) there is a critical scene in Sandlot 3 when the elected officials can't decide the future of the Sandlot. (Will the city sell the lot to a greedy condo developer or keep it as is?)  The decision is deadlocked 3 votes for and 3 votes against.

This conundrum in plot presented a teachable moment for me, as a political junkie and former Reading Clerk for the House of Delegates. I asked Jake if he knew what would happen in the WV House, if the vote was 50-50?

Jake correctly said the bill wouldn't pass because it wasn't a majority i.e. half plus 1.  (We had discussed previously this during an earlier viewing of the movie. Did I mention that I'm a political geek?)

Feeling proud of my young third fourth grader and his vast parliamentary knowledge, I asked Jake if he knew what happens in the U.S. Senate when a vote is 50-50?

He asked if it was the same, and I told him the Vice President can vote and break the tie.

Jake seemed to understand, and I was feeling pretty good.

Until he said...

"So it's just like that movie 'Swing Vote'."

Um... not exactly, Jake.

With all due respect to Kevin Costner, (I hope his super-duper water and oil extraction system works well with the BP oil leak), but Vice President Biden wields a very different type of Swing Vote than the fictitious Bud Johnson that Costner immortalized(?) on the big screen.

All in all though, Jake is still well on his way to a prosperous future in politics, or maybe becoming a screen writer, or maybe both... he could be a political consultant.

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