NBC Reporter Mark Murray produced an off-the-cuff gem earlier today by suggesting on MSNBC’s First Read blog that President Obama’s Health Care Summit was based on defeating Republicans using the William Zabka Principle.
What the heck is the William Zabka Principle you ask? Here’s how Mark Murray explains it.
Zabka is the actor who played the villain in quite a few ’80s movies — “The Karate Kid,” “Back to School,” and “Just One of the Guys.”
And just what is the Zabka Principle? In those movies, Zabka played such an unlikable character that he forced audiences to root for the protagonist — even if you didn’t like him/her.
For example, how many young boys in the ’80s didn’t want to like Ralph Macchio’s Daniel Larusso (especially since the girls in their classes thought Macchio was cute)? And there was plenty to admire about Zabka’s Johnny: He was the better athlete; Zabka’s dojo, Cobra Kai, was the superior dojo; and they certainly had the cooler uniforms.
But after Zabka and his crew jumped Macchio for the umpteenth time, and certainly after Zabka swept the leg, you had to side with Macchio — no matter what.
And what does this have to do with American politics? As Republicans work to oppose the Democratic agenda — and, just to be clear, that’s what minority parties usually do — they don’t want to go TOO far where they become unlikable.
Opposition is one thing; becoming William Zabka is another. And that’s true for the Democratic Party, too…
Finally! Someone who can explain the politics of this situation in terms we can understand!
In all honesty I am torn because I thought this post was hilarious, but at the same time some people probably don’t think it’s exactly the type of analysis that NBC should be paying Mark Murray to do. Without doubt though, Murray needs some way to keep himself from going crazy after having to report on the health care debate for the thousandth time– and it’s also a political blog, rather than a frontpage story. So I say keep doing it, Murray!