I often use boxing analogies in describing political situations. The famous American journalist, A.J. Liebling wrote a renowned book on boxing with the title, The Sweet Science. To be sure, there is nothing sweet about the brutality of boxing. There is an aspect of boxing, however, that is most scientific: the methods in which a fighter’s tactical and strategic skills can negate the superior power and strength of his opponent.
The classic case study of this fascinating feature of boxing was the February 25, 1964 world heavyweight championship victory of Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay over the then heavyweight champion of the world Sonny Liston.
Ali wrested the heavyweight championship from Sonny when he failed to answer the bell for Round Seven. Muhammad entered the fight as an eight to one underdog, yet his superior quickness of hand and foot reduced Liston to rubble and rendered useless Liston’s vaunted and feared punching power.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s triumph last week over President Donald Trump in the government shutdown was totally reminiscent of Ali’s 1964 upset of Sonny Liston. Pelosi is the most effective Congressional leader since Lyndon Johnson in his capacity as Senate Democratic Majority leader in the 1950s. Like a supremely skilled boxer, Pelosi made Trump look like a rank amateur with her far superior political instincts and legislative craftsmanship, honed by years of experience. Boxers defeat punchers with movement skills, and Pelosi humiliated Trump with her gifts of political communication and