And pro athletes are smart—by politician standards. The dumbest lineman in the NFL has memorized a playbook the size of the Federal budget, while the smartest politician in recent history was too dumb to know when he'd had sex. Athletes are used to having their every move scrutinized by the best reporters in the world. Sportswriters are better than political writers. Is this The New Republic you have in your hands? Compare a David Broder column with a column by my colleague Rick Reilly. Rick knows what he's talking about. Nobody knows what Broder is talking about. Plus people actually read Rick Reilly.
Finally there's the simple matter of You've got game or you don't. When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld say they'll kick ass, they mean they'll have other people, such as the Air Force and the Marine Corps, do it for them after elaborate planning and extensive consultation with military allies. When Charles Barkley says he'll kick ass, he means he'll take his own Gulfstream, fly to Baghdad, get in the face of some Republican Guards and plant his size-16 Nike on Saddam's backboard.