This article appeared in the October 04, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Democrats, Republicans, no matter. Washington loves its Nats.

Andrew Harnik/AP
Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals gets a kiss from his father, Juan Jose Soto, after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in a National League wild-card baseball game at Nationals Park, Oct. 1, 2019, in Washington.

Today, we offer a look at how impeachment resonates in a Virginia battleground district, an interview with the Ugandan rapper who would be president, a change of tune in the Arab Spring’s birthplace, a conversation between Monitor culture writers about “Joker” and storytelling that’s uncomfortable, and the decline of the hockey goon. 

First, some thoughts on finding joy amid turmoil.

As I sat in the East Room of the White House Wednesday, watching an agitated President Donald Trump battle reporters, my thoughts turned to Juan Soto. The night before, the 20-year-old outfielder for the Washington Nationals hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 8th – sparking a dramatic come-from-behind victory. 

The game started rough for the Nats, as did the season, but they persevered. Their wild-card victory advanced them to the next playoff round, a rare moment of postseason joy. The best moment came after the game, when Mr. Soto’s proud Dominican dad tackled him in celebration. Last night they lost, but it ain’t over. 

Democrats, Republicans, no matter. Washington loves its Nats, and as the city descends into the ugly business of presidential impeachment, it is unifying moments like Tuesday night that make life here tolerable. The late conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer once wrote that God created baseball as a relief from politics. He also observed that he could leave Fox News’ studios after the evening broadcast and be in his seat at Nationals Park “by the bottom of the first, in time to see Bryce Harper’s first at-bat.” 

Mr. Harper is no longer a Nat, but the team is carrying on just fine. And so, we trust, will Washington. 

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This article appeared in the October 04, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/04 edition