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July 05, 2003

HOT DOG EATING....For the sixth time in seven years, Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has won the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest. What's worse, he won by an enormous margin and he wasn't even really trying.

It is disturbing that in a country of nearly 300 million people, a place where hot dogs are as American as hot dogs, hot dog eating has fallen to such a sorry state. And while it's true that this decline began under the Clinton administration, it is under the negligent handling of the Bush administration that it has been allowed to fall to its current catastrophic levels.

Democrats have proposed a toughminded and fiscally responsible $20 million program that would make our woefully outgunned hot dog eaters into a world class team once again, a sum that's easily affordable for a country as rich as ours. But the Bush administration, having passed over a trillion dollars of tax cuts since they took office, now claims that we can't afford this. The question they should be asking is, can we afford not to do this?

Hot dog eating is at a low ebb in this country, but there's no reason we have to accept mediocrity. The Democratic proposal is both affordable and necessary, a first step toward a time when our hot dog eaters can once again stand up and proudly say to the world, "Bring 'em on."

Call your congressman.

Posted by Kevin Drum at July 5, 2003 10:01 AM | TrackBack


That's one public program I can support! We can't let Japan take over both baseball and hot dog eating!

Is it any consolation that a Texan is continuing to win the Tour de France?!

Posted by: Boomshock at July 5, 2003 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Within George W. Bush's social conservative base, hot dog eating causes agita of Biblical proportions. While it's true that hot dog eating can technically be practiced by consenting heterosexuals, it's traditionally viewed as a homosexual practice, scorned since time immemorable. SoCons are against it in any case. They're uncomfortable with Dachsunds as well.

It seems clear to me that funding for the critically important weiner-scarfing program has been quietly withheld in an effort to keep the whole matter out of the public eye — and the courts. Given recent Supreme Court rulings, social conservatives fear local ordinances against the practice will be struck down, and prefer to keep everything hush [puppy].

Frankly (ahem), I think there's more to this story than you can shake a stick at.


[I'm resisting a very tempting shaggy-dog reference.]

Posted by: Lou Quillio at July 5, 2003 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Today it's hot dogs, tommorrow it's apple pie.

But when the furrners try to get to Mom, that's where I draw a bright red white and blue line in the sand.

Posted by: Manly Patriot at July 5, 2003 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't GW say he was going to increase the numbers of hot dog eaters by 80%?

Posted by: Marie Foster at July 5, 2003 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I highly recommend Hebrew National hot dogs. Seriously. If you're going for quantity, you might as well enjoy quality!

Posted by: skbubba at July 5, 2003 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

This plan doesn't go far enough. If elected, I will push for a training program for sushi-eating contests; we must take the fight to the enemy and beat him on his own ground!

Posted by: Linkmeister at July 5, 2003 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

You have to respect a man who can beat William "The Refridgerator" Perry in any type of eating contest.

Posted by: mark at July 5, 2003 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Another typical La-La-Land liberal big-government tax-and-spend proposal. What we really need is a market-based solution to the Hot Dog Gap.

Responsible politicians will call for a partnership research program, to be conducted by pairing federal funds with the resources of industry, notably including America's world-leading marketing firms, to determine what we can do to get Americans eating more hot dogs.

This, combined with President Bush's tax cuts -- which will put enough money in the pockets of typical American families to eat another sixty hot dogs a year (with the works!) -- will make America once again the champion eater of high-fat, high-cholesterol, nitrite-laden, liver-toxifying meat products!

Posted by: bleh at July 5, 2003 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

What's this about Lance Armstrong being under investigation by the InJustice Department? Something about particpating with foreigners in a foreign activity? Will he be sent to Guantanamo for execution without a trial?

Since he's a Texan, maybe he will only get life in the Gulag of the Disappeared.

Posted by: pessimist at July 5, 2003 01:08 PM | PERMALINK

And on the Fourth, no less--the official holiday of the hot dog. What a demoralizing defeat.

Posted by: Matt Davis at July 5, 2003 01:23 PM | PERMALINK

Great post and thread. Obviously the key is to charge $2,000 for each wiener, then we'll all be able to chant U.S.A.! again with pride. There's nothing I like better than a wiener in my mouth on a hot Fourth of July.
Wasn't the Fridge about fifteen orders of magnitude bigger than the other guy? I caught the face-off, if not the match.
Go Lance Armstrong. He really is the Energizer Bunny.

Posted by: John Isbell at July 5, 2003 01:52 PM | PERMALINK

outstanding post :)


Posted by: ChrisL at July 5, 2003 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

You have to respect a man who can beat William "The Refridgerator" Perry in any type of eating contest.

He only finished four.

I think he let the side down rather badly.

Posted by: julia at July 5, 2003 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

The female winner was either a Chinese national or a recently immigrated Chinese-American (guessing by her lack of English-speaking ability). I saw her on some morning show.
She ate 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes, beating all but 5 of the men also. She weighed 107 lbs. Probably had a 22 inch waist.
I can't explain it.

Posted by: andrew at July 5, 2003 03:43 PM | PERMALINK

The who's doing the what now?

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