Anyone who has watched a basketball game has likely seen what is casually known as “the flop.”

The player with the ball makes contact with a standing defender or a defender who leaps to block or prevent a shot toward the rim; then one of the players makes a dramatic fall to the floor, hoping an official will see the result of what must have been an egregious foul. When the call is made against a player who was within the rules, the “flop” succeeds.

This year, the National Basketball Association is going to try to do something about the unfairness, warning an then fining the flopper.

Gamesmanship at the expense of the truth will have a cost.

This political season, candidates, parties and outside interest groups have each seemingly tried to take a flop.

For instance, Republicans have tried to paint the Obama administration as heartless for the fact that the Affordable Health Care act anticipates a reduction of growth in Medicare of more than $700 million.

The budget proposed by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan makes that same accounting move.

Of course, anything the Democrats want to feel aggrieved about in the budget is a flop, too; the Democrat-led Senate has not taken up its duty to pass a budget in several years, so of course it’s easy to fault the other party.

Where it gets tricky is finding out who will be the enforcer for the flops. Unlike the NBA, there’s no commissioner’s office where violators can be issued punishment. It’s up to voters, who should take with a grain of salt the claims coming from candidates and parties.

— Loveland Reporter-Herald, Colorado, Oct. 6

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