Congress’ National Pastime
February 14, 2008
As one who takes a keen interest in both American politics and sports, I can say with confidence that I have never been more disgusted at a marriage of two hobbies. The recent Congressional hearings involving MLB superstars, specifically hallowed pitcher Roger Clemens, demonstrate exactly what’s wrong with your government.
Let’s examine what is really the issue in all of this. Congress wants to find out, using your money to do it, whether or not Roger Clemens ever took performing enhancing drugs during his years as a New York Yankee. Clemens was put in this hot seat by the Mitchell Report, a lengthy, damning lovechild of probes into Major League Baseball regarding players who were knowingly injected with banned substances. Named for the man who lead the investigation, former Senator George Mitchell (who could realistically run for President on something like a “Read My Lips: No New Steroids” platform), the report dropped some significant names, including at least two teammates of Clemens, both of which have admitted the truth of the allegations.
The man behind those allegations is Brian McNamee, a former trainer who now has moved his accusations over to Clemens. Clemens is the only one accused by McNamee to refute the allegations, but this is rather predictable. Clemens clearly has the most to lose of all the accused players, both in terms of national reputation and future Hall of Fame eligibility. He has gone on record before Congress and denied the allegations, which now puts him in a perjury ultimatum, as it does with McNamee.
Now all this is nice drama for ESPN, but what exactly does this have to do with me? Taxpayers are funding Congressional hearings into the matters of private citizens and private entertainment organizations. I won’t say “socialist” just yet, but I will say infuriating. This has NOTHING, but NOTHING, to do with the average American citizen, who would probably like to see some efforts on, I don’t know, a war, an economy, a social security system, a culture of death, an absurd tax system, a dangerously incompetent immigration policy, ad infinitum.
This is just a textbook example of what is wrong with our government. The biggest problem Americans have is not a Republican or Democrat; it is the bipartisan efforts made in Washington to retain power and avoid getting things done. Principle? Naw, man, that might cost me my votes. Both parties are in on it. It’s not just Democrats or Republicans who like power; it’s politicians. The Founders understood this, and it is why they envisioned a radically different model of government than what our exclusive political party system offers us.
To any Senators or Congressmen who may be reading this: Stop playing baseball with our money, and start getting things done.
(Photo: Getty Images, New York Magazine.)