Congress: Achieving the Impossible

My grandfather, who died earlier this week at age 90, had a habit of saying, "there’s no such thing as an honest politician." (It didn’t stop him from voting.) The Congressional steroid subpoena fiasco certainly wouldn’t have changed his mind. Here we have representatives from both sides of the aisle happily bloviating on baseball’s steroid problem, while taking actions—subpoening players and officials and possibly test results—sure to make future progress more difficult. That Republicans, who theoretically want government out of our lives, and Democrats, guardians of civil liberty, find it acceptable to even consider acquiring MLB steroid testing results (that is, private medical records from citizens both presumed and overwhelmingly innocent) demonstrates a truly staggering degree of hypocrisy.

When it comes to steroids, it’s almost impossible to make the MLB and the PA look good. Congress, at least, has managed that. Unfortunately, it’s not much of an accomplishment.

11 comments… add one
  • My condolences to YF and his family.
    I am not sure I agree with YF on this one, at least not yet. I agree with his assessment of our politicians, but the end result might be a bit of embarrassment for the game (to say nothing of the politicans, who might be beyond embarrassment), and this could be a salve – I still don’t think we’ve reached a point where the game has been shamed by the conduct of both it’s players union and it’s ownership (did Giambi look ashamed during his press conference? Does Bud Selig ever come off as contrite? Does Don Fehr give a shit?). Whether we will ever reach that point is up for debate. At this moment, I am curious to see how this all transpires. The politics of the hearings (invasion of civil liberties, big government vs. small government, etc.) aren’t pertinent to me, in this case, since they aren’t really the issue. Politics are the issue when torture-loving AGs are approved and bankruptcy bills give handouts to Big Credit. Let’s hold these congresspeople over the fire for ignoring the implications of or rubber-stamping approval on substantive issues like that, but I think we should at least allow them the trifle of steroid hearings – baseball is big enough to hold up, I think, and could use a good public bitchslap at this point. And pardon that verbiage, but I can’t think of a better term.

    SF March 11, 2005, 12:02 pm
  • It is not Congress’s role to bitchslap American citizens. That’s why we have blogs. It is Congress’s role to improve the American condition through its power to legislate. This ill-timed little charade is only going to make those conditions worse.

    YF March 11, 2005, 12:46 pm
  • I think you’re being a chicken little. It is definitely congress’ job to bitchslap citizens. Where have you been for the last 4 years?

    SF March 11, 2005, 1:29 pm
  • Why does this feel like that court scene in Godfather II? Maybe baseball can fly in Ozzie Canseco to sit next to Bud Selig while Jose testifies.

    JeremyM March 11, 2005, 8:02 pm
  • Of course the Yankees and their fans want this steriod thing to go away. Of course they want Congress to stay out of it, and of course they want us all to not bring up the fact that those same steroids are the only reason sox fans were not talking about winning a World Series against the Marlins in ’03…These “classy” Yankees want the world to stop talking about your 80 million dollar injection investment at first base. Oh yeah, I forgot about Sheffield…man, I would want all this to go away too. I say let’s go Congress! Bring them both onto the floor and make them tell the world how and when they were on the juice. Oh wait, that’s not going to do any good – what makes the world think they are going to tell the truth? I know what it is, theyre “classy”.

    Yawkeyhog March 13, 2005, 6:18 am
  • YF ought to take a look at George Vecsey’s column in Sunday’s Times. It says much more professionally what I say above. I believe YF is overreaching with this one.

    SF March 13, 2005, 7:46 am
  • Umm, none of the Sox were using steroids either in 2003? Please.

    JeremyM March 13, 2005, 11:14 am
  • I know Canseco wants to show up and testify, but the rest of the players should tell Congress to go jump in the Reflecting Pool. Do these guys really have nothing better to do: war, homeland security, immigration, deficit, etc?
    Congress has concocted an interesting claim of jurisdiction: “Under the rules of the House,” the Committee warned Major League Baseball in a letter this week, “‘the Committee on Government Reform may at any time conduct investigations of any matter.'”
    This is actually scarier than pathetic. I saw Davis and Waxman on “Meet the Press” this morning. They were playing up the “For the Kids” angle so much I thought i was going to vomit.

    James B. March 13, 2005, 3:34 pm
  • “Do these guys really have nothing better to do: war, homeland security, immigration, deficit, etc?”
    And don’t forget Social Security; when I’m living in a cardboard box at age 74, I may need those steroids to survive against juiced scavenger rats.

    Sox Fan Part Deux March 14, 2005, 11:48 pm
  • You cant take steroids, but if a player is in need of ankle surgery and there is no way he can play lets fill the guy (Mr.Schilling) up with dope. Pain killers are addicting. This is the same congress who run after terrorists meanwhile we have the KKK sitting in our own back yard. Yeah they should testify and so should we give the Indians back there land. Congress is a bunch of hypocrites. Boston sucks.

    Raymond March 16, 2005, 3:49 pm
  • I’m an Oriole fan, a mutual enemy of this blog. However i dislike Boston less because they took it hardcore to the Yanks after a “sure win”. Anyways Congress needs to stay out of Bud Selig’s grill, the NFL took years to bring their epidemic down. Only 5-7 percent of players use juice and since the start of the crisis estimations of use have dropped to 3-5 percent. The MLB has only had a testing policy for less than 2 years. Also i would like to add Red Sox games at Baltimore are more fun because Boston fans are so in to the game and although rough vocally, bring an overall better rivalry. EAT IT CONGRESS!

    Dr Drew May 12, 2005, 2:24 am

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