Wednesday, February 13, 2008


BREAKING: Congress Wasting Time

Instead of dealing with the bankrupting of Social Security, stunting illegal immigration, or the tanking economy, Congress today is helping all Americans by trying to get to the bottom of whether Roger Clemens put steroids in his body as a way of cheating in baseball.

I'm not advocating the use of steroids in baseball - MLB's failure to deal with Barry Bonds is the sole reason that I haven't attended a game since 2005, when I attended 40 major league and minor league games. I was a tremendous fan, and Bud Selig's embracing of the steroid era has taken me away from a game that I loved every bit as much as football. However, that is a matter for Major League Baseball, not the Congress of the United States.

I've been watching the hearings (it's certainly more entertaining than normal daytime television), and I have to commend (pause for effect) the DEMOCRATS for not grandstanding, like I would expect out of Waxman and Cummings. No, instead, it's Indiana Republican Dan Burton acting like a schmuck.

Even in investigative hearings, the Republicans come out looking worse than the Democrats.

UPDATE (2:56 P.M.) - OK, the 4.5-hour hearing is finally over. One thing is clear - the Republicans on the committee who questioned the three witnesses were definitely in Clemens' corner, no matter how bad he looked. Apparently, for some of the Republicans, the only way to believe that Roger Clemens was taking steroids was if one of them was injecting "The Rocket" themselves. (In light of today's hearings, I sure hope I have a jury made up of former Republican Congressmen on my next jury.)

Maybe that will be added to the Republican Party Platform when the convention convenes in Minneapolis in August. "Republicans - We Like Steroids." That'll go over well on bumper stickers.

One final thought - with the exceptions of Elijah Cummings (whose legal experience shone through today) and those members of the Oversight Committee who didn't actively participate, most of the other Members of Congress looked like fools. I would highly recommend that Congress stop televising these hearings, because it erodes public confidence that Congress is made up of people with actual intelligence, the best that society has to offer. Several of these people today looked more like Knox County Commissioners than Members of Congress. Yes, public hearings have boosted the careers and reputations in previous times (Ed Bryant's impeachment cross examination comes to mind), but that is the exception and not the rule.

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