Thursday, May 19, 2005


This Is Your Congress on Steroids...

Given that "aggression," "grandiose beliefs" and "reckless behavior" are all associated with steroid use, maybe it's time that our elected leaders were tested. The behavior demonstrated this week certainly raises suspicions.

With Terri Schiavo having departed the scene (both literally and in the sense of a media-obsessive issue), Congress' latest demonstration of how it knows what is best when it comes to dealing with the human body is telling major league sports exactly what their policies must be on the topic of steroids.

When you have Major League Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on one side, it's pretty hard to find individuals more arrogant -- yet on Wednesday, there sat members of Congress at a
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

The most ridiculous moment occured when Pennsylvania Republican Tim Murphy demanded of Fehr, "Do you give your kids five chances if they say they want to experiment with drugs?" Fehr's initial response was, "Well, I wouldn't kick them out of the house."

Flip though it might have been, that was actually on point. The "solution" many in Congress want the major sports to go along with is to adopt the "Olympic" standard on steroids: a two-year suspension for the first violation and a lifetime ban for a second. Fehr's contention was that that a two-year punishment amounted in many cases to ending a player's career. Thus, the "kicking them out of the house" line.

Murphy pompously shot back, "You didn't answer the question: Would you give your children five chances to use a dangerous drug?" Fehr then said no.

And this is where congressional arrogance comes in: Don Fehr is not the parent of the baseball players. As head of their union, he reports to them. Bud Selig is not their parent either -- though having been beaten so many times by the baseball union in collective bargaining, the commissioner is only too happy to cave into what Congress is pushing.

And what about limited government? Oh, that's so, like 20th century: Joe Barton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee
says: "In a perfect world, I'd rather this be done in collective bargaining. [But] I think we've gone too long basically asking the marketplace to do it. I am really going to try to get a federal bill." The fact that home runs are actually down this year means nothing. Filled with "grandiose beliefs" and driven by the ultimate 'roid rage -- an inflated sense of their own self-importance, Congress is rushing pell-mell to do something.

No wonder their ratings are in the

RAGGED THOTS reader (and obvious baseball fan) "ERA" writes that he heard ESPN's Peter Gammons say (on "Baseball Tonight" Wednesday): " . . . First off, Congress does have double standards here. There are a lot of different standards for Tom DeLay than there is for baseball players. I mean, there is no question about that.. ."

I thought, oh no, say it isn't so: Peter Gammons taking a cheap shot at the House majority leader? That can't be right.

But then I thought about it. Of course, he's right. Want a double-standard? Consider this: DeLay is strongly critical of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for using
international law as a guideline in several court cases. Yet, the law House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis says could be introduced as early as next week would conceivably overrule any negotiated labor agreements by an American sports league and their players -- in favor of an international standard.

And after going for sports leagues, what's to stop Congress from determining that the "marketplace" is taking "too long" in other industries as well?

Lock up your kids, ladies and gentlemen. This is not a pretty sight. This is your government on steroids.

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