Thursday, February 14, 2008

Steroids Questions

Roger Clemens' disjointed testimony on steroid use yesterday before Congress is another case of focusing the country and the media in the wrong direction. Yes, the guy lied his way through the testimony, thus setting himself up for later perjury charges. Others toss around the "hero" language for this man who - humor me with the ad hominem - has basically shown himself repeatedly to be a jerk. But... there I go getting distracted... there are two problems with the focus on the steroid-use hearings.

For one thing, there is a priorities issue. As John Cole, points out exasperatedly,
I simply am stunned that our Congress, who has rolled over and played dead and abdicated every opportunity for meaningful oversight of this administration, actually is making a stink about Roger Clemons and steroid use and the NFL tapes. Stunned. I really don’t know what else to say. The day after rolling over and giving the administration precisely what they wanted, congressmen come out with puffed up chests, red-faced, screaming at a pitcher about whether or not someone shot him in the ass with steroids... It is obscene and beyond absurdity.
Right. The misplacement of priorities makes the mind reel.

Secondly, however, it's usually a good thing when assessing any policy or political activity to ask, what further interests or purposes are served by this? In this particular case, is Congress trying to protect baseball as an institution? Trying to ensure that sportspeople have no artificial advantages over each other in the name of fairness and sportsmanship (and why would enforcement of sportsmanship be a congressional role?)? Attempting to check the increased use of performance enhancement (and why not Viagra, then?)? Is this some larger claim against the new biotechnological frontier and what humans may become in the future, an attempt to begin mapping that territory to congressional liking? Is it a God/Nature vs. Man/Artifice concern? What are these hearings supposed to do?

1 comment:

jenhargis said...

Citing the phrase "as American as baseball and apple pie?", it MUST be in the country's best interest to hold congressional hearings about it. Then they should fire the baseball commisioner, as the government is wont to do in such cases. I look for an investigation into apple pie next.

Also, I think the use of viagra should only be investigated in uses by male "escorts". I am certain that those unenhanced "escorts" are as up-in-arms about that as non-steroid-using baseball players.