Of course, baseball is America's Sport. Baseball players are supposed to be clean cut, true blue avatars of what a good American citizen is supposed to be. But let's get a reality check here. Using steroids isn't what I would call a pressing, urgent matter for our elected officials to investigate.
On the one hand, it seems to be a gross misuse of their power to drag baseball players, their trainers and their officials -- all of them private citizens, not government employees -- and grill them endlessly, hoping for that one gotcha moment.
But then, at least they aren't planning the next round of tax hikes, over regulation, and other insults to our Liberties. There may be silver lining to all this, but I still don't like sacrificing one element of the private sector to deflect attention from my own.
Now, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell has his "big fish". He has enlisted the FBI to investigate possible perjury and obstruction of justice charges against Roger Clemens, one of the most famous players in baseball. All of this stems from Mitchell's twenty month investigation into steroid use among professional ball players.
This is the most pressing problem facing America today? Forgive me, but I don't see how this should be a federal matter, let alone a matter for government at any level.
The FBI case arose from hearings several weeks ago, in which Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and trainer Brian McNamee all testified. Congressmen, mostly Democrats, chided all the witnesses, saying that they didn't know what to believe.
Now we have an ongoing investigation into matters that add up to less than a molehill.
Look, I don't advocate the use of steroids or human growth hormones (HGH) but what's the big deal? Baseball, as big an industry as it is, is not a make or break thing for the American economy. It's not a matter of national security. Baseball is merely part of the circuses that keep Americans happily distracted from things like the presidential race, terrorism, the return of the Cold War, and the fact that Saint Obama isn't really the Second Coming.
Tell me, someone, what is the difference between using steroids and HGH and better training and exercise to improve performance? Why should Congress even think about looking into these matters? I've just paged through my copy of the Constitution, and it doesn't have anything to say about baseball and Congressional oversight.
Of course, the Constitution does have the Tenth Amendment, which reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Now, I'm not a lawyer, but to me, in layman's terms, this says: "If it ain't in the Constitution, Congress can't do it!"
Anyone who has known me or has read my posts here at Montag's World or elsewhere on the Internet know that I'm a strong advocate for repealing any and all of America's drug laws. The Tenth Amendment is one principal reason, as is the lesson of Prohibition. You might recall that Prohibition did nothing to curtail alcohol consumption, but it did empower organized crime and vast, abusive governmental bureaucracies which survived the repeal of Prohibition, and which trample on our Liberties today.
The use of steroids and HGH in professional sports, in my mind, falls into the same sort of category. Whatever protocol of detection and enforcement the bureaucrats come up with, there will always be someone who finds a way around it. The effort to avoid these work arounds will inevitably reduce your Liberty. There really is nothing but our own will to hold the line between a just government and tyranny.
Some folks will, undoubtedly, claim that I am too concerned with millionaire sports figures, who earn seven and eight figure salaries for "playing a game", and not concerned enough for the "little guy". Well, I am concerned with every one's Liberties, regardless of wealth, color, creed, social status, gender or career path.
It is a truism that, when one person's Liberties are violated, all our Liberties are violated. Steroids and HGH aren't matters important enough for Congress to get involved in. Nor is Congress permitted by the Constitution to oversee the chemical purity of America's Pastime.
Little by little, even baseball has fallen under the boot of Liberal authoritarianism!
Copyright Feb. 28th, 2008