Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Friday, March 18, 2005

More Intrusion

During President Bush's State of the Union Address in 2004, I remember rolling my eyes when he started speaking about steroid use in baseball. My first thought was, Is there any private affair the government won't try to stick its meddling nose into? True, rampant cheating in baseball is something no baseball fan wants, but is it really the federal government's province to clean up what is basically a large corporate entertainment conglomerate?

Now we see the fruits of the Bush's ill-advised, and unconservative targeting of Major League Baseball: yesterday's Congressional hearings starring (and I use the term facetiously) Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, and Jose Canseco. Who embarrassed themselves more: the Congress or the baseball players.

Steven Chapman sums it up nicely:

We're at war in Iraq, at war in Afghanistan, threatened by Al Qaeda, mired in budget deficits, faced with gargantuan liabilities in Social Security and Medicare, struggling to sustain the fighting capacity of our military forces--and what does this committee think warrants its urgent attention? Whether a handful of overpaid entertainers are taking forbidden pills to improve their performance.

The hearing rests on two well-worn premises that ought to offend the conservative sensibilities of Republicans, who control this committee and Congress. The first is that absolutely everything is a federal responsibility. The second is that the private sector needs incessant guidance from government.

I am a huge baseball fan and have been so since childhood. Nobody wants the sport clean more than I do. But the federal government has no business investigating this private matter.

Having worked on Capitol Hill a couple of times, I'm inclined to believe that half the reason Congress held the hearings was because it gave the members an excuse to rub elbows with some pro baseball players and get autographs for their kids. Cynical? Yes. Put probably partially true.


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