Later this week certain big-name baseball players are supposed to testify before Congress on the subject of steroid use in the major leagues. I was afraid no one was ever going to question the utility of this, but fortunately columnist George Will and Senator John McCain have finally, if belatedly, come to their senses and have asked:
Why the heck is Congress getting involved in this at all?
If a crime is being committed, the FBI can investigate. Why does Congress need to hold hearings? For the children??? Because kids look up to these guys??? Give me a freakin' break!
I was listening to a local talk show on the way to work this morning and the DJ's hit the nail on the head. Did Congress subpoena Eric Clapton to ask about cocaine use in the music industry? or Keith Richards? or anyone freakin' else?? No, of course not. Has Congress subpoenad Matthew Perry (late of Friends) or the rehabbed Olsen twin or anyone else in Hollywood about drug/alcohol abuse? No, of course not.
So why are they bringing some of baseball's biggest names to testify? There can only be one answer. They want to grandstand, wag their fingers, and look and feel like they're doing something important. Republicans and Democrats participating in this should both be ashamed of themselves.
What is Congress' stake in this? Why would any member of the Congress of the United States care if major leaguers are using steroids? If the league doesn't care--and make no mistake about it, the league doesn't care--why should the Congress? Which of Congress' enumerated powers are they exercising in this instance? Is there a power I missed somewhere, the power to regulate major league baseball? Congress has clearly overstepped its bounds here. I hope people start realizing this and insist that their members of congress get back to debating laws and stop trying to make a show.
I do *not* support the illicit use of steroids at all. What I object to is Congress' sticking its nose into a company's business just because they think it'll play well on tv--and to heck with the Constitution in the process.
Update, 3/18/05 6:36 am: This guy said it all and more, better than I did, and in fewer than 150 words.