Monday, March 21, 2005

Congress Outdoes Itself

Congress Outdoes Itself

Amazingly, the United States Congress, an institution that has demonstrated that it has absolutely no ability to feel embarrassment, has gone over its previous level of self abasement, and has wasted an entire week on absolutely nothing of substance. Don't get me wrong though, as any week that the Congress does nothing is a week that the rest of us are protected from the evil that that institution does.

Of course, if you were Michael Schiavo, you would never agree that they have done nothing, in a week that saw them pass a bill of attainder that seeks to prevent Michael's wife from having her last wishes carried out. No matter that Terry Schiavo's brain has been replaced by spinal fluid, her parents' baseless hopes for her recovery, overruled by a process that has been reviewed by 17 judges in 6 courts, have been given new life by our fearless leaders in Washington. We can only pray to God that there is no longer a piece of her brain that survives that can perceive pain. Yet this exercise in the unfeeling abuse of power, masquerading as sensitivity, was only a side show to last week's display of craven pandering by the 535 power and ego driven fools.

No, the real show was the hearing, at the Committee of Government Reform, on Baseball. It is hard to understand what figleaf they plan to hide behind, but our legislators are threatening to legislate the use of performance enhancing drugs. No matter that most of these drugs are illegal already. No matter that baseball is an entertainment, rather than a strictly athletic, occupation. These brilliant thinkers are prepared to jump into Baseball with regulations, in order to slow down the advancement of the sport. I just have to ask: if Baseball wants to become more like professional wrestling, by what authority is the Congress empowered to stop them? Doesn't our constitution account for anything anymore? Exactly which enumerated power allows them to micromanage a SPORT?

Meanwhile, back in the real world, technology has advanced far beyond whatever it is that congress plans to regulate in any case. They can only regulate anabolic steroids but, while they were not looking, recombinant DNA technology has allowed pharmaceutical companies to manufacture metabolic steroids. That is, regular human chemicals without which we would die if we did not produce them in sufficient quantities. How do they propose to decide whether or not Mark McGuire has a naturally high testosterone level? And, how about the unmentionable: what if blacks really do naturally have more testosterone than whites? Does Congress want to stop white athletes from overcoming this racist bias?

And the steroid thing is passe anyway. New advancements in surgery have made inroads into sports, just as they have in other forms of the entertainment industry. If they make it illegal for a pitcher to have the "Tommy John" surgery, can Brittley Spears be banned from show biz because of her breast implants? Does Stallone's eye job make him inegible for an Oscar? Weighty questions for our deliberative body to sort out. I only hope that we can be protected from overly pretty, overly strong, and overly fast entertainers. What a farce!