Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bad Things Often Start Irresponsibly

By R.A. Monaco
July 14, 2011

Bad things often start-out with irresponsibility and the prosecution of Roger Clemens is no exception. Certainly political gain, not economic sense or sound policy, could not have been what was at the core of the congressional investigation of drugs in professional baseball. Does that seem too cynical? Not hardly when the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor walks out of meetings on the business of the nation with the vice president of the United States.

Clearly, Americans were not aware that it was Roger Clemens who is obstructing Congress—who else could be preventing Congress from solving the nation’s economic problems? Certainly those young people, who Congress claims to be concerned about, would never confuse cheating in baseball with political subterfuge. Politicians would never employ media strategies to influence public sentiments or distract focus and attention away from the economic collapse, criminal securities dealers, money laundering mortgage companies and foreclosure fraud by robo-signing banks that’ve been bailed out at the expense of the American public through the legitimate purpose of Congress.

Never mind that we’ve seen irresponsible tax cuts for the rich, started wars and bailed out Wall Street--Congress had important business at hand. According to Assistant United States Attorney Steven Durham, who is prosecuting baseball star Roger Clemens, it was the legitimate purpose of Congress to have hearings to protect young people from “dangerous drugs and dangerous influences” in professional baseball.

Now, if those young people who Congress claims to have so much concern had never heard, or knew anything about performance enhancing drugs, they surely do now thanks to the “legitimate purpose” of congressional politicians.

At the expense of the American public and in the face of heated debate about the nation’s debt ceiling, the United States District Court must now sort out whether Roger Clemens or his trainer is telling the truth. Really, I’d like to put that to a vote. It is not as if the integrity of Congress is at stake—they have none.

To make a determination of innocence or guilt the jury will have to decide whether Clemens was acting “corruptly” with an improper purpose intending to obstruct the proper exercise of the power of congressional inquiry. Shouldn’t that be decided as an issue of fact and not judicial conclusion? Would a jury decide that those Congressional hearings had a legitimate purpose?

For the Jury to make that determination the Judge would have to define uncertainty for the jury. Let there be no confusion about Roger Clemens intending to protect the image of Major League Baseball, its Hall of Fame, the Cy Young Award, Commissioner Bud Selig or his fellow teammates, from the likes of Jose Canseco, whose tell all book was certainly of the highest purpose, and Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee whose purpose is surely even higher.

While the nation’s unemployment rate continues to climb and corporate lobbyists seek another tax holiday the timing for distraction couldn't be better. Bar no expense, we’ve already paid for 103 people in law enforcement, 5 lawyers and 72 investigation locations to get to the bottom of whether Clemens or his trainer is telling the truth about an issue that violated no law and wasn’t even formally within the MLB collective bargaining agreement during the time that Clemens had played.

Oh, let’s not forget the expense of all those Congressional politicians and their aides, staffs and certainly not the cost of the Judge, clerks, bailiffs and court personnel that were involved in the trial that has now been declared a mistrial and will again be an expense in the next trial. We must protect those young people—the real question is from whom?

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