Opinion

Editor's Column: U.S. Congress finally tracks down its liar

Viewers of C-SPAN have watched in awe in recent months as a steady stream of deceivers, equivocators and prevaricators testified before Congress. They’d take a sip of water, gulp it down nervously past the knot in their silk tie, and set about trying to fool Congress about what they had done to inadvertently destroy America.

That’s why until recently, it appeared that no one was at fault for anything: A couple of pointless wars, a bit of torture here, some illegal rendition there, innocents held in prisons for years; and then there was the economy, which left millions of Americans homeless, millions more jobless, and millions more pinning their hopes for a better future on demagogues with the brains of a sow bear.

Things changed last week, however, when Congress finally found its liar, thanks to months of interrogations and deliberations by a Grand Jury.

The alleged liar turns out to be Roger Clemens, who used to throw baseballs for a living. This came as a shock to those of us who were betting the liar might turn out to be an investment banker, a derivatives trader, a hedge fund manager, an insurance peddler or any number of members of Congress themselves, but instead they fingered a baseball player.

Why, we must ask, is Congress so afraid of Roger Clemens?

The hard-thrower from Texas denies it, but Congress claims Clemens used performance enhancing drugs. This is supposedly a bad thing, even though many of us wish Congress would take some of those same drugs. Whatever Congress members are consuming is decreasing their performance considerably. We assume it’s alcohol, tranquilizers and sleeping pills, when what they really need is some of whatever Roger Clemens was allegedly taking. A shot of human growth hormone might stiffen the backbones of 535 members of Congress, allowing them to buck up and do something positive for America’s people, instead of padding lobbyists’ pockets while sitting back and watching the country go down the drain. If that doesn’t work, our representatives might try some muscle-building steroids, which would allow them to work for more than two or three weeks at a time before taking a month’s vacation to go home and hide from the masses.

Roger “The Rocket” Clemens was a baseball phenomenon for many years before the drug rumors started circulating. Gosh, he won 24 games in 1986 when he was only 23-years-old. He pitched in 11 All-Star games and won the Cy Young Award for best pitcher a record seven times. Perhaps he cheated at little bit at the end of his career (we won’t know until the trial is over). But at least he went out as a winner. In Congress, you can play until you die at 102 and nobody will point out that you’ve been incompetent for the last 30 years. Sens. Robert Byrd and Strom Thurman certainly could have used a shot of something in their waning decades.

No doubt Congress will pursue Roger Clemens to the grave for being guilty of working hard, never apologizing and being one of the best of all time. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. As for Congress, it needs to fund yet another wing for its own Hall of Shame.

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