Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yankees, Republicans and Drugs- Oh My!

The main news today was the testimony of Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee before the House Oversight Committee. But what I found more shocking today than the testimony, which you can read about here or here, is that the event turned so partisan.

First, let's put two things on the table: I'm a Democrat and I loathe Clemens. He's one of my most hated players of all time. He's an arrogant bully, who proved he had no class well before today's testimony.

Let's get something else straight, too: Clemens is lying.

He changed his story multiple times, while his accuser had his account verified by two witnesses: Chuck Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte, Clemens' best friend in baseball, who testified that Clemens was injected just as McNamee says. Roger's response? Pettitte "misremembered." Even Clemens' wife admits McNamee injected her with HGH, but Roger says didn't he know about that. He claims that his trainer came into his house and injected his wife with Human Growth Hormone-- without his knowledge. He even fabricated a story about his presence at a party thrown by renowned steroid abuser Jose Canseco, a lie that was exposed by a former employee.

So why, in the face of all the facts, did almost all the Republicans on the Oversight Committee defend Clemens, and slam McNamee?

McNamee, a trainer who depended on Clemens for a $60k/ year salary, was called a "drug dealer" by Rep. Chris Shays (R- CT; my father's Representative), and a "liar." Shays said it was a fact, because McNamee "deals with illegal drugs." Please. A drug dealer slings crack to addicts on a street corner, or weed to kids outside a school. Roger Clemens is a grown man, a professional athlete who knew exactly what he was doing. McNamee had numerous clients, not all of whom did performance enhancing drugs. Clemens hired him, and paid him, in part because he got Clemens what he wanted.

Yes, McNamee lied, he lied for years protecting Clemens. Clemens was his meal ticket, until he was forced with the prospect of going to jail for obstruction and had to play ball (excuse the pun).

Shays was not alone, either. Republicans hammered McNamee and sucked up to Clemens, while Democrats aggressively called out the star pitcher. By the end of the hearings, Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D- CA) apologized to McNamee for his colleagues behavior.

So, I got to thinking about why Republicans approached the hearings this way, and I'm having a tough time coming up with answers. Apparently, Clemens is good friends with fellow Texan George W. Bush. He could be a big time Republican contributor, but I don't think that explains it.

In a situation where the truth seems so obvious, politicians are still split along party lines. It's almost like Republicans saw Democrats were going to be tough on Clemens, so they instinctively took the other side.

I'm trying not to slam Republicans for not prioritizing what seems like obvious objective truth. But I'm having a tough time avoiding it. It's sickening, and I just don't get it.

1 comment:

EMAN said...

I think the answer to this is that the Congressmen all met with Clemens in private for three days. Some of the Congressmen even feared getting an illegal gift of a value of more than $50.00 by getting an autograph of Clemens.
I surmise that during these one on one meetings, Clemens bragged to them by telling the GOPs how much money he had given to their party and how, as you say, he is good friends with George W. Bush. Thats likely the reason that they all defended him.
If Clemens gets convicted for his perjuries, W. will probably pardon him on his way out of the oval office door.