Obtuse Award: Congress Debates Baseball More Than It Debated The Iraq War; Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens Have Been Federally Prosecuted For Perjury Longer Than Any Bank After The Financial Collapse!

June 21st, 2012

Image: Flickr user pr9000

A couple days ago, a Reddit commenter made the front page with the revealing observation that baseball has had more debate in the US Senate than the Iraq War, and that Major League Baseball Players, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have now been investigated for perjury longer than any bank during and after the financial collapse! Pretty obtuse, huh?

The economy’s a desperate wreck, our foreign policy has been an uncannily expensive disaster, our fast and furious DOJ itself is arming criminals with thousands of rifles, our president is executing Americans without trial or charges, our extremely secretive banking cartel ran the entire economy into the ground, and Congress has nothing better to do than debate and investigate major league baseball players for performance enhancing drugs?

They can’t let the league police itself for that stuff? I mean this is the legislature of the most powerful and influential country in the world, third largest in land area, third largest in population, first largest in being nosy, bossy, and totally controlling to all the other countries in the world, completely involved in all their own little problems, and fights, and emergencies– and Congress has time to hold hearings on steroid use in baseball? Apparently, there was no time at all to talk about the Patriot Act when some of its provisions were up for renewal. Couldn’t make time to have that discussion, but gee whiz, a couple baseball players are doing drugs?? We have got to get Congress on this! Do you really think a group of people with priorities this badly out of whack should be governing an entire, modern, global civilization?

I’ll tell you what it is. I’ll tell you why Congress and the DOJ are wasting so much time meddling in baseball. The answer is: they’re not. This isn’t about baseball. This is about drugs. Performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes, who are very public and admired figures, is just a small front in the War on Drugs. But the federal government has hyped it into a major, attention-getting, propaganda front in the War on Drugs where the feds get to play the hero exposing the corrupt, dishonorable athlete that children look up to as a role model, but has betrayed their trust and dashed their hopes all because of druu-uugs. Or even worse, now kids are going to think it’s cool to do drugs like their role models. Because of these baseball players, your kids are going to do druu-uugs! But the federal government is bringing them to justice and keeping the children safe.

You see how that works? Congress isn’t stupid. The DOJ isn’t stupid. They know what they’re doing. They’re just responding to incentives like everyone else. This is a big symbolic win for them. The broader War on Drugs is a complete and utter policy failure, worse than a failure, a complete and utter policy horror, a nightmare, a bloody massacre of thousands of people in drug crime-related violence, the creation of a new permanent criminal class just like during alcohol prohibition, the incarceration of tens of thousands more for non-violent offenses, billions in wasted tax money, billions in foregone tax revenues, lost job opportunities, the list goes on and on.

But if the Washington regime can make its war on drug use in professional sports the face of the War on Drugs, if it can pick an easy and famous target to bully and demonize and do something about, if it can win this battle and appear hard on crime, hard on drugs, and like it’s really looking out for the children, then a complicit, lapdog media and its uncritical audience will ignore and forget about the drug war horrors Washington has been responsible for over the last forty years. You see, Congress isn’t being obtuse. It’s being a cute distraction from all its blunders.

This week’s Obtuse Award doesn’t go to Congress. It goes to you. It goes to you, America. Things are only going to get worse as long as our country lets itself be distracted and misled, as long as we are obtuse enough to tolerate such kind of screwed up priorities, as long as we are complacent about living in a society that focuses more resources on prosecuting an entertainer for drug use than even investigating bankers for losing hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth that is insured by the federal government.

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About the Author: Wes

Wesley Messamore, 24, is an independent journalist and political activist who believes in the Founding Father's vision of a free, enlightened, and moral America. He also blogs at HumbleLibertarian.com