Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Placebo Effect

I don't have any particular issue, as a whole, with the government trying to get to the bottom of a variety of issues in professional sports. There are issues which demand government intervention, and issues which don't.

When athletes, ownership, or front offices cross the line into the illegal, violate federal or state statute...that's when government intervention becomes appropriate.

But sometimes the timing brings into questions the motives of the government officials that are attacking the issues in professional sports quite so fervently.

Based on the timing of a number of even the legitimate issues being addressed by legislators, both liberal and conservative, everything from steroids to cheating is nothing more than a political placebo, the Prestige of a group of second rate magicians that try to distract while they make our education system disappear under a handkerchief. It was the strategy of the Bush Administration during the last election, distract with an inconsequential issue, keep the public from paying attention to a degrading system of education, a health care crisis, and the erosion of the EPA and corporate restraints.

W and his advisers took an action that John Kerry performed in the 1970's, breaking the code of silence after his time in Vietnam, and informing the United States about atrocities committed during the war by American troops, and used it against Kerry. It was one big distraction from any issue of substance that should have been addressed in the election. Away from education, health care, and his administration's mishandling of the budget surplus.

It's not the first time this has been done, but it might be among the most obvious.

Now sports is the distraction.

Arlen Specter who has claimed that he would pursue the president with the same sort of fervor that he is now pursuing the Patriots for possibly filming the Eagles, hasn't. He has shielded an administration that engages in illegal spying on its own citizens, has pardoned criminal activities by friends of the administration, and has been part of a legislative cluster-fuck that has engaged in some of the worst and most bitter partisan politics in the history of the nation.

Now, in an election year, Specter wants to know if the Patriots filmed the Eagles. Not the Rams, not the Panthers. Just the Eagles.

He doesn't want people to remember that Comcast, engaged in a bitter dispute with the NFL Network, is one of his biggest campaign contributors.

He wants you to believe that this is a government issue, in spite of the fact that no law was broken. He wants you to look at his left hand, when the coin is in the right.

While I think the government does have a stake in the issue of performance enhancing drugs in sports, as much as what Specter is involved in, this has become a distraction as well.

All that said, at this point I'm just waiting for one of these idiots, whether Specter, Foxx, or any number of others, to finally pull the rabbit out of his or her ass.

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