Roger Clemens’ trail is over and he has been cleared of all steroids and perjury charges. The verdict opens the door for the “Rocket’s” detractors to cry foul while his defenders validate his storied career. So it goes with celebrity trials. Each side remains convinced of their rightness no matter the evidence or the jury’s decision.

The Clemens debate will turn to his place in baseball history. Has the seven-time Cy Young winner been irreparably tarnished? Is his name honored or disgraced? Will he enter the Hall of Fame or set-up shop at the Cooperstown city limit with Pete Rose? If Clemens is enshrined what happens to other tainted players from his era: Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, and Palmeiro? It’ll make for interesting hot stove discussions next winter. But the Clemens trial raised a far more important issue than a ballplayer’s legacy.

Clemens landed in hot water because he allegedly lied to Congress about allegedly using allegedly banned substances. That’s a lot of alleging, especially since the jury’s verdict proves Congress possessed no convincing evidence for their allegations. Maybe that’s why the public trusts and supports Roger Clemens more than it does Congress.

Rasmussen polling finds only 20-percent of Americans would bar Roger Clemens from the Hall of Fame, which means 80-percent see no issue with him entering Cooperstown or simply don’t care. Conversely, only 7-percent approve of Congress’ performance while 63-percent disapprove and 68-percent would like to throw the bums out. Make what you will of those numbers; it’s quite clear that Roger Clemens is more trusted than Congress, and with good reason.

Would the same jury that found no convincing evidence that Clemens lied to Congress find ample evidence to convict Congress of lying to us? I think so. Despite taking an oath to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution, Congress has a long history of passing legislation that conflicts with that pledge, and then lying about it.

When passed, the Social Security Act included no adjustment criterion for future income or inflation variations and capped payroll deductions at 3-percent of the first $3000 in annual income. Today’s employees pay 6.2-percent on all income, and their employers’ “match” is actually part of the employee’s earned income that’s never seen. The central government’s authority to withhold taxes from payroll was initiated during World War II as part of the Victory Tax. The war ended 67 years ago, yet taxes are still withheld. The Great Society promised to alleviate poverty and strengthen families. In reality, it spawned dependence on government above family and coincides with a 50-year rise in illegitimate births. Congress argues that healthcare “reform” isn’t a tax and then hails the Supreme Court for upholding the law as part of Congress’ taxing authority.

Roger Clemens threw 143 wild pitches during his career. But if government lies were scored as wild pitches, Washington has far outpaced Clemens. So, will taxpayers continue tolerating such legislative “chin music?” Or will we “charge the mound” come November?

Comments

  • Anonymous

    I am a Houston native, like Roger Clemens, and I can say that Clemens is just as arrogant as those 435 members of the House of Reps and 100 Senators. Roger’s ego is so inflated that he called himself to appear before congress two years ago to testify about his steroid use…….allegedly. Even though he was advised by members of congress to not do so. But, he is Roger Clemens. His entire life has revolved around getting his way and nobody would ever question his truthiness….is that a word? Unfortunately for Clemens, they did. As a result of his arrogance Clemens was called back to face the music for his congressional deception…allegedly. His show trial before congress was a result of his own making. 

    Will Clemens ever see the Hall of Fame. I say he will not unless he buys a ticket like me.  He may have squeaked past a perjury conviction be he will likely not squeak by the sports writers as easily. You see, congress was in awe of Roger like they are too often in awe of themselves. But, like the public, the sports writers will not be as forgiving for Roger’s deception…allegedly…as the congress was for his obvious use of steroids…allegedly.

    SPorts writer Mike Lupica on Roger Clemens..
    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8071812

  • Anonymous

    I am a Houston native, like Roger Clemens, and I can say that Clemens is just as arrogant as those 435 members of the House of Reps and 100 Senators. Roger’s ego is so inflated that he called himself to appear before congress two years ago to testify about his steroid use…….allegedly. Even though he was advised by members of congress to not do so. But, he is Roger Clemens. His entire life has revolved around getting his way and nobody would ever question his truthiness….is that a word? Unfortunately for Clemens, they did. As a result of his arrogance Clemens was called back to face the music for his congressional deception…allegedly. His show trial before congress was a result of his own making. 

    Will Clemens ever see the Hall of Fame. I say he will not unless he buys a ticket like me.  He may have squeaked past a perjury conviction be he will likely not squeak by the sports writers as easily. You see, congress was in awe of Roger like they are too often in awe of themselves. But, like the public, the sports writers will not be as forgiving for Roger’s deception…allegedly…as the congress was for his obvious use of steroids…allegedly.

    SPorts writer Mike Lupica on Roger Clemens..
    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8071812

  • Steve Feinstein

    Excellent article. One has to know “inside baseball” to appreciate all the references and analogies. As a long-suffering Detroit Tigers fan (trapped in Boston), I am too familiar with the pain of ardent fandom.

  • Steve Feinstein

    Excellent article. One has to know “inside baseball” to appreciate all the references and analogies. As a long-suffering Detroit Tigers fan (trapped in Boston), I am too familiar with the pain of ardent fandom.