Congress has taken a lot of heat lately for its invertebrate behavior, but on one issue Congress has stood tall, hit hard, and Rambo-ed up. As a citizen of this fine country, I can only say, “Thank you Congress, for protecting our nation in its hour of dire need.” My gratitude is not misplaced. Congress has made up for unconscionably supporting the Iraq War, approving judges who are political and religious fanatics for whom the Constitution may as well be handi-wipes, for performing unspeakable acts (figuratively speaking) with special interest lobbyists, for buying whole-heartedly into the myth of Homeland Security (both as a concept and a Department), and – in the case of the House of Representatives – passing the already infamous Radicalization “Thought Crime” Act (HR 1955).
Yet all is forgiven because Congress has inserted itself between we the people and the greatest threat to our well-being since Carrie Underwood. I am talking, of course, about its ongoing investigation of the steroid issue and its response to that tome that has now taken its place alongside “The Pentagon Papers” and Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica: “The Mitchell Report”.
Now I know that the honorable Congresspersons on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee aren’t only investigating steroids. But they are making a pretty big deal of it and spending quite a bit of time pursuing such critical national issues as Miguel Tejada, Roger Clemens, and just when Bud Selig “knew”. Hopefully, as the probe continues, we will find out Barry Bonds’s hat size, how many needles went into how many butts, and whether Jose Canseco used steroids in writing his book.
Fortunately, we can clarify these and other related issues by an interview with a committee member who agreed to meet with me on one of the side streets near Fenway Park where I myself have on occasion purchased Red Sox tickets from entrepreneurial scalpers operating in the best capitalist tradition of the old Boston merchantmen.
As I sidled through the shadows cast by the now empty relic of recent World Series glory, I felt the same thrill that many an undercover operative must have experienced as they played spy versus spy in the Cold War strasse of Berlin. Perhaps in this very square of sidewalk a visiting Yankee had met his shady steroid connection and purchased the forbidden ambrosial pharmaceutical before a key game with the rival Crimson Hose! How many muscle-bound, totally ripped sultans of swat had committed their crimes against the Republic just out of reach of the friendly Kenmore Square cop on the beat? And here I was, about to snare an exclusive interview with Congressperson…aha, sorry, the interview was granted only on condition of anonymity!
BK: Congress Person (CP), tell me, where does this steroid problem stand in terms of Congress’s top priorities? Is this your most important investigation?
CP: Well Bart, after steroids, we’ll be investigating protein levels in power bars, and then, if the public demands, we’re going to find out just how many NBA players were stretched by their parents so they’d gain an unfair advantage over other kids on their school teams.
BK: Are you aware of all the steps being taken to disenfranchise voters in the coming presidential election?
CP: I believe, and Bart, you can take this to the bank – don’t forget to deposit it in my campaign chest – that any voter whose name is in any way linked with steroids does not deserve to exercise his – or her – constitutional right to vote.
BK: What about voters who are poor, black, or elderly? Should they be forced to stand on line for hours to vote because old and malfunctioning voting machines have been purposely placed in their precincts? What about people with the same name as convicted felons – should they have to prove they are not that person before they can vote. Should anyone without a national I.D. be denied the exercise of their most important right as citizens? And what the hell is a national I.D. card?
CP: I’m not sure, but I’ll trade you one for a Barry Bonds rookie card and two Roger Clemens from his alleged steroid years in Toronto. Won Cy Young awards both years! And a baseball Beanie Baby doll to be named later.
BK: Let’s move on. This may just be me, but I seem to be hearing a lot more noise from Congress about steroids in baseball than I have about the widespread corruption in our occupation of Iraq.
CP: We have it on the best authority that al Qaeda operatives infiltrating Iraq are in fact pumped up on the very same hormones that were responsible for at least 647 documented homeruns hit between 1997 and 2004.
BK: Well, actually I was referring to the billions of dollars assigned to construction projects in Iraq that have just disappeared, the armory’s worth of missing weaponry, the money trail that disappears once it enters Halliburton’s coffers, the relationship of Blackwater to the Bush administration, the killing and rape and torture of untold numbers of Iraqis, and sexual violence committed against female American soldiers by male comrades. Just for starters.
CP: Bart, you seem like a nice guy. Ever play ball?
BK: Sure, I…