The Providence Journal: February 13, 2008
“You must misremember this… A syringe is just a syringe… An abscess is just an abscess…. The fundamental things apply, as time goes by...” Play it again, Sam.
There will be movies. There will be books. There will be viral videos.
The Clemens steroid hearings set a new standard for spectacle, an instant classic. Part Anita Hill Hearings, part O.J. Simpson’s search for “the real killers”, and part C-Span “point of parliamentary procedure”, all rolled into five hours of reality on television like no other. New words of insincerity entered the American vocabulary like “misremember” and “knowingly knowing”, taking their place alongside “that depends what is, is”.
Republicans acted like defense attorneys! Democrats like prosecutors. Heroes lied and snitches told the truth. Testosterone Winstrol! Intramuscular injections! Bloodied designer jeans! A door of deceit was flung open and a road of anarchy exposed before a hoard of lawyers and other bought-and-paid-for experts threw themselves on the whole mess.
Then an existential river flowed.
In the absence of a public hearing in Congress over the
decision to go to War in Iraq, with George Bush as the main witness, the
In this “crazy, mixed-up world where the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans," weapons of mass-destruction are steroids.
Clemens and his Republican autograph seekers think the end justifies the means. That because he worked hard, meant well, kept no alcohol at home, and spoke to charities; he must be above reproach, and is going to heaven. This Texas style system of paternal justice and brinkmanship-also on display to the rest of the world from the White House-had its most absurd moment at the end of the five-hour hearings, when the fair-minded Committee chair (D) Henry Waxman grilled Clemens about his potential witness intimidation of his former nanny.
Having already thrown his deceased mother under the bus for recommending Vitamin B12 shots (code for HGH), Clemens licked his lying lips (according to the MSNBC body language expert), and told Waxman that he contacted his nanny to protect the vital national security interests of the United States. Did I mention that an existential river is flowing here?
Clemens said in plain terms that he did this to “help the committee” with her testimony, much in the same way that George Bush helped our national security by cherry-picking WMD intelligence to simply get the evildoers.
Much has been made of a comment regarding Clemens by the former Red Sox General Manager, Dan Duquette, in 1996. For over ten years Duquette has been vilified for saying that Clemens was in the twilight of his career. Something dramatically changed that; something that allowed Clemens, Barry Bonds and others to defy natural law and recognized law. What about international law you say?
Leave that to President Bush.