James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain on steroids

John McCain was on (by phone) ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning show today; what I saw was an abbreviated "Best of" version on ESPN2 this afternoon. He was asked about government involvement in sports. He said he was "reluctant" to get involved and thinks, generally, the federal government shouldn't get involved.

Well, that sounds like the right thing to say, but it doesn't seem to be consistent with my memory of McCain's behavior as Senator. If I recall, McCain always seemed to be the first to hold hearings on issues like boxing and steroids in baseball.

And indeed, McCain did say that he didn't want to get involved in the baseball steroids issue, but the owners and union were doing nothing and the people were angry they weren't doing anything.

But why should that justify government involvement?

If baseball fans were so upset about steroids, they could have done something about it. They could have stopped buying tickets and stopped watching and listening to the games.

In the wake of Jose Canseco's revelations, Congress could have done nothing and let the free market work. It didn't need to grandstand, embarrass some superstars, and pressure MLB to do something. It could have just let the issue alone and see if the public really did care about steroids. And if the public remained happy with steroids in baseball, what of it? Congress had more important concerns to address.

After all, the fans are the ones who voluntarily pay the tickets; baseball isn't a staple and no one is forced to go to or watch the games as a matter of survival.

McCain is as "reluctant" to meddle in the market in the same sense that he's "reluctant" to go to war. The reluctance is theoretical; in practice what he does is look for an excuse to meddle.

(And if McCain voters come across this and think that I think Obama would be any better, well, I don't.)

1 comment:

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