Friday, February 15, 2008

Roger Clemens' Congressional Hearing Was Unfair And Here's The Quote Of The Day

Watching the congressional hearing of Roger Clemens Vs. Brian McNamee really drove me to dislike our government. I mean, where do they get these people from. Doesn't our government have enough already to take care of? As an aside, I noticed from the Clemens hearings that a lot of Congressmen are bitter, old men who almost all the time already have their minds made up before cases begin and when they question people, they are only looking for the answers they want to hear. If the Congressmen don't hear answers they want to hear, they either probe further or just randomly come out with their own point of view. Just because they have more power and a louder voice doesn't mean they are any more credible.

Well, my radical thinking was once again not far from the truth (and I don't mean to pat myself on the back).

In the Roger Clemens primary, the Republicans nominated the Rocket. The Democrats went with Brian McNamee.

"Of all the things to become partisan over," Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said Thursday, "this was the wrong one."

Cummings was among those who strongly questioned Clemens' credibility in testimony involving the pitcher's former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, during Wednesday's 4½-hour hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Republicans, for the most part, saved their searing comments for McNamee, who was repeatedly called a "drug dealer" by Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut.

"I thought the tone of the hearing was a little askew," said Rep. Diane Watson, a California Democrat. "I told Mr. Clemens that I didn't think it was going to be a court trial or an inquisition, but I think some of the members did go out of their way to be accusatory without having all of the facts.

"It is hard for me to discern who was not telling the truth and who was. Both men denied the other one's claim. I saw the questioning kind of divided, with some on the Republican side calling Mr. McNamee a liar and some on the Democratic side really questioning Clemens, and so I don't think we got anywhere on that."

Theories abounded over why the sides couldn't see eye to eye.

Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers, said that some Republicans treated his client harshly because of Clemens' friendship with the Bush family. Emery predicted the pitcher will be pardoned by President Bush should Clemens be indicted or convicted of anything related to the hearing.

"It would be the easiest thing in the world for George W. Bush, given the corrupt proclivities of his administration, to say Roger Clemens is an American hero, Roger Clemens helped children," said Emery, an attorney who has worked for liberal causes. "It's my belief they have some reason to believe they can get a pardon."

Now, this site is primarily a sports site, not a political site. So, this is where I SHOULD stop, but there's more to say. However, you get what I'm saying? This case has gotten so absurd now even the President of the United States is thrown into the mix. Have people forgotten this is about baseball, not a political campaign? Anyway....

Not surprisingly, Clemens' camp -- and the GOP -- saw things differently.

"Richard Emery just has to quit smoking his own dope," said Rusty Hardin, one of Clemens' attorneys.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN 1050 in New York also reports that Clemens plans on continuing with his defamation suit against McNamee.

"Absolutely, the defamation is going forward," Joe Householder, the spokesman for Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin. "The lawsuit is going forward."

As for a pardon from a president? "I'm not aware of Mr. Clemens having been charged with anything," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said.

A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa of California said the hearing's partisan tone evolved because Republican members felt the hearing was overly focused on Clemens instead of the broader concerns raised in the Mitchell report on drugs in baseball.

"It's clear Democrats had expected a government-funded, TV show trial, and now they're whining that Republicans didn't want to play," said the spokesman, Frederick Hill. "The hearing was supposed to be about the Mitchell report. The Democrats are at fault for focusing on individual wrongdoing instead of the validity of the Mitchell report."

Said Issa: "We're not supposed to have these kinds of spectacles."

The ramifications from Wednesday's hearing might not be known a while. McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens said he has never used either. Since both were under oath, one or both could face charges stemming from making false statements or obstructing.

"It's all hearsay. Everybody is all pointing fingers," San Francisco Giants reliever Steve Kline said of Clemens. "I pity the guy. Half the guys admitted it and they're not getting persecuted. It's just bad for baseball. Who cares about what happened in 1987? It's over. Who cares about Congress? We've got gasoline prices that are off the charts and they're worried about steroids. Maybe this gets people's minds off the war. Everybody's got skeletons in their closet. If you did it, admit it. If he didn't do it, I see why he's fighting his [tail] off," he said.

Perhaps Steve Kline should run for politics. That's the smartest thing anyone has said during this entire episode and because of that, he deserves my pick for quote of the day.

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