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Double Standards Control Nation’s Capitol

Famed baseball great Roger Clemens, who has fallen out of grace due to his alleged drug use, is scheduled to be arraigned today. The charges against this once heroic baseball figure include lying to Congress and obstruction of Congress. 

It is said that this particular baseball scandal is so serious that it is “one of baseball’s worst” and there is an ongoing effort to expose performance-enhancing drug use by those in professional sports. These reports are appalling at many levels—including the effect it leaves on young people whose heroes are exposed as corrupt drug users instead of upstanding, all-American champions of their game.

But this story also exposes another brand of sleaze and pinpoints the loathsome side of political life in America. Specifically, it calls to mind the holier-than-thou attitude of elected members of the United States House and Senate. I am not suggesting that these folks use performance-enhancing drugs to increase their effectiveness as they spend our money, but I am saying that some members of Congress have been totally duplicitous regarding their actions as well.  

Why? For one thing, they lie to the public on a consistent basis. As we know, nobody has brought charges against them or the president for telling the American people fiction after fiction about health care reform. Even among so-called pro-life stalwarts like Bart Stupak, who betrayed the babies at the eleventh hour and knew exactly what he was doing, there is no remorse; there is no arraignment for the crime of approving backroom deals that result in dead babies.

During the crazy debate on health care reform last year, and Obama’s claim that illegal immigrants would not be covered by health care reform, only one member of Congress had the courage to stand and point out that President Obama had not told the truth to the public about health care reform. His name is Joe Wilson and he later felt compelled to apologize for his outburst, even though we all know his words were true. Wilson said, “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.” Maybe! But isn’t it even more inappropriate to knowingly lie; isn’t it regrettable that the tall tale was not corrected?

Why is it that the president of the United States can promote programs that he knows are not what he says they are—and get away with it—while a congressman who does know the facts is intimidated into apologizing for telling the truth by the very peers who are themselves guilty of half-truths or worse?

Not only that, but not a single elected official had the integrity to stand up and decry the obvious fact—known by all—that our tax money would be used to subsidize abortion, abortive birth control, salacious sex education or euthanasia. 

Where are the attorneys who would press charges against elected officials who lie? Who exactly is holding these people accountable for their ongoing, deadly treachery?  

We have elected men and women to Congress who sanctimoniously sit in judgment of others as if their own hands were clean and consciences clear. These are the same people who will repeat one false claim after another until, I imagine, they honestly believe that their tales are true.

There’s a time for standing up and being honest, a time for admitting when one has erred. Face it! When elected officials pretend to be above reproach there’s something systemically wrong with how we conduct our political affairs in this nation.

In a time when Congress demands answers from sports figures, it is also time for each of us to demand the same sort of forthright honesty from those we place in office. They must all be accountable. And the American people have a right to know the truth.