Being in Congress Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry...

Rep. Henry Waxman, the mastermind behind the latest waste of congressional time (and taxpayers' money), says that he's sorry about this week's idiotic foray into whether Major League Baseball players, most notably Roger "The Rocket" Clemens, used performance-enhancing drugs.

Then again, it's not the Congressman's fault:

"I'm sorry we had the hearing. I regret that we had the hearing. And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it," Waxman said.

Clemens' lawyer says that Waxman is dishing junk:

Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, disputes Waxman's claims, calling the congressman's statements, "unbelievable, disingenuous and outrageous."

"He is the one who created this circus in the first place," Hardin said.

More here.

And some recent reason stuff on the matter here.

Here, Matt Welch raises the question of why Congress was wondering if Clemens' buttocks ever hosted a "palpable mass," which sounds like something that happens between confession and Easter services

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  • ||

    If you can't belive Roger Clemmens and his lawyer, who can you trust?

  • ||

    Matt Welch raises the question of why Congress was wondering if Clemens' buttocks ever hosted a "palpable mass,"

    No, but Yankee Stadium has hosted a Papal Mass.

  • tarran||

    So, what, Clemens ordered Mr Waxman to issue a subpoena? Oh I know, Clemens must be Waxman's boss.

  • Episiarch||

    Waxman is SO FUCKING UGLY it's almost hypnotic.

    OK, obligatory Waxman ugly out of the way, this is funny. Can I demand a hearing in Congress about the drug war, Henry? About Iraq, Henry?

    He is as much of a tool as he is ugly, and that's saying something.

  • ||

    "I'm sorry we had the hearing. I regret that we had the hearing. And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it," Waxman said.

    Henry Waxman, If I get a lawyer will you hold a hearing sideshow with me as the star? I've always wanted to be on C-SPAN.

    Pretty please? With sugar on top?

  • PC||

    Maybe they we can find a baseball player with a lawyer to insist on impeachment hearings.

  • ||

    So, what, Clemens ordered Mr Waxman to issue a subpoena?

    No, he insisted on a public hearing before the committe, instead of being deposed like everyone else.

    Likd Pettite. And Knoblach.

  • ||

    I'm sorry we had the hearing. I regret that we had the hearing. And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it...

    Lame, totally lame.

  • ||

    There's your problem, Jsub. Don't ask. Insist.

  • ||

    So, basically, you're all admitting that Waxman was right, but pointing out that's it's uncool to say so.

    'Kay.

  • ed||

    Waxman is a lab experiment gone very, very wrong.

  • ||

    FWIW, I thought the foray into "Spygate" even more absurd. I'm starting to think of "special interests" in a whole new way...

    They should list their hobbies on the ballot so their constituents know what kind of investigation they're likely to get.

    ...or maybe there should just be a Department of Sports with shadow committees in the House and Senate?

  • ||

    Obviously, the mistake was spending any time on this issue at all, not playing catch with this particular pitcher.

  • duster||

    It's too bad there isn't some kind of organization that that these teams could all be a part of. This organization could establish rules for the teams, and could be responsible for enforcing those rules. Too bad.

  • TallDave||

    My favorite was when someone piped up "If only Al Qaeda was on steroids, we could have talked about them all day."

  • ||

    Citizen Nothing -
    It's that manners thingee always holding me back.

    joe -
    Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, disputes Waxman's claims, calling the congressman's statements, "unbelievable, disingenuous and outrageous."

    I'd call it contrived bullshit but for the aforementioned manners thingee.

  • ||

    At least the steroids issue involves a transgression of federal law, so there's some kind of nexus with Congress's real job.

    "Spygate" is about, at worst, a violation of NFL rules. They might as well hold hearings about a holding call.

  • Bingo||

    Oh jesus christ, joe, don't give them ideas. Can you imagine what the super bowl would be like? There'd be about 3 plays per day interrupted by weeks of hearings about whether or not the it was a fair catch. ABC and FOX wouldn't fight over the television rights because the only place to show it would be C-SPAN. A quarter of the team would be in retirement before they even made it to half-time.

  • ||

    Waxman must have injected HGH into his nostrils.

    Waxy could have also quoted Roger's sycophantic Texas buddy for insisting on the congressional hearings on steroids...

    "The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message, that there are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now."
    G.W. Bush, 1/20/2004

    It took 4 years, but the congress finally got all over this critical issue.

  • ||

    If you can't belive Roger Clemmens and his lawyer, who can you trust?

    Given a choice between Roger Clemens and his attorney on the one hand, and Henry Waxman on the other, I pick Clemens.

    No, he insisted on a public hearing before the committe, instead of being deposed like everyone else.

    And Waxman could have said, no, you give a deposition like everyone else, or you're in contempt.

    Is there anyone in the world, seriously, who can order Waxman to do anything with his committee? Maybe the Majority Leader can, but I'm not too sure about that. The President can't. The Supreme Court can't. For damn sure Roger Clemens can't.

  • ||

    Every time I've seen an interview with Waxman I'm struck by two things:

    1.) He looks like a Morlock from the George Pal version of The Time Machine

    2.) He says some exceedingly stupid shit.

  • ||

    Dear Rep. Waxman's constituents,

    Please do not re-elect your piece of shit Congressman.

    Sincerely,
    Jim Bob

  • ||

    If you can't belive Roger Clemmens and his lawyer, who can you trust?

    Rep. Henry Waxman? No, wait- uh, the tooth fairy?

  • Libertarian LIbrarian||

    I sometimes listen to Rush Limbaugh. He was remarking how these hearings were turning out to be suprisingly partisan. Demosocialists on one side and Republisocialists on the other. I have not seen the hearings myself so I cannot verify but if it is true it is quite odd. If anything I would expect fan's of Clemmens team to be one one side and fans of all other teasm to be on the other. It is a sport right? Why the partisanship?

  • ||

    "Waxman is a lab experiment gone very, very wrong."

    If only Dr. Mephesto hadn't tried for that monkey with 6 asses....

  • ||

    For those interested, Linda Chavez, author, just wrote a column about this issue with Congress. The link is Here.

  • ||

    "The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message, that there are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance money is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now."
    G.W. Bush, 1/20/2004


    /Was GWB on board with steroids in baseball when he owned was given the Texas Rangers? He has some splainin' to do.

    //Does GWB really know what people think?

  • ||

    Given a choice between Roger Clemens and his attorney on the one hand, and Henry Waxman on the other, I pick Clemens.

    Really?

    I guess you haven't been following the case very closely.

  • ||

    This is Bob's 5:15pm link fixed.

    I'll send you the bill, Bob. ;-)

  • PC||

    "Why the partisanship?"

    Supposedly Clemens is somewhat close with George HW Bush I believe to have read, either him or his idiot son.

  • Rice Bingham||

    Clemens' lawyer says that Waxman is dishing junk

    Dishing who's junk?

  • ||

    joe sez So, basically, you're all admitting that Waxman was right, but pointing out that's it's uncool to say so.

    No joe, and stop stroking Henry's dick.

    Ken sez I thought the foray into "Spygate" even more absurd.

    That is only possible because it was held in The World's Greatest Deliberative Bodypart - Arlen Specter's rectum.

  • ||

    I guess you haven't been following the case very closely.

    I have. I think Clemens lied. That doesn't mean he's less credible than Waxman.

  • ||

    I guess you haven't been following the case very closely.

    I have. I think Clemens lied. That doesn't mean he's less credible than Waxman.



    RC DeanThere is no way a Democrat from California would ever lie. A Republican might. ;-)

    Jesus F. Christ joe, Waxman is a politician. Politician is synonomous with liar.

  • ||

    See, I actually make an effort to find out the objective facts, rather than relying on what category to fit somebody into, before I figure out if someone is being truthful.

    Waxman is...um, what's that word nobody is allowed to say when talking about a Democrat?...oh, yeah, Waxman is RIGHT; Clemens wanted a public hearing before the committee, just like Henry Waxman said.

    This doesn't change because of your feelings about Democrats, politicians, or any other label. It's an objective fact.

  • Henry Waxman||

    AAAH CATERPILLAR!!!!

    GET IT OFFF MY FACE

  • The Real \"Objective Fact\"||

    "Clemens wanted a public hearing before the committee, just like Henry Waxman said."

    Actually, Waxman said quite a bit more than that. He said "the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it," which is obviously untrue. Clemens can insist all he wants, but he doesn't have the power to force it to happen. There was a public hearing both because Clemens "insisted" and because Waxman freely chose to oblige him.

    This is the fairly clear point that a number of posters are making; what's not so clear is why joe is being so obtuse (presumably intentionally so, because this isn't a subtle point and joe isn't an idiot).

  • ||

    Clemens wanted a public hearing before the committee, just like Henry Waxman said

    Waxman was under no obligation to grant it to him. Waxman was under no obligation to have any hearings. Waxman was under no obligation to investigate MLB. Waxman is 100% responsible for this circus. And him trying to dodge that responsibility confirms that he's no better than your average political scumbag.

  • ||

    what's not so clear is why joe is being so obtuse

    This has the makings of a whole new drinking game.

  • ||

    "Please Mr. Clemens, don't make me grandstand in front of the cameras."

  • ||

    From what I've read on blogs, both left and right, the response has been:
    "WTF? Why are you people fooling around with this nitwittiness when there's all sorts of other, much more important stuff out there to deal with?"

    Sounds to me like a bunch of congresscritters got together and said "hey, we can't do anything about the economy, the Iraq war, civil rights, or anything else--so let's find something else we can have Very Serious Interviews about and sound like Senior Statesmen. Sports--yeah, sports is great, and everybody like sports issues! Who do we got?" And then went charging off to Waxman.

    I'd dearly love to know why Waxman didn't shoot this one in the head, except that maybe he was tired of them yammering in his ear and decided "What a load of dingos these nitwits are. Ok--I'm going to let them go out, make total fools of themselves, and then maybe they'll shut up."

    Either that, or he thought this was a sufficient Class B topic and didn't realize how dumb it would turn out to be.

  • alan||

    Joe, this is a case where even if you were one hundred percent factually correct, you would still be wrong. Waxman and his cohorts are wasting public resources on a matter that has nothing to do with the public good nor public welfare (I'm using the word in its original intent), so he deserves all of the scorn that can possibly be heaped on him.

    Persecuting Clemens is wasting valuable time that could be used to prosecute Cheney.

  • ||

    oh, yeah, Waxman is RIGHT; Clemens wanted a public hearing before the committee, just like Henry Waxman said.

    No, Waxman said:

    And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it

    Which is a palpable lie. The only reason there was a public hearing was because the Committee Chair scheduled one.

    A private individual insisting on a Congressional hearing is neither necessary nor sufficient for that hearing to be held; ergo, it cannot be "the only reason" for said hearing.

    To repeat: if Waxman wanted Clemen's testimony and didn't want a public hearing, all he had to do was tell Clemens to give a deposition or be held in contempt.

  • ||

    "Sounds to me like a bunch of congresscritters got together and said "hey, we can't do anything about the economy, the Iraq war, civil rights, or anything else--so let's find something else we can have Very Serious Interviews about and sound like Senior Statesmen. Sports--yeah, sports is great, and everybody like sports issues! Who do we got?"

    I wonder if the Roman Senate spent time wondering if the gladiators or the lions were juicing not violent enough while the Roman Empire crumbled.

  • Kolohe||

    Was GWB on board with steroids in baseball when he owned was given the Texas Rangers? He has some splainin' to do.

    If about 300 people in florida would have voted differently, it is very likely that we would be seeing Commision of Baseball George W Bush testifying at a Congressional commitee about steroids.

    (and President Gore telling everyone to keep persepctive on this whole global warming thing)

  • ed||

    "Cause he's the Wax Man...
    Yeah, he's the Wax Maaaan"

  • rawdawgbuffalo||

    and he (Waxman) is wasting my tax dollars on HGH....aint that a bomber or an iceberg?

  • ||

    OK, so joe doesn't like the redneck from Texas. I'm bored. Why wasn't Wesley Snipes brought in before Congress? Now that has some entertainment potential.

  • ||

    Why wasn't Wesley Snipes brought in before Congress?

    Congress has been striving mightily to surpass the inanity pinnacle previously set by the testimony of that noted expert on toxicity and epidemiology, Meryl Streep.

  • ||

    Why wasn't Wesley Snipes brought in before Congress? Now that has some entertainment potential.



    Congress held hearings on the so called "abusive tax shelters" a couple of years ago. The We the People Foundation tried to appear to refute their allegations, but were not allowed to.

    When Wesley asked for a hearing on the "861" interpretation of the code, they only answer he got was "the hearing will be in court".

    So much for transparency and accountability.

  • ||

    A few minutes after Westmoreland spoke, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., had the floor.

    "I am very concerned with the direction this committee has gone in the last year or so because I think we've been playing gotcha games and I don't agree with that," she said. "I think there are billions of dollars being wasted every minute by the federal government, and what this committee ought to be doing is doing government oversight. And we're not doing that. I am not a fan of holding these hearings on issues we have no business dealing with."



    -from King Kaufman's column at Salon

    I had never previously heard of Virginia Foxx, but I guess she can't be all bad.

  • ||

    I must be missing something here...steroids are illegal, right? We have some sort of "law enforcement" organization(s) in this country, right?

    What does congress have to do with it? Are they also going to start hearings to find out if long haul truckers exceed the speed limits?
    I just don't get it.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    YGBJC,

    If long haul truckers were celebrities and had enough money to bribe - I mean contribute to the political campaigns of - members of congress then yes, they probably would. But truckers (most at least) are not famous or rich.

  • ||

    If long haul truckers were celebrities and had enough money to bribe - I mean contribute to the political campaigns of - members of congress then yes, they probably would. But truckers (most at least) are not famous or rich.

    The bigger trucking companies most definitely do. I think this is all about the fame. IMRO, these congresscritters are just campaigning on the congressional operating budget. Getting your name in the daily paper, your mug on the evening news if you are snctimonious enough, and the minimal exposure that C-SPAN provides, is the underlying reason for this. If they can figure out an excuse to get Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan or god forbid, Paris Hilton up there, they will.

    Once they figure out that the music biz is awash with illegal drugs and that the intellectually shallow American people will watch, look out.

  • ||

    Jim Bob...

    I'm writing the same to the Piece of Shit Congressman's constituents. Now, Burton from Indiana...is this guy a moron or what?

    Check out his Wikipedia site...talk about a Dumbass...Please people of Indianapolis...please don't re-elect your Piece of Shit Congressman...please look at his record. Jim Bob, you sound like the Pumpkin Man...

  • ||

    OK, I see what y'all are saying. My point was that Henry Waxman didn't drag poor Roger Clemens into a hearing in order to grandstand, but was acceding to Clemens' own request.

  • ||

    I actually agree that it is ridiculous to have Congressional hearings over this. What's strange is that Waxman DIDN'T grandstand, drag this out, or do a dog-and-pony show. He seems a little embarrassed by the whole thing, which makes me wonder what made him do it in the first place.

  • Tom W||

    That is a disservice to the Morlocks. Waxman looks like one of the pig people from that Twilight Zone episode.


    "Every time I've seen an interview with Waxman I'm struck by two things:

    1.) He looks like a Morlock from the George Pal version of The Time Machine

    2.) He says some exceedingly stupid shit."

  • ||

    Now, Burton from Indiana...is this guy a moron or what?

    I read it. What an dumbass. He sure does love chasing that little white ball around. With Dan Quayle and Dan Burton, Indiana must be sooo proud of their native sons. ;-)

  • ||

    Burton treated McNamee like a head-like object.

  • Elwood, Indiana||

    WENDELL WILLKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wikipedia Fanatic||

    I've had some of my best Wikipedia edits reverted for no good reason!!! We need a Congressional hearing about this!!!!

  • Yahoo Answerer||

    "He [Waxman] seems a little embarrassed by the whole thing, which makes me wonder what made him do it in the first place."

    Perhaps it is not turning out they way he had hoped.He might have done a little more grandstanding if it had.

  • ||

    Perhaps it is not turning out they way he had hoped.

    I don't know about that; Clemens got pretty solidy PWNED. The Sports Illustrated poll has 50/50 states, including Texas, believing McNamee over Clemens. The vote split is about 85-15% against Clemens.

  • Foreign Devil||

    Any democracy worth its nukes lets its elected officials have a pretty long leash when it comes to speaking out and crusading against "bad stuff". While it boils over into awitch-hunt sometimes, its an overall good thing, I would argue.
    And ideally, like here, you just give the guy enough rope to hang himself...

  • ||

    joe is often accused of being obstinate and immune to reason.*

    Let his 4:12 post stand as an exception, if not a refutation, to this claim.


    *Drink 'em if you got 'em, I say!

  • ||

    "unbelievable, disingenuous and outrageous""

    I think Rusty Harden is really Jackie Chiles.

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