McCain Rides To Regulate

Senator McCain, speaking on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace said it might just be time to introduce laws pertaining to steroids in major league sports, or something like that.

WALLACE: Let’s begin with the growing scandal over steroids in baseball. As head of the Senate Commerce Committee, how tough are you prepared to get?

MCCAIN: It’s time for us to introduce legislation if necessary. I’m encouraged by Don Fehr’s statement at the players’ meeting out in Arizona this week that they will bring the issue up to a prominent position, which it deserves.

Let me just make a couple comments about it real quick. One, it’s not just the players’ fault. When they negotiated, the owners said, well, it’s the last item, so we’ll approve of this incredibly weak, disgraceful, once-a-year test at the person’s choosing. I mean, it’s a joke.

So it’s both sides’ fault. Both sides need to sit down and get together on this issue.

And we need to have at least a regimen for testing that they impose in minor leagues in baseball. I’d like to see all professional sports have the same standards as the Olympics have for Olympic athletes. But it’s time to change.

McCain, who rarely meets a regulation he does not like, enjoys saying things like “it’s time to introduce legislation.” Generally, he says this and it scares the parties affected by the potential legislation into acting. Sometimes that does not happen and legislation is adopted. In the process, Congress steps needlessly in on an area where market forces are usually at work, creates new laws and new crimes. Congress claims victory while hiding the mess under the carpet and in several years will deny responsiblity when the unintended consequences start appearing.

The fact is, if players continue to abuse drugs for enhancements, a large number of fans will be turned off. Sales of tickets will continue the current decline and baseball will be hit in the pocketbook. Baseball is slow to learn a lesson, see e.g. all the strikes, but eventually makes progress. Legislation has never stopped a professional athlete from doing drugs or committing a host of other crimes and fashion faux pas’s. All it will do is hamper an existing internal movement with baseball to reform.

If McCain wants to pass a law, perhaps he should take on the BCS instead.

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Erick Erickson

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