Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Baseball Republican Idiocy

But enough serious stuff. Let's go back down the street to the U. S. Capitol theater of the absurd.

With constant trauma over Iraq, Social Security, workplace carnage and Michael Jackson, there's nothing like a newly arrived 1st place baseball team to help you forget all your cares.

But, then there's this. It's all really almost too much, even for a grizzled Washington veteran like me. The Washington Post reports that:

Major League Baseball hasn't narrowed the list of the eight bidders seeking to buy the Washington Nationals and some Republicans on Capitol Hill already are hinting at revoking the league's antitrust exemption if billionaire financier George Soros , an ardent critic of President Bush and supporter of liberal causes, buys the team.

"It's not necessarily smart business sense to have anybody who is so polarizing in the political world," Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) said. "That goes for anybody, but especially as it relates to Major League Baseball because it's one of the few businesses that get incredibly special treatment from Congress and the federal government."

In addition to a certain son of a former President who owned a baseball team before going on to bigger and better (?!) things, Fred Vincy at Stone Court notes that, for better or worse, politics and baseball have always gone together:

Does Mr. Sweeney also object to Bush pioneer William O. DeWitt, Jr., owning the Cardinals? Or Bush pioneer Carl Lindner owning the Cincinnati Reds? Or Bush pioneer Tom Hicks -- who also made W a rich man -- owning the Texas Rangers? (In fact, thirteen current or former owners and their family members are Bush Rangers or Pioneers.)

But it gets worse. How about George Steinbrenner III, convicted of making illegal contributions to the Nixon campaign and obstruction of justice, owning the Yankees? How about Fred Malek -- Deputy Director of Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) who compiled a list of high-ranking Jews in government for Richard Nixon and senior advisor to George H.W. Bush's presidential campaign -- owning part of the Texas Rangers in the 1990s along with George W. Bush?

For those of you keeping score at home:
Legal support for Democratic presidential candidates: Bad

Legal support for Republican presidential candidates: Good

Illegal and/or dishonorable support for Republican presidential candidates: Good
If Mr. Sweeney can give a good explanation for all that, perhaps he can also explain the infield fly rule....

UPDATE: Commenter DanF reminds us that Rupert Murdoch, who's dabbled a bit in partisan politics himself, owned the Los Angeles Dodgers until 2004.
Those were my Dodgers, to be precise. And I think I deserve a little George Soros after putting up with Rupert Murdoch for so long.

Sweeney -- to the showers!