More Congressional Fun

1202914027Having finally licked that nasty wiretap legislation, the United States Congress now gets to do what it likes best: Putting on a show for the TV cameras. While most of the nation will have its eyes on the Roger ClemensBrian McNamee Cirque du Soleil taking place in the House today, over at the Senate Arlen Specter will be meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to talk Spygate. Oh goody.

When news of Specter’s interest in the NFL broke a few days before the Super Bowl, the timing seemed a tad, shall we say, suspicious. Why was Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, interested in Spygate? And why now? There are certainly other major issues for the Committee to concern itself with, like the CIA’s alleged destruction of interrogation tapes, for example.

Oddly enough, the CIA case was part of Specter’s rationale in hauling Goodell up to Washington for this meeting.

“It’s analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed.”

There’s more, of course. Specter, who is from Philadelphia and is a well-known Eagles fan, participated in this shameless bit of nonsensical pandering when he told sports talk radio in Philly:

Were the Eagles cheated out of a Super Bowl victory? That’s the first question Sen. Arlen Specter hopes to be asking the NFL today, he stated unequivocally this morning on WIP radio (610 AM). “Absolutely, that’s going to be my lead question, Angelo,” he said to sports-talk host Angelo Cataldi.

So, which ranks higher on the Congressional dumbass scale? That comment, or House members posing for photos and accepting autographs from Clemens before his appearance which will almost certainly result in perjury charges for either he or McNamee.

It gets worse for Specter, though. The above quote comes from Will Bunch’s Philadelphia Daily News blog, Attytood. Bunch nicely dissects Specter’s numerous entanglements with Comcast, who just happen to be one of his big-time donors and who also just happen to have a major feud going with the NFL over the league’s network.

Look, we don’t know the extent of the Patriots videotaping operation, if it actually gave them a competitive advantage, or if they were the only team doing it. It’s a nasty problem for the team and the NFL to have one of their signature franchises engaged in such muck. If it turns out that there is more to the story then what the NFL was told in September then there will certainly be ramifications, and there should be.

But, if Congress wants to know why their approval ratings are in the tank, they might want to think about the kind of dog-and-pony shows were bearing witness to today.