Integrity is only expected if you are a baseball player, or a Republican.

Recent revelations about baseball players and steroids have shed new light on the importance of integrity in baseball. Most notable of these players is Alex Rodriguez. I have been party to a number of conversations at Smokers Paradise that have ended with the conclusion that A-Rod is “a worthless piece of (excrement).” I quote many of the patrons that frequent my favorite hangout. I agree. Whether or not you personally believe that steroids are a big deal or not the simple fact is that they are against the rules. Using them is a violation of the trust that we as fans place on the players. The rules are there to keep the playing field level. When Rodriguez took them he knew they were against the rules of Major League Baseball. Rules that he had to know, not just read, before he was allowed to join the league. When he took the shot he did so with willful malicious intent and only to get that very fat paycheck.

In comparison United States President Obama was elected on a campaign that promised change. So far he has nominated a cabinet that is largely composed of Clinton administration appointees, and Mrs. Clinton. Several of these nominees have tax problems that would land many of us citizens in serious legal trouble, yet our President stands behind his choices saying that each one of these instances was “simple oversight” by the person in question. Is this a man defending his choices because he believes heart and soul that they are the right choices? Seeing as these were the same people at the helm for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that deregulated banks and caused the financial crisis we’re in now, I find it hard to believe that these are the best possible choices to fix said financial crisis. Either he’s not properly vetting them, or he’s paying back a debt to the life-long politicians that helped get him elected and doesn’t care about fixing anything. Both options represent a betrayal to his promise of change.

Another recent example is the Clinton impeachment. Clinton defenders will tell you that it was a witch-hunt that was being led by social conservatives over him having an affair with an intern. The truth is that sitting US President, Bill Clinton, was actually impeached in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives for perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power. The U.S. Senate then failed to convict because it wasn’t in the Country’s best interests. Former President Clinton lied because he didn’t believe that a sitting President should have to answer to Congress or the American people. This was a flagrant violation of the public trust and oath of office, yet he was not convicted. There are many that believe he was simply the victim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and the President didn’t have to answer to Congress or the American people.

Contrast former President Bush, who went before the American people and justified the war in Iraq by citing British intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein was continuing development of Weapons of Mass Destruction. After we had removed Hussein and special investigators concluded that there was evidence of the WMD program continuing up until days before the invasion of our troops, but the investigators never did find the WMDs themselves. Many Bush detractors believe that he lied to the American people because the investigators did not find the WMDs. Some critics say that the British intelligence was faulty, but Charles Deulfer’s “DCI Special Advisor’s Report on Iraq’s WMD” clearly shows that Hussein never stopped his WMD programs after first Gulf War sanctions were placed on Iraq. While many will say that Bush lied, the truth is that the WMD development programs were active, but we failed to find the WMDs before they were moved to destinations unknown.

In the afore mentioned examples the baseball player and Republican President are being held to a higher standard than their Democratic counterparts. It would almost be amusing if not for the fact that millions of taxpayer dollars, our dollars, are being spent prosecuting baseball players for lying about using steroids and some members of Congress are trying to impeach former President Bush for lying to Congress and the American people, when the evidence doesn’t support such a charge. Meanwhile well demonstrated self-serving elected officials lie repeatedly and get record approval ratings. The common thread seems to be that as long as you are a Democrat, you are incapable of losing your integrity. The means must justify the ends if you’re a baseball player or a Republican, whereas the ends justify any means necessary if you’re a Democrat.