Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Going for the Gold

I didn't watch the SOTU last night - I'm sorry, I can't look at that smirking, arrogant face for more than a few seconds without shuddering - but I hear Bush said something about performance-enhancing steroids, which seems to have come out of nowhere and blindsided a lot of folks. So I decided to do a little fun-digging of my own. Now, fun-digging isn't investigative journalism, it's more like free associating via Google. Okay, steroids plus Super Bowl gave me this fun quote from News 24 in Houston about the condition of local roads, which are unlikely to be finished in time for the big game. Opined one Houstonian, "If they feed them enough steroids, maybe it'll happen by then." Oh dear, Crawford-to-Houston, we may have a problem. Then of course there's the Olympics coming up this summer, so I searched on Olympics + American + athletes + drugs, as you will, and it didn't take long at all to find an example of the latest American athlete facing possible Olympic disqualification due to drug use (her British husband has already been suspended for same!). So I'm wondering, bearing in mind that the Bush administration has been all about appearance over substance so far, is this somehow a ploy to make US athletes appear squeakier-than-thou this summer in Athens and thus score some sort of "oo-ess-ay" PR points with the Republican convention a few weeks thence and the national election looming a few months later? After all, even lefties like me love the Olympics and, while we may be against the War on Some Drugs, we value the idea of a level playing field and do tend to view steroid use as cheating, same as most folks. And if the American contenders quit now the drugs should be cycled out of their system by August without too much accompanying loss of the benefits they provided whilst those athletes were in training, and although you don't introduce new products then there's nothing says you can't introduce Steroids Are Bad Bush in January and drive the point home in August (in a "nyah nyah" sort of manner, at which this administration excels) when the whole world is watching. Besides, it'll distract attention from the whining excuses fact that our baseball team didn't even make the cut.

Like I said, this is just me free-associating. I tend to leave the serious analysis to others.