If you know anything about me at all, you know I’m a baseball fan. A quick peek into my office will convince you if you have any doubts. On top of that, my favorite team is the Texas Rangers, my hometown boys. That means I can’t be a fan of the Houston Astros. One of my favorite things to do when the Rangers and Astros play one another is to watch the game with the picture-in-picture mode. I put the Rangers’ broadcast and Astros’ broadcast side-by-side in order to hear how both sides describe the same events.
Consequently, I focused significant attention on the stories the past few days about the Astros’ cheating scandal. In case you’re not a baseball fan and haven’t paid any attention, here’s my one-sentence recap. In 2017, on their way to winning the World Series, the Astros illegally used video equipment to steal opponent’s signals to gain an advantage for their hitters in real-time while batting.
Rumors were rampant, but when a whistleblower, a pitcher and former Astro on the 2017 championship team, made it clear that cheating did happen. In the baseball world, all hell broke loose. Three managers and one general manager lost their jobs. They were singled out because they should have been in charge but chose to turn a blind eye. (No players were identified or punished for reasons beyond the scope of this article.)
You have to give Major League Baseball credit for putting a stop to such blatant cheating. Now, I understand, a certain type of cheating has been a part of baseball since the beginning, but this is a new level – using electronics in real-time. You know league officials would rather not have to call people out for cheating. It was difficult to investigate, learn unfortunate facts, and punish people—but for the sake of the game, it had to be done.
Now, let’s talk about impeachment.
Congress impeached our President for cheating in an upcoming election. Again, a one-sentence description. The President tried to recruit a foreign government to announce a corruption investigation into a potential opponent in an upcoming election that would give Trump a distinct advantage.
Like baseball, there was a whistleblower who exposed the scheme. Similarly, an investigation followed, and Congress determined there was sufficient evidence of cheating to require a trial in the Senate.
Now we are in the midst of the trial.
One of the President’s main defense positions is that elections are less than a year away, so we should do nothing and allow the voters decide. They argue that voters chose the Presidents and if he is removed before they get to decide once again, it is essentially stealing the election.
What if baseball took that same action? Baseball officials could have said, “The Astros cheated, but the best way to deal with this is allowing other teams to defeat them on the diamond.” Fortunately, they didn’t take that course. Perhaps they didn’t do everything that could have been done, but they did enough so that it’s not up to someone else to fix the problem. The problem when a team cheats and is not punished, they will continue to cheat in future games.
The same is true with politicians. If they get away with cheating, they will continue to do so. The Senate is giving up the opportunity to stop any future cheating by the President, or any future President. How can voters be expected to make a fair and honest decision in an election when one of the candidates is allowed to cheat? Republican Senators need to explain how that will happen.
What they are about to do is allow all candidates to cheat. What are they going to say if the Democratic candidate contacts China to get dirt of Ivanka Trump’s business dealings, or perhaps Saudi Arabia for information about Jared Kushner’s business dealings in their country?