Posted on | January 18, 2013 | 5 Comments
Watch me take a contrary position on the famous cyclist, who is demonstrating more integrity than many public figures in circulation: Lance’s confessional comes at an interesting time.
For more than a decade, Armstrong dared anybody who challenged his version of events to prove it. Finally, he told the tale himself after promising over the weekend to answer Winfrey’s questions “directly, honestly and candidly.”
Winfrey tweeted shortly after the interview: “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2½ hours. He came READY!”
The cyclist was stripped of his Tour de France titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave Livestrong last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.
Everybody is lining up to hate Lance, and sue the wheels off of him.
The Daily News has obtained and reviewed the sealed lawsuit Landis filed under the False Claims Act, a 33-page document that accuses Armstrong and his associates at Tailwind Sports of defrauding the government out of millions of taxpayer dollars by operating a sophisticated doping program over many years. The suit claims Armstrong’s use of banned and illegal drugs to dominate the Tour de France was in clear violation of the sponsorship agreement between the team and the United States Postal Service, which sponsored Armstrong’s teams from 1998 to 2004.
But is Lance a metaphor for the general problem of too much money and power and pressure concentrated in a small area? We go to Tea Party rallies and elect variations on the theme of Lance Armstrong at Every. Single. Election, and then we are SHOCKED! Shocked! when they get into office, expand government, and crank up the debt.
#ReplaceASongTitleWithTank Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Tank
— Smitty (@smitty_one_each) January 17, 2013
(Reference) What I’m getting at is that, while Lance merits whatever justice the courts mete out, we ought to question the game as much as the player. However, what we can expect not to occur is any thoughtful analysis about why putting as much money and pressure on sports (cycling, baseball, football &c) tends to crush sportsmanship and turn so many into thugs. It’s timely that Lance goes under the bus, bike and all, as the century of fiscal doping reaches its climax in this Congress. Is the Union going to go under the twin busses of History and Economics in the near future, like Mr. Armstrong? Can any elected official come clean like Lance admit that these ‘balanced approaches’ and ‘Roadmap Plans’ are just so much toast? Look at the cretinous alternative: (via Weasel Zippers) You know you’ve done well, as has Moran, when you get to lead off a chapter in a book like Throw Them All Out. There is ‘Gentleman’ Jim Moran, yucking it up with notorious racist Joan Walsh (no link to www.salon.com/2013/01/16/the_rights_colin_powell_freakout), who came after Stacy Washington for calling it like she saw it on Colin Powell’s non-commitment to anything resembling conservativism. I would trade ‘Gentleman’ Jim in a heartbeat for Lance Armstrong; both are flawed, fallen humans. But one of them knows how to man-up and confess. To defend Moran slightly, though, no one is asking why our system drives more or less everyone who spends any amount of time in office down to diabolical depths. When our political system has a blip, as with the Tea Party in 2010, and an Allen West creeps in, the system has to circle the wagons and reject him via gerrymandering. The Mike Pences run for state governor. The Jim DeMints repair to Heritage. The likes of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz seem a fringe. Will they amount to a fart amidst a thunderous collapse?
— Smitty (@smitty_one_each) January 17, 2013
Certainly, Lance is too flawed for public office. This post is not seriously advocating him for President. But one wonders how we break the cycle of abuse without ever asking harder questions about why things are so jacked up. I say it’s the centralization. Power tends to corrupt, noted Acton. Should American Exceptionalism mean anything, let’s see some GOP reform ideas, pronto. The movement to Audit the Fed is a great place to start, as there seems to be some relationship between power, money, and corruption. But is that House bill so much tissue paper without support in the Senate, and courage in the Executive?
Without the courage to confess, there seems scant hope of repentance, both of which are key to start making any reform.