In the aftermath of the recent elections, I count amongst one of my greatest joys the ouster of Christopher Shays, R-CT, thus ending the reign of the last surviving Republican House member from New England. But I am of the opinion that it wasn't George Bush that brought down Rep. Shays, it was Roger Clemens. In a state of largely Red Sox fans (balanced by some-blah-Yankee fans to the southwest), Shays sealed his fate by cozying up to the Roider during that infamous February 13 Congressional hearing:
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), Connecticut: So now we have a player here, one player. There were 89 players. One player is here. And he's here because everyone in this audience knows he is the icon in baseball. He's what brings all of these cameras and all those people out there.
In my judgment, we're lining up like we're going to a Roman circus seeing the gladiators fight it out. And so my view of this hearing is this isn't where it's at. It's where it's at.
I mean, for you, Mr. Clemens, it's where it's at because it's your life. For you, Mr. McNamee, I believe some of what you say, but, you know, it depends when. I view you as a police officer who is a drug dealer.
BRIAN MCNAMEE: I understand your concerns. But as far as your comment about a drug dealer, I only did what players asked. And it was wrong.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS: Tell me how it's legal to do illegal things and you not call it what you were. You were dealing in drugs, weren't you?
BRIAN MCNAMEE: I'm dealing in them, yes.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS: Were they legal drugs?
BRIAN MCNAMEE: No, they weren't.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS: Thank you.
Now, Shays later tried to backtrack, but by that point that only made him look like an idiotic flip-flopping showboater, and there was no turning back. In looking at the significant consequences of Shays' malfeasance, though, one could only dream of what could have been if Dan Burton had come from a Sox-loving state, or if Joe Lieberman had somehow been granted permission to pose questions to Clemens...
Here's a funny bit from Mike & the Mad Dog, who take calls from actual voters who swear they will never vote for Chris Shays again: