"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Monday, June 27, 2005
Three months into their inaugural season, the Washington Nationals are in first place. Attendance is strong, hopes are high, and the team is reportedly turning a tidy profit.
But to some Capitol Hill Republicans there is a dark cloud on the Nats' horizon: the potential that their newly adopted home team could be purchased by billionaire financier George Soros.
Earlier this month, Soros joined an ownership bid being led by entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky. Their group is one of more than a half-dozen angling to take over the Nats, who are currently owned by Major League Baseball.
In addition to being a well-known currency speculator and philanthropist, Soros is also known in political circles for having pumped more than $20 million in the last cycle into groups seeking to unseat President Bush and elect Democrats.
While the Soros-Ledecky group is not seen as the frontrunner to win the bidding for the Nationals, who should be awarded to their new owner at the end of the 2005 season, the very prospect that Soros could have a stake in the team is enough to irritate Congressional Republicans.
"I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), the Northern Virginia lawmaker who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings. "I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight."
Memo to Rep. Davis - maybe Major League Baseball does understand the stakes, but the rest of us aren't quite so clued-in. Perhaps you ought to spell it out for us, dillhole! What, exactly, are the stakes? Are you actually threatening MLB with retaliation, should they choose to sell the team to people you and your colleagues deem politically unacceptable? 'Cause that's how it sounds to me. And, frankly, I think you have more important things to do on company time.
(Via Josh Marshall.)