Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

WHAT HAVE MASSHOLES WROUGHT? Charlie Pierce makes an interesting claim in today's Sports Nut over at Slate. He basically says that the 1986 cocaine-overdose death of Boston Celtics draftee Len Bias was the Gulf of Tonkin incident of the War on Drugs. The money graph:

The tragedy was put to immediate use by a bipartisan passel [sic] of opportunistic hysterics led by then-Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, who demanded a tough new law to placate the angry and mournful Celtics fans among his constituents. ... That October, President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which was sort of the drug war's Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and which visited upon ourselves a whole number of really fine ideas, including the mandatory minimum sentences so beloved these days by so many judges.

Now, I'm too young to remember either the death of Len Bias or the Gulf of Tonkin incident, so I can't really comment on the quality of this analogy. I'm curious to hear what any of my more senior readers (which is to say: my dad) think of this. If it's a valid comparison, though, it will only be one more piece of evidence towards my general theory that Boston sports fans are a force for evil in the world.