When civilization crumbles around you, taking pleasure in the ironies and hypocrisies of the day can make the pill go down more easily.

History repeats itself, in big ways, yes, but also in little ways. Back in the days of the protestant revolution, good old Henry VIII of England was granted the title “Defender of Faith” by the Pope for his strong written denunciation of the heresies of Martin Luther. Yet, time would show that the lecherous Henry’s Faith was easily compromised.

Enter Bart Stupak, today’s tiny Henry VIII. He pretended to be pro-life for a long time in the debate around the nationalization of health insurance debate. He held out for language in the first house bill to block federal funding for abortion. Let us pass in silence for a moment the MANY other anti-life provisions of that bill; it was good to prevent the abortion funding. The pro-life organization “The Susan B. Anthony List” planned to give Stupak the “Defender of Life” award.

Yet of course the Senate bill had no such provision, and the Senate would not pass the House version because the Senate now lacks a filibuster-proof majority. So, the only remotely legal way for the dictator to nationalize the health insurance industry was to get the House to pass the Senate bill as is.

No problem, because Bart Stupak, Defender of Life, and his coalition would be there to stop this. Right, Bart? Bart?

In the end, the traitorous Stupak followed the path of his historical ancestor.

Which brings me to Mark McGwire, of course.

This man received adulation for his baseball exploits, which makes sense in the context of his apparent baseball achievements, despite the fact that he seemed to be personally rude and aloof. A state representative at that time secured passage of a resolution renaming a section of I-70 the “Mark McGwire Highway”.

Eleven years later McGwire admitted he cheated.

The state representative, now a state senator, is seeking to repeal the resolution naming the highway after McGwire.

The Lesson? Perhaps adulation, and blame, should be withheld until the scorecard is complete.