In a practical sense, his appearance is baffling to the point of being unsettling. The Yankees are in town to play the Nationals -- who, to the great joy of all rational people everywhere -- beat the Yanks in glorious fashion on Tuesday night. But why is Rodriguez parading around the Capitol? Why is he interrupting a meeting on Trade Promotion Authority? Why was he in D.C. to play baseball anyway, only having been suspended for a one measly season after being caught cheating at his sport and then lying about it?
From the standpoint of the members of Congress who are around him, it seems like a pretty good idea to juxtapose yourself with Rodriguez in the sense that it is smart to sell your 1996 Civic by photographing it next to a 1982 Pinto: You will only look better in comparison. But in poorly decorated meeting rooms in office parks across this great land, campaign communications teams are gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair. Every politician in that photo has just handed their next opponent the biggest gift possible. Here is YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS, people of Smalltown, USA, shaking hands with one of the most hated and least-respected people in the United States -- a known cheater who can't even run to first base without being a jerk.
The political fallout from this will last decades; it might even extend to the last days of our Republic. Citizens United, NSA wiretapping, Obamacare, Watergate, Teapot Dome -- all of these are hated and feared and lamented by someone, somewhere. Each pales next to what happened on Capitol Hill today.