Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October Surprise

A kicked dog always yelps loudest, and at our house (where we do NOT kick dogs), the pooch with the guiltiest expression is often the one that puddled in the foyer or pooped on the porch.

Investors Business Daily ran this editorial about the current political dogfight that’s captivating Congress (where there are much, MUCH more important, worthwhile issues to address; but, then, that’s how Washington works—form over substance.) Foley’s Follies are the Topic de Jour, and I share with you this piece from IBD that nails it very nicely:

"Scandal: Right after Mark Foley was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know, and when did they know it?

"Yes, you read that right: the Democrats. It's of course clear that Foley, a Republican representative from Florida, resigned for good cause. We don't defend him or his inexcusable behavior -- good riddance.

"But it didn't take long at all after Foley's resignation for the Democrats to call for an investigation of the entire Republican leadership in the House, charging that GOP stalwarts knew early on that Foley, as they like to say in the rehab business, had a "problem."

"Democrats have begun losing their once-significant lead in the polls, and a mere five weeks remain until the midterm elections. Is this scandal the Democrats' own "October Surprise," meant to throw the GOP into a tailspin shortly before the vote?

"Recent polls show Democrats aren't doing very well on several key issues. What better way than a good, old-fashioned sex scandal to get people's minds off such things as the importance of winning the war in Iraq, our ongoing vulnerability to terrorist attack and the necessity of keeping the Bush economic boom going?

"As it is, Republicans deny knowing about the explicit text messages that Foley sent to a 16-year-old congressional page back in 2003. In repudiating Foley, House Speaker Dennis Hastert called the messages "vile and repulsive."

"Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.

"If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions.
Can the same be said for Democrats?

"Sadly, it doesn't seem so.
How else can you explain the following?

"In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.

"Did Studds express contrition?
Quite the contrary.
He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.

"In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank (news, bio, voting record), also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.

"What happened to Frank?
The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist.
Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."

[Brent Note: if this is the "conscience" that is guiding national leadership, we're in worse trouble than imaginable.]

"In 2001, President Clinton, who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)

"You get the idea.
Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.

"We have a lot more questions about this whole affair. The timing of the revelations, as we noted, couldn't be more propitious for the Democrats. Turns out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about Foley's problem as far back as November, according to research by several enterprising blogs.

"Why didn't they come forward then?
Who dredged up these e-mails -- and why did they hold them until now?
This reeks of political trickery.

"We're glad Foley's gone.
He betrayed Congress, his party and the trust of the 33 pages who serve in Congress, and their parents. He behaved immorally, and we won't be surprised at new revelations.

"That said, if this scandal is the Democrats' answer to their problems at the polls, it's pretty pathetic. It shows a base contempt for the voters."

Could not have said it better.


Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Brent and all,

When you go around attacking others for not living up to your professed values, it's a damn good idea to be truthful and actually walk the walk. Logs and motes in the eye, glass houses, kettle's and pots, and what goes around eventually comes around, et al. Karma's a bitch when She finally decides enough is enough! This wouldn't have been so bad on Republicans if they hadn't been such arrogant hypocrites in order to corner the values vote! Now truth and justice are breathing fire and hailstones!

Christian Political Leadership, Hypocrisy, Duplicity, and Purposeful Evil

The current scandal involving Congressman Foley is merely the latest in an amazingly long list of blatant deception and duplicity by Republicans and the Christian Right in recent years. While bedeviling us all with their holier-than-thou pretenses, they consistently support and/or perform blatant greed and abominable evil. Never forget the extent of their arrogance over the last two decades and especially the last 6 years. It is beyond amazing that Christians continue to blindly support such obviously blatant scoundrels, even as they are repeatedly exposed going against the most basic of human values. The level of hypocrisy and duplicity boggles the mind. There is no longer any doubt, whatsoever, that Christianity is little more than a purposeful deception used by political and religious leaders to dupe, manipulate, and coerce entire populations into giving them wealth and power, which they always use for greed, injustice, and abominable evils.

The actions of Foley and those who covered up for him directly parallel the actions of scores of priests that have raped innocent children, preyed upon others for centuries, and had their actions hidden and abetted by the Vatican. Now, in eerie repetition of Vatican history, we have a power hungry Christian Emperor (GW) working closely with the Vatican and Judeo-Christian aristocrats to lead crusades in the so-called Holy Land. Furthermore, to leave little doubt about the reality of this assessment, the USA, as the new Holy Roman Empire, is about to legalize the torture it has perpetrated in recent years while steadily reversing many of the democratic and civil freedoms that people gained when the Vatican and royalty lost control of their European empire at the turn of the nineteenth century. Now we see them following the same old path of evil as they strive to cement the status of the USA as the latest proxy Vatican empire. Make no mistake about it, the new dark ages are looming on the horizon unless we do something proactive to prevent it.

Remember that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it!

Read More:
Here is Wisdom !!


Brent Clanton said...

Seven Star Hand--

The point of the IBD piece was to righfully point out the hypocrasy with which this sordid affair has been presented.

Both sides of the aisle share the same level of guilt; none of us (including You) is without sin.

No one has a corner on the hypocrasy market, not Republicans, not Democrats, not Jews, Christians, or other religious disciples.

There are no more or less hypocrites in Congress than in churches and synagogues. It is a facet of the human condition, for which there is no cure, but plenty of grace to cover our mistakes.

I've read your stuff; I'd stay away from open windows during thunderstorms, if I were you.