October 9, 2006

"Evangelicals Blame Foley, Not Republican Party."

The NYT has an article analyzing the effect of the Foley scandal on those pesky morals voters:
[I]n dozens of interviews here in southeastern Virginia, a conservative Christian stronghold that is a battleground in races for the House and Senate, many said the episode only reinforced their reasons to vote for their two Republican incumbents in neck-and-neck re-election fights, Representative Thelma Drake and Senator George Allen.

“This is Foley’s lifestyle,” said Ron Gwaltney, a home builder, as he waited with his family outside a Christian rock concert last Thursday in Norfolk. “He tried to keep it quiet from his family and his voters. He is responsible for what he did. He is paying a price for what he did. I am not sure how much farther it needs to go.”
So... Ron Gwaltney, homophobic bigot or believer in individual responsibility? That's just a litmus test for you this morning.

Oh, wait, the NYT helpfully adds:
The Democratic Party is “the party that is tolerant of, maybe more so than Republicans, that lifestyle,” Mr. Gwaltney said, referring to homosexuality.
Litmus paper turns blue. Was Gwaltney referring to homosexuality or sexual licentiousness? Presumably, there's more to the interview and Gwaltney was clear.
Most of the evangelical Christians interviewed said that so far they saw Mr. Foley’s behavior as a matter of personal morality, not institutional dysfunction.

All said the question of broader responsibility had quickly devolved into a storm of partisan charges and countercharges. And all insisted the episode would have little impact on their intentions to vote.
There is a tendency to assume the morals voters are naive, that you can play them and even talk about how you're playing them and they won't see the whole picture that includes you trying to play them. The aggressive politicization of the Foley story is itself a story and the voters witness it and react. It's hardly surprising if they've reacted with revulsion to politicians for their expedient use of the story to claw toward power, which really is more repugnant than self-indulgent sexual expression. Would it shake your preconceptions to find out that even hardcore morals voters see that?

166 comments:

Edward said...

Did I just read what I thought I read?

Did Ann Althouse just call Foley’s misconduct toward the pages “self-indulgent sexual expression”?

If so, she’s really gone bonkers on this Foley scandal.

Or maybe this is just an example Ann’s self-indulgent “performance art.”

Finally, let me say that I’ve seen little evidence that Democrats are exploiting the Foley scandal for political gain. Their tone has been just about right, in my opinion.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry. I stand by my statement. Politicians seeking power are quite repugnant. Of course, I find Foley's misuse of his power also repugnant in the same way. The pages who continued to IM with him were perhaps also interested in achieving power.

David Walser said...

Would it shake your preconceptions to find out that even hardcore morals voters see that?

No. It would surprise me if they did not see it. It would surprise me even more if most "hardcore morals voters" thought of themselves in that light. I think it's more likely that they look for candidates that support policies and programs the voters are comfortable with and who are (the candidates) people of personal integrity. Hardcore morals voters look at a candidate's personal life as evidence of integrity. They're not looking for perfection on that score any more than they demand perfect agreement on all the issues. The problem most blue state politicians have in understanding red state voters is that red staters are not nearly as focused on morals as the blue staters think they are.

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle: I deleted your comment because it was just one-word name-calling. I'm not going to accept comments on that level from you anymore.

BJK said...

I don't think that most voters place the blame for the conduct on the Republican Party (or their own elected representatives) so much as they place blame directly on Foley.

Most of the politicing is missing the mark on this one, simply because the Congressman already resigned. (It's the equivalent of holding an impeachment action against a President who has already resigned from the office.)


The real question is whether it will affect 'moral Republicans' desire to cast their vote on election day.

Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle, the whole thing is stupid. Apparently, it is ok for a Democratic Representative to have actual sex with an actual under aged page, but not for a Republican to engage in lurid sex talk with an adult former page. The hypocricy is almost, but not quite, unbelievable. Add to this, that many of those calling for the Speaker to resign, before all the facts are out were the same people who backed Clinton to the hilt for having real sex with a real (female this time) intern (who was admittedly an adult by then).

So, why weren't they calling for Clinton to resign? Even when he had been caught lying about it? Hastert didn't participate in the sex, and doesn't really appear to be that knowledgable about it. Clinton not only participated in it, he actively hid it. And yet, somehow Hastert is supposed to resisgn, while it was honorable and courageous for Clinton to not? And to lie about it?

Come on. While it may be true that this was saved for the October Surprise by the Democrats, it is exceedingly clear that the whole thing about the Republican House leadership here is totally invented scandal by the Democrats and their supporters in the MSM, including, notably the NYT here.

tcd said...

Seems like the Democrats have overplayed their hand yet again.

Sloanasaurus said...

Maybe it would be worthwhile to engage in a non-partisan discussion as to what Foley did that was actually immoral.

For example, it has turned out that the IM's Foley sent were to an 18 year old former page.

You we think that Foley had the intent to use the page program to solicit underage sex playmates. Or did Foley take advantage of the Page program to "meet potential young gay men" for whom he could have a relationship in the future.

It would be in interesting debate.

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MadisonMan said...

I see the echo chamber is in full force this morning.

Bruce, the people calling for Hastert to resign are Republicans. I know of no Democrat that thinks he should go -- he's a textbook example of Power Corrupting, and who wants that gone from the leader of your opposition? I think Hastert is great -- he's an ineffective leader, easily lampooned. Even Ann agrees -- she finds his seeking power repugnant.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I'm sympathetic to the idea that the Democrats' "expedient use of the story to claw toward power.. is more repugnant than self-indulgent sexual expression." I find the Democrats' exploitation of the Foley scandal to smell of desperation--it probably subconsciously reinforces in voters' minds the Dems' biggest perceived weakness: that their ascent to power is based on GOP foibles, not on reasons why the Dems independently offer a better agenda.

That said, there is a poetic irony to this story and one that ties into Prof. Althouse's statement I quoted. The GOP has ruthlessly and extravagantly exploited voters' fears and prejudices with respect to homosexuality for years to satisfy their hunger for power. Prof. Althouse has said as much: that its just a sop to social conservatives but without any meaningful follow-through on the substantive policy level. I think the irony of the GOP leadership failing to police their own from engaging in reckless and abusive homosexual conduct (whether they realistically could have or not) speaks to voters at the gut level and that's why the story lingers.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sy said...

Hardcore morals voters? Evangelicals? The religous right? I can say with some authority, since I am part of the religous right, that what concerns us is almost never what the MSM thinks concerns us. Which is why the RR has such disdain for MSM.

MadisonMan said...

And sloan, you keep bringing up the age of the IM'er, and I will keep reminding you: The IMs began when the ex-page (one of them) was 17, and continued after he became legal. If you want to downplay them because of the page's age of 18, what does that say about the IMs when the page was 17? I'll also remind you that this is just for the one page.

Foley may have been using the Page program to find underage sexual partners (less likely) or to find willing fresh young -- but legal -- meat (more likely). Either case is morally repugnant. I don't think the legality of it will resonate with evangelicals.

sy said...

Case in point, gay marriage. Typically (not the loudmouths) the so called religous right objects to gay marriage and gay men recruiting boys into their life style, not much else. Which is why we don't care much if our local rep has gay staffers.

Balfegor said...

There is a tendency to assume the morals voters are naive, that you can play them and even talk about how you're playing them and they won't see the whole picture that includes you trying to play them.

Hmm. Reminds one of Kerry on Cheney's daughter.

Re: Hovsep:

I find the Democrats' exploitation of the Foley scandal to smell of desperation

That's kind of curious, I think. I suppose they might really be desperate, given that they've thought they had sure bets three times, now, and Bush II has pulled the rug out from under their feet every time. But frankly, if they don't make substantial gains this election, their entire party leadership should resign.

Re: Madisonman:

Bruce, the people calling for Hastert to resign are Republicans. I know of no Democrat that thinks he should go -- he's a textbook example of Power Corrupting, and who wants that gone from the leader of your opposition? I think Hastert is great -- he's an ineffective leader, easily lampooned.

Indeed. He's as bad as Trent Lott, but not an ideal man to have in his position. I suspect that, as with the Trent Lott situation (praise of the Dixiecrat presidential campaign), many Republicans are eager to blow Hastert's role up here mostly so they can force him out and replace him with someone they think will be more effective. Admittedly, this didn't work so well with Lott (Frist is better, but only marginally so), but it's still worth doing.

Edward said...

I don’t buy your explanation, Ann. I don’t believe that you can have it both ways on the Foley scandal.

You can’t say, on the one hand, that you find Foley’s misconduct to be repugnant and then say that the Democrats’ vociferous complaints about that misconduct and about its cover-up are also repugnant, or as you put it, merely a repugnant grab at political power.

Precisely what would have been the perfectly calibrated Democratic response to this scandal? Do you have any idea of your own about that?

By the way, do you really believe that “ALL politicians seeking power are repugnant”? Presumably, this would mean that political power itself is repugnant. If so, then I think you’ve created your own new political philosophy, the “repugnance” philosophy.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R Riley said...

Professor, I think I'll repeat what has been said above - I actually see very little "aggressive politicization" of the Foley business. What prominent Democratic politician has been grandstanding about this? I haven't seen any. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Democratic congressional leaders had a couple of anodyne quotes early in the controversy but have stayed very quiet over the past week or ten days. Yes, there's plenty of gleeful blog commentary - but is that really "politicization?" I'd call that gleeful blog commentary. Again, what Democratic officeholder or candidate have you seen trying to make hay of this?

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't think the legality of it will resonate with evangelicals.

This is the real meat of the Foley scandal. Democrats don't really find what Foley did morally repugnant. In fact, this behavior (soliciting young men) is not uncommon for gay men. This is further evidenced by how Democrats treated Gerry Studds in 1983 - they cheered Studds for standing up for his homosexualty despite having gay sex with a 17 year old page.

What Democrats really hope is that Evangelicals and right wing conservatives will find it morally wrong and punish the GOP and the GOP leadership as a consequence.
All the pundits say the the Foley scandal may suppress the Republican vote, not switch votes to the Democrats.

That is why the NY Times article is important because it implies that conservative christians do not blame the GOP for Foley.

submandave said...

"Precisely what would have been the perfectly calibrated Democratic response to this scandal?" (emphasis added)

Your own question indicates that you, too, recognize that the "Democratic response" is intended to be a "perfectly calibrated" politically created ploy. You cry outrage at an assumed Republican coverup with narry a side glance at Democratic operative that reportedly knew of Foley's predeliction for years and sat on the actual e-mails and IMs until it was ripe for an October surprise.

The "human" reaction is that Foley either repugnantly misused his power and position over young people and subordinates for personel sexual gratification or was too emotionally retarded to sexually relate with his peers. This reaction can recognize the impropriety of Foley's actions without ascribing a false "innocence" to a 16 or 17 year-old "child". The idea that creepy e-mails or come-on IMs to a 16 or 17 year-old "boy" constitute a real danger or injury to the recipient is ridulous on its face.

DaveG said...

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Democratic congressional leaders had a couple of anodyne quotes early in the controversy but have stayed very quiet over the past week or ten days.

That happens once they take a few minutes to check the contents of their own closets for their unseemly skeletons. The "Culture of Corruption" campaign met an identical ignominious fate.

Tim said...

Two points:

"The Democratic Party is “the party that is tolerant of, maybe more so than Republicans, that lifestyle,” Mr. Gwaltney said, referring to homosexuality.

1. Duh. EVERYONE knows liberals and Democrats are much more tolerant if not celebrating of limitless sexual liberties, deviations and perversions immune from consequence. See Studds, Frank, and Clinton. Hell, in California a gay legislator from San Francisco wrote a bill to exempt the possession of 25 items of child pornography from criminal prosecution. This dog was never going to hunt.

2. EVERYONE on the Right knows that everyone on the Left regards all of us on the Right as stupid, at best. Note to the Left: We read your books, your magazines, and your newspapers; we watch your news reports, your television shows, your movies and your plays; we listen to your radio broadcasts and talking heads; we attend your universities with their inviolate Left pc-ism, and we've noticed your endless condescension. Message received - you think we're stupid. You've been telling us that since Eisenhower ran against Stevensen. We get it - we know as well as we know anything that you all are utterly and completely convinced we're stupid.

But here's the thing - you aren't smart enough to figure out we know you think we're stupid, nor are you smart enough to figure out because we're completely immersed in your culture, we know you better than you know us, so we're on to your tricks.

And as soon as Foley resigned, the story was mostly over from our perspective. Events since then haven't changed that. Just like Mary Cheney.

So grow up, and think real hard about something serious, like stopping the intersection between nuclear proliferation amongst rogue regimes and terrorists.

MadisonMan said...

Democrats don't really find what Foley did morally repugnant.

That is a ridiculous and unproven statement.

Michael said...

One of the "blind spots" in this is personified by the comment that said, "You can’t say, on the one hand, that you find Foley’s misconduct to be repugnant and then say that the Democrats’ vociferous complaints about that misconduct and about its cover-up are also repugnant, or as you put it, merely a repugnant grab at political power."

You actually can say it quite well if you realize that what is meant is exactly what Ms. Althouse said. Foley's conduct was repugnant. And so was the attempt (latest poll says 65 percent of the people will not be affected by this "scandal" when they vote) by the Democrats to blow this thing into their October surprise.

CREW, a Soros-funded Left-wing operation, timed the submission of the emails to the FBI for effect. A phony web site was created to "expose" the story. Within 12 minutes it showed up on DailyKos. ABC published the page's name - a mistake they say - but they left the name on their web site for 5 days. All in all, the attempt to tear down the Republican advantage on real issues like the war on terror, the economy, illegal immigration by mud-slinging was both transparent and illustrative of the fact that the Democrats have no viable positions on anything. This is all they have, and it is indeed repugnant.

I look with great suspicion on those people who cannot see this for what it is - a trumped up meme that the Democrats thought would reap great benefits - which has failed miserably.

Sloanasaurus said...

That is a ridiculous and unproven statement.

We can prove that the Democrats did not find Barney Franks or Gerry Studd's conduct morally repugnant enough to expel them from the house... What Foley did is on par or less disturbing than their behavior.

Edward said...

Let me propose another category of posts that Ann Althouse should suppress: posts that defame an entire minority group, i.e. blatantly bigoted posts.

Sloanasaurus says that “this behavior (soliciting young men) is not uncommon for gay men.”

How many more obnoxious, untrue and (obviously) unsubstantiated claims of a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia/pederasty do we have to endure in these threads?

Every reputable professional organization with authority in these matters refutes categorically the connection between being gay and being a pedophile or a pederast.

Sloanasaurus said...

How many more obnoxious, untrue and (obviously) unsubstantiated claims of a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia/pederasty do we have to endure in these threads?

Excuse me, I never said it was common for gay men to engage in pedophilia. That I assume is sex with a pre teen.

However, it is common in the gay community for young gay males to have their first sexual experiences with older men. This is in contrast with heterosexual men and women who tend to have their first experiences with people from the same age group.

Edward said...

Michael and Sloanasaurus: The claim that Democrats orchestrated the revelation of the Foley scandal is not only untrue, it’s obnoxious and irrelevant.

Anyone with the most elementary understanding of morality knows that if you’re caught committing a terrible crime, you’re guilty and deserve punishment, or at the very least severe blame.

The way in which your crime was revealed to the public does not change one bit your own guilt and the fact that you deserve to be punished.

I thought the Republican Party stood for personal responsibility and self-discipline.

It’s not accepting personal (or institutional) responsibility to cry like a bunch of little babies over the way your misconduct and its cover-up were made public.

You guys would never, ever allow everyday criminals to get off the hook with such a lame excuse.

Ti-Guy said...

Politicians seeking power are quite repugnant.

Er...do you actually understand what you write half the time? Power itself is not the issue...abuse of power is, both in the commission of Foley's actions and the ability of powerful politicians to engage in a multi-year cover-up.

Honestly, I'm blown away by the thought that you are a law professor. You are the silliest person I can think of.

Balfegor said...

Re: Edward:

Anyone with the most elementary understanding of morality knows that if you’re caught committing a terrible crime, you’re guilty and deserve punishment, or at the very least severe blame.

As far as we know (at this point), Foley didn't commit a "terrible crime." He was a creepy old man who hit on younger pages. This is morally repugnant, so it's appropriate that he come in for heavy censure. But it's not a terrible crime, and I think to view it that way confuses some of what's going on here. As I read it, the outcry over Hastert's inaction and the inaction of other people more directly involved in administering the page program arises not so much because Foley committed a terrible crime, but because there was the real possibility that he could have done, had he been unable to suppress his lusts, and because no steps had been taken to close off that possibility.

Ann Althouse said...

"By the way, do you really believe that “ALL politicians seeking power are repugnant”?"

I suppose I could imagine some idealized character who isn't repulsive, but in real life, I am repelled by the desire to exercise political power over people. Anyone who builds his life around that desire is a very suspicious character in my book. Seeking sex is a normal human desire that nearly everyone has. That isn't in itself repulsive. What is repulsive is using sex to obtain power over others and using power to extract sex from people.

A test for those who think Foley is a big monster: What would you think of a Congresss who saw a pretty female page, waited until she was 18 and no longer a page, and then asked her out on a date? How much would your position change if you knew he was friendly to her while she was a page? If he emailed her (but didn't ask her out or mention sex directly)? Extract the homosexual element from the story and see if the character looks as monstrous as he did before. If your view changes -- be honest! -- are you ready to confess to homophobia?

Too Many Jims said...

It does not surprise me at all that "most" evangelicals are willing to support Republicans after this. As a focused interest group, they realize that their influence depends on the success of Republicans.

Even if evangelicals aren't letting Foley change their views on the parties, it is apparent that something must be changing the views of some americans. In a recent Newsweek poll, "42 percent, now say they trust Democrats to do a better job of handling moral values; 36 percent say they trust Republicans more." This is a marked change from prior polling on such matters.

I found it interesting that though the reporter conducted dozens of interviews, only one of the quotes used was from a woman.

Sloanasaurus said...

The way in which your crime was revealed to the public does not change one bit your own guilt and the fact that you deserve to be punished.

Again, what is Foley's crime? Foley was acting innappropriately. However, as far as we know, he committed no crime.

Balfegor said...

Extract the homosexual element from the story and see if the character looks as monstrous as he did before. If your view changes -- be honest! -- are you ready to confess to homophobia?

Honestly, I don't think the religious right are going to have a problem with this one -- didn't most of them think Clinton was pretty monstrous for preying on his interns too?

On the other hand, the general public probably finds this creepier, though part of that revulsion may be piggy-backing not only on distate for homosexuality, but also on general revulsion at the use of IM to hit on teenagers -- the danger of sexual predators on the internet is something the media has been hyping for a long while, so the public is sort-of primed to think of this kind of thing as especially gross.

In comparison, preying on your secretaries (or interns), howsoever young, is the same kind of thing powerful men have been doing for decades, so it doesn't have that extra something special to top up the outrage. It is kind of ho-hum.

Joseph Hovsep said...

"...it is common in the gay community for young gay males to have their first sexual experiences with older men."

Do you have some citation for this "fact"? I think it may be true to the extent that, say, an 18 year old gay man may find it easier to find an openly gay 25-year old gay man than another 18-year old due to the relatively later self-realization and public revelation of sexual orientation among gays than straights, but I think this is quickly becoming an anachronistic idea as young gay people are more and more likely to come out at an earlier age and find social acceptance when they do. Also, I think if you went to a college campus and asked gay students the age-range of their dating pool, you would find for every one who has had a sexual experience with a man ten years older than him, you will find ten who would not even consider dating someone five years his senior. Finally, to the extent you are suggesting that older gay men "prey on" naive younger men, I think there are plenty of older straight men who "prey on" naive younger women. So, I don't think its fair to label this behavior a part of gay culture.

Too Many Jims said...

"If he emailed her (but didn't ask her out or mention sex directly)? Extract the homosexual element from the story and see if the character looks as monstrous as he did before. If your view changes -- be honest! -- are you ready to confess to homophobia?"

That is a good thought experiment but is the parenthetical fair in light of the fact that Mr. Foley evidently did ask them about meeting and did mention sex directly?

Bruce Hayden said...

Edward

I don't disagree that crimes should be punished. But there is some indication that the facts in the matter had been known for awhile by some on the Democratic side of the divide, and that they had sat on them until they could be used as an October Surprise.

But you also have to keep in mind that this is a scandal only because a Republican is involved. The Democrats have repeatedly condoned similar but more egregious conduct of their own. Indeed, they did precisely nothing to one of theirs caught on tape taking bribes and then having almost $100k of such found in the freezer. Nothing. Nada. And, of course, Mr. Jefferson never even thought of resigning.

But note that Foley has already been punished. He has already resigned from Congress and checked into rehab, despite there being as yet no indication that he actually committed a crime, but rather just engaged in unseemly acts.

Tim said...

"I suppose I could imagine some idealized character who isn't repulsive, but in real life, I am repelled by the desire to exercise political power over people. Anyone who builds his life around that desire is a very suspicious character in my book."

Right. Based upon the Democrats' history with handling sexual excess amongst its political class, their reaction to the Foley situation was nothing more than an utterly transparent effort to seek political advantage. Whether they were complicit in the releasing the news initially is unproven so far, but their efforts to capitalize on it is not.

That they thought it might prove persuasive amongst morals voters only shows the contempt they have for those voters (and a profoundly stunning lack of self-awareness).

Whether it proves effective amongst the soccer/security moms remains to be seen. My own guess is not enough to make a difference.

Sloanasaurus said...

I am not completely sure why Democrats have chosen the strategy of trying to convince Christian conservatives not to vote rather than trying to convince such conservatives to vote for Democrats. Democrat views on helping the poor and protecting the environment are very appealing to these conservatives. Yet you don't hear such proposals. You only hear about stuff like the Foley scandal.

MadisonMan said...

sloan, I'm not saying that Democrats aren't hypocritical, but not one with any credibility whatsoever will say that what Foley has done is in any way acceptable. That is a straw that should not be grasped at.

And I don't know if I find Foley's conduct less disturbing than that of the other two. Describing the relative ugh factor for the three would be like asking me if I'd prefer to eat liver or lima beans.

Edward said...

I flatly reject the premise of Ann Althouse’s thought experiment. If the person to whom the Congressman is sexually attracted is clearly above the age of consent, and if that person is also no longer employed by the Congress, then there’s nothing morally wrong about that behavior, whether it’s straight or gay.

There’s absolutely nothing homophobic about making moral distinction of this sort. In fact, there’s something homophobic about assuming that full acceptance of mature and responsible gay love somehow requires a radical and dangerous re-working of all our other moral laws.

Ann’s thought experiment is premised on one or two cases where Foley appears to have waited until the young men involved were well above the age of consent before he started making sexual advances toward them.

Yet the evidence shows that Foley hit on lots of young men, sending sexually explicit messages to some while they were still in the page program and to others only after they had left. The range of ages of the young men that he approached is also quite large.

Don’t forget: Foley’s promiscuity is another moral strike against him.

Garage Mahal said...

I'm in agreement with the majority of Althouse Community.

George Soros is a Democrat Anti-Christ.

He succesfully recruited a bumper crop of Democrat Pages in the 1990s under Bill Clinton. After gaining control of the Page System, these "little beasts" with their all to familiar sign of 666, put their sights squarely on Mark Foley.

George Soros, thru Jedi Mind Tricks, got Mark Foley drunk and sent him to the Pages Dorm looking for Page sex, and began typing all these lurid emails/IMs, that would be later used against the Republican Party just before the mid-terms.

Do I have this about right?

WildMonk said...

Edward says:

"Anyone with the most elementary understanding of morality knows that if you’re caught committing a terrible crime, you’re guilty and deserve punishment, or at the very least severe blame."

But then goes on to say it has nothing to do with the Democrats' grab for power.

Ok then, why was the leak to the FBI delayed for months? It was clearly wrong and worthy of exposure by your own lights (and I agree with you). But you are fantasizing if you don't think that it is *also* a calculated attempt to smear the Republican party. This is all that Ann is pointing out.

Technogypsy said...

Ann,

To an extent, I will. I think a male congressman who is friendly with a 17 year old female page and then asks her out when she turns 18 is abusing his position too. I don't think its excusable to hit on pages even if they are 18, on your graduate students (in my case), or others who you have power over.

Foley is a creep, like the dirty old professor who hits on his legal aged students. I don't see him as a monster thro but this has warped the same way the priest scandal did. Any heterosexual male who does not admit 16-18 years can be attractive is lying. Anyone who acts on the attaction is scum.

Of course, I'm one of them Christian Texas Rednecks, so I'm probably being stupid(grins).

And I think you are dead on about both sides being repungent.

Brent said...

Edward, et al in the Democrat Defense team:

1) Mark Foley is the one responsible.

2) Democrats as a group have absolutely no moral standing to proffer an opinion on a matter such as this

3) Foley is NOT representative of Republicans in general, due to the very fact that he is a gay man, at least according to what is put forth by the MSM and Democrats - the constant drumbeat of how gays are not correctly represented by Republicans comes from the Democrats.

So which is it? True representation of Republicans or NOT a true representation of Republicans?

4) As even more proof of left-leaning, anti-VALUES-VOTERS efforts by the MSM in addition to Foleygate,the New York Times yesterday began a series of hit pieces on people of faith.

Today's part, titled "Where Faith Abides, Employees Have Few Rights""Where Faith Abides, Employees Have Few Rights" is a despicable attempt (in it's editorial tone)to paint the first amendment freedoms of religious organizations as something that must be more regulated, particularly by left-wing union sensibilities.

This from the very people that seem to cry "no government interference" - particularly before the courts - when it comes to their first amendment freedoms.

Because the MSM can be trusted to police itself!

But not religious people.

Sloanasaurus said...

So, I don't think its fair to label this behavior a part of gay culture.

You could be right. I am restating a claim made in a book written by Tammy Bruce. I have no first hand knowledge about the gay community otherwise, but Ms. Bruce does.

I think the argument made by gays is that is that such young gay men are forced to engage with older men because of social norms against gay relationships.

john 16:33 said...

Some folks seem to think conservative Christian voters like me are irrational. I am glad Foley resigned but his behavior will not influence my vote in Tennessee. Even if Denny sat on the Foley mess I’d vote the same (but would support Denny losing his Speaker job). Do you really think I’m going to vote for the party that will raise taxes, scuttle the NSA listening program, initiate impeachment proceedings and neuter the swift terrorist money tracking program just because some guy from Florida is a pervert? Democrats don’t offer a reasonable alternative because they are on the wrong side of too many issues I care about.

Sloanasaurus said...

Yet the evidence shows that Foley hit on lots of young men, sending sexually explicit messages to some while they were still in the page program

I have not seen this evidence. I know Foley is accused of some creepy messages, such as asking for a picture, however I have not seen evidence of him sending explicit sexual messages to current underage pages. Do you have a link to the evidence?

altoids1306 said...

The Democratic dilemma is that they expect certain results without any clear logic or mechanism. How exactly was the Foley scandal supposed to hurt the GOP? As the NYT interviewee said, if you're not in Foley's district, who cares? Did Foley even break the law?

Yet Democrats have this general expectation that this latest scandal will somehow indict the entire party. They believe the GOP is completely rotten to begin with, and any bad news simply reaffirms that belief. They are dumbfounded when other people decline to share it.

What would be a "perfectly calibrated response"? First, recognize that most people do not believe that the GOP is concentrated pure evil. Then, hard as it may be, bit your tongue and tailor your rhetoric accordingly.

Democrats overplay their hand, yet again.

Bruce Hayden said...

I spent this last weekend at a college reunion, and my Democratic colleages were cleeful about this. To a one, they were convinced that this one scandal alone would give the Democrats the House, and to a one, they believed that this was primarily a Republican leadership scandal.

And that was the counter that they always gave when I brought up Studds, Franks, Jefferson, Clinton, et al., that this was a failure of Republican House leadership.

But how things have changed. Of course, the Democrats were running the House when Franks' "friend" was running a male prostitution ring out of his Congressional Offices and his house. I, for one, don't remember anyone even thinking of suggesting that anyone in the House leadership should step down then, despite the prostitution ring run right under their noses. And, of course, Franks has continues to serve in the House to this day, rising through the ranks.

Freeman Hunt said...

What's the deal with the Newsweek poll methodology (at the bottom)? Are all of their poll samples like this? This one seems rather poor.

Syl said...

Edward

The claim that Democrats orchestrated the revelation of the Foley scandal is not only untrue, it’s obnoxious and irrelevant.

Irrelevant? Foley resigned. Now we can concentrate on what's behind the story getting out. The Republicans are smart--we don't have to spend time and energy defending Foley, we can use our enormous resources to discover how the Left managed this 'October surprise'.

Yep. The Dems would be doing better if they were just half as smart.

Sorry.

Fenrisulven said...

the people calling for Hastert to resign are Republicans. I know of no Democrat that thinks he should go -- he's a textbook example of Power Corrupting, and who wants that gone from the leader of your opposition? I think Hastert is great -- he's an ineffective leader, easily lampooned.

So, as you deny charges that Dems are exploiting Foley's corruption purely for political gain, you admit to exploiting Hastert's corruption purely for political gain.

Judges: 8 8.5 8 9 8.5

Are you okay? Did that hurt much? And can you do it again without a spotter?

Badger said...

I spent this last weekend at a college reunion, and my Democratic colleages were cleeful about this.

So your Democrat colleagues weren't buying the that Studds/Franks/Soros/CREW/Clinton/Chavez/AP/Rueters/MSM were to blame in all this?

Democrats are STUPID.

Cedarford said...

Edward - Let me propose another category of posts that Ann Althouse should suppress: posts that defame an entire minority group, i.e. blatantly bigoted posts.

Sloanasaurus says that “this behavior (soliciting young men) is not uncommon for gay men.”


So, that factual observation, that gay men looking for smooth, young boys - not being uncommon is "defaming an entire minority group"? No, it is saying that many gays are just what they are called by the street kids - chickenhawks. I suppose it is a strategy, Edward...if the truth hurts, claim to be a victim and demand to suppress it.

How many more obnoxious, untrue and (obviously) unsubstantiated claims of a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia/pederasty do we have to endure in these threads?

Hopefully none. Hopefully, people that recount DOJ stats saying 40% of pedophelia is directed at young boys and gay men are arrested for underage sex at rates 5-7 times the rate of hetero men will continue to tell the truth. And that their historical observations reflecting the long-time tradition of gay pederasy will be accurate. And that stories like that of the intense efforts of the gay community to rehabilitate the likes of pederast Oscar Wilde as an innocent victim of Victorian prejudice will continue to be factual and complete.


Every reputable professional organization with authority in these matters refutes categorically the connection between being gay and being a pedophile or a pederast.

Oh, sure! If by reputable you mean gay front groups groups on the Left that honor and support the gay agenda.

The case being made is gays have higher odds of being pedophiles and pederasts, not that all gays or even a majority, are. Just as gays are more promiscuous, and have a higher likelihood of getting and spreading sexual diseases than straights of similar socioeconomic status.

*******************
Anyways, to the story. Despite what the Evangelicals say, the Foley story will damage the Republicans with some evangelicals that think it is the final straw, plus Republicans that don't care much about the scandal per se, but are disgusted with the inept, cronyistic, reckless spending, present-day Republican leadership in Congress. And with certain Independents that are not rabid partisans, do not follow politics closely, but will remember this scandal and affix a taint to the Republicans...

Unless.....

Before the election, the investigations reveal that Democratic operatives and certain Democratic leaders knew about this months or even over a year ago and despite their professed "Caring for the Children!!" duty above all other factors, held onto it to spring "an October surprise to manipulate the voters".

The abovementioned Republican and Independent voters may not like much of the Republican Leadership's actions - but they hate even more being considered guillable stupid cattle to be stampeded by hypocritical Democrats or Soros Cabal operatives - if true..

noah said...

Suppose the published IM exchanges were with a female former page? In that hypothetical case, I think Hastert would have also recommended to the offending congressperson, male or female, that he or she should resign. I think the Studds case proves that a blue state Democrat can survive in light of the bare facts but could even he have survived similar revelations of salacious e-mails? The personal mortification factor needs to be included. I could never understand how Bill Clinton could stand it...which is why I think he is a sociopath.

fletcher said...

Perhaps it's time to for a "Page Commission" made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, tasked with assigning blame in a "bipartisan" way across House leadership "administrations".

Where was Tip O'Neal when Studds had a physical, sexual relationship with a male 17 year old page?

Fenrisulven said...

Badger: So your Democrat colleagues weren't buying the that Studds/Franks/Soros/CREW/Clinton/Chavez/AP/Rueters/MSM were to blame in all this?

Not what he said. He's saying they are blind to their own depravity and hypocrisy. Its not the corruption they care about, its how they can exploit it to gain power.

Edward said...

If Ann Althouse and her “minions” (I use the term jokingly) believe so strongly in the value of blogs as “performance theater,” then I recommend that they take a look at Garage Mahal’s post. It’s brilliant – and brilliantly hilarious.

Now THAT’s the way to do performance theater.

Anonymous said...

I don't really have much interest in the story itself. So I'm not likely to be fascinated with the minutiae that follows it.

Life is much simpler than most people like to make it. There is a saying in Sicilian that covers the whole megillah:

Don't sh*t where you eat.

That is all.

Too Many Jims said...

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some democratic operatives knew about some of this information and held it for political purposes. This may make them slick, smart or nefarious depending on your point of view.

At the same time, it is fairly clear that some in the House republican caucus or their staff knew about potential problems with Mr. Foley before this episode. Just from a political perspective knowing about the situation and letting it fester is either inept, stupid or nefarious.

Now if someone could show that Dems knew "more" than the Republicans, it might change that, but I have seen nothing that suggests that the Dems knew more than the Republicans.

Fitz said...

Yes, Ann is correct… “Value voters” are not mindless, they understand (implicitly) the difference between an individual transgression, and a supposed “cover-up” that never happened.

Brit Hume on Fox Sunday brought up an excellent point. The information Hastert knew of (the E-mails, as compared with the I-M’s released only a week ago) Were pretty tame, and not a smoking gun that would allow him to be driven from the party. If the Republicans had attempted such he could have easily denied anything unsavory and the main stream media would have painted Republicans as gay-bashing and attempted purging, by outing gay republicans in the midsts.

Just like the Boy Scouts & the Catholic Church (same-bind)

Fenrisulven said...

Precisely what would have been the perfectly calibrated Democratic response to this scandal?

For starters, if Pelosi & the DNC were truly concerned about sexual harassment of pages, they would have broke the Foley scandal over the summer instead of timing it for the mid-terms.

The Jerk said...

The abovementioned Republican and Independent voters may not like much of the Republican Leadership's actions - but they hate even more being considered guillable stupid cattle to be stampeded by hypocritical Democrats or Soros Cabal operatives - if true..

But if it's Tom Delay manipulating the "wackos", it's all good.

http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/11/03/abramoff/index_np.html

chris smith said...

I suppose I'm one of these "values voters".
The Foley scandal seems pathetic on his personal level, and a pathetic reflection on Congress at large--calling for a Hastert resignation smacked of opportunism.
As did the targeting of Allen, especially in the WaPo. Very satisfied with my decision to cancel my subscription to that...publication some months back. I am completely unimpressed with the loyal opposition, and look forward to voting against them in four weeks.

Revenant said...

Was Gwaltney referring to homosexuality or sexual licentiousness?

Conservative Protestants do not generally draw a distinction between those two things -- the former is, from their point of view, merely a subset of the latter.

Brando said...

For starters, if Pelosi & the DNC were truly concerned about sexual harassment of pages, they would have broke the Foley scandal over the summer instead of timing it for the mid-terms.

un, Fenrisulven. The Democrats didn't know about the issue any sooner than we (the public) about the issue. Why? The republicans didn't inform the democrats on the relevant committees of the inappropriate emails.

Nice try though.

noah said...

Ditto to Ravenant.

Us Red-state yahoos "know" what sin is.

There is no reason to believe that the folks at the NYT do.

Sloanasaurus said...

I have never seen any evidence showing that gay men engage more in pedophilia. Pedophilia is its own sickness and should not be seen to be construed from the sexual orientation of the criminal.

Adults being attracted to 15-16-17 year olds, however, is not a mental sickness. We just have laws prohibiting that kind of behavior because as a society we want to protect those under 18 from such activity.

Doyle said...

I'm not going to accept comments on that level from you anymore.

Apparently you're not allowing any comments from me anymore, even my polite response to your initial censorship.

Hardly seems fair.

MadisonMan said...

fenris, you mischaracterize what I do. I merely point out that Hastert is not effective. I'm not sure how exploitative that is.

Is it your contention that he leads well? If so, how has he allowed Foley to happen, when it's been percolating for several years?

George said...

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class [in America] except Congress."

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

--Mark Twain

Someone else, maybe Will Rogers, said that in America we like to know where our criminals are. We put them in Congress so we can keep an eye on them, Democrat or Republican.

noah said...

Does it really need to be pointed out that Hastert does not have the power to expell a member of Congress?

JorgXMcKie said...

Two things.

First, if Hastert doesn't have the power to expel a member from Congress, but the entire House does, by majority vote, and he could have, if it seemed necessary from the evidence he had available, threatened to take it to the House if Foley didn't resign. Of course, the same is true from Cold Cash Jefferson.

Second, it warms the cockles of my heart to see the Left side of the US ideological spectrum hewing so closely to their position of demanding that the accused be held "innocent until proven guilty" as they always do.

(There's some theatre for you, Edward. Sort of hoisted on Howard Dean's petard.)

The Jerk said...

Us Red-state yahoos "know" what sin is.

There is no reason to believe that the folks at the NYT do.


I didn't know being pharisaic was something to be proud of.

Edward said...

Professor Althouse: I think Doyle has a point about the suppression of his posts, unless you’re basing your decision on a long history of inappropriate posts from him in other threads, a long history that the rest of us are unaware of.

I seem to recall that the last time I saw you suppress someone else’s posts, you went out of your way to justify your decision. You actually won me over to your side with your rationale. In principle, I certainly do endorse deleting grossly inappropriate posts.

In Doyle’s case, however, I’m not at all convinced that your decision was the proper one.

Then again, I’m not going to defend Doyle too vigorously, because then my own posts might be suppressed… (Ha, Ha, Ha)

Edward said...

Noah: No one here, least of all me, has called Republicans “yahoos.”

I think your sarcastic use of this term to describe people like yourself actually reveals your subconscious realization that the official Republican position on the Foley scandal is illogical and untenable.

Sloanasaurus said...

Suppose the published IM exchanges were with a female former page? In that hypothetical case, I think Hastert would have also recommended to the offending congressperson, male or female, that he or she should resign.

I am not so sure. If the former page was of age, and the congressperson was not married, then the publication of the IMs is nothing more than a violation of the former page and the Congressperson's privacy.

My sister met her prof as a freshman in college and married him when she was 20. They are doing pretty well and live a glorious lifestyle as ouspoken liberals more than 25 years later. However, under the Foley standard, their relationship would be morally repugnant.

Cedarford said...

Sloanasaurus - I have never seen any evidence showing that gay men engage more in pedophilia. Pedophilia is its own sickness and should not be seen to be construed from the sexual orientation of the criminal.

Sorry, that is a little too PC to swallow. The rates of pedophelia victimization are 1.7 per 1,000 girls 12 and under, and 0.4 per 1,000 boys. If the predator seeks only little boys and is gay with respect to his adult partners, chances are his gayness is a big factor in his choice of victims.

Pretending as gays do, that men pedophiles assaulting boys cannot be characterized as "gay-related" because pedophelia is a crime is like arguing that a man raping a woman could be either gay or straight in orientation because rape is it's own sickness that reveals nothing about the sexual preference of the attacker. In short, hokey bunk likely concocted by a schlock academic psychologist who never cracked a personal background report on the crimes and relevant sexual behavior of a pedophile.

Gays appear to be 5-7 times more likely to have a preference for underaged sex - from pedophelia or pederasty - than heterosexuals.

Garage Mahal said...

Gays appear to be 5-7 times more likely to have a preference for underaged sex - from pedophelia or pederasty - than heterosexuals.

Cedarford, you are definitely the resident "gay expert"

You obviously done exhausting reasearch on the subject, that could share with us?

Or, you are running "undercover" in the gay community. Which is it?

Edward said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edward said...

For Cedarford and those of you who really seem to think that gay men are much more likely to be pederasts and/or pedophiles:

Your position on the Foley scandal, just like Hastert’s, is completely illogical.

Everyone agrees that the Republican leadership has always known that Foley is gay. Everyone also agrees that Hastert and other high-ranking Republicans became aware of at least several “overly friendly” emails that Foley sent to one or more male pages.

If gay men like Foley really are “5 to 7 times” more likely to engage in pederasty than heterosexuals, then Hastert, Reynolds and the other House leaders should have been extremely vigilant about emails of the type that everyone agrees they saw long ago.

This “5 to 7 times” statistic totally undercuts the excuse of the Republican leadership that they had no reason to launch a more extensive investigation of Foley. The limited evidence that was indisputably available to them was way more than sufficient to be alarmed about Foley, if men like him really are so prone to pederasty.

You see, the official and quasi-official Republican positions on Foley are completely incoherent.

Yet this incoherence is really only a reflection of the much larger incoherence of the official Republican position on homosexuality, as reflected, for example, in their official pronouncements against gay marriage.

If gay men are really so prone to be pederasty, then why do so many Republican members of Congress have gay people as assistants?

Cedarford, why aren’t you personally outraged that leading Republican members of Congress hire so many gay people to work in their offices?

Did you know that the manager of the Congressional Page Board was for a long time a gay Republican? Why aren’t you outraged by that?

Senator Santorum, who I assume is one of your heroes, has a very high-ranking staffer. Santorum knows the staffer is gay, and yet keeps him as an employee. Why aren’t you outraged by that?

Edward said...

For the super-social-conservatives here:

If you guys want to conduct a purge of all closeted and non-closeted gay Republican elected officials and staffers, then be my guest and have at it.

Such a witch hunt will be so obviously motivated by bigotry that the public spectacle will win the gay community even more sympathy than it already receives.

Freeman Hunt said...

For the super-social-conservatives here:

If you guys want to conduct a purge of all closeted and non-closeted gay Republican elected officials and staffers, then be my guest and have at it.


What a canard--who has advocated this?

MadisonMan said...

Edward, it was my understanding that the so-called mass outing, at least when I read about it last week, was to be the doing of ultra-liberals.

Are they so far left that they're right? I'm not sure I understand your statement.

Balfegor said...

Edward -- do you not notice that you're essentially saying, "This is what I think you are like. This is what I think the consequences of your beliefs ought to be. Now act like it!"

I mean, when you say:

If you guys want to conduct a purge of all closeted and non-closeted gay Republican elected officials and staffers, then be my guest and have at it.

The only one who is recommending that is you -- you're the one who says that's what they should be doing, not them.

You might also benefit from a bit of common sense here. Look at it from their perspective. Assume everything they think is true -- heck, even that you think they think is true. What follows? Why would they be concerned about purging all gay staffers? Their concern with pederasty is a concern with juveniles. Even if they thought all homosexuals are closet pederasts, it would be more logical for them just to ban homosexuals from administering the page program (cf. the boy scouts), and to require the page program administrators to monitor contacts between gay staffers/congressmen and pages. Not to fire all gay staffers, whose duties by and large have nothing whatsoever to do with the pages.

Geez.

Sloanasaurus said...

If gay men are really so prone to be pederasty, then why do so many Republican members of Congress have gay people as assistants?

Young men are also more prone to commit violent crimes. Why do so many Republican members of Congress hire young men?

Tim said...

edward said:

"I think your sarcastic use of this term to describe people like yourself actually reveals your subconscious realization that the official Republican position on the Foley scandal is illogical and untenable."

What, exactly, is the 'official Republican position on the Foley scandal,' and where can it be found?

Second, it is abundantly clear, official or not, that the Democrat position is this:

Democrat Member of Congress (Studds, Frank, Condit, Reynolds) or President (Clinton) has actually known, proven, and admitted sexual contact with a subordinate employee and, in some cases, broke laws (sexual harassment, perjury) in so doing, and that's totally cool, they were 'consenting' adults, its only sex, so mind your own damn business and keep your nose out of ours. And yes, they get to keep their jobs, because defending America against the evil depredations of Republicans is just too damned important to pay attention to a little sex.

Republican Member of Congress sends e-mails and IMs to male pages, some of them potentially minors but still of the age of consent under DC law, and does not actually have sexual contact with any page while employed by the House? Off with his head, and the entire House Leadership as well, and toss out the majority too, the perverts!

How could the 'official Republican position' possibly be more illogical and untenable than that?

Garage Mahal said...

Has anyone heard from Jeff Gannon, from "Talon News" that could possibly shed some insight on all this?

"Over to you Jeff"

MadisonMan said...

Tim: I'll repeat what I told Bruce. Democrats are not asking for the Republican Leadership to resign. Republicans are! The Democrats I know are laughing at this, because hypocritical politicians caught in sex scandals are always laughable.

(What's a potential minor, by the way?)

Brent said...

Edward,

I am an evangelical and a conservative, and I have no interest in purging any gay person from their positions in government unless he/she is guilty of malfeasance, the same as any hetero or whatever.

I am frankly having difficulty in sorting out the Foley situation. As far as I can tell, his being gay is not the primary issue, but his behavior towards underage young people is.

I'm having a difficult time, however, understanding if the page(s) were actually "underage", and if the messages were sufficiently bad enough, at least as was shown to Congressional leadership, to warrant more serious action at the time. Frankly, I'm confused at all the different "facts" being thrown about by the Main Stream Media.

I do know that Rep Foley resigned, and that, unless he is part of a
secret cabal of Congessmen and Congresswomen that seek out similar activities, that he is no more representative of my Congressman in California or his challenger, or any other Republican for that matter.

I will not be voting Democratic, mostly because of their leadership. but I do not for a minute believe that Cynthia McKinney was representative of every Democrat being a thoughtless, hate-filled person. Thankfully, her constituents decided the same.

It is disgusting, however, for the Democrats to try and make hay out of this for politcal advantage.


Leftist or Not? You be the judge:

Time Magazine's Cover this week:
The End of a Revolution
Sex, lies and power games are just the latest symptoms of a Republican Party that has strayed from its ideals.

Tim said...

madisonman,

"Potential minor" was meant to convey "not sure if they were minors or not at the time of contact," as in "they potentially were minors rather than adults." Sorry for the confusion.

And yes, some Republicans certainly are calling for the Speaker's resignation, but so too are Democrats.

MadisonMan said...

Tim, if you can provide a link to a democrat, I'd be interested in reading about it. Thanks!

Edward said...

My earlier “purge” post was written mostly just to be provocative. I’m well aware that none of you have literally advocated such an action.

Nevertheless, there is plenty of incoherence and inconsistency in the official Republican positions on a large number of gay issues.

Within the id of the typical Republican mind, there is a lot of unacknowledged fear and unease over homosexuality.

Yet the more civilized part of the Republican mind already realizes that homosexuality is no more socially harmful than heterosexuality. The civilized part also wants the benefit of the many talents that gay people can bring to an enterprise, be that a political or a business enterprise.

A tacit but very powerful code of silence among Republican officials on the issue of homosexuality prevents an honest and open discussion of these issues. The code of silence also prevents the two parts of the Republican mind, the fearful id and the more enlightened and civilized part, from communicating with each other and reaching any kind of orderly reconciliation of all the inconsistencies.

If you don’t think that a sick, twisted code of silence prevented the House Republican leadership from solving the Foley problem long ago, then I recommend that you reconsider.

Michael said...

Edward: A typical response from the Left is exactly what you said - the "claim" is untrue and obnoxious.

The claim is not untrue. The Republicans did not blow this thing up into the "scandal of the week" or the "October surprise." Democrats did that. And once they thought they had traction, they tried to turn it into political advantage - as others have stated actually overplaying their hands - and all of this traces right back to Democrats. And as I type this, Democrat enablers like David Corn are now threatening to "out" Republicans in congress who he claims are homosexual. Every Democrat source on the web is beating the drums and fanning the flames to make this into much more than it is. The story of the Democrats creating this "revelation" are true alright. They expose themselves for what they are by the very nature of their charges. If Republicans knew about this, but kept it under wraps, then WHO blew it open?

Of course the truth of the matter is that Hastert thought this was handled and he tried to comply with the wishes of the page and his parents - not to make it into a big deal because they wanted to have their privacy respected. Well, they can now thank the Democrats and the Leftist media like ABC for publishing the page's name and possibly ruining his life. It sure wasn't the Republicans who did that. The story as we know it is that the leadership told Foley to quit what he was doing and felt that they had handled it. So please stop with the phony denials of who blew this wide open. And as others have stated, it sure wasn't out of some concern for moral indignation - it was a political ploy plain and simple. Most voters recognize that and will vote accordingly and Democrat numbers will again fall short which will be just punishment for another phony scandal.

As far as the obnoxious part - of course it is obnoxious when those on the Left get pointed out for what they are. They are, by nature, a pretty obnoxious bunch. No answers to the big issues of the day that offer any hope - just sideline carping and finger-pointing. Supporting unpopular causes and ideas of which the list is quite long. And it appears at least since Bush first got elected totally bereft of any grown-up leadership. Pelosi? Dean? Biden? Kennedy? Reid? Boxer? and on and on. They are an obnoxious bunch.

Your accusation of "terrible crime" is without grounds. As of this writing, even Foley has not been charged with any crime. And to smear the entire party based on this non-crime is really obnoxious - especially when one looks a the motivation in depth. There is no "there" there. It is avarice and lust for power.

The Republican party does stand for personal responsibility and self-discipline. Foley acted inappropriately. He admitted his mistakes, took full responsibility and resigned - what better demonstration of self-discipline?

Nobody is "not accepting" responsibility and nobody is crying. What we are doing is pointing out the rationale behind the faux outrage from the Left.

Freeman Hunt said...

Within the id of the typical Republican mind, there is a lot of unacknowledged fear and unease over homosexuality.

Yet the more civilized part of the Republican mind already realizes that homosexuality is no more socially harmful than heterosexuality.


If I hadn't read your other posts over the last few days, I would have thought this was satire. On what basis do you make such assumptions about the "Republican mind?"

The Jerk said...

Democrat enablers like David Corn are now threatening to "out" Republicans in congress who he claims are homosexual.

Falsehood #1.

Well, they can now thank the Democrats and the Leftist media like ABC for publishing the page's name and possibly ruining his life.

Falsehood #2.

Anybody else spot any others?

Doyle said...

I nominate these three:

1: The Republican party does stand for personal responsibility and self-discipline.

2: Nobody is "not accepting" responsibility...

3: Most voters recognize that and will vote accordingly and Democrat numbers will again fall short...

chickenlittle said...

I'm not a trained professional in the area, but it sounds to me like Edward is "projecting".
He imagines that his own mind comprises both homo- and heterosexual aspects, and he need only momentarly suppress the more "civilized" aspect to imagine the full horror of his own demons. But rather than call it Mark Foley, he calls it the republican id.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: If the person to whom the Congressman is sexually attracted is clearly above the age of consent, and if that person is also no longer employed by the Congress, then there’s nothing morally wrong about that behavior, whether it’s straight or gay.

You couldn't be more wrong. Stalking young people, abusing their trust in the mentor/page relationship, taking advantage of their inexperience to farm them for sexual gratification. immoral, unethical, and depraved.

Doesn't matter if you game the age of consent laws - its disgusting.

Fenrisulven said...

Anybody else spot any others?

Falsehood #1. LOL. That was easy

[assertion in place of argument is so convenient. They can say "liar" without backing it up. Its been Left's MO for the last 8 years]

Sloanasaurus said...

I think the whole Foley thing could be used by Republicans to 1) point out the difference in morals between the parties and 2) dredge up the Gerry Studds incident.

Christain Conservative voters are not stupid. THey know the difference between the parties. Comparing Foley to Studds is a great way to highlight the moral values issue. With Foley you had a party that moved to expel the member immediatly and question its leadership. With Studds, you had an entire Democrat party that stood up and cheered and applauded Studds defiance of the vote of censure against him.

With Tom Delay/Bob Ney you had members and a party that got rid of him in Congress when he was suspected of corruption. With Democrats, you have Rep William Jefferson caught on video with Bribe money actually running for re-election. Where are the calls by Democrats for Jefferson to resign?

The message is that bad people are the norm and our society is riddled with them. The difference is that Republicans do something about it - they get rid of members - Democrats either do nothing or condone such behavior.

Sloanasaurus said...

Doesn't matter if you game the age of consent laws - its disgusting.

This is classic relativism. Liberals always seem to bend and reject the rules for their own purposes. Why can't you just accept the law as it is written.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: You’re interpreting what I wrote in the worst possible light. In other words, you’re badly distorting what I wrote.

I don’t approve of anybody “farming” anybody else.

I agree with your implicit claim, which is that any sexual relationship between a Congressman and a former page would be fraught with a huge number of moral risks, no matter how many years after the page left the service of Congress the two individuals waited to start the relationship.

In fact, I would never, ever encourage such a relationship.

Yet I was responding to Ann Althouse’s implicit claim that Democrats like me are being prudes in our harsh criticism of Foley. (I actually think that Ann’s position on the Foley scandal is somewhat inconsistent and therefore difficult to answer.)

The main point I was making is that Democrats like me are well aware of how human relationships work.

If the age difference between the Congressman and the ex-page was not large (keep in mind that there are some surprisingly young members of Congress) and if the two of them waited a number of years before starting a relationship (I would say until the ex-page is at least 21), then maybe a case could be made that the relationship would be justifiable.

It would not necessarily involve any “farming” or “grooming” of the page by the Congressman. The sexual interest between the two could start only years after the page left Congressional service. In fact, the Congressman and the ex-page could, and probably should, wait a very long time even before starting any kind of communication following the page’s service.

And the communication that they start should be strictly non-sexual in nature for a very long time, not like the lewd IMs that Foley sent almost from the get go to the former male pages that he knew.

Would I ever recommend such an arrangement? No, never, never, never.

Would I immediately rush to condemn such a relationship? Not necessarily, at least if I saw plenty of evidence that the Congressman involved had respected all the necessary moral firewalls in his or her behavior starting from the very beginning.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven and Sloanasaurus: Are you saying that you can never conceive of a situation where a relationship between a high school teacher and one of his former students might be moral?

What if they waited ten years after the student graduated before starting their relationship? What if they waited fifteen or twenty years? According to you, such a relationship could never, ever be morally acceptable, no matter how many precautions were taken to prevent moral impropriety?

I think this imaginary situation between a Congressman and an ex-page is no different than an imaginary one between a high school teacher and his or her ex-student.

An enormous amount of care would have to be taken to prevent impropriety – both its appearance and its reality – but in a very unusual and rare number of circumstances, this kind of relationship just might be morally defensible.

Again, I would never personally recommend it, but I wouldn’t necessarily rush to denounce it.

You guys are just twisting yourselves in knots trying to paint all Democrats as perverts – and you’re terribly wrong for attempting to do this.

Sloanasaurus said...

if the two of them waited a number of years before starting a relationship (I would say until the ex-page is at least 21)

Would you then support changing the age of consent to 21? Or perhaps at least 21 without the father's permission Would you support legislation saying that those under 30 are allowd to date people 18+, those over 30 are only allowed to date those 21+.

These sound like laws from a by-gone era. Althouse was right. You really are a prude.

Harkonnendog said...

Social conservative values voters have no logical reason to vote for democrats because the dems have and will do much worse than anything Foley has done, and will not resign as a result.

They have no logical reason to vote against republicans because Foley has resigned, and been purged, (rather than defended or perhaps even lionized the way he would be if he were a democrat).

This MAY cause some of these voters to not vote at all, out of disgust, but it is just as likely to motivate them to fight for their social conservative values by voting instead of staying home. They sure as hell aren't going to vote for the party that is cool with Barney Frank, lol.

Anonymous said...

more repugnant than self-indulgent sexual expression.

I could not agree more.

Edward said...

Sloanasaurus: Stop putting words in my mouth! I never said anything about changing the age of consent.

I do think, however, that people in positions of so much power as members of Congress should be extra-vigilant in avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

They certainly have to avoid the appearance of “grooming” pages for relationships that will start soon after the pages leave Congress.

I’ll also make a prediction: In the wake of the Foley scandal, Congress is sure to tighten its own internal rules governing the relationships between members of Congress and both pages AND ex-pages.

I bet that the new rules they put in place resemble ones that I spelled in my earlier posts.

Congress has the authority to set rules for its members above and beyond what’s merely legal. If they’re smart, that’s what they’ll do in this case.

Anonymous said...

Sloanasaurus wrote:
You could be right. I am restating a claim made in a book written by Tammy Bruce. I have no first hand knowledge about the gay community otherwise, but Ms. Bruce does.

With all due respect to Ms. Bruce (and she does get a lot from this quarter), I think it's fair comment to say her opinions are largely formed by her own experience with a *ahem* very fast crowd and a relationship with a much older woman that can only be politely described as emotionally abusive and exploitative.

Speaking for myself, my eleven year partnership with a man who is over twenty years my elder has nothing to do with some star-f**king power trip. We work in different professions, and I'm quite happy going dutch on dates, buy my own clothes and take a very dim view of workplace affairs. It was a rather tiresome story about falling in love - and making a serious committment - to another human being I with shared interests, values and a common vision of what a good life is.

I think the argument made by gays is that is that such young gay men are forced to engage with older men because of social norms against gay relationships.

LOL... You should just see how body-fascist and ageist the gay 'scene' really is, and I doubt you'd say that for long.

As I don't have a political dog in this hunt, perhaps someone could answer this very simple question. Why doesn't Capitol Hill hire adults instead of teenagers? If Congress stuffed the halls with spinsters who'd respond to sexual harassment with howls of derisive laughter, and a good hard slap in the mouth, I suspect the quality of governance and political discource would improve exponentially.

Garage Mahal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fletcher said...

Perhaps it's time for a blanket law overturning the Congressional exemptions from employment, civil rights and other laws?

Such proposals are already on the shelf. Take one down, blow off the dust and RUN on it.

Eli Blake said...

Fletcher:

Perhaps it's time for a blanket law overturning the Congressional exemptions from employment, civil rights and other laws?

Your comment is about the most astute I've seen on here.

To be honest, it should start with that but not end with it. For example, I'd have a lot more confidence in the laws Congress passed in regard to health care if they didn't have the best system of socialized medicine on the planet but we can't get it.

If they really want to address Social Security then I'd have more trust if they changed their own retirement system to something like the one I have, and then placed themselves under Social Security.

And I also like Sen. Reid's proposal tying both minimum wage hikes and Congressional pay raises to the same cost of living formula.

There is a great deal that could be done in this regard, and if done it would go a long way towards restoring the trust of the people in their elected representatives.

Brando said...

With Foley you had a party that moved to expel the member immediatly and question its leadership.

Sloaner, you need to climb aboard starship reality one of these days. The republican leadership was aware of the Foley's inappropriate email/behavior for years and did nothing. They only did something "immediately" after a republican staffer leaked the IM/emails to the media and shit hit the fan. Had the emails/IMs not been leaked, Foley would be in office right now campiagning for another term and cruizing for more pages.

sayer said...

MadisonMan,

Meet the Press.
Democrats Claire McCaskill and Tim Russert obviously want Hastert to resign. I'm inferring it from his tone of voice when he asks; She states it outright in her answer.

Please quit faking wide-eyed innocence. It's unbecoming and not terribly believable.

Brando said...

According to a CNN
poll
, apparently 52% of the public think Hastert should resign too.

The Exalted said...

sloaner,

i'm not sure if you have written a single true thing in this entire thread.

bravo.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: Fenrisulven...are you saying that you can never conceive of a situation where a relationship between a high school teacher and one of his former students might be moral?

Immoral: Teacher cultivating a future sexual relationship with a victim while still in teacher/student relationship. Its no different than a shrink abusing a patient relationship to get in some one's pants.

Fenrisulven said...

Fletcher: Perhaps it's time for a blanket law overturning the Congressional exemptions from employment, civil rights and other laws

You're on to something there. The Left and Right side of the Net united for a single cause last month - transparency re ear marks. This is something they should pick up and run with, keep the momentum up.

Fitz said...

"Sloaner, you need to climb aboard starship reality one of these days. The republican leadership was aware of the Foley's inappropriate email/behavior for years and did nothing. They only did something "immediately" after a republican staffer leaked the IM/emails to the media and shit hit the fan. Had the emails/IMs not been leaked, Foley would be in office right now campiagning for another term and cruizing for more pages."

Brando – you need to climb aboard the starship accurate one of these days. Your intentionally trying to conflate the e-mails with the I-M’s (only brought to public attention last Friday). The previous E-mails were pretty tame and only look damning in hindsight. You cant destroy a mans career and make accusation of something as henios as pederasty over what was contained in those E-mails.

Once the I.M. (however ) were released he was immediately renounced and has left the caucus in shame.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: You’re not carefully reading what I write. You have a preconceived notion about what I mean, and you cram what I actually write into the tiny box of your preconceived notion

What if there was absolutely no “cultivating” at all? What if the Congressman never even thought of the page in that way until years later, long after the page has become an ex-page and when he or she is much older?

What if the Congressman and the ex-page haven’t seen or communicated at all with each other in years, and then, completely by chance, they meet somewhere and, then and only then, they have the thought to start a relationship?

Do you really think that would be immoral?

Fenrisulven said...

You guys are just twisting yourselves in knots trying to paint all Democrats as perverts – and you’re terribly wrong for attempting to do this

No we are not. And here is why: looking over the comments on this blog alone, I notice a telling sign - the Right had been prefacing its comments with Foley is scum, but not the Left. Most of their comments about this scandal are celebratory re midterms, with the occasional cheapshot thrown at the GOP.

Kinda begs the question: does the Left really condemn behavior related to the Foley scandal? Sins of ommission say alot.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: You’re not carefully reading what I write...What if there was absolutely no “cultivating” at all?

LOL. You are "carefully" evading my answer by reframing the question. I said:

A "teacher cultivating a future sexual relationship with a victim while still in teacher/student relationship" is immoral.

You can't say I'm misreading you and then change the question to my answer. :P

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: You HAVE misread me! I have never, ever defended any kind of “cultivating” in any of my posts.

None of my posts have offered any excuse or justification for Congressmen “cultivating” pages.

In fact, I’ve always condemned that behavior since the very beginning of this debate.

You just have a fixed, rigid idea that Democrats are immoral and that Republicans are moral, and you merrily go about cramming all the available evidence to fit that absurd prejudice.

downtownlad said...

This is further evidenced by how Democrats treated Gerry Studds in 1983 - they cheered Studds for standing up for his homosexualty despite having gay sex with a 17 year old page

Yet another lie from a so-called Christian. It's funny how Christians do that.

Actually - it's also funny how Republicans and Christians keep bringing up Gerry Studds yet are silent about Dan Crane, the Republican who had sex with a 17-year old female page.

The House Speaker at the time, Tip O'Neill was actually furious about Studds when he heard about what happened, even though it occurred a decade earlier, was entirely consensual, happened was Studds was only 36 years-old and had just entered Congress, happened when homosexuality was pretty much illegal everywhere, so EVERY kind of gay relationship was breaking the law, and NO laws were broken in this case (since the sex happened in Europe), and the statute of limitations had expired.

The House, almost unanimously, proceeded to censure both Crane (R) and Studds (D), so the punishment was equal.

Both ran for re-election, and only Studds was re-elected, probably because the citizens in his district recognized that Studds had made an error in judgment, and they FORGAVE him, which is the real Christian thing to do. But in order to forgive, it's important for people to take responsibility first, which Studds did.

Contrast that to Dennis Hastert, who knew that Foley was stalking dozens of pages in an unwanted manner (much worse than what Crane or Studds did in my opinion), yet Hastert did absolutely nothing.

Who cares what evangelicals think? It just proves that evangelicals are a bunch of hypocrites.

Brando said...

First, let me preface this comment for Fenrisulven: Foley is scum. And i will ante that up with republicans are scum for turning a blind eye to Foley' behavior.

Fitz, I think it is pretty accurate to say that the republican leadership was well aware of Foley's questionable behavior (either via email or internal reporting) and took no credible steps to deal with it. Foley was even considering not runnning again for his seat, but was convinced to do otherwise in order to save the seat.

I agree with a majority of Americans who "say that Republican Congressional leaders put their political interests ahead of protecting the safety of teenage pages, and that House leaders knew of former Representative Mark Foley’s sexually charged messages to pages well before he was forced to quit Congress" according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

MadisonMan said...

sayer, thank you, I'll trundle off and read the MtP transcripts, if I can find them. It was far too nice here this weekend to be indoors.

I don't mean to project innocence, by the way, just biting cynicism. Guess I need to work on it. At the moment, since Foley is the topic, my cynicism is directed towards the R side.

Palladian said...

Boy, arguing about this is sure easier than talking about actual issues! Hey, did you hear that North Korea may have conducted a nuclear test? No? Oh, you were too busy researching statistics on how many gay men versus straight men like to have sex with attractive 17 year olds, and what Denny Hastert ate for lunch on March 21st (chicken! Aha!)? Sorry to interrupt this important debate with trifles!

Birkel said...

downtownlad,

A 17 year old cannot be involved in a consensual relationship in most states of the Union. They also can't buy a car 'til they reach the age of majority. That's because they are assumed not to be competent to fully judge the implications of their actions.

But hey, carry on with your defense of former Rep. Studds. It's amusing.

Sloanasaurus said...

Downtownlad, your post was great. It proves everything I and others have been saying on this board.

The reason why we don't bring up Crane is because, unlike Studds, he did not turn his back on the house while he was being censured, and the Republican caucus did not start cheering over his indescretion.

downtownlad said...

Another lie Sloannasaurus. You like to lie, don't you. Studds did not turn his back on the House. He was facing the speaking directly as he was being censured.

While Studds has often been reported as having "turned his back on the House" as the House read its censure motion aloud,[2] contemporary reports made it clear that in contrast to Crane, who faced the House as the motion for his censure was read, Studds faced the Speaker who was actually reading the motion, with his back to the other members.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Congressional_page_sex_scandal

Keep trying.

downtownlad said...

A 17 year old cannot be involved in a consensual relationship in most states of the Union.

Yup - And it didn't happen in the United States. It happened in Europe, where it WAS legal.

And the 17 year-old admitted it was consensual when he was 27 years old and stood by Studds' side after the censure.

I'm not defending Studds, but this probably had more to do with two closeted gay guys having sex than it did to do with an abuse of power, as Crane and Foley were guilty of. Remember - Studds had just entered Congress that year - and really didn't have time for power to corrupt him.

If you want to talk about sex scandals - let's talk about all of those televangelists from the 1980's.

downtownlad said...

I'm outraged that this school did not stop this teacher.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/10/nyregion/10teacher.html?hp&ex=1160452800&en=12507669844c84be&ei=5094&partner=homepage

I look forward to the Republicans saying that only the teacher should have to take responsibility and that it's not the school's problem.

Sloanasaurus said...

I'm not defending Studds, but this probably had more to do with two closeted gay guys having sex than it did to do with an abuse of power, as Crane and Foley were guilty of. Remember - Studds had just entered Congress that year - and really didn't have time for power to corrupt him.


Seriously... do you actually believe what you are saying? You are the ultimate partisan - willing even to deny your own existence.

Sloanasaurus said...

I look forward to the Republicans saying that only the teacher should have to take responsibility and that it's not the school's problem.

We will only make that claim if it was the teacher's first year on the job. They haven't had enough time to be corrupted yet.

What a boob...

downtownlad said...

Dan Crane was the sex scandal in 1980. And then Republicans went searching for a Democratic sex scandal, and they had to reach back to 1973 to dig up one.

Yet - when you reach back to a page scandal - you go back to 1973 one, ignoring the 1980 Republican one. And Crane was married at the time, preaching about moral values!

Who's the partisan?

Sloanasaurus said...

Another lie Sloannasaurus. You like to lie, don't you. Studds did not turn his back on the House. He was facing the speaking directly as he was being censured.

This is unbelievable. You are actually citing a quote that states Studds has his back to the House during the censure, and then you call it a lie to say that Studds turned his back to the House?

Here is your quote ... read it again...

While Studds has often been reported as having "turned his back on the House" as the House read its censure motion aloud,[2] contemporary reports made it clear that in contrast to Crane, who faced the House as the motion for his censure was read, Studds faced the Speaker who was actually reading the motion, with his back to the other members.[3]

Do you need a shovel?

downtownlad said...

The LIE, which you are propagating again - is that Studds deliberately dissed the House by turning his back to them.

Bullshit. He was facing the speaker as the speaker was talking to him.

In other words - Republican partisans are trying to make a controversy about something that never actually happened.

From now on - why don't Democrats just say that Dan Crane, Republican abuser of female pages, TURNED HIS BACK ON THE SPEAKER, when he was being censured by him?

After all - it's the truth, right? Well technically - but it's also a DISTORTION of the truth - which is exactly what you're doing.

Birkel said...

downtownlad,

It is illegal to travel to a foreign country for the purpose of having sex with a minor. Now you're really starting to show your ignorance.

And, oh btw, it's illegal to transport a minor out of the country without a parent's consent. Or across state lines. Wanna tackle that li'l issue?

downtownlad said...

And the reason I'm so vocal about this, is that it's part of the Republican strategy to say that the Democrats are worse.

Two Congressmen in 1983 were found to have slept with pages. One Republican and one Democrat.

Both were censured.

Both ran for re-election.

Sorry - but a NON-partisan person would see this as pretty equal treatment. A House leader (Tip O'Neill) who was furious and taking responsibility and censuring them.

Instead you have Dennis Hastert, who ignored the incident, and encouraged Foley to run for re-election before the incident was public.

And instead of taking responsibility - he blames George Soros. Copout.

Palladian said...

LOL

War, what war? Forget about that! Forget about it! Look, some guy who resigned talked dirty to someone! Someone in 1980 and 1973 did something dirty! Look! North Korea? Iran? Stop distracting us! We're talking about sex, for God's sake!

Birkel said...

And let me just say, downtownlad, that I know it's all about identity politics to you. It's all about your Democrat and gay identities.

Fine. I fart in your general direction for defending a pedophilic rapist who happened to be a gay Democrat.

downtownlad said...

Birkel - They were in Europe as part of a separate trip. Studds did not pay for his trip. The purpose of the trip was not to have sex.

So sorry - nothing illegal happened. And 16 was the age of consent in the US too.

Studds admitted a lapse in judgment. It was not a pattern on his part to sleep with 17 year-old pages. And it happened 10 years earlier. And he was censured by his colleagues.

So stop the lies about how the Democrats "cheered" for him.

downtownlad said...

Birkel - I'm a registered Republican, so you just farted in your face - sicko.

downtownlad said...

And now consensual sex with a 17 year-old in an entirely legal context now makes you a "pedophilic rapist".

Again - the right-wingers love to lie.

vnjagvet said...

Here is the contemporary report from Time Magazine:

Both Congressmen admitted their misconduct. Studds' dalliance occurred a decade ago with a 17-year-old boy, just after the Congressman's election to the House. Last week, in an extraordinary speech on the House floor, he confirmed unapologetically what had long been rumored—that he was a homosexual—and granted that he had made "a very serious error in judgment" in sleeping with the page.

Studds, who is unmarried, said only that he was wrong to have had sex with a congressional subordinate, no matter what the page's age or sex. "It is not a simple task for any of us to meet adequately the obligations of either public or private life," Studds told his rapt colleagues. "But these challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as am I, both an elected public official and gay."

According to the special counsel's report, Studds first invited the page to his Georgetown apartment, and then later that summer took the boy on a two-week trip to Portugal. The ex-page testified that he bore no ill will toward Studds.

Congressman Daniel Crane, 47, in a brief written apology, said, "I'm sorry that I made a mistake. I'm human, and in no way did I violate my oath of office. I only hope my wife and children will forgive me." Crane, a dentist from Danville, came to Capitol Hill in 1979. A year later, he and a female House page, then 17, had sex four or five times at his suburban apartment. The page, testifying that she "found the Congressman as an older man very attractive," admitted that she was "perhaps more responsible for the sexual relationship than he was."


DTL:

I agree with you that the activities of these Congressmen was parallel as was their treatment. Note that neither were encouraged to resign.

I do not agree with the implication that the Foley emails (or even the instant messages) rise to the level of the misconduct of either Crane or Studds.

Palladian said...

Anyone that has sex with anyone under the age of 35 is a PEDOPHILE! Bring the torches!

Birkel said...

downtownlad,

Feel free to lie about your political affiliation. Nobody will begrudge that given your defense of a child rapist.

It's sad that you've traded your humanity for a political and sexual identity. I pity you.

MadisonMan said...

sayer, I will also note that Nick Lampson -- the democrat who's running in Delay's seat -- also is sort of calling for Hastert's resignation -- he's demanding his Republican Opponent -- I can't recall her hyphenated name (thank goodness I don't have to write it in!) -- call for Hastert's resignation. The things I learn when I have time to surf the web. McCaskill is also calling for Hastert's resignation, chiefly (I think) to contrast her views with the sitting Republican Senator against whom she is running.

Is Tim Russert a democrat? How come he gives such softball questions to Republicans? Well, and to democrats.

I don't think it's any Democrat's business who runs the House Republicans. But Hastert is 2nd in line to the Presidency. So maybe it is important that the Speaker be a good leader. For practice, in case the worst happens. And as I've maintained, I don't think Hastert is a good leader.

Birkel said...

downtownlad,

Quit making up quotes, if you please. I've never argued this as a political point. I'm arguing the moral point that sex with children is wrong. Seventeen is every bit a child.

I've never accused the Democrats of cheering a child rapist. I have accused you of defending same.

I feel sorry for you that you can't identify that a person of 17 is a child. Your moral compass is broken.

vnjagvet said...

I don't think so either, Madisonman. But there is one unfortunate problem for the Democrats; Nancy Pelosi is far worse.

Revenant said...

I feel sorry for you that you can't identify that a person of 17 is a child. Your moral compass is broken.

Or perhap he just actually knows some 17 year olds.

Legally, a seventeen year old may be a child. Emotionally, intellectually, and physically most of them are adults.

Anonymous said...

downlownlad wrote:
And now consensual sex with a 17 year-old in an entirely legal context now makes you a "pedophilic rapist".

Again - the right-wingers love to lie.


Yeah, and someone should tell Nancy Perlosi and the rest of Democratic Party the definition of 'pedophile' and 'rape' sometime soon.

M. Simon said...

Any one want to talk about real issues?

Can we all agree that Iraq needs more Electricity?

What can we do to help them get it? More electricity means more security. Lights at night. More American cultural influence, TV and the 'Net. Refrigerators and washing machine to ease women's lives. etc.


Magic word: krmhhand

M. Simon said...

I left out sewage treatment and running water. Flush toilets.

Noumenon said...

The aggressive politicization of the Foley story is itself a story and the voters witness it and react. It's hardly surprising if they've reacted with revulsion to politicians for their expedient use of the story to claw toward power, which really is more repugnant than self-indulgent sexual expression.

Again I can't read this as anything other than partisan reframing. One of us has gotten way more partisan in the last three months.

It's probably me, because I'm thinking that all the news stories I've read about people clawing for power on the basis of this scandal have been Republicans trying to unseat Hastert.

At any rate, I think I am going to give you until after the election and then bump you down from daily reading to "blogs I keep around for enough conservatism to keep me honest."

Edward said...

Palladian: Nice try at humor, but I don’t think your jokes work, because the Foley scandal is actually more important than you realize. Here are three reasons why:

1) It’s the perfect case study of Republican corruption after 12 years of a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of one political party. Even if you think the Foley scandal is trivial (which it most certainly isn’t), it perfectly illustrates an entire Republican culture of corruption and arrogance.

2) The Foley investigation (by the FBI, the media, the House Ethics Committee, and maybe even another commission) is going to be very extensive and is probably going to reveal a much bigger and uglier cover-up than people now realize.

3) The Foley scandal shines a bright light on pervasive Republican homophobia and the despicable attempts by one of this country’s two major political parties to deny a significant minority group (gay people) their most basic civil liberties.

You see, Palladian, humor only works when it has some connection to reality. If your perception of the reality of the issue that you’re poking fun of is off kilter, you’re likely not going to succeed at finding the humor lodged within that issue. And your jokes about it probably won’t be very funny.

I think this also explains why Ann Althouse’s attempts at humor usually fall flat.

I will give you an A for effort, though, for the post about raising the age of consent to 35. That came close to being funny – close, but not quite good enough.

MadisonMan said...

It's my hope that if Democrats take over the House, a new then-Majority leader will be selected. I'm not holding my breath, however, as I think the leadership could claim they had steered the Democratic ship to victory. It's hardly a victory worth noting, however, if your opposition flounders during a mutiny.

Sloanasaurus said...

Madison Man is right to question the depth of a potential victory in the house. 1994 was important because it resulted from a shift in the demographics of the country. The Republicans were able to take advantage of this. However, there is no shift here, just people who hate bush and a sex scandal.

Revenant said...

1) It’s the perfect case study of Republican corruption after 12 years of a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of one political party.

I find it amusing that you consider Republican control of Congress under a *Democratic* President -- from 1994 to 2000 -- to be "dangerous concentration of power in the hands of one political party".

It is even funnier when you consider that, prior to the Republican wins of 12 years ago, the Democratic Party controlled both Congress and the Presidency. The event you use to mark the beginning of your "dangerous concentration of power in the hands of one political party" actually represents the end of a monolithically Democratic government and the beginning of six years of divided government.

The Foley investigation (by the FBI, the media, the House Ethics Committee, and maybe even another commission) is going to be very extensive and is probably going to reveal a much bigger and uglier cover-up than people now realize.

I think that if the Democrats begin using the FBI to investigate political enemies who have apparently committed no crime, they will come to regret having done so in the not too distant future. Especially once leading Democrats start having to testify under oath about what THEY knew and when they knew it.

I'm confident that the media will keep investigating. But since each passing week of their "investigation" makes Foley look more and more innocent of illegal activity -- he's gone from being accused of pedophilia to being guilty of nothing more than being "punk'd" by some 18-year-olds -- I don't think the Republican Party is sweating it too much.

The Foley scandal shines a bright light on pervasive Republican homophobia and the despicable attempts by one of this country’s two major political parties to deny a significant minority group (gay people) their most basic civil liberties.

I agree that the Republican party's homophobia is despicable. But the fact that you deliberately ignore the homophobia of the *other* major political party makes me question your motives.

I would also question the awarding of the title of "significant minority group" to such a small percentage of the population.

Palladian said...

Oh blow it out your ass, Edward. If this Foley "scandal" isn't conclusive proof of the cosmic joke, I don't know what is.

Ken said...

Let me see if I can explain this to our Democratic friends. To say that those to whom morals are important should abandon the GOP for the Democrats is the political equivalent of saying moralistic Catholics should convert to Islam over priestly misconduct. It isn't going to happen. What Foley did is reprehensible and he and any enablers should and must be punished to the full extent of the law ( but not beyond ). Democrats have spent the last half century praising hedonism. They have no moral standing whatsoever.

dick said...

Edward on your example of the teacher and the student.

I really rather resent that one. My mother was a high school English teacher back in the late 1920's. My father was a student of hers in that first year. They started dating about 10 years later and married when he was 25 and she was 31. They stayed married for 39 years until she died and had a family and were very happy.

Nothing happened while my father was a student of hers.

Get your facts and examples a little more straight before you bring them up. YOu are getting way out there over this issue and the shotgun approach you are using just does not work.

tjl said...

"Palladian: Nice try at humor, but I don’t think your jokes work."

Edward, you've got to lighten up and stop being so earnest all the time. We are trapped in a partisan struggle so bitter and toxic that at times the only way to cope is by focusing on the absurdity of it all. Besides, you'll never be a success at even the dullest gay parties unless you can add a little more irony, a little more mordant wit to your repertory.

Revenant said...

According to Ken Silverstein of Harper's Magazine, Democratic operatives were shopping the Foley story around to reporters months ago -- Harper's got the story and decided not to run with it.

Story here.

More food for thought for the "we must crucify the Republicans for not throwing Foley under the bus at the first sign of trouble" crowd.