November 2, 2006

Kerry's comments aren't a scandal, let alone a three-day scandal... But the startling deterioration of the NYT is a scandal... "

"... maybe," says Mickey Kaus.
With a week to go before a close election, the New York Times continues to move beyond Democratic cocooning (though it does some of that too) in the direction of flat-out misrepresentation.
Yes, I'm getting a bad feeling from the New York Times this week. The whole front page seems designed to orchestrate a sense of destiny and entitlement about the election.

Of course, it's not just the NYT. Anyway, if the Democrats don't win, everyone's going to wake up on Wednesday and wonder how that could have happened. I remember sitting down to watch the election returns in '04, entirely resigned to watching the news of the Kerry victory accumulate through the evening. At one point, I muted the TV to talk on the phone for about an hour and hardly noticed as the real outcome started registering.

255 comments:

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Seven Machos said...

If the Democrats don't post whatever gains that would be necessary to fulfill this narrative, when will leftists stop believing that they can shape politics and even actual facts by reporting it in a certain way? Even Goebbels ultimately couldn't do that, and he didn't have to deal with living in a free and open democratic state.

altoids1306 said...

I think once you resign yourself to the realization that the media is indistinguishable from the media relations arm of the Democratic party, it makes more sense. (And in many cases, are in fact the same - Chris Matthews is Carter's speechwriter.)

Cedarford said...

It's not just Mickey Kaus that noticed the Times has apparantly gone right into open lies and misrepresentations to help Kerry and the Democrats. Pattrico is all over the lies told in a link at Real Clear Politics:

http://patterico.com/2006/11/02/5332/new-york-times-lies-to-its-readers-about-the-content-of-kerrys-remarks/


My own theory is the Times and John Forbes Kerry are all but indistinguishable in mindset;

Vietnam is their touchstone; it is impossible for them to let it go. Every conflict since then that involved “boots on the ground” is always warned to be “another Vietnam”; every Republican President is considered “worse than Nixon” by Kerry, the NYTimes, and the anti-soldier Left. It’s a pathetic, mutant gene lodged in their brains that has failed to evolve as we progressed into the 21st Century. Worse, they compound their failure by teaching kids to carry on their failed paradigm.

The good thing is that when a business gets stuck in a failed, outmoded mindset, it deteriorates, then fails. The NYTimes is in the deterioration phase when their once proud journalistic standards are replaced by Pravda-like political exigencies..

Come on, failure!! I think it is getting close to a point where a national boycott may be launched on NYTimes regular advertisers that serve a national market outside NYC..

TMink said...

Agreed. Anyone who does not recognize that Kerry has contempt for the military has not been paying attention and will likely not get ever it. His speech in 1972 and the recent "joke" come from the same worldview. He has not and will not change. Big deal, move on.

But the current political process draws heavily from Jerry Springer drama for inspiration, so the Republicans will try to surf this to the election.

What about the economy? What about abortion? What about the war? What about our immigration problem?

Glad I early voted.

Trey

Edward said...

Having been battered by a string of defeats for more than a decade, Democrats don’t feel entitled to anything.

They’re just putting forward the best candidates they can and making the case that they will do better than this failed Congressional leadership.

If the NYT conveys a sense of entitlement, I say, so what? I’m not convinced that it does – at least not in an overwhelming way – but if it does, the NYT will eventually pay a price. Their readership and their stock value will fall even further than they have over the past few years.

Conservatives display a ridiculous inferiority complex by appearing to seek validation for their beliefs in the pages of the NYT.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The Republicans cannot lose if everyone votes as often as Ann Coulter did.

Gerry said...

Define win. I think there is almost zero chance of Republicans gaining House seats or Governorships.

To that extent, there will be a Democratic win come Tuesday.

However, I think that it is very possible that the magnitude of the win is going to be significantly less than many expect. Emphasis on possible.

As for the way things played out in '04, you should have listened to me. I had everything right that morning-- except your own state. And the exit polls that had leaked were so obviously fubar (Kerry up 16 in Pennsylvania?) that it really surprised me that so many actually took them seriously.

Gahrie said...

Gerry:

The Dems have to take the polls that favor them seriously, it forms the basis of their accusation that the election was stolen.

Brendan said...

And the Times wonders why its profits are way down. I think I'll invoke this little tidbit the next time libs bitch about Fox News.

R.S.Buck said...

Dems/Reps = Same Thing (Crooks)

Mike said...

The editors of the NYT can't possibly believe that people are going to be fooled by the kind of misrepresentation of a high profile event, such as the Kerry quote, exhibited in the Zerike article. They just can't.

The only thing I can figure out is their intention is to fool that percentage of people who only get their news from the NYT. Either that or they think we're idiots.

Edward said...

I’m a Democrat, but I don’t complain about Fox News. I just don’t watch it. That’s how mature people handle this problem.

It’s harder to totally avoid the NYT, because it breaks so much news, news not available anywhere else, at least until the TV networks begin relaying their stories.

But that’s just an indication of the quality of the NYT, not of its bias.

It’s really easy, on the other hand, to go on a no-Fox News diet. Just watch CNN and MSNBC instead. You won’t be missing anything important on this diet, which I would recommend to everyone here.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann says she's getting a bad feeling about the NYT this week, but unfortunately the problem is a bit bigger that just this week's coverage. There was a time when the NYT took its reputation as the "paper of record" seriously. Today, its model seems to be Le Monde, or perhaps the Guardian -- clearly identified with a particular political party, with the understanding that its reporting will toe the party line. Both Le Monde and the Guardian are, in their different ways, worth reading. But you know in advance that what you're getting is not "all the news that's fit to print."

Fenrisulven said...

You won’t be missing anything important on this diet, which I would recommend to everyone here.

You won't miss anything except what the NYTs, CNN, and MSNBC refuse to show you. I'm not surprised you're still a willing victim of an informnation monopoly. And I think its why so many of your comments here appear to be so out of touch with reality. In a sense, you are self-censoring yourself.

There's a reason there's an alternative media [AM radio, net, FOX]. Its basic economics. If the legacy media didn't distort, there wouldn't be a market for the truth.

Internet Ronin said...

Mortimer - I've read that Coulter cast her ballot in the wrong precinct but never heard anyone accuse her of voting more than once in the same election. What are you talking about?

Internet Ronin said...

For some reason, when thinking about a subject such as this (and one or two of the responses), I am reminded of Jack Nickolson's line ... "The truth? You can't handle the truth."

johnstodderinexile said...

Conservatives display a ridiculous inferiority complex by appearing to seek validation for their beliefs in the pages of the NYT.

I totally agree with this comment of Edward's. 2/3rds of Hugh Hewitt's site is dedicated to complaining about the MSM and the stories it ignores, gets wrong, and the favoritism it shows. It sticks in his craw (Malkin, Powerline, and the others are the same) that the MSM won't admit they are partisan. Well, why should they admit they are partisan? If they did, they wouldn't be as effective in promoting their partisan agenda!

But -- if they aren't fooling you, Hugh Hewitt & co., who are they fooling? By this time, probably nobody. Does anyone under 80 pick up the New York Times and say, "Ahhh, now for some completely objective, unbiased reporting!"

Hewitt and many other Republicans are convinced that the Democrats will prevail in this election, if they do, completely because of the media. And yet, in the same breath, they brag about how blogs and the Web are supplanting the MSM, and that the MSM's circulation/viewership numbers are down. If that's true, why bother complaining about the MSM anymore? Evidently, these papers want a smaller, more homogeneous audience. They've heard your complaints about bias--and they have made it pretty clear they aren't gonna change. So, you know, move on. Succeed in your own venues.

The history of media being partisan is much longer and more vibrant than the relatively brief history of the media being "objective." History shows us -- the "objectivity" of the media was a marketing scheme all along. It's obviously not as relevant to them now, so they've dropped it.

Revenant said...

They’re just putting forward the best candidates they can and making the case that they will do better than this failed Congressional leadership.

Given that the Republicans have had pretty much the same policies for the last three elections, doesn't the fact that the Democrats kept getting trounced anyway suggest that either (a) they aren't picking the best candidates or (b) they haven't GOT any good candidates?

The Democrats are doing better this time because the public approval of the Republicans has finally fallen low enough for Democrats to look like a lesser evil. But when you consider just how low those approval ratings are, and how close the election is anyway, that says something about the current state of the Democratic Party.

Fenrisulven said...

The worst example was last election re the Swift Boat ads. FOX played them and had fair and balanced commentary from both sides, to let the viewers decide for themselves.

The alphabet networks [ABC/cBS/NBC] ignored the ads until Kerry responded to them, almost as if they were waiting on talking points from the Kerry campaign. When they finally did cover the ads, it was pathetic and amatuer:

John: "Back to you Jane"

Jane: "Thanks John. The Swiftboat ads have been discredited..."

[viewer leans in]

Jane: "...and now for the weather...]

I'm not exaggerating. Except for a few uhms and ahs, thats a verbatim account. Why do people still watch that trash?

Fenrisulven said...

The history of media being partisan is much longer and more vibrant than the relatively brief history of the media being "objective."

Yes, but portraying yourself as "objective" and non-partisan when you're a liberal propaganda rag is entirely different than that. Conservatives wouldn't have a problem with the NYTs et al if they would just come out and admit they are cheerleaders for the Left.

johnstodderinexile said...

Fen,

They essentially have. And conservatives have done a pretty good job of tarring them with that depiction. It's over. Media is partisan now. I don't care what they pretend anymore. I read the NY Times because it's a great paper; and it happens to have a serious liberal bias. I don't watch much cable news, but I do watch Fox's coverage from time to time (not O'Reilly or Hannity-bleah) and I can see why Republicans tend to prefer it. But they still do a very creditable job.

There's just something irritating about all the complaining, especially people like Hewitt who waste hours on the radio asking reporters the same question: "How did you vote in the last election?" I mean literally. He'll ask it 25 times in a row. Most reporters never tell him. Well--there's your fucking answer!

George said...

After reading this post, I went to Borders. I watched people buying the Times, and I asked them why they were doing so.

Here's what they said...

"I get all my news about echidna venom from the Science Times."

"All I can say is shopping is Alex Kuczyinski!"

"I'm going on holiday in Arkansas. I depend on the Times to tell me all I need to know about gay-friendly resorts in the Ozarks."

"Those little tiny ads? The ones printed in the margins on the front page? They're coded messages. Seriously."

"I won't know what sort of imported vinegar to buy, unless I buy the Times."

"For the hot ballerina pix. Check it out. O, baby!"

There you have it. America has spoken.

Edward said...

I do watch a teeny bit of Fox News just to make sure I’m not missing anything important. I usually conclude quickly that I’m not, and so I switch back to CNN or MSNBC.

By the way, CNN and MSNBC are much closer to being objective than people here give them credit for.

I also watch a fair amount of C-SPAN. If any news source deserves credit for presenting a diversity of viewpoints, they do.

Internet Ronin said...

If that's true, why bother complaining about the MSM anymore?

You know the answer to that, John, as well as I do: because it sells / draws viewers, as in "if it bleeds, it leads." Most political blogs would be extremely dull if not for the picking apart of the "conventional wisdom" as expressed in the "conventional press."

History shows us -- the "objectivity" of the media was a marketing scheme all along. It's obviously not as relevant to them now, so they've dropped it.

True, but most people alive today were raised believing that objectivity was not a marketing tool but a sacred pillar of society and have a hard time accepting the fact that it isn't.

Revenant said...

They essentially have. And conservatives have done a pretty good job of tarring them with that depiction. It's over. Media is partisan now.

I'd take issue with the "now", since the only difference between now and a few decades ago is that there's more than one political pole represented among the partisanship.

But in any case, it is not widely admitted on the left that the media is biased in their favor. Hell, a significant minority claims the media is biased in favor of the *Republicans*.

edward,

CNN and MSNBC are much closer to being objective than people here give them credit for.

If you're talking about news coverage rather than the opinion segments, Fox is does an even better job of being "fair and balanced" than CNN and MSNBC do.

Internet Ronin said...

Edward - Please name the news programs you actually watch. My guess is that you are not talking about news programs, but opinion programs.

Hardball is NOT a news program. Bill O'Reilly's Factor is NOT a news program. Olbermann is NOT a reporter - he is an opinionator, like a columnist. Nancy Grace, on the other hand.... well, there's absolutely no excuse for whatever it is that Nancy Grace does.

Sean said...

I'm surprised by what Edward says. We live in New York City, and we don't get the New York Times. Most of the important news (like the yield curve being inverted lately) is in the Journal. And if there ever is anything important in the Times, Prof. Althouse will let me know.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: By the way, CNN and MSNBC are much closer to being objective than people here give them credit for.

To who? You? What's your standard of objectivity? CNN deliberately suppressed information about Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms. Don't you ever wonder "what else" they aren't telling you about?

Edward: Conservatives display a ridiculous inferiority complex -

Edward, if the WSJ rountinely misrepresented the homosexual association with NAMBLA, you'd pull your hair out. I saw the equivalent on CNN & NYTs every day, before I dumped them.

johnstodderinexile said...

Ronin,

I don't mind what used to be called the Fisking of stories in the media. That's a great thing about the Internet and blog world. But it seems like the bottom line is to prove a case that's long since been proven -- bias. Instead, just tear the story up factually. What did they get wrong? What did they leave out?

Frankly, I wish the left would do more of this. Their blogs tend to look at everything from the standpoint of "good for us? bad for us?" If they hate Fox News so much, get a transcript and show us where all these Rovian lies are buried. There's a bit of a smug reaction you get on those sites: Name-calling instead of actual analysis.

Internet Ronin said...

Like Sean, I discoverd many years ago that the Wall Street Journal was the best source of national news that really mattered, with a relatively light editorial slant.

gj said...

Oh grow up. The NYTimes, like any paper, suffers from the fact that it is written and edited by human beings, not omniscient droids. It gives plenty of fodder for complaint to both sides, in its spin and its omissions. There's as much wailing on the left about the biases of its reporters as there is on the right.

Right now, the lead story on the Times website is headlined Senator Clinton Changes the Subject and is basically all about the nothing story of her dodging a question about Kerry. Yeah, they really are shilling for the Democrats those old Times reporters.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm with you all the way, John. Like you, I find Hewitt's interviews increasingly boring because they are so repetitive. (Which is too bad, because there is occasionally a gem or two buried therein but it is getting so hard to slog through to find it that I think there must be better things for me to do - like trim my toenails.)

What I'm trying to say is that Hewitt's schtick will continue as long as it works for him. You and I are tired of it, but his regular readers aren't, and they are his targets, not us.

As for the left criticism of Fox, the only occsaions I have seen someone actually mention something specific have involved O'Reilly or Hannity & Colmes. I am suprised how many intelligent people can't make a distinction between news and opinion.

Edward said...

Internet ronin: I understand your distinction between the news and opinion programs on cable TV.

The way I figure it, if the news programs that I watch are biased and leaving out some important story, there will be at least a reference to it in one of the opinion programs, and then I can go on the internet and research it for myself.

Using this method, I don’t think I miss much.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: The WSJ editorials frequently confuse homosexuality and pedophilia. The WSJ editorials are probably the most consistently homophobic journalistic platform in the major media today.

And don’t lecture me on the difference between the front of the paper and the Op-Ed section in the back.

I know the difference, and I’m just talking about the editorials right now.

They’re atrocious, and one day the WSJ will need to apologize to the gay community for them.

Internet Ronin said...

Edward - Please cite one specific instance of a Wall Street Journal editorial confusing homosexuality with pedophilia.

Coco said...

"when will leftists stop believing that they can shape politics and even actual facts by reporting it in a certain way?"

When the Bush administration does the same....which is to say never...for both.

tjl said...

"Oh grow up," gj rightly advises. The NYT has always been written by and for bien pensant Manhattanites. It's true that the NYT's advocacy-journalism these last few election cycles has been particularly shrill. But even in the pre-Pinch Sulzberger days, it was never all that difficult to detect the political agenda.

If you want to see what real, unblushing political bias looks like, take a look at any archival newspaper from the 19th century.

MadisonMan said...

If you want to see what real, unblushing political bias looks like, take a look at any archival newspaper from the 19th century.

Boy ain't that the truth. One of Madison's papers in the 1860s was owned by the Mayor! Guess what it's editorial slant was?

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

Internet ronin: You obviously want me to quote you page and verse from a long list of past WSJ editorials concerning homosexuality.

I’m not prepared to do that right now. It’s not like I’ve stored all the past homophobic WSJ editorials on my computer’s hard drive, just sitting there waiting for me to cite them back to you now.

But what I said earlier about WSJ editorials being homophobic still true.

I can refer you to one of their recent editorials about the Foley scandal. The WSJ basically said that Foley’s misbehavior with the young male pages is exactly what you should expect from a gay man in power who has access to male adolescents.

If that’s not homophobic, I don’t know what is.

I don’t remember the precise date when this editorial appeared, but it was recent, because it was about Foley.

Internet Ronin said...

No need to go back to the 19th century. Just about any time before the late 1950's should do.

Until then, almost every large town had two papers - one Republican and the other Democrat. The morning paper was usually pro-GOP and the afternoon paper was pro-Democrat.

Republicans who have never lived in Los Angeles might be surprised to learn just how rabidly Republican the Los Angeles Times was (and that it is still a non-union shop). Hearst papers were unabashed Democratic Party boosters throughout WR Hearst's lifetime. (I can imagine that some fans of Citizen Kane might be surprised by this.)

Edward said...

Internet ronin: I also recall WSJ editorials opposing gay men as leaders in the Boy Scouts because of the grave sexual threat that they allegedly pose to boys.

Internet Ronin said...

No, Edward, I don't want long quotes from WSJ editorials you believe are homophobic. I can do that myself, if I wanted to.

You specifically alleged that Wall Street Journal editorials routinely confuse pedophilia and homosexuality. I submit that you can provide no such evidence and that your statement was a gross misrepresentation of fact.

Edward said...

Internet ronin: You see no value at all in my references to the Foley and the Boy Scout editorials?

Those editorials basically claimed that all gay men are prone to becoming pedophiles, especially if they are given unimpeded access to boys.

That’s confusing homosexuality and pedophilia.

Internet Ronin said...

Once again, Edward, I ask you to provide a direct quote where the Wall Street Journal editorialized that gay men as scout leaders are a "grave threat." There may actually be one in this case, but I've never seen it myself, and I've read most of their editorials on this subject in the past decade, so I'd appreciate a citation.

What I recall of their editorials is the consistent position that what private organizations decide about the makeup of their membership is the business of private organizations, a position the Wall Street Journal has advanced, for good or ill, throughout its history.

Revenant said...

The WSJ basically said that Foley’s misbehavior with the young male pages is exactly what you should expect from a gay man in power who has access to male adolescents. If that’s not homophobic, I don’t know what is.

The only WSJ article I could find about Foley's behavior was this one, which says nothing of the kind.

After hearing you spin Boehner's observation that Rumsfeld is not the sole commander of the US Armed Forces as "blaming the generals for Iraq" I don't know that I trust you to honestly summarize anything. Go find the editorial and link it.

And in any case, it would only be homophobic if they said a straight male wouldn't behave similarly towards female adolescents. Last I checked, the WSJ wasn't supportive of the idea of middle-aged men and teenaged girls spending a lot of time together either.

Internet Ronin said...

For the record, Edward: Pedophilia involves young children who have not reached puberty. Pederasty is the term used for sexual interest in those who have. There is a difference.

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

Internet ronin: And don’t forget that your original request was that I quote “one specific instance.”

I’ve now quoted at least two specific instances – actually more, because I believe the WSJ has editorialized more than once on the Boy Scouts issue.

I’m sorry if I punctured whatever personal myth you may have about WSJ editorials, but them’s the facts.

Internet Ronin said...

Do you mean this editorial, entitled, "The Foley Fires"?

We hope that when the Mark Foley story expires, the Washington political community will step back to reflect. It is generally argued that stories such as this gain prominence because the news is slow. But the news cycle is not slow. Russia is imposing trade and travel restrictions on an independent nation (see the editorial on Georgia nearby1). It was possible as we went to press yesterday that North Korea this weekend would carry out an underground nuclear-weapon test; and if it does, how should the U.S. respond? This story was deep inside the major newspapers yesterday, while the Foley flap covered their front pages.

Mr. Foley's activities with congressional pages, described so far as exchanges of sexually explicit emails and instant messages, were vile. The Republicans should have notified the Democrat on the Page Board. Mr. Foley should have been barred from contact with pages. He has resigned. He is being criminally investigated. If, however, the modern media forces in play over the Foley affair can conspire to submerge all other political life, then batten down the hatches for the 2008 presidential election. The 2004 election will look like toy boats on the water.

Most likely, the Foley fire will burn on. The House Ethics Committee has issued some four dozen subpoenas. They will learn something about who knew what when. This gasoline will be leaked. And given the volatility of the subject, the fire could burn well beyond the Speaker's office.

One useful lesson may be we'll find that the House "system" that should have caught this problem is in fact a bloated bureaucracy of staffs for committees upon subcommittees created to oversee every nook in the federal empire. It is not beyond imagining that the private life of Mark Foley could slip through. Would it be reprehensible if true? Yes. Shocking?

Speaker Hastert should not resign before the election. It would be a disservice to send voters to the polls in five weeks amid tumult over Mark Foley. Those for whom this is a deciding issue should certainly vote on it. Our view is that the country would be better served with a clearer sense of the electorate's sentiment on dealing with the global threat and domestic well-being. Those are fit subjects of a serious national election.

(Appeared on 10/7/2006)

Internet Ronin said...

Or this one,on October 5, 2006, entitled "Getting Beyond Foley"

Now that Mark Foley's carcass has gone over the side, the political waters are filling with sharks fighting over the remnants. We're going to find out how fast Denny Hastert can swim.

First to the site as always was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Republican leaders "failed to protect the children in their trust," intoned Parson Pelosi, last seen on this issue voting to revoke the Boy Scouts' charter for its ban on gay scoutmasters. So exercised is Ms. Pelosi that she wants the GOP leadership "immediately questioned under oath" by the Ethics Committee.

One can hardly blame the Minority Leader for diving toward the jugular of a Republican Party already on its knees and on the brink of losing control of the House. More difficult to explain are the cultural conservatives and others on the political right swimming alongside Ms. Pelosi.

The call for Mr. Hastert's head by the editorialists at the Washington Times has by now been prominently featured by the same media who usually dismiss them as conservative cranks. They were suddenly joined in the mainstream spotlight by Richard Viguerie -- he once claimed Ronald Reagan was insufficiently conservative -- who also called for the resignation of any House "enablers who made it possible."

A statement on behalf of the executive committee of the family-coalition Arlington Group, including cultural conservative leaders Don Wildmon, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and Paul Weyrich, wants the "whole truth," which apparently consists of "when House Leadership or other members from either party knew of this situation." The group demands that "legal authorities prosecute any person who had knowledge of any such activity but did not report it immediately." And of course while the House Speaker was taking this public beating, his No. 2, Majority Leader John Boehner, pulled down the shades and turned away with his now-famous dismissal: "It's in his corner; it's his responsibility."

And so with an election weeks away and its troops already at the edge of the cliff, the Republican elites decided to jump into the sea over Mr. Foley.

We doubt that Messrs. Boehner, Wildmon, Perkins, Bauer and Weyrich will feel as politically cleansed as they seem to be this week if they wake up November 8 to a House run by Ms. Pelosi and Messrs. Rangel, Murtha, Dingell, Waxman, Obey and Frank. And if the pundits are right, the Foley wilding may even give them a Harry Reid Senate.

Certainly there are plenty of reasons for the right to be upset with this Congress. As these columns described Monday in "The GOP Record," the flops of the party now in control of Congress have been significant: Taxes, health care, Social Security, immigration, earmarks, Abramoff. All this is enough to bring the charge that Speaker Hastert has been an absentee landlord. But if it's enough to justify his removal -- and it may well be -- the time for doing so is after the election, win or lose. We are hard put to see what these conservatives think will be gained by burning down the entire coalition before the election over Mark Foley.

What is Mr. Hastert's supposed firing offense, anyway? We've seen no evidence to date that he lied or attempted a cover-up. His office responded to complaints from the parents of a former page by having the head of the page board and clerk of the House speak with Mr. Foley and order him to stop communicating with the minor.

Republicans should also have alerted the Democrat on the page board to the warning, but to force a Speaker's resignation because he didn't demand an investigation into every communication between Mr. Foley and current and former pages is politically convenient hindsight. Two newspapers also saw the same emails and declined to publish a story on them, no doubt for similar reasons of privacy and fairness.

On current course, the Hastert-must-resign conservatives are likely to wash away even the moral victory of the past week. Discounting for political calculation, prominent figures across the spectrum have repudiated and vilified Mr. Foley's behavior with minors. Melanie Sloan of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said lax oversight of Mr. Foley had left "a potential sexual predator on the loose." This sounds like a consensus standard. But it will be a minor footnote if the get-Denny posse enables a larger Democratic victory next month.

Let's imagine, for instance, that a seat on the Supreme Court opens up next year with a Democratic House and GOP Senate majority called Lincoln Chafee. Approve another Alito? The diminished GOP Senate would be lucky if it got someone as conservative as Harriet Miers. Think Son of Souter.

Want to choke down more gall? Try this: Making Mark Foley the fulcrum of defeat will let the spendthrift GOP appropriators off the hook. Reforming the earmark caucus was never going to be easy, but it'll be nigh impossible -- in or out of power -- if every political writer in America is describing how Republican elites pulled down the temple in 2006 over one Congressman's moral turpitude.

It's possible cooler Republican heads have begun to notice that joining the Democrats' Foley bonfire makes no sense. On Tuesday, Mr. Boehner sent a letter to the Washington Times realigning himself with Speaker Hastert. Perhaps Republicans are regaining their political balance. We hope so. The war on terror, and Iraq, really are the largest issues in front of the American people. We need a clear reading on that in November, not on the personal ruin of Mark Foley.

Edward said...

Internet ronin: I don’t need a lecture from you about the difference between pedophilia and pederasty.

And what are you trying to say anyway – that the WSJ’s attempt to equate gay men with pederasts is somehow OK, as long as they don’t equate them with pedophiles?

Both connections are deeply offensive and deeply wrong.

And the WSJ editorials about the Boy Scouts clearly pertained to pedophilia.

Internet Ronin said...

This editorial of 10/3/2006, entitled "Paging Mr. Foley" may be closer to what you mean. If it is, please explain to me how it differs from what Democrats were loudly saying at the time about the failure of Hastert and co. and what they should have done:


Florida Republican Mark Foley's sexually explicit emails to a Congressional page certainly warranted his resignation from the House, and they may well merit prosecution. But this being five weeks from an election, the GOP House leadership is also being assailed for not having come down more strongly on a gay Congressman for showing a more than friendly interest in underage boys. That's a different issue altogether.

At least this seems to be the essence of the Democratic and media charge against Speaker Dennis Hastert, who admits his office was told months ago about a friendly, non-explicit 2005 email exchange between Mr. Foley and another page. In that exchange, Mr. Foley had asked the teenager "how old are you now" and requested "an email pic."

In our admittedly traditional view, this was odd and suspect behavior, especially because Mr. Foley was well known as a homosexual even if he declined to publicly acknowledge it. And Mr. Hastert was informed that fellow Illinois Republican John Shimkus -- who oversees the page program as part of a six-member board -- spoke privately with Mr. Foley, who explained that the email was innocent.

What next was Mr. Hastert supposed to do with an elected Congressman? Assume that Mr. Foley was a potential sexual predator and bar him from having any private communication with pages? Refer him to the Ethics Committee? In retrospect, barring contact with pages would have been wise.

But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?

Mr. Foley's explicit emails -- which were sent to a former page who had returned home -- clearly crossed the line into "vile and repulsive," as Mr. Hastert put it yesterday. And the Floridian has now resigned in disgrace and is being criminally investigated. This is harsher treatment than was meted out in the past to some Members of Congress who crossed another line and actually had sexual relations with underage pages. Democrat Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was censured in 1983 for seducing a male teenage page, but remained in the House for another 13 years and retired, according to the Boston Globe, with a rich pension.

Mr. Foley lied to many people over the years, most notably to himself. It's one of those human mysteries that someone so prominent, and so active as a spokesman against sexual predators, would send emails that he knew would destroy his career if they became public. That kind of psychoanalysis is above our pay grade.

Yes, Mr. Hastert and his staff should have done more to quarantine Mr. Foley from male pages after the first email came to light. But if that's the standard, we should all admit we are returning to a rule of conduct that our cultural elite long ago abandoned as intolerant.

Edward said...

Internet ronin: I was referring most specifically to the Oct 3 WSJ editorial.

The fifth paragraph subtly but nevertheless clearly implies that gay men are likely to be both pederasts and pedophiles.

And the editorial’s subtitle about “quarantining” gay congressmen is deeply obnoxious.

Internet Ronin said...

Produce some facts to support your allegations, Edward!!!

Within the space of minutes, I politely gave you plenty of fodder but you can't seem to do more than prattle on about things you know nothing about.

IF you really don't need a lecture about the difference between pederasty and pedophilia then I suggest you NOT confuse the two while writing your polemics.

IF you are capable of independent thought, give some time to reading the press reporting and the statements of leading Democratic politicians immediately after the Foley scandal broke If you can find daylight between their positions about what happened and what should have been done by people like Hastert and the Wall Street Journal's position, let me know.

They threw you and all their true-believers overboard so fast my head was spinning. For the first time in my life, as a gay man I was genuinely concerned. And if you can't see it, you are a simpleton, Edward.

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- You have demonstrated nothing. You are making false, outlandish charges. Stop tarring the Wall Street Journal, which has done nothing remotely close to what you accuse it of doing.

Would it really be that hard for you to dredge up an editorial from three weeks ago? Not to tell us what you "recall," but to give us actual quotes.

You can't. The Wall Street Journal did not say the things you claim that it said. The editors would never say those things, even if they believe them.

You can't put up. So, please, shut the fuck up.

Internet Ronin said...

mOh, Edward, the fifth paragraph says no such thing. I bet you would find the New York Times and Washington Post said similar things in their editorials.

BTW, There is no subtitle about quarantining Congressmen in my copy of the editorial provided by the Wall Street Journal itself.

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

Internet ronin: Re-read the Oct 3 editorial carefully.

It’s clear that the WSJ editorial board is equating homosexuality with both pedophilia and pederasty, but they don’t want to come right out and say that directly.

So they dance all around that bigoted claim and make one snide remark after another about the mistaken modern tolerance of openly gay men.

The whole text is execrable trash, full of bigotry that just happens to be too scared and dishonest to speak its name openly.

I’m getting tired of posting right now, so I’m going to take a break.

Internet Ronin said...

I provide details to back up my contentions, Edward. Here's what the New Mexico darling of KosKids everywhere said about the issue:

A number of individual Democratic challengers called on Republican incumbents to return money raised by Mr. Foley. For example, in New Mexico, where state Attorney General Patricia Madrid is running against Rep. Heather Wilson, a news release from Ms. Madrid's campaign read, "Wilson has $6,000 in dirty money from congressman who made improper advances to underage boy."


There it is, Edward, guilt by association, someone tried and convicted by an appeal to public outrage while fanning that fanatical outrage. And the charges did not some from a conservative Christian-right looney but a liberal Democrat who will probably be sitting in the next Congress.

Lots more where that same from, but I know I am wasting my breath.

Internet Ronin said...

I see no such equation at all, Edward. And there almost nothing in that editorial that you will not find mentioned in the New York Times, Washington Post, any other "reputable" newspaper or most of the press releases issued by Democratic leaders in the week that followed (except any partisan references).

Wake up and smell the coffee, Edward! I agree, Edward, the Republicans aren't you're friends, but it seems to me that you don't realize that the Democrats are only pretending to be. As this incident shows, they'll turn on you as quickly as a sleeping rattler that's been stepped on and will bite you just as furiously.

Revenant said...

I’ve now quoted at least two specific instances – actually more, because I believe the WSJ has editorialized more than once on the Boy Scouts issue.

You've quoted zero articles.

You've cited zero articles.

All you've done is claim the articles exist, but that you don't remember exactly what they are or where they are. After *I* cited a WSJ about Foley you cooked up the usual lame-assed story about how even though the article isn't homophobic it "obviously" contains coded references to the homophobia you're certain the author really felt. Weak -- really weak. Find a real example of this homophobia.

Edward said...

Internet ronin: You’re totally wrong about the Democrats. They are much, much better than the Republicans on gay issues.

David Walser said...

I'm not sure how we got on the topic of homosexuality, given the original topic of Ann's post. Still, I can see how Edward could read the WSJ editorial from October 3rd as linking homosexual men with pederasty. I don't agree with that reading, but I can see it. Instead, I think the editorial was pointing out the practical problem the Scouts (and Speaker Hastert) have in this area. If the Scouts were to knowingly allow a gay man to serve as Scoutmaster, the Scouts could not rely on having a jury made up with people having the same view as Edward on this topic. With 20/20 hindsight, outraged parents are apt to do more than just ask, "How could you let a gay man go on camping trips with our boys?" That's the question Pelosi (!) was demanding Hastert answer, "How could you let a gay Congressman have contact with male pages?" Edward might know that there is no link, none whatsoever, between same sex attraction and pederasty, but outraged parents, juries, and political opponents cannot be relied upon to act with Edward's restraint. The fact that the Scouts (or Hastert) knew that the guy was gay will, after something bad happens, be taken as proof the Scouts were (or Hastert was) negligent in allowing him to serve as Scoutmaster (or have contact with pages).

Rob said...

OHMYGOD Professor Althouse was unhappy when she thought Kerry would win. Absolute proof she is a right wing nutcase. As is Professor Reynolds. Probably Mickey Kaus too.

AJ Lynch said...

Edward said: "It’s really easy, on the other hand, to go on a no-Fox News diet. Just watch CNN and MSNBC instead. You won’t be missing anything important on this diet, which I would recommend to everyone here."

Edward no matter what your politics, except for Paula Zahn, Fox has all the really hot babes reading their news.

Internet Ronin said...

That's right, Dave. And Pelosi & Co. will make political hay by fanning anti-gay hysteria while convincing people like Edward that it is really the evil Wall Street Journal that is doing it.

And the Democrats' favorite source of funding, the trial lawyers, would happily make millions pandering to prejudice while raking the Scouts over hot coals for allowing a gay person to head a scout group when everyone knows the unfortunate result was to be expected.

But Edward says they are his friends, so they must be. The rest of us have seen a sterling example at how all such friendships can be discarded in the quest for political power. "Screw our principles, screw the gays, and most of all, screw the Republicans. Let's ride this baby for what it's worth! About 25 seats, it would appear.

AJ Lynch said...

Holy crap- I just tried to argue with Edward (who sees gay rights in every conversation) that the Fox News Bevy of News Reading Babes makes viewing Fox worthwhile.

Christ, this blog attracts way more than its share of whack-job trolls. Compared to Edward, I think I miss whatisname (xxlr???something or other).

Sloanasaurus said...

I saw some statistic that something like 75% of the Times readers identify themselves with being liberal. At this point the Times has its core audience and they will continue to play to that audience - that includes writing biased and slanted stories.

Imagine what a biased right wing newspaper would be writing about... it.e. the bizarro times. at least once a week there would be a story gracing the front page about how social programs impoversh people. Instead we get articles from the left wing media about how people are impovershed by the right wing and need more social programs.

Seven Machos said...

Yes. Back to the topic at hand. What's really the damn shame of it all is that the Times is gloriously well-written. If the paper could stop engaging in such Nation-esque hackery, or could simply give a reasonable number of column inches to good writers with different worldviews, it would be a joyous national treasure.

Internet Ronin said...

Apologies to all for unintentionally hijacking the thread. I'm weary of unsubstantiated claims being passed off as fact.

Let's see, where were we? The New York Times... unproven accusations... facts.... Oh, I guess that is sort of "on-topic" after all, isn't it? ;-)

AJ Lynch said...

Sevn- I agree the Times can be extraordinary on a regular basis. And I feel somewhat cheated when its bias creeps across and into so many sections of the paper. Cause hell I paid the same price as the libs they are pandering to.

But I have to ask why Kaus was "startled" ? It's not lie this happened overnight. For instance, I know Dowd does "opinion" but she has been a caricature of a caricature for about ten years now.

tjl said...

"Compared to Edward, I think I miss whatisname (xxlr???something or other)."

Please, stop and think what you're saying. Edward is sincere and well-meaning, if naive and misguided. Quxxo was insane.

David Walser said...

I agree that the Times is staffed with very talented people. The writing can be beautiful. Jason Blair, for example, wrote some very good stuff. It was captivating, almost too good to be true. My complaint with the Times is not the quality of the wordsmithing. My complaint is that I cannot rely on the Times' account to be accurate. If you can't rely on the accuracy of the news pages, what good is a newspaper? Well written or not, a paper's only fit for wrapping fish if you can't trust it and you can't trust the Times.

Why did this happen? I suspect it's partly the result of professionalizing journalism. Talk to most journalism students and you'll hear them say they're drawn to the profession out of a desire to bring about positive change in society. No. Your job is to accurately chronicle what's going on in the world. If you are trying to bring about change, you are part of the story. It's true that an (accurate or inaccurate) story can bring about change, but that should never be the motovation.

MadisonMan said...

The Times does do good work. I'm very happy, for example, that the questions it asked prompted the Government to shut down a website that included instructions on how to make a nuclear bomb (What were they thinking?)

Mortimer Brezny said...

Here's the problem Madison Man.

Those documents that provided advanced methods on how to construct an atomic bomb were dated from 2002 -- right before the invasion.

What invasion, you ask?

The invasion of Iraq. Those documents are Iraqi documents.

Meaning those documents prove that Saddam Hussein had the capacity to build a nuke. Within a year.

Of 2002.

And sell it.

To anyone.

Yeah, too bad we invaded Iraq.

MadisonMan said...

mortimer, if the idea of nuclear-armed Iraq is troubling you (rightly), why should the US publish all their notes so, say, Iran can look at them?

Mortimer Brezny said...

mortimer, if the idea of nuclear-armed Iraq is troubling you (rightly), why should the US publish all their notes so, say, Iran can look at them?

Oh, but why did we publish them?

Because conservatives felt the need to justify the invasion.

Oh, but why did conservatives feel the need to justify the invasion?

Because liberals kept complaining about our ill-advised occupation, carping about how Bush had duped them, whining about how Bush misled us into war, crying about how Bush and Cheney hyped the evidence.

The liberals just wouldn't stop repeating that Cheney had lied when he claimed there would be a mushroom cloud if we didn't invade.

Only these documents imply there would have been a mushroom cloud if we hadn't invaded.

Meaning the liberal criticism of the war was total poppycock.

That's what concerns me. That liberals (not Democrats, mind you, but liberals) play children's games with national security.

MadisonMan said...

Yes mortimer, it's all the liberals' fault that Conservative Republicans allowed sensitive documents to be posted onto the web. Just like Rove is behind Kerry's gaffe. No one is responsible for their own actions any more.

Tell me, why did the sound processes designed to ensure that sensitive documents didn't wind up on the web fail? Was that liberals' fault too?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Tell me, why did the sound processes designed to ensure that sensitive documents didn't wind up on the web fail? Was that liberals' fault too?

Did you even read the article?

The documents were released because conservative legislators were going to pass a law to override those processes and force the release of the documents.

And they did so because of the pressure and criticism of liberals. You can't pressure someone into doing something and then claim you're not responsible when they buckle under the pressure.

The liberal criticism was unwise, and unfounded, and unpatriotic.

And you, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

MadisonMan said...

Certainly I've read the article. It tells me that the Republican Heads of Intelligence in the House and Senate, Mr. Hoekstra and Roberts, respectively, considered publishing the data to be a minimal risk. Even when the sensitive nature of the postings were revealed, Mr. Hoekstra's spokesmen called it no big deal.

I will respectfully suggest you re-read the article. There was supposed to be a procedure to keep sensitive data off the web. Why did that fail?

Mortimer Brezny said...

I respectfully suggest that you read the article for a first time.

Minimal risk? Hardly.

Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

European diplomats said this week that some of those nuclear documents on the Web site were identical to the ones presented to the United Nations Security Council in late 2002, as America got ready to invade Iraq. But unlike those on the Web site, the papers given to the Security Council had been extensively edited, to remove sensitive information on unconventional arms.

The deletions, the diplomats said, had been done in consultation with the United States and other nuclear-weapons nations. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which ran the nuclear part of the inspections, told the Security Council in late 2002 that the deletions were “consistent with the principle that proliferation-sensitive information should not be released.”

In Europe, a senior diplomat said atomic experts there had studied the nuclear documents on the Web site and judged their public release as potentially dangerous. “It’s a cookbook,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his agency’s rules. “If you had this, it would short-circuit a lot of things.”

The New York Times had examined dozens of the documents and asked a half dozen nuclear experts to evaluate some of them.

Peter D. Zimmerman, a physicist and former United States government arms scientist now at the war studies department of King’s College, London, called the posted material “very sensitive, much of it undoubtedly secret restricted data.”

Ray E. Kidder, a senior nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, an arms design center, said “some things in these documents would be helpful” to nations aspiring to develop nuclear weapons and should have remained secret.

A senior American intelligence official who deals routinely with atomic issues said the documents showed “where the Iraqis failed and how to get around the failures.” The documents, he added, could perhaps help Iran or other nations making a serious effort to develop nuclear arms, but probably not terrorists or poorly equipped states. The official, who requested anonymity because of his agency’s rules against public comment, called the papers “a road map that helps you get from point A to point B, but only if you already have a car.”

Thomas S. Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a private group at George Washington University that tracks federal secrecy decisions, said the impetus for the Web site’s creation came from an array of sources — private conservative groups, Congressional Republicans and some figures in the Bush administration — who clung to the belief that close examination of the captured documents would show that Mr. Hussein’s government had clandestinely reconstituted an unconventional arms programs.

“There were hundreds of people who said, ‘There’s got to be gold in them thar hills,’ ” Mr. Blanton said.


Apparently, in addition to having no common sense, liberals cannot read.

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- Iraq was a tinpot dictatorship of the worst rank. Iran, for all its faults, is a much more cosmopolitan and advanced entity. It doesn't need Iraqi notes to develop nuclear weapons.

I know you know this.

Revenant said...

There was supposed to be a procedure to keep sensitive data off the web. Why did that fail?

I would guess that it failed because the people were sick of getting beaten up over the WMD issue and were tired of hearing the now widely-believed lie that Iraq's WMD program posed no threat. Either Iraq posed no threat *or* there was nothing dangerous about publishing the documents -- people can't have it both ways.

Anyway, the people responsible for posting the blueprints still endangered American national security and should be punished for doing so, of course. But then, NYT reporters should be facing criminal charges for the work they've done revealing secret anti-terrorism programs, too. Not holding my breath on that one.

MadisonMan said...

I forgot to ask, in the context of this comment thread: is the publishing of this story by the New York Times a good thing?

I think it is.

Seven Machos said...

As was pointed on National Review: THE VENERABLE NEW YORK TIMES JUST REPORTED THAT IRAQIS WERE DEVELOPING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

I guess irony is hard even for really good writers.

MadisonMan said...

mortimer: It's certainly interesting that we're both reading the same article. I did not claim minimal risk, Peter Hoekstra did -- a mere 4 paragraphs from the end of your quote.

Mortimer Brezny said...

mortimer: It's certainly interesting that we're both reading the same article. I did not claim minimal risk....

The point is that the documents prove that the liberal criticism was completely unfounded. We wouldn't know that if the documents had been edited. And any carelessness in the release of the documents does not justify the utterly baseless liberal criticism that led to their release.

You know, this is like when people called Bush dumber than Kerry all throughout the 2004 election season. Then both their military intelligence tests and SAT scores and grades were released and Bush had beaten Kerry by every measure: IQ, SATs, and grades. But no liberals stepped forward to apologize for getting it absolutely wrong and calling Bush dumber than Kerry.

Just like you simply won't admit that liberals were wrong about the threat posed by Iraq and they're the ones who created the political climate in which releasing these documents was a plausible option.

The long-term threat to our national security comes not from whatever minion who forgot to edit these documents, but the liberals who -- without a speck of evidence -- attack those public officials charged with protecting the American public from foreign threats. Liberals who play games with national security are the problem, and you know it.

That is why you should be ashamed.

You should step away from your computer and go look in the mirror and be disgusted.

MadisonMan said...

The problem in this case is the way the Iraq War was sold to the public. First, it started before the was in Afghanistan was done, before OBL was captured, before we were finished there.

Then, Iraq "had" to be invaded for a series of reasons given. Some seemed plausible, others were demonstrably false, and eventually it seemed like the Administration was throwing darts at a board to see what would stick. And the rosy scenarios we were asked to swallow, and ridiculous cost esimates? Given that brave soldiers are dying in Iraq, I'd like to know for what reason. WMD? Mushroom Clouds? Establish Democracy? Overthrow a dictator that was once an ally? Pardon my cynicism towards the Government in this case -- I didn't believe their reasons, or trust their capability to win this war. Maybe you think criticism that arises from this background is baseless. I most certainly do not.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Those who used the lack of data to try to prise power from those who had it, and those who let the data get out to keep their grip on power.

At one point, people in Washington might have cooperated and shared this information. Wonder why that doesn't happen anymore.

Boy am I up late. I'll be worthless at work tomorrow.

Fenrisulven said...

InternetRonin: What I'm trying to say is that Hewitt's schtick will continue as long as it works for him. You and I are tired of it, but his regular readers aren't, and they are his targets, not us.

New readers too. Like me. Sorry :)

I just added Hewitt to my list of daily "must reads". Been reading him all week. He has good analysis, and I approve of the way he sharply criticizes hackery masquerading as journalism.

Not seeing what you see yet, maybe in a few months I will.

Fenrisulven said...

I'm still stunned that the NYTs provided evidence of Iraq developing WMDs. When I read it over at Instapundit, my first thought was that the NYTs made a misprint and meant to say Iran.

Also shocked that AP actually researched Kerry's background and found a 1970's quote where he says that a draft will primarily draw uneducated "blacks and browns" who will be more "likely to commit war crimes". Yeah, Kerry, it was a joke...

Apologies to all for mentioning homosexuality to Edward - I should have realized he go off topic with it. Bad Fen!

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm not sure how we got on the topic of homosexuality, given the original topic of Ann's post."

I guess you're inexperienced with the ways of the Althouse blog comments section!

knoxgirl said...

That article is embarassing.... the fact that it doesn't even include what Kerry really said--the most damning evidence, naturally.

Does anyone under 80 pick up the New York Times and say, "Ahhh, now for some completely objective, unbiased reporting!"

I know a couple in their sixties who watch the NBC nightly news religiously. They haven't the first clue that what they are seeing is biased. What's strategically left out of a story is often signigicant, as in this NYT story... and unless you actively pursue other outlets of information you literally don't know what you're missing.

I'd bet there are thousands of people who feel they are pretty well informed because they are reading The Times and feel no need to enhance their news intake.

Anonymous said...

A little harsh towards Edward, people.

Just sayin'

Garage Mahal said...

Drudge: Look! Over Here! Nancy is Missing!

While they slip the disgraced evangelical out the back door...

Much too rich.

SteveR said...

I agree with tjl, Edward is no Q. We can have a civil discussion

Edward said...

I think Garage Mahal's joke is great!

When will Ann open a thread for us to talk about Ted Haggard and the political implications of this new Republican scandal?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The WSJ basically said that Foley’s misbehavior with the young male pages is exactly what you should expect from a gay man in power who has access to male adolescents

This represents the problem on both the right and the left. We are basically interpreting what is written through the filters of our own bias. Trying to present what you feel the WSJ is saying without any references of the original document is a waste of time. We won't believe you until you show the proof. It may be true and I'm not unwilling to agree with you if the proof is presented. If you or I or anyone wants to be considered seriously, we need to present just the facts (as Jack Webb would say) and not twist the words or misrepresent the facts, as was done the a recent NYT story about what John Kerry said, meant, thought or whatever.

Facts are facts and we can interpret them through our own filters. But...we need to have the facts along with your/our biases. Otherwise discussion is futile and we are all talking into the echo chambers of our own minds.

Fitz said...

I am perpetually canceling my subscription to the damnable paper.

My Father has read it for years and says its gone nothing but downhill.

Chris Mathews once Let slip that he thought (the thing is...)"the bias runs through the entire paper"

That’s the amazing thing, Its in the food section and lifestyle,

I don’t read that small column on contract bridge but I bet its in there to.!!!!

chickenlittle said...

My wife subscribes to the NYT Sunday only and has for years. We both have been disappointed over the last few years. Funny how that correlates with the rise of internet news and blogs.
If only there were a Sunday edition of the WSJ...

RogerA said...

re the NYT's effort at an October surprise (it IS thursday you know). In their haste to make the administration look like they helped Iran, it apparently escaped their notice they validated the WMD argument!! How does that Rove do it? Actually, I think their BDS is responsible--consider the irony: Here's a paper that releases any classified data they can get their hands on to smear the administration and they are complaining the administration releases data? Hello!!!! II thought they would welcome the attempt for openess!! What a bunch of Maroons.........

And seriously--does anyone expect the NYT to be the paper of record anymore? Does anyone, right or left, think the NYT is the paper of record? It has sold out to the wealthy, tri-state radical-chic--the Lamont wing--

MadisonMan said...

When will Ann open a thread for us to talk about Ted Haggard and the political implications of this new Republican scandal?

I don't know how you can call this a Republican scandal -- other than the fact that Mr. Haggard is likely a republican -- apparently a self-hating republican as well, if you consider his sermonizing and his personal behavior. I'm guessing he's headed for rehab.

Given that the list of Evangelicals who have sinned spectacularly is long and deep, I don't know how anyone would even be shocked at this behavior. Isn't private behavior almost always different from perceptions drawn from public behavior? Saddened, yes. Shocked, eh.

MadisonMan said...

rogera, what does BDS stand for? I've seen that a lot in the past days, but can't place the acronym

Shanna said...

MM, BDS stands for "Bush Derangement Syndrome" I believe. The concept that some people have gone a little bit insane with their hatred of Bush.

tjl said...

BDS - "Bush Derangement Syndrome." An infectious disease rampant on the left. Leading victims include Paul Krugman and Frank Rich.

Internet Ronin said...

On his blog, Dilbert creator Scott Adams runs an annual "Weasel Poll" where readers are invited to vote for the weaseliest this or that.

The staff of the NY Times came in a close second to Michael Moore as "Weaseliest Pundit/Reporter," both far outdistancing also-rans Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. Before the Democrats reading this cry foul, please note that George W. Bush was the runaway winner in the "Weaseliest Politician" category.

For me, the best thing was Scott Adam's line about this year's elections:

Kim Jong-il would win a seat in Congress this year if he ran against an incumbent Republican.

Yep!

MadisonMan said...

shanna, tjl, thanks. I kept thinking is was BS Detector. Then I'd realize that acronym didn't work!

Edward said...

Madisonman:

According to reliable reports, Ted Haggard spoke to Bush, Rove, or another really high-level White House aide each and every week.

Haggard was practically a member of Bush’s kitchen cabinet.

I think that clearly makes this a Republican scandal.

Shanna said...

When will Ann open a thread for us to talk about Ted Haggard and the political implications of this new Republican scandal?

Who is Ted Haggard? My first thought, any relation to Merle?

tjl said...

"Haggard was practically a member of Bush’s kitchen cabinet."

Edward, I think you're suffering from BDS.

Freeman Hunt said...

Edward, I have to agree with tjl. You're not making any sense on the Haggard thing.

Edward said...

Tjl: I’m not suffering from anything.

Everyone well informed about politics knows that Karl Rove maintains extremely close ties to a core group of leading evangelicals. Bush has given Rove explicit permission to conduct this evangelical outreach program.

Ted Haggard was one of these top evangelical leaders that Rove consulted on a regular basis about all the key issues, including about Supreme Court appointments (that got your attention yet Ann?).

Haggard was clearly a member of Bush’s kitchen cabinet, and now he’s been caught up in a huge gay sex scandal.

Internet Ronin said...

Heads up, Edward:

Ted Haggard's accuser failed a polygraph test early this morning about the truthfulness of his accusations that he had had a three-year homosexual affair with the influential Colorado Springs minister.

The test was given to Michael Jones, 49, an admitted male prostitute, who made the allegations on the Peter Boyles Show on radio station KHOW Thursday morning.

The shocking allegations were denied by Haggard, who told KUSA-9News he never took part in a homosexual affair and had always been faithful to his wife, with whom he has 5 children.

So Boyles invited Jones to take a polygraph test at 5 a.m. this morning.

The test administrator, John Kresnik, said Jones' score indicated "deceptions" in his answers. However, Kresnik said he doubted the accuracy of the test he administered because of the recent stress on Jones and his inability to eat or sleep, according to KHOW producer Greg Hollenback.

Kresnik suggested that Jones be re-tested early next week after he was rested.

tjl said...

Edward,

Aha! The all-powerful Karl Rove strikes again! Whenever someone starts hyperventilating about Rove and how his tentacles extend everywhere, it tends to activate the BS detector (as well as the BDS detector).

What was your source for this hot little nugget? The Daily Kos? I must admit that like Shanna I'd never heard of this Haggard character until his debut appearance on this thread.

Edward said...

Tjl: Just tune in to CNN or MSNBC, and you’ll hear a great deal about Ted Haggard.

Google news and Yahoo news also have plenty of articles about Haggard.

This story just broke in the past 24 hours, and it’s still gathering steam, so it’s understandable that you don’t know much about it yet.

chickenlittle said...

Saddam v. Sodom

How about a thread on the upcoming Saddam verdict instead of a thread on Sodom?

chickenlittle said...

Edward,

what ever happened to that other "big scandal" out in Idaho a few weeks ago, the one about the guy who downtownlad wished would commit suicide?

Edward said...

Chickenlittle: I strongly disagree with about twenty per cent of everything downtownlad says.

Don’t try to hang his most outrageous remarks around my neck.

Revenant said...

According to reliable reports, Ted Haggard spoke to Bush, Rove, or another really high-level White House aide each and every week.

Are these reports as reliable as the WSJ editorials you still haven't been able to find? :)

tjl said...

"This story just broke in the past 24 hours, and it’s still gathering steam."

Edward, I'm having a hard time understanding why you're so enthusiastic about media campaigns that out closeted gay people. Doesn't it occur to you that this kind of thing that in the long run reinforces the notion that homosexual acts are some guilty nasty secret that must be rooted out and the perpetrators destroyed? Will the ideals you have professed on some of your other comments be well served by applauding a witch hunt?

Recall Andrew Sullivan's comments on the Foley scandal: gay people who are pleased at what they see as the unmasking of hypocrisy will in the long run rue the day that this particular fire was lit.

SteveR said...

To the extent Haggard was connected to the White House, so freakin" what? An evangelical sexual hypocrite, gee no big deal. We all fall short in one way or the other and most Christians I know, view these big shot Holy Rollers with suspiscion (Billy Graham excepted).

Yeah I was thinking he might have been related to Merle, a modern version of Jerry Lee and Swaggart.

Internet Ronin said...

There are a number of closeted gay Democrats in Congress. Most people in Washington know who they are. If they don't come out of the closet on November 8th, they never will. The GOP hard-liners are going to go for pay-back, but they will bide their time, letting them twist slowly in the wind, always looking over their shoulder, wondering who may be recording their online or phone conversations, or surreptitiously recording their dates or jaunts to bars. Then, just before the 2008 election, they will start leaking the stories out in dribs and drabs.

In the meantime, really astute gay sex workers will be busily searching through client files and congressional websites to verify if this or that new Chair of this or that committee was that john of a couple weeks, months or years ago. The sweet smell of large amounts of hush money (See Sherwood (R-PA) $500,000) a few mortgage refinancings no doubt.

Those who self-righteously play with fire eventually get burned by it, as Mr. Haggard's story, if true, amply demonstrates.

Edward said...

Tjl: I’m not enthusiastic about this story, and I’m certainly not gleeful about it, as many Republicans were about Kerry’s botched joke.

I just think the truth needs to be pursued and revealed.

High-profile public figures, especially those involved in politics, and especially those practicing immense hypocrisy and duplicity, don’t have the same right to privacy as the rest of us.

Haggard has been a key informal advisor to George W. Bush., and if he is guilty of what he has been accused of, then the public needs to know.

The gay community has nothing to fear from the truth being revealed about these individuals. These people who are being exposed may be gay, but they’re also closeted and self-hating.

Open, honest and self-respecting gay people don’t behave the way Foley and Haggard have. OK, a very few may, but out-of-the-closet gay people who have managed to attain positions of real influence and power in this country definitely don’t behave as Foley and Haggard have.

Foley and Haggard personify the pathology of the closet, and out-of-the-closet gay people have nothing to lose or fear from having people like that exposed.

By the way, Andrew Sullivan is giving full coverage to the Haggard scandal on his web site.

tjl said...

"I just think the truth needs to be pursued and revealed."

That sounds like an extract from the sermons preached by Cotton Mather in Salem in 1692.

Freeman Hunt said...

Haggard has been a key informal advisor to George W. Bush., and if he is guilty of what he has been accused of, then the public needs to know.

Even if your assertion that he is a "key informal advisor" is true, why should we care? Are we to worry that his advice carried some kind of gay taint? Or the worry a prostitution taint?

Edward said...

Tjl: Homosexual acts are definitely not “some dirty nasty secret” if they are carried out by responsible adults in a context of love.

Closeted gay people who hide their orientation are the ones who make homosexuality seem shameful.

Gay people like me who want to be able to marry only want stable, faithful and loving relationships that we would be proud to have the government recognize.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or the worry a prostitution taint?

Should read: Or is the worry a prostitution taint?

Shanna said...

[quote] I must admit that like Shanna I'd never heard of this Haggard character until his debut appearance on this thread.[/quote]
I’ve definitely never heard of him, but I may have heard something about a big church in Colorado Springs. One of those massive things.
Because of this Haggard thing, I have had “Think I’ll just stay here and drink” in my head for the last hour. And because of the Office, I’m craving Indian food. I feel highly open to suggestion today :)
[quote] An evangelical sexual hypocrite, gee no big deal. [/quote]
That’s certainly nothing new, although sometimes people get a little too excited when they see one of these fall from grace. People are human, thus fallible.

Henry said...

Karl Rove maintains extremely close ties to a core group of leading evangelicals...

...Haggard was clearly a member of Bush’s kitchen cabinet


I think you need more than one intermediary paragaph to bake that cake. With this kind of logic, Kevin Bacon was part of the Bush's kitchen cabinet too.

Edward said...

Tjl: Are you comparing the large number of reporters now pursuing the Haggard story to
Cotton Mather?

If so, the comparison is absurd.

This is the twenty-first century. The attitude and approach of a journalist following an important story today are entirely different from those of Cotton Mather centuries ago.

Are you a relativist offended by the word “truth”?

Freeman Hunt said...

All these references to "Bush's kitchen cabinet" are making me picture Bush sitting at a table with Ted Haggard, a Kitchenaid stand mixer, a toaster, a can opener, a sauce pot, a spice rack, and a rolling pin.

tjl said...

Edward says, "Homosexual acts are definitely not “some dirty nasty secret” if they are carried out by responsible adults in a context of love."

The accuser is 49 years old. They're both responsible adults.

Then Edward contradicts himself:
"Closeted gay people who hide their orientation are the ones who make homosexuality seem shameful."

If you believe in principle #1, then you should not be celebrating the unmasking and destruction of someone who, however hypocritically, is simply implementing your recipe for joy.

MadisonMan said...

Edward, unless there's something out there I haven't read about, being a closeted Republican gay who weighs against gay rights and all for (cough) family values, and who is then revealed to be someone who bought meth (but didn't use it, oh no no no) and who got a naked massage from a male prostitute (but didn't have sex, oh no no no), that's just not a political scandal. The man's not a politician, he's just a big ol' Hell-bound hypocrite.

Was it a Republican scandal when Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute? Or when Jim Bakker paid hush money to the secretary he was supposedly raping? Or when Bennett was shown to be Mr Big Time Gambler? Bakker and Bennett and Swaggart were all Republicans, I don't recall any "Republican scandal" talk.

Given that history, take the Gay part away from Haggart -- would you still call this a scandal? Why? Or this only a scandal because he's supposedly gay?

Sure, Haggart is a loathesome man, and I always find it enjoyable when a Scold (Republican or Democratic, 'though in my mind they're usually Republicans) is shown up for a hypocrite. But that's about it.

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

Why is the Haggard story important? Why is it important to know that a key informal advisor to Bush is now caught up in a gay sex scandal?

The answer seems obvious to me.

Bush and Rove have been appealing to evangelicals for their votes specifically on a platform of opposing legal equality for gay people.

Many Republican base voters stick with the party only because of these so-called “values” issues.

Haggard has been a key figure in building support for Bush among evangelicals and in crafting the Republican message in the best way to reach evangelicals.

Average evangelical voters deserve to know whether their beliefs were being cynically exploited for political gain by this White House and by religious leaders like Haggard who didn’t even live the message they were preaching.

The gay community certainly deserves to know.

And the rest of the country also deserves to know, for a whole host of other reasons.

Revenant said...

The interesting thing about the recent outings is the message they send. Democrats aren't just pushing the message "these guys are gay". They're pushing the message "these guys are gay pedophiles and tweakers".

Given that most Americans already think homosexuals are predisposed to pedophilia and/or dissolute living, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the message they're likely to take away from these outings is "yep, we were right about gay people all along". And, of course, the flip side to the "these people were hypocrites" spin is the unspoken message people will take away from it -- that gay people can't be trusted.

Unsurprisingly, polls show that attitudes towards gays worsened in the aftermath of the Foley scandal. They'll get worse still from the Haggard thing. What people like Edward don't grasp is that there are a hundred million evangelicals in America. Taking Haggard down does nothing; there are ten million Haggards ready to replace him. The harm taking him down does to gay rights is not so easily repaired.

Freeman Hunt said...

Average evangelical voters deserve to know whether their beliefs were being cynically exploited for political gain by this White House and by religious leaders like Haggard who didn’t even live the message they were preaching.

How does Haggard paying for gay sex exploit the beliefs of evangelicals?

Garage Mahal said...


>Here's a little history on Ted Haggard


At least by Jeff Sharlet at Harpers

tjl said...

Edward asks,
"Are you a relativist offended by the word “truth”?"

Actually, I'm alarmed by avenging self-righteous zeal. Pay attention to what Revenant is saying in the preceding post.

And a little moral relativism never hurt. It's earnest moral absolutism that has the potential to do really serious damage.

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- The world is filled with religious officials who are gay. You sound really, really foolish by trying to smear President Bush and the Republicans because some religious official somehwere who no one ever heard of turned out to be gay.

As for the "kitchen cabinet," dude: whatever. President Bush and Karl Rove don't like evangelical Christians any more than Bill Clinton likes Kate Michelman or Michael Moore -- which is, I suspect, not very much at all.

Edward said...

Why is it so difficult for all of you to understand that the pathological behavior of self-hating, closeted gay men does not reflect on all gay people?

Their misbehavior does not mean that there is anything wrong with homosexuality.

On the contrary, what their misbehavior indicates is that gay people should be encouraged to come out of the closet and to lead responsible, honest lives.

And government and society should work together to eliminate any remaining forms of discrimination that intimidate closeted gay people and discourage them from being honest about who they are.

chickenlittle said...

Revnant said:
"Unsurprisingly, polls show that attitudes towards gays worsened in the aftermath of the Foley scandal."

Great points. I'll buy that on a personal level but could you share the link?

Freeman Hunt said...

And government and society should work together to eliminate any remaining forms of discrimination that intimidate closeted gay people and discourage them from being honest about who they are.

And the best way to do that is to tell closted gays, "Admit that you're gay or we'll find you and out you and ruin your closeted life"?

chickenlittle said...

I look forward to the accusation that Rove was behind all these outings

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- Why is it so hard for you to understand that some gay people want their gayness to remain hidden? Why should you get to decide what people keep secret and what they don't? Who gave you that right? Who gave you that responsibility?

The fact is: you don't get to decide. Gay people can come out of the closet or stay in it. It's their choice. Not yours. Stop being a sick, fascist pig.

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

Seven Machos said:

"Stop being a sick, fascist pig."

thank you for not using the adjective "american"

Edward said...

If scandals like Foley and Haggard create a slight dip in public opinion about gay people (and that’s a big if, which I don’t believe), this dip will only be temporary.

The solution to such a dip in the polls is always more information.

The more information that the public receives about gay people and their lives, the more the public is sure to support legal reforms to protect the rights and interests of gay Americans.

tjl said...

Edward asks,

"Why is it so difficult for all of you to understand that the pathological behavior of self-hating, closeted gay men does not reflect on all gay people?"

Why is it so difficult for you to understand that by focusing such obsessive attention on the pathological behavior of closeted gay men, you reinforce some people's bigoted stereotypes? There are many who won't understand the distinction between closeted and non-closeted gay people, and who wouldn't try to tell them apart.

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- It's precisely because of people like you that gay marriage loses electorally everywhere.

Henry said...

Why is it so difficult for all of you to understand that the pathological behavior of self-hating, closeted gay men does not reflect on all gay people?

Why do you assume that gay men are so prone to pathological behavior? Are non-closeted men and women who have affairs acting pathologically? Why is Haggard's sexual identity the big deal with you, as opposed to his drug problem?

Edward, I agree with most of the last paragraph in your 2:54 post, but I'm baffled by your dot-connecting.

Edward said...

Those of you calling me a “fascist” for supporting the outing of Ted Haggard seem to forget that Haggard hired a prostitute.

Prostitution is illegal in this country.

I’ll bet you good, red-blooded conservatives want this country’s prostitution laws enforced, don’t you?

Well, laws can’t be enforced without public exposure.

Or do you now suddenly believe that gay prostitution is OK and that the clients of gay prostitutes deserve to have their “privacy” protected?

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- You are losing it. As a red-blooded conservative, I don't give one single shit about prostitution. It's always been around. It will always be around.

It's probably best to avoid prostitutes. But that's my decision, isn't it? And if I want to hire a buff gay prostitute and have hot, steamy, screamy sex, I can tell everybody I know or I can keep it to myself. That's my right as an American. And, Edward: you are going to have to deal with that reality.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or do you now suddenly believe that gay prostitution is OK and that the clients of gay prostitutes deserve to have their “privacy” protected?

No. My comments were specifically about your attempt to paint Haggard's issues as a Republican scandal, your assertion that Haggard's behavior constitutes an exploitation of Evangelicals, and your support for the outing of gays in general. I'm also not going to jump onto the accusations of an admitted meth dealing prostitute until a bit more evidence is collected.

chickenlittle said...

Everything makes sense now if Edward is or works for Karl Rove!

Edward said...

So Haggard hired a male prostitute (for a three-year relationship) and Foley was hitting on a whole string of underage Congressional pages, and the only response that most of you here can think of is “We MUST protect the “privacy” of men like Haggard and Foley.”

I would humbly suggest that you guys are the ones with sick and demented thinking on the issue of outing, not me.

I just want the laws enforced, and I don’t want any exceptions for closeted gay men.

You guys seem eager to carve out a special exemption in the law for closeted gay Republican leaders.

How sick.

Seven Machos said...

Game, set, match to the conservatives at Ann Althouse's blog.

You really didn't bring your A-game today, Ed.

Edward said...

Seven machos: If I were you, I wouldn’t be so quick to declare victory.

I think there are very few people reading the Althouse blog right now.

Let’s wait until later so that we can get the reaction of others to our little discussion here.

chickenlittle said...

Edward said:

"I think there are very few people reading the Althouse blog right now."

You may be right. Mr Lad only seems to come out after dark

Revenant said...

Why is it so difficult for all of you to understand that the pathological behavior of self-hating, closeted gay men does not reflect on all gay people?

Because it does reflect on all gay people. That's how the human mind works.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Revenant said...

I just want the laws enforced, and I don’t want any exceptions for closeted gay men

Try again. Nothing Foley did was illegal, and you still wanted him raked over the coals.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Freeman Hunt said...

Edward: I submit your initial framing of the Haggard story:

Haggard was clearly a member of Bush’s kitchen cabinet, and now he’s been caught up in a huge gay sex scandal.

Note that you didn't say a "huge prostitution scandal." I don't see any indication in your comments up to now that you "just want the laws enforced, and [you] don’t want any exceptions for closeted gay men."

You began this as a discussion about closeted gays and Republicans and are now backpedaling to say that your issue is with the enforcement of prostitution laws.

Edward said...

Revenant: There’s a primitive, illogical part of the human mind that may work that way.

Yet the more intelligent and advanced part of the human mind can think things through better and arrive at the truth.

I agree that it requires a certain amount of thought and education to understand why legal equality for gay people is necessary, but most Americans are capable of that.

Seven Machos said...

So, Ed, if legal equality is necessary for gay people, where is the scandal here? Isn't legal equality required for this person also? If you were half the enlightened, intelligent soul you claim to be, you would say that this guy is gay and he hired a hot, gay prostitute and that's great.

Also, what about equality for prostitutes? How is their job different from the job of an accountant or a massage therapist? What about equality for meth users? How is taking meth any different, really, from taking some Big Pharma drug? The only answer is that we, as a people, decide that it is so. And now you are back to square one with all of your problems and your hang-ups.

TMink said...

Edward, I am a conservative, and I voted a straight (unfortunate choice of words) Republican ticket for the first time in my life.

Foley should have been kicked out of the Congress before he had a chance to resign and Haggert should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Perhpas we agree on that, but that is how I feel!

And the child sexual abuse perpetrator who was a Democrat in the Congress was a HUGE disgrace. That his colleagues gave him a standing ovation is appaling. Do we still agree?

Trey

MadisonMan said...

That his colleagues gave him a standing ovation is appaling.

And fiction.

Revenant said...

Revenant: There’s a primitive, illogical part of the human mind that may work that way. Yet the more intelligent and advanced part of the human mind can think things through better and arrive at the truth.

Sure, it can. It seldom does, in politics.

Indeed, if the rational part of the human mind was a significant factor in political decisions, the Foley scandal wouldn't have affected any elections other than Foley's. The people who outed Foley knew as well as I did that it would taint other Republicans, including ones who neither knew nor approved of Foley's behavior.

You're hoping the same thing will happen with Haggard, which is why you keep highlighting his ties to Bush. The intelligent, advanced part of the human brain tells us that obviously Bush doesn't approve of Christians having drug-fueled gay sex with hookers. The guilt by association part -- the part you're counting on -- tells us that Bush's association with such a person reflects poorly on him.

I agree that it requires a certain amount of thought and education to understand why legal equality for gay people is necessary, but most Americans are capable of that.

Given that most Americans are opposed to legal equality for gay people, that's a really dippy thing for you to say. Either gay rights aren't necessary or most Americans can't see that they are.

MadisonMan said...

Nothing Foley did was illegal, and you still wanted him raked over the coals.

Has the legality of what Foley did been determined? I recall an argument over whether his actions violated the federal law he helped get passed. But I don't recall an outcome.

Seven Machos said...

The Man is right. It was, indeed, not his colleagues. It was his constituents.

Politicians usually don't do dumb things in public. Usually. They don't clap their hands at old dirty bastards who have affairs with teenagers 1/3 their age. They don't come out of the closet if they are gay and risk alienating oodles of voters.

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- Apparently, the age of consent in the District is 17 or less.

Edward said...

Tmink: Yes, we basically agree on the points that you mention.

But the “standing ovation” part is factually wrong. Totally incorrect. Trust me on that, or do your own research, and you’ll see.

Congressional Democrats never applauded that representative after he had sex with a page. His own constituents in his home district applauded him. That’s a totally different scenario.

What was your reason for telling me that you voted a straight Republican ticket?

Were you trying to make me feel bad?

Edward said...

Madisonman: No, the (il)legality of Foley’s actions has not yet been determined. Not at all.

And legal or not, what Foley did was appalling.

No one here should even think about defending him.

And yet, many of the red-blooded conservatives here pretend that what Foley did is just fine by them.

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- ...the more intelligent and advanced part of the human mind can think things through better and arrive at the truth...it requires a certain amount of thought and education to understand why legal equality for gay people is necessary, but most Americans are capable of that.

This is an interesting quote. When I was in high school -- and a lilly-livered leftist -- I had a lefty history teacher who said that conservatives generally believe that people are bad and liberals believe people are good. I thought this was dumb even then, but didn't know why.

My history teacher was wrong. Conesrvatives believe that people are generally not rational. Liberals believe that people are capable of perfection, including perfect rationality.

You are deluding yourself if you think that people will ever improve. We are imperfect by definition. The best we can hope for is to have a set of laws and a societal constitution that keeps or irrationality and imperfection in check. In a democratic society, for better or worse, that set of laws and that societal constitution must emanate from we imperfect and irrational people ourselves.

Revenant said...

Has the legality of what Foley did been determined? I recall an argument over whether his actions violated the federal law he helped get passed. But I don't recall an outcome

To the best of my knowledge the people Foley exchanged sexy IMs with were adults. He wrote emails to a teenager, but the emails weren't sexual.

Something else I thought of, actually, regarding Ed's "I just want the laws enforced" stance... wasn't he *against* arresting those two gay guys in Texas who got busted for violating the laws against sodomy? I'm sure there's some "oh I mean I'm for enforcing laws against Republicans er oops I mean enforcing laws I agree with" spin to be put on that.

Personally I don't think there's a coherent case to be made for keeping prostitution illegal and giving sodomy Constitutional protection. If the legislature can't ban free consentual sex, how can it ban consentual sex for money?

Seven Machos said...

What conservatives are saying that what Foley did is just fine by them?

Get over yourself. Stop seeing things that don't exist.

chickenlittle said...

Edward,

All this scandal stuff aside, the reason I refuse to be swayed to vote democratic this year (and I voted straight democratic from 1978 to 2002) is because the leaders of that party now trivialize the efforts of our president and armed forces to actively oppose and fight true religious wackos who want to kill us both.

No matter who "wins" on Tuesday, we will all lose if we fail to perceive this threat.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- It's actually the "for money" part. The Commerce Clause allows the federal government to make laws about economic transactions.

Of course, prostitution is not a federal issue, so this is neither here nor there. As a rule, government can make laws. "We the People" and all that.

Edward said...

Enforce the laws, or work to repeal them if they’re unjust.

But no matter what, don’t be a world-class hypocrite and liar on these issues.

Seven Machos said...

Having a law that is not well enforced is a good legal strategy. We are saying some behavior is wrong. We are allowing ourselves the option of enforcing. The bottom line is that resources are scarce and limited in law enforcement, just like with anything else.

Remember this next time you speed, jaywalk, park illegally, buy illegal drugs, don't pay your nanny's social security taxes, or hire a prostitute.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"All gays are like Foley and Haggard."

"All closeted gays are like Foley and Haggard."

Let these two asses be set to grind corn.

Revenant said...

It's actually the "for money" part. The Commerce Clause allows the federal government to make laws about economic transactions.

But it doesn't allow the federal government to make laws about financial transactions if those laws violate Constitutional rights. For instance, the government can't make it illegal to sell newspapers. So the Commerce Clause can't explain how it can be legal to pay somebody to exercise their constitutional right to have consentual sex.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- There is a constitutional right to a free press. There is no constitutional right to have sex with a prostitute. Hence, the federal government would not trump a right when making a law against prostitution.

But you are missing a larger point. States and local governments can do what they want and the federal Constitution does not matter, so long as the federal government is not involved.

Revenant said...

Enforce the laws, or work to repeal them if they’re unjust.

And if that fails, just get the Supreme Court to invent a new right and have the law thrown out regardless of the people's wishes. But be sure to enforce it rarely and in a nonsensical manner, as has been done with the Lawrence "right to consentual sex" (but only if it's the right kind) and the Roe "right to control of your body" (but only if its to kill a fetus, not if its to sell a kidney or inject a drug).

But no matter what, don’t be a world-class hypocrite and liar on these issues.

I see we've come full circle. Edward's rationalization for being anti-Foley and anti-Haggard has gone from "hypocrisy" to "lawbreaking" to "bad behavior" and back to "hypocrisy" once again. The self-defeating nature of publicizing gay people's misdeeds continues to escape him, alas.

Revenant said...

There is a constitutional right to a free press. There is no constitutional right to have sex with a prostitute.

There is now. The Supreme Court recently discovered it. You're just not allowed to *pay* the prostitute -- but if the two of you want to have sex for free, no government in America is allowed to stop you.

My point, Seven, is not that the text of the Constitution legalizes prostitution (although the text of the constitution does forbid the feds from outlawing it -- it is NOT interstate commerce), but that the body of constitutional law as it currently stands offers no coherent explanation for why people have a right to free sex but not sex for cash.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- If something is not in the Constitution, it is neither constitutional nor unconstitutional. It is outside the limits of the document. You seem to be equating the fact that prostitution is not in the document with the idea that is somehow must be legal. This simply is not so.

There are no federal laws regarding prostitution. There are no federal laws regarding many things. States -- like Nevada -- can choose to have legal prostitution. Other States -- like neighboring Utah -- can choose to illegalize it. There is no constitutional issue.

Revenant said...

If something is not in the Constitution, it is neither constitutional nor unconstitutional

Um, the Supreme Court found that the laws against sodomy were unconstitutional on the grounds that they violated a right to sexual autonomy. So which of your claims is wrong -- the one above, or the one where you said there was no Constitutional right to sex? Because at least one of them IS wrong.

Now, you may think that the Supreme Court is wrong on this point. But since their opinion of what is constitutional matters and yours does not, that isn't of consequence to me. My point is simply that the Court's position is incoherent on this issue. The inescapable logical consequence of Lawrence is that states can't ban prostitution, either.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Has the Supreme Court made a ruling on prostitution? Why hasn't the Supreme Court made a ruling on prostitution?

The Exalted said...

i have to admit, the level of flat idiocy in here today is more than i can take.

kerry, decorated war vet, because he stuck his foot in his mouth, hates the troops but draft dodgers bush and cheney love them (while sending them into a disastrous wars of adventure and refusing to sufficiently supply and arm them). right.

the nyt, which skewered gore mercilessly, pushed bush's iraq war unblinkingly, and pursued a decade long vendetta against the clintons, is some sort of democratic mouthpiece. right.

you guys are doing a heckuva job, keep it up.

Seven Machos said...

Exalted -- Your assignment:

1. Provide two instances when the Times skewered Gore at all, let alone without mercy.

2. Demonstrate that the Times has ever supported any candidacy of George W. Bush at any point in the history of time.

Looking forward to the results!

Revenant said...

kerry, decorated war vet, because he stuck his foot in his mouth, hates the troops but draft dodgers bush and cheney love them

I would say the fact that Kerry launched his political career by conspiring with the North Vietnamese to slander and libel US troops is the main reason for saying he hates the troops. The fact that he's spent that career fucking over the military at every opportunity would be further reason. That he's never shown the slightest respect for the troops when it wasn't to his immediate political advantage to do so would be yet another.

That he said academic failures wind up in the military really did no more than remind us of what we already knew -- and that he tried to sell the "I didn't insult them" story, which nobody but a Democrat would be dumb enough to fall for, just reminds us that he's a lousy politician, too.

tjl said...

"Kerry, decorated war vet, because he stuck his foot in his mouth, hates the troops."

Wrong,exalted, wrong wrong wrong. Kerry's disdain for the military is evident, not just in one Freudian slip, but in the words and deeds of his entire career. Take a look at Kerry's Winter Soldier utterances and his Congressional testimony circa 1972. Review his description of American troops in Vietnam as war criminals behaving "in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan." Look at Kerry's long history of routinely voting against defense appropriations in the Senate.
I could go on, but why continue pointlessly beating that dead horse?

Your comments on the NYT are even more bizarre. The Times skewered Gore? The Times supported the Iraq war? Somebody had better give you a subscription to Times Select, so you can catch up on all the NYT's actual, real-world content.

Admittedly, the NYT was sometimes critical of Clinton, but it was criticism from the left. The NYT scolded Clinton when he offended liberal orthodoxy by signing welfare reform and triangulating against the Congressional Democrats.

Bob said...

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTdlODUxNzQzNzkyMjUyOTJmYzBlYmQ2MWJkZDU5ZWI=

Garage Mahal said...

The fact that he's spent that career fucking over the military at every opportunity would be further reason. That he's never shown the slightest respect for the troops when it wasn't to his immediate political advantage to do so would be yet another.

Then we should easily be able to prove this, by the way he voted, since the time he has been in Congress. Right? How does our Military grade his his votes? How does our Military grade his service?

Care to take this test?

Hint: It's pretty easy to find. If you would just try

Seven Machos said...

Garage -- Isn't it clear that what Kerry said hurt the Democrats' chances in the election? Isn't the perception that Kerry does not respect the military as a result of things that the man himself has said? It's a fact on the ground. Accept it. Deal with it. Stop trying to pretend that what is is not.

Garage Mahal said...
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Garage Mahal said...

Machos

I don't really even like Kerry. His actions when he got back were regrettable. His military service, and his record in Congress are excellent.

And no, I haven't seen anything yet, that indicates the Kerry gaffe did much. Do you?

Revenant said...

How does our Military grade his his votes? How does our Military grade his service?

The active-duty military voted against him by a three to one margin in 2004.

Any other questions?

tjl said...

"I don't really even like Kerry."

Nobody likes Kerry, even his defenders dislike him. What uncanny force holds him in place as a public figure? Surely there's a more complex explanation than just Theresa's money.

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