Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sturm und Drang

Another sex scandal in Washington. Ho hum? I don't care what people do in their private life? A mostly liberal/conservative/Democratic/Republican problem? Left-wing conspiracy? So many choices and angles to consider.

Me? I never consider this stuff ho hum. This is real life writ large, should the rest of us be so unfortunate as to have our very personal lives and mistakes broadcast to the world. Yet I do care what people do in their private life. And, while I don't think it deserves impeachment, sexual misconduct
does influence my opinion of a person. It makes me think they are stupid. And human.

This isn't mere misconduct, though. This is major minor stuff. Preying on minors, however close to the age of majority they are, is never minor. Minors are illegal, last time I checked. And using your position of authority, as Mark Foley did, always stinks to high heaven.

Interesting, the spin that some are trying to put on it. First, there's the idea the Wall Street Journal floated that Republican leadership was afraid to punish Foley due to a gay backlash. What? Since when did the Republican party care about the opinion of gay people? Certainly not during all of their hot air about preserving the sanctity of marriage for heterosexuals only.

Second, we got to listen to Pat Buchanan last night (and others) try to make this a referendum on gay morality rather than the actions of a pedophile. I will acknowledge that it is difficult, sometimes, to draw the pedophile line when discussing adults having sex with older minor teens. But, if nothing else, the law yells "statutory rape", and I'm all for listening to it, given the pressures teens feel from adults in these situations.

This isn't about some gay guy trying to "convert" (sic) teen boys to gaydom. This is about a sick man who gets off on using his power to seduce boys. Attempts to paint the picture otherwise are offensive, at the very least.

Speaking of offensive, here's hoping that Republican voters are just as offended as I am that Denny Hastert and company ignored and kept all this under wraps for months rather than being leaders and offing Foley (sick pun intended). And I
do judge Republicans more harshly in this area, unlike Diana Butler Bass. You can't go around shouting "Family Values" all the time and not expect some kind of rebound when your boy violates those same values. It's a slap in the face to their electorate. And to me, too.

As is the case with so many scandalous events, most everyone now acknowledges that everyone knew Foley had a thing for young boys. Sort of like the teacher that everyone knows is fooling around with girls at the high school but no one does anything about. What's that about, when everyone knows and no one does anything? That's about leadership--or a lack thereof.

Hell, even the FBI knew back in July and did nothing. There's federal leadership for you.

At least some Republican leadership seems offended, in a back seat driving, Monday morning quarterbacking kind of way. John Boehner (House Majority Leader) refused to walk the plank for Hastert. Wise, given that he has his own culpability problems. Will Hastert walk the plank himself? He says not. We'll see if he's forced.

At the end of the day, this does seem a bit Sturm und Drang to me. While OF COURSE Foley's actions are sickening and illegal and gross, isn't George Bush's behavior over 9/11 and Iraq far more egregiously offensive, sickening, illegal and gross? How about today's revelation that Condi Rice, despite her denial that it would be "incomprehensible" that she would have ignored warnings about terrorists from the CIA, was briefed by the CIA a few months before 9/11?

If you want to be outraged, chew on that for a while.



Anonymous Mike Vesely said...

Well said. The main concern of the GOP seemed to be to keep a "safe" seat. Safe for the GOP, not the pages.

10:44 PM  

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