Ahhh, as Dr. Susan Block has noted, it takes a whiff of sex to make a good political scandal these days. Ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham driving around in his ill-gotten Rolls Royce; living on his bribe master’s yacht; cashing in on his position to the tune of over $2.5 million and thumbing his nose at the public barely registered on the outrage scale earlier this year. Fellow Republican ex-Rep. Bob Ney joined the Duke in prison for his own bribe-taking escapades, but you’d never know it from perusing the “liberal media.” But, Rep. Mark Foley’s Internet stalking (and worse to come) of teenage boys cannot be so easily dismissed.
It would probably take a false confession by a glory-seeking pervert in a decade-old kiddie porn murder to chase this one off the news nowOK, maybe not. But, for a scandal that was quietly relegated to the back pages of every “liberal media” newspaper it first appeared in, it didn’t take long for the aroma de sex to push it to the front pages.
After wasting some $80 million of tax dollars hounding Bill Clinton for consensual oral sex with an adult (though one much younger and of much lesser status), it’s now priceless to see the very same GOP operatives who were behind that witch hunt scramble. The GOP spin machine is running at warp speed.
Defending the Inexcusable
Once ABC broke out the really disgusting exchanges between Foley and the Pages, it quickly put an end to the dittohead outrage against ABC and inane defenses of the indefensible. This irony-challenged writer’s missive is representative of many that have appeared on ABC’s website:
“Congressman Foley’s enemies have been trying to drag his private life into the public arena for years, and his current opponent is no different. This is merely a case of the congressman being a clumsy letter writer on a project he should have probably staffed out in the first place, and is much ado about nothing.”
Well, the GOP took little time in “staffing out” the spin. First it was Bush mouthpiece Tony Snow presenting the official White House rationale, condescendingly answering a reporter’s question:
“I hate to tell you, but it’s not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails.”
Yeah. “Simply naughty emails” between a 52-year-old Congressman and 17-year-old boys. Nothing to see here.
Matt Drudge unbelievably blamed the Pages themselves on his radio show stating:
“And if anything, these kids are less innocent – these 16 and 17 year-old beastsand I’ve seen what they’re doing on YouTube and I’ve seen what they’re doing all over the internet – oh yeah – you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You’re not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the Congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him.”
“Seventeen-year-old beasts!” What does that make the 52-year-old ex-Congressman? Remember the sanctimonious Foley was the head of the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. He may well be charged under his own using the Internet for stalking minors for sex law. One could not make this up!
“On Offense,” Indeed
Rush Limbaugh has gone way over the top–a feat even for the “Doctor of Democracy” gas bag himself. Rush treated all to the spectacle of GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert first denying he had knowledge of Foley’s emails; then, apparently after regaining his memory, claiming they were merely “over-friendly” missives; then claiming that someone (surely, not the Democrats?) had the emails and sat on them for three years (Uh, Denny, why then did they not release them for the 2004 election?); then claiming “We took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it, asked him to resign.” (Uh, again, you asked him to resign and he did? Guess it had nothing to do with ABC showing Foley the emails; which was the true causal event.)
Hastert finished off his self-serving Limbaugh appearance by telling Rush that the entire Foley affair was “a political issue” and that “we are going on offense.”
Then Rush went ballistic. Limbaugh actually has blamed Foley depredations on, who else, the “libs” and the “Drive-by Media.” He went so far to claim that the ‘libs” are the ones now equating gayness with pedophilia;
“But throughout this whole episode, it just struck me that the libs and the media have equated being gay — I mean, this has all happened because Foley was gay and that means he’s a pedophile.”
Wow. This comes from a guy who has never failed to claim that ALL gays are potential pedophiles, unworthy of even the most basic of rights.
But it is the right-wing website www.TownHall.com that takes the prize for disingenuous partisanship. Town Hall columnist Ben Shapiro states:
“Were Mark Foley a liberal Democrat from San Francisco, liberals would be hard-pressed to spot a problem with his behavior.”
Huh? Guess it’s a Town Hall talking point. In August, before Hurricane Foley hit, Town Hall columnist Kevin McCullough actually wrote:
“The truth is liberals seek sexual utopia where no rules apply. Restraint has in fact become a dirty word to them. Self control – a throughly (sic) foreign concept.
Waging the revolution for all that is true, just, and good involves every single one of us who know better to actively demonstrate this by preventing such an agenda from becoming reality.
For liberals to denounce pedophiles, ultimately they would have to denounce, lesbianism, homsexuality, (sic) and their particular favorite – adultery. And that’s just no going to happen.
At the end of the day there are such a thing (sic) as moral values, and liberals despise them – because as they see it – those moral values limit their sexual freedoms. And if this is “America” – isn’t it all about the freedom to get your groove on?
Liberals love pedophiles.”
And, conservatives apparently, excuse them.
MICHAEL DONNELLY has no problem with anyone’s adult sexual preferences. He condemns anyone of any sexual persuasion soliciting children and abhors sanctimonious bastards of any political persuasion who decry consenting adult sex and then shield pedophiles. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org