Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Filthy Foley and GopPiG Hypocrisy

September scandal trumps October surprise
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2006

About that “October surprise” that White House political impresario Karl
Rove’s been promising Republican congressional candidates: It better be a doozy. If any American political party has had a more farcical interlude than the GOP, it could only be the Whigs, who self-destructed over slavery during the 1850s. That’s not a prediction. Never underestimate the capacity of American voters to be distracted by baubles and bright, shiny objects. Republican scandals have grown so numerous that it’s hard to keep them straight. Maybe the best way to think about the easiest one to understand would be in terms of the catch phrases and clichés that invariably will be used to describe it. Internet search engines are helpful. Googling “October surprise,” for example, usually defined as a devious, last-minute stunt contrived to outflank the opposition, generates 967,000 hits. To my surprise, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards’ immortal boast that he’d have to get caught in bed with “a dead girl or a live boy” to lose an election garnered a mere 2,170 on-line mentions. Edwards, a Democrat, currently is incarcerated for taking bribes even surpassing Louisiana’s tolerant standards. A charming scoundrel, he never pretended to virtue. During his successful campaign against former Klansman David Duke in 1991, a popular bumper sticker read, “Vote for the crook, it’s important.”

Apparently, it was left to Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley, however, to choose, as a friend put it, Door No. 2: the live-boy option.
Unfortunately for him and his party, Foley’s entire political career was
built upon GOP “family values” (6.3 million). He served until last week as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

Foley’s most recent legislative triumph was the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act of 2006, aimed at preventing sexual predators from using the Internet to solicit children for illicit purposes. President Bush singled out his exemplary leadership during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden last July, by which time, The Washington Post reports, the FBI and two Florida newspapers were already in possession of questionable e-mails he is alleged to have sent to a 16-year-old former congressional page, although not the ones in which, according to ABC, another lad was urged to “get a ruler and measure it for me,” among more explicit suggestions.

Hence, some will be tempted to observe that like many before him—televangelist Jimmy Swaggart comes to mind—Foley was “hoist with his own petard” (485).

“Hoist by” and “hoist on” also are popular, although hardly anybody can define “petard.” Like so many proverbial phrases, it originates with Shakespeare. A petard is a bomb used in siege warfare; basically what the Pentagon now calls an IED, or improvised explosive device. So you can see the relevance.

Democrats may properly be said to be feeling Schadenfreude, a German word meaning taking malicious pleasure from somebody else’s sorrow (1.1 million). This is only partly because Foley once used the word “vile” to refer to President Bill Clinton’s dalliance with that woman, Miss Lewinsky—although whatever else can be said about her, the fair Monica was definitely what’s often called a “consenting adult” (227, 000).

Former Clinton aide Paul Begala didn’t try to hide his glee.

“Part of [Foley’s] thing was ‘What do we tell the children?’” he told The New York Times. “Apparently, we’ll tell them in a sexually explicit e-mail.”

Ironically, most states now define 16 as the legal age of consent, although some have sliding scales depending on the partner’s age. In those places, a 52-year-old congressman might aptly be described as “s*** out of luck” (211,000). Alas, federal laws championed by Foley himself make it a felony to solicit anybody under 18 over the Internet. True, as GOP propagandists will no doubt remind us between now and November, Washington sex scandals are an enduring fact of life. My biologically oriented friend Randy Bob waxed philosophical during the Lewinsky affair. “Enhanced breeding opportunities,” he observed, “are the whole point of becoming an alpha male among the primates.” The problem for Republicans is that even the least engaged voters perk up at the mention of everybody’s favorite topic. Also, this is God’s Own
Party we’re talking about, George Orwell’s “Junior Anti-Sex League” writ large. The message couldn’t be clearer: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” (413,000). The only known remedy is to throw the rascals out (34,300).


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