Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Morning UnFunnies - Foley Version

OK, OK, I know what you are thinking. There is absolutely nothing funny about a predator loose in the House of Representatives enticing young men into homosexual trysts. There is also absolutely NOTHING funny about Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives learning about this problem, doing nothing about it, lying about their knowledge and lack of response and then blaming it on A. the teenager(s) in question B. the Democrats and/or C. the press.

Those of us who have paid attention to politics for some period of time are used to Republicans shirking their responsibility for their transgressions. It is always someone Else's fault and their base of voters buys into the finger pointing. Soon the lies that are disseminated through the GOP noise machine have oozed down to the average citizen and we find they've swallowed the swill and are obediently repeating the lies. How many of you have heard that it's Pelosi's fault? The teen page's fault? Brian Ross'/ABC's fault? Has it trickled down yet?

Don't worry. It will. Or....

Maybe this time, the average Joe and Jane Republicans are tired of obediently repeating the lies. Maybe this time, they've decided enough is enough. Maybe this time, they have decided they really do want to be able to wear the "family values" badge without feeling like hypocrites. Maybe this time, they've been asked to cover for a transgression that is just too horrible for them to swallow. Maybe this time, they're going to say, "No!"


Let's take stock of all the different excuses, examples of finger pointing and blame placing that are going on out there. It's mind-boggling to say the least.

  • Hunter at DailyKos tells us that Chris Cannon, R-Utah, is not only blaming the pages but their parents as well. It's the parents' responsibility to raise their children to not tease a 52-year-old man into soliciting them for sex.
  • Matt Drudge, in his Republican slime report, gives two anonymous sources who say this was a prank by the page. The page, now 21, is a Republican, is straight and is working on Istook's gubernatorial campaign. Way to screw one of your own, Drudge. You did what Foley never got the chance to do. Lying sack of excrement!
  • Dennis Hastert tells the Chicago Tribune that Clinton's people were to blame and George Soros, too. No, they didn't send the emails. They didn't cover up Foley's penchant for little boys entrusted to the care of the US House of Representatives. Supposedly, according to Hastert, they knew about it too and waited to release it at a politically advantageous time. Of course, he offers no proof. None whatsoever. He doesn't need proof. All he needs is that GOP noise machine. Do you hear it revving its engines? (ht to TPM Muckraker)
  • Newt Gingrich, Hastert and too many Republicans to name have blamed the leak of the email on some nameless Democrat. Wrong. The person who linked the email is a Republican. The Hill has the story.
  • Jack Kingston, R-Ga, does his part in spreading the lie through CNN, that Democrats knew of the inappropriate scandal and timed the release of the email to gain political advantage. Of course, we already know this is false, but the reporters don't challenge the assertion and the grand old prevaricating habit continues for the GOP as they try to repeat a lie often enough that it becomes the truth.
  • Joe Barton, R-Texas joined the fray saying Democrats have no right to criticize Republicans at this time when two of their own were involved in a similar scandal. Let's hop into the way-back machine and travel to the 1983 House Page Scandal. Here we find that two Representatives were involved in sexual behavior with 17-yr-old pages. However, we also find that one is actually a Republican. Follow the link to Wikipedia for a brief description of the scandal. This is the old "they did it too, so they're just as bad" routine. The problem is, they did it too back in 1973 and you did it too back in 1980.
Each day brings a new barrage of deflecting, dodging and disseminating of lies by Republicans as they try every old trick in the book. Tricks that have always worked in the past. Tricks that their base has certainly helped them use. Tricks that have lost their effectiveness as they've become worn-out with overuse.

Who knows when the fresh news about this Republican scandal will end. Maybe it will end if Hastert resigns. Maybe it will end when average Republican voters stand up and say, "Enough!" Maybe it will end when House Republicans run out of lies and excuses. Who knows when it will end.

Regardless of this scandal's stale date, certain things need to end. The most important?

Republicans need to stop trying to make it everyone Else's fault but their own.

It doesn't matter when the press had it. Republicans had it first and did nothing.

It doesn't matter if the teenager responded in any way to Mark Foley's enticements. Mark Foley is a 52-yr-old man who shouldn't have been using the Internet to entice a 16-yr-old into doing anything. It isn't the page's fault. End.of.story.

It doesn't matter if 20 or 30 years ago a Democrat and Republican had sex with two different 17-yr-old pages. That was then and this is now.

Quite frankly, it doesn't matter if Democrats heard rumors that there were problems with Foley and Republican pages.(No proof, just based on Hastert's assertion that Dems knew and didn't report it.) Those were rumors. Hastert, Reynolds, Shimkus - all REPUBLICANS - had first-hand knowledge of the inappropriate behavior and they did NOTHING. NOTHING.

No, there's nothing funny about this scandal at all. There's nothing funny about the inappropriate actions of Mark Foley. There's nothing funny about grown men - all Republicans in this case - who do not take responsibility for their own actions. There's nothing funny about politicians who have no respect for their constituents, so they participate in the noise machine - each playing their part to spread lies, rumors and sound.

There's nothing funny about any of this, but it's what I have for today. I'm a mom. I'm a voter and I'm angry.


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