Oh, that nonsense.
I've been trying to ignore the Mark Foley flap-- largely because I could care less save to shrug with the usual sort of general disgust I have for your average politician, but it's been getting more and more play of late (purely by coincidence to the upcoming mid-terms, certainly), and a friend sent me this story which puts what is becoming more and more a smear campaign into perspective.
Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.
If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions. Can the same be said for Democrats?
In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.
Did Studds express contrition? Resign? Quite the contrary. He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.
In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank, also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.
What happened to Frank? The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist. Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."
... and on, and on. Then there was that whole NJ Governor McGreevey thing, who put his gay lover into a Homeland Security slot he was (surprise!) entirely unqualified for, but refused to resign or leave office until the slot could be ensured to another Democrat.
I'll say this: I think Foley is slime, though I respect that he did the right thing immediately and without hesitation or maneuvering, which as the article rightly states is a fairly good metric of remorse. He did something that is not socially acceptable, insulted the office he held, and betrayed the trust that was put in him by the people who elected him to it. That much is certain, and if I were a liberal, I'd be adding a big BUT right about here, but I'm not, so I won't.
What I will say is that the Democrat slime machine is as hypocritical and predictable as always-- moral standards for thee, especially if thee is a Republican, but not for me!
As opposed to, say, setting an example or standing up and saying "Hey everybody, here's our idea which we think would work better." Of course, that sort of thing would require that one have character, morals, and a new idea to begin with.
UPDATE: Looks more and more like the whole "scandal" was nothing more than traditional Democrat politics. Which is to say the corrupt kind.
posted by Mr. Lion | 10/03/06 @ 23:24 | comments (0)