Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's over, democrats win


It’s over. —Republicans will now lose both houses of congress. Speaker Hastert will resign. Rumsfeld will resign. In fact, in the face of the Foley scandal Bush himself will resign in disgrace (crimes against humanity). Then Democrats will be allowed to merely nominate the next President and (s)he will be installed as President-for-life. The constitution will be rewritten to allow this and outlaw corporations and the GOP; then all will be right with the world.

In the real world it’s just as likely that the series of “October Surprises” Democrats have planned, such as Foley-gate, will backfire. Eventually.

I've got to admit though that I'm impressed. Enormously impressed with the Democrat's smear machine. I have never seen such an effective dirty tricks campaign waged by the normally hapless Democrats. They actually appear to have an organized and effective dirty tricks campaign in operation. Usually, they are just as likely to shoot themselves in the foot as harm their political opponents. But it's becoming clear that Democratic operatives had these emails and released them on schedule.

Does this absolve Foley? Absolutely not.

I suspect that the run up to the election will hold a few more, “October Surprises” from Democrat operatives.

Law of diminishing returns

But alas, we can already see Democrats over-reaching a bit; and if they're not careful they will destroy any benefit they could have gained from these planned disclosures.

Law of diminishing returns, you ask? “ more of a variable input is applied, each additional unit of input yields less and less additional output.”(from wikipedia)

The thicker democrats lay it on, and the more they try to conflate Foley as if he were the entire Republican party, the less benefit they will see from their efforts. For instance...

Did Speaker Hastert "Protect A Predator"?

When Democrats say that Hastert, “endangered our families,” by choosing to protect a sexual predator, are they being objective?

Fifty years from now, when historians write about the social problem of sexual predators in early 21st Century America, they will put a photo of Cardinal Bernard Law next to a photo of Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

These are men who had the chance to protect our children, but chose to protect a predator instead.

They did more than just fail as leaders--they endangered our families.

...The Speaker of the House of Representatives--the third most powerful person in our federal government--cannot keep his job now that America sees he knowingly protected a sexual predator.

Hastert protected his predator. And now that America knows--America must protect itself from Hastert.

The United States House of Representative simply cannot survive with a leader who chose to protect a sexual predator rather than protect our children.

Pardon me, but I have absolutely no sympathy for Foley. And neither do any Republicans. Anywhere. Yet it doesn't appear to me that Hastert is to blame for Foley's homosexuality and deviant sexual behavior. And it is simply too early to demand the resignation of Hastert.

The sad thing is that Foley should have resigned long before he was caught. Hopefully, he will go to jail. (I shouldn't have to mention what kind of punishment he would receive from me. In fact, my lawyer advises me that I cannot give you such an account.)

New Democrat standards?

Are Democrats going on record here as saying that the Speaker of the House must make sure that any hint of sexual impropriety by any member of the house needs to be met with the harshest inspection, investigation, and judgment? Or is there a different standard for Republicans and Democrats?

By all accounts the initial email messages were not enough for Hastert to 'fire' Foley from Congress. Even liberal papers who normally don't need an excuse to make things up in order to smear Republicans thought there wasn't enough there.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 — At least two news organizations were tipped off to e-mail messages sent by Representative Mark Foley long before the story of his sexually explicit remarks to teenage pages broke last week and forced him to resign.

...At the same time, the papers’ decisions not to report the accusations are being cited by Republican leaders as justification for why they themselves did not step forward earlier to try to stop Mr. Foley.

“He deceived his in-state newspaper when they each questioned him,” Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said Tuesday. “He deceived me, too.”

...Brian Ross of ABC News said he learned about the e-mail messages in August but was too busy with Hurricane Katrina and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to pursue them immediately. None of the organizations seemed to anticipate how big the story would become.

“I never thought it would lead to his resignation,” Mr. Ross said.

When The St. Petersburg Times received its first tip on the e-mail messages in late 2005, the editors decided it was “friendly chit-chat,” with nothing overtly sexual, but nonetheless assigned two reporters to find out more, according to an editor’s note.

The reporters tracked down the teenager, but he refused to let them use his name in a story. They found a second page who had corresponded with Mr. Foley and was willing to let them use his name but said he did not have a problem with the messages, undercutting the premise.

When the newspaper asked Mr. Foley about the messages, he “insisted he was merely trying to be friendly,” Scott Montgomery, the newspaper’s government and politics editor, wrote Saturday in a note to readers.

The editor of The Herald, Tom Fiedler, said the initial messages did not seem to justify writing a story. “We determined after discussion among several senior editors, including myself, that the content of the messages was too ambiguous to lead to a news story,” Mr. Fiedler was quoted in his paper as saying.

The Liberal Hypocrisy

I completely expect Democrats to make as much out of this as they possibly can, but it does seem odd that when we look at the history of Democrats regarding exactly the same kinds of scandals we see a very different reaction.

When Democrats are in the majority do they, “protect our children,” rather than, “sexual predators,” in the manner they seem to expect Hastert to have done? No they don't.

Any moral outrage evidenced by Democrats about this is largely political in nature. Historically, they do not find Foley's “alternate lifestyle,” to be any of our business.

The fact is that Republicans actually punish their members far more harshly than Democrats. Conservatives and their constituencies apply moral sanctions to such behavior, Democrats, by and large, do not.

In 1994, Democrat Mel Reynolds not only denied that he was a sexual predator but he went on to win re-election in an overwhelmingly democratic district despite the cloud of scandal over him. I guess the fact that he was a sexual predator didn't matter to Democrats.

In August 1994, he was indicted for having sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected in November 1994. Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. On August 22, 1995 he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. He [finally] resigned his seat on October 1, 1995.

Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison and expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997, he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence and served forty-two months in prison for the later charges. At that point, U.S. President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud. As a result, Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a half way house. ~wikipedia

So after being re-elected by his predominantly democrat district, and being pardoned by Bill Clinton, where does this sexual predator convicted of preying upon a sixteen year old child as well as 'soliciting' child pornography work now? He works for Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition.

Is what Foley did actually reprehensible to Democrats? I'm not so sure. I suspect that the fact that Foley is a Republican is more reprehensible than the emails or instant messages are. After all, it's just a private sexual matter.

The one thing that the Republicans have done is by scrutinizing the president's personal behavior - and nobody could possibly condone his behavior - it is absolutely reckless and should never have occurred in the Oval Office - but Republicans, I think, have made a very significant mistake here by invading the boundaries of privacy. And I think this is something that the party is going to have to live with as part of what is driving down party perceptions right now, and Republicans are really going to have to figure out a way to talk about family values without appearing to gaze into a person's private life because that is private and separate.

Are we to believe now that Democrats are incredibly incensed about such private and separate matters?

When Democrats were in control of congress in 1983, two congressman, one Republican and one Democrat, both had sex with underage congressional pages. The impact of each of these scandals tells us everything we need to know about the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

The ways each lawmaker handled the scandal — and the consequences they faced afterward — were very different. Crane apologized for his actions, saying, "I'm human" and "I only hope my wife and children will forgive me." He was subsequently voted out of office in 1984.

Studds, who was openly gay, said the relationship was consensual and charged that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy. He won re-election the following year — in a more liberal district than Crane's — and served in Congress until his retirement in 1996.

The response of the Democrat is in line with decades of Democratic behavior in scandal. Likewise for the Republican.

Studds, however, stood by the facts of the case and refused to apologize for his behavior, and even turned his back and ignored the censure being read to him. He called a press conference with the former page, in which both stated that the young man, who was 17, consented. Studds had taken the adolescent to Morocco to engage in sexual activity, and therefore did not break any U.S. laws in what he called a "private relationship."[1] He continued to be reelected until his retirement in 1996.[2] ~wikipedia

Republican Newt Gingrich called for both men to be expelled from the congress. But what was the punishment given out by the Democratically controlled congress? Censure.

So will Democrats, “protect the children” more than Republicans? Or is their feigned outrage more geared toward winning an election than, “protecting the children?”
Posted by Eric Simonson at October 4, 2006 12:35 PM

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