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Foleygate Analyzed - The Conservative Response & Reaction

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I so much wanted to talk about Bob Woodward's new book and the continued exposure of BushCo's lies and deception around 9/11. But nooooooo.... yet ANOTHER Republican scandal surfaced and dominated the headlines over the last week which is even more repulsive & disgusting. Can you imagine that? More revelations about how the Bush Administration deceived us into an unnecessary war which has cost over 2700 American lives, over 100,000 Iraqi lives, and over 15,000 American injuries, and that's NOT the biggest story in the news this week.

Nope. It's another Washington SEX scandal. Of course SEX always gets people's attention more than death and war. This past week it was publicly revealed that Republican Congressman Mark Foley from Florida was engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with an under aged male congressional page. So much of the blogosphere has already chimed in on nearly every aspect of this story, so of course I will too.

Where to focus?

I'm not going to focus on the fact that he carried on sexually explicit dialogue over the Internet with a minor.

I'm not going to focus on the fact that he's a homosexual.

I'm not going to focus on the irony that he chaired the Caucus for Missing & Exploited Children.

I'm not going to focus on the fact that he was carrying on a sexually explicit instant messaging conversation WHILE WAITING FOR A HOUSE VOTE.

Instead, my focus today is on the Republican/GOP/Conservative response & reaction to the surfacing of this scandal. This is where the slime really hits the fan. Here are just a few tidbits:

  • Linda Harvey, WorldNetDaily: "...Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected..." {snip} " with youth are built into the 'gay' sub-culture..."
  • Fox News, during "The O'Reilly Factor", thrice displayed Mark Foley's image with the graphic of his name connected to "D-FL". One can only imagine why they did this. Either it was complete incompetence on the part of Fox News, OR they intentionally tried to mislead this SEX scandal towards the Democratic party.
  • Several conservative talking heads compared this scandal to Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky, or homosexual Democratic scandals of the past including Gerry Studds and Barney Frank.
  • Several conservative talking heads and GOP Congressmen have blamed the Democrats for politicizing this scandal and arranging the leaking of it in an election season. For the record, this was NOT leaked by the Democrats.
  • Several conservative talking heads have blamed the pages themselves for seducing the congressmen.
  • Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House on the hot seat for not acting on this much earlier (yes, he's been aware of Foley's abhorrent behavior for a long time) blamed "...ABC News and Democratic operatives for the mushrooming scandal...". Clearly the Republican House leadership was well aware of Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior and did not act on that knowledge.
  • Ann Coulter, never one to keep her rabid thoughts to herself, of course turned this into a Democrat-bashing opportunity: "WHO KNEW CONGRESSMAN FOLEY WAS A CLOSETED DEMOCRAT?" {snip} "The object lesson of Foley's inappropriate e-mails to male pages is that when a Republican congressman is caught in a sex scandal, he immediately resigns and crawls off into a hole in abject embarrassment. Democrats get snippy."

This is only a small sample of conservative reaction to the latest scandal to rock the Republican party. The party of bringing accountability, responsibility & dignity to Washington spent quite a bit of effort doing exactly the opposite.

On the other hand, there were a number of Republicans actually doing the right thing. They called for an investigation, even issuing a multitude of subpoenas, to ferret out the facts and get to the bottom of who knew what and when. This was also the Democratic reaction as well, although you wouldn't know that if you actually listened to the conservatives blaming the Democrats for politicizing this scandal.

Here's where I start asking questions...

Where were these Republicans with their subpoenas when evidence surfaced that Bush DELIBERATELY lied to take us into war in Iraq (the Downing Street memos). You remember... that whole pre-war intelligence thing? Where was the investigation? Where were these Republicans with their subpoenas when evidence surfaced that Bush was DELIBERATELY wiretapping Americans withOUT a warrant, against the edict of the FISA laws? Where was the investigation? Where were these Republicans with their subpoenas when a wealth of evidence surfaced of election fraud and anomalies in 2004? Where was the investigation?

These were egregious offenses that were borderline treasonous and impeachable and there were no investigations and no subpoenas. The theft of the 2004 election put the United States democracy and foreign credibility in shambles. How many subpoenas were issued to get to the bottom of these scandals? How much effort was made by the Republicans to get to the truth? Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Nyet. One Congressman sends inappropriate emails and instant messages to an under aged boy, and all-of-the-sudden the subpoenas start flying.

And here's my point...

If I was a Republican, I'd be ashamed, disgusted and embarrassed for my party right now. The party which said they stood for accountability & dignity now stands for scandal, cover-up, corruption, deceit, hypocrisy, division, torture, destroying constitutional rights, warrant-less wiretapping, gay-bashing, swiftboat-politicing, record deficits & debt (i.e. fiscal mismanagement), no-bid contracts, media-consolidation, etc. I could go on-and-on, but you get the point. The party that stands for all those things should NOT be the party in power.
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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