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Republican Who Failed Ten Commandments Test Spiraling Fast

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There is no person on God's green earth whose closet is filled with more scandalous skeletons than a phony. A phony puts on some John Wayne-like costume and expects his or her clothes to do the talking. At risk of exposure is a private life that doesn't live up to the implicit expectations of one's community. Early last summer, Rep. Westmoreland turned up for an interview with Stephen Colbert swaddled in his conservative, bible-thumping, evangelical, family-values pajamas.

Westmoreland, dubbed by Colbert as the "do-nothingest" congressman in the House, appeased his white, Christian, suburban constituents not long ago with a self-aggrandizing, self-martyring, self-righteous, self-full, prideful push for a bill that would require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in the House and Senate.

In one of Colbert's "Get to Know a District" segments, Colbert asked Westmoreland to name the Ten Commandments. The congressman almost disintegrated into a cloud of dust. When he recovered, he barely ticked off three, and not in the order of importance that God assigned them. He admitted, "I can't name them all."

The segment was aired on June 14, but the hype surrounding Westmoreland's embarrassing exposure as a phony has been steamrolling all autumn into a major public relations disaster. The interview can be downloaded at You Tube, and it has been downloaded tens of thousands of times. A story about the incident appeared as one of the "most read" stories on the LA Times website this past Sunday.

Mark Foley sent a message to Middle Americans that even the most prominent tough-on-gays republicans have their own skeletons in the closet. With no party difinitively masculine and heterosexual, all the men with closeted fantasies (look at the booming porn industry) and behavior are finally loosing their need to combat that persisting feeling of sexual inadequacy by affiliating with a particular party.

Being a republican is, for all practical purposes, just a costume for men (and to a lesser extent women) ashamed of their own secret sexual fantasies and behavior. Those who try to argue it any other way still believe the rhetoric of a party whose record tells a different story. No need to display that G.O.P. yard sign or vote for those republicans when the gimmick is up, when the heterosexual-as-bricks party is exposed as a bunch of pimps of the most controversial sexual behavior in which one could engage.

Foley, like all phonies, compensated for his secret life with a public life in which he viciously attacked the very people whose behavioral traits he shared. He chaired a committee to protect exploited children, and made several "Mission Accomplished"-style speeches on the subject.

The contrast between his public take on pedophilia and his private engagement in it has parallels with other celebrated phonies. Rush Limbaugh used his podium as a conservative talk show host to assail drug users and "immoral liberals." Turns out he's had a career of divorces and he's a drug abuser.

President Bush donned a flight suit and played Tom Cruise on an aircraft carrier, when in reality he went AWOL and avoided all combat duty in Vietnam.

Westmoreland is a phony too, and it's up to the imagination of his constituents what "dirty little secrets" he is hiding behind his evangelical costume. Of course it's up to all of us democrats to wonder what skeletons his constituents are hiding in their closets to feel the need to shelter themselves behind the mask of "values voters" (read heterosexual-as-bricks voters). I bet more than half of them have secrets they intend on keeping to the grave.

We democrats can proudly say, "I told you so from the beginning." The fa├žade of moral hypocrisy is crumbling. A politician's opinion about sexuality was always a bad bellwether for their trustworthiness in Washington. The most vehement anti-homosexuals are always the biggest hypocrites in the first place. Secondly, sexuality issues detract attention from issues like corruption and no-bid contracts. It should have never been the deciding factor in any election. We can sit back and laugh now as the latest hypocrite, Westmoreland, struggles to dig himself out of a deepening hole.
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Dean Powers lives in Castleton, VT. He has apprenticed at several newspapers including The Nation. He currently writes for OpEdNews. He can be found at facebook.com/deanppowers.

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