Friday, October 06, 2006

Republicans Firing Blindly…..At Each Other!

Let’s talk about the ridiculousness that is today’s Republican Party. I think I’ve been a bit disheartened that the things that really matter, like the deteriorating situation in Iraq, the fact that Congress has tossed aside habeas corpus and that we are now a country that condones torture, are not the issues that are getting much play in this election year and that we instead are spending all our time talking about a sexual predator that confused the Congressional page service with an escort service. But you head into an election with the scandal you’ve got, not the scandal you want, so I guess I might as well get with the program and start piling on. At this point, I don’t care how the Republicans leave Congress, as long as it’s fast and leaves them with lasting bruises.

The Republicans have launched vicious attacks on Democrats over the years, but watching them go after each other is much more fun. They all think they’re Cheney now, shooting at their “friends” in a circular firing squad. They’ll be picking buckshot out of their backsides for weeks after this first round of ass covering. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

Protecting sexual predators is nothing new for the GOP. The young pages working in DC were of no more concern to Denny Hastert and John Boehner than the sex slaves of the North Mariana Islands were to Tom DeLay, John Doolittle and their buddy Jack Abramoff who worked together to ensure that the Congress did nothing to address the poor working conditions and forced sex trade there. The Republican hypocrites don’t have any moral values, let alone family values, unless of course “my family will step on yours to get ours” can be considered a family value. They talk about the immorality of gambling while they steal money from Indian tribes to push through legislation in favor of gaming casinos. They talk about protecting children from Internet predators while protecting a child predator using the Internet to solicit sex from underage boys. They laugh at the stupidity of their supporters while they strut around so proud of their abilities to manipulate voters and the system. When will enough be enough?

Predatorgate could be the scandal that awakens the sleepwalking supporters of the GOP. It has amazed me for years that ordinary working Americans would vote against their best interests by buoying up a Republican Party that only serves the corporations and rich families that bankroll them, when all they get out of the deal is the false promise of “moral clarity”. The moral values of the GOP leadership have been laid bare for their supporters to see and I can only hope that the rank and file Republican voters are more than a little disgusted.

This scandal is like all the rest in that it stems from the way the Republicans do business. They talk about bipartisanship, but they exclude Democrats at every turn. Democrats weren’t shown pre-war intelligence, were kept in the dark about the NSA domestic spy program and they were shut out completely when it came to the known problems with Mark Foley’s inappropriate, immoral and possibly criminal behavior with young boys going back a decade. This Republican Congress has never been about serving the people, it has been about maintaining a stranglehold on power and lying, cheating and covering for each other have been their tactics. But greed is a complicated thing. Hanging together during the high times is easy, but when the house of cards starts tumbling, the dimes start dropping as everyone scrambles to save their own butts. The only thing to do now is keep the focus on them, stand back and watch them take each other down, either through infighting or from the sheer weight of their collective corruption.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WB from your vacation, LGND. Time spent near the ocean always seems to magically wash away the stress created by daily political frustrations and restores vigor to one's spirit to report the next battle.

In fact, I'll be vacationing on the Oregon coast near Cannon Beach myself beginning in December. My family roots are in Washington state but this will be my first return visit in nearly 25 years.

Unfortuanately, you're right in your assessment about national politics. There's still two political parties but they've become Republican and Republican Lite. The latter was formerly known as the national Democrat Party.

Both are driven by corporate greed and the need to finance political campaigns with expensive advertising.

Bush claims he's a fiscal conservative but actually he's no different than the liberals who ran the "Great Society" 40 years ago. He taxes the middle class and spends the surplus to expand federal government. Rather than giving the tax dollars to social programs though, he channels the proceeds to his corporate friends who donate to the Republican Party.

For more on what's happened to democracy under Bush read my latest column,Who's Your Daddy ?

The game is the same ... it's just been repackaged by men like Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed to channel federal dollars to Republican corporations.


1:05 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Politics is like sailing a ship. The Democrats have been beating against the wind for 12 years now and it's been slow going. They've tried every tack and still can't make much headway. But the wind is changing. Soon the Dems will run before the wind.

BTW, to "run before the wind" is a good thing. And "cut & run" is a sound navy tactic. When discretion is the better part of valour, a captain, confronted by an enemy who has the advantage, may choose to save his ship and crew by cutting loose and running. The British Admiralty did not think much of captains who lost their ships.

4:52 PM  
Blogger jae said...

one would assume that Conspiracy of Silence would have surfaced here...but I one still wants to talk about political and influential sexual abuse of children at all.

8:14 PM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Nothing like a shoot out at the OK corral, especially when one side is repeatingly shooting itself in the foot. :)

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

"But you head into an election with the scandal you’ve got, not the scandal you want..."

Well said! I may steal that line (with full credit given, of course) for my own blog.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Scandalous? Yes. But hardly a scandal you can connect to the Republican party.

Creepy emails? Yes. But so what?

The whole Mark Foley thing is overblown. The media and the bloggers have really gone over the top based upon what we know at the moment. Sexual predator? You dishonor the phrase when you apply it to Mark Foley's emails.

Mark Foley sent inappropriate emails to a 16 year old boy. Trolling? No evidence of that yet that I know of.

When a page comes forward and alleges sexual contact, or alleges sex for money, or alleges drinks for favors, then we have a full blown scandal.

At the moment Mark Foley appears to be a lonely old man who stepped out of line with a 16 year old boy. Mark Foley resigned over it. The boy is fine. And the obloquies from congressmen have been spoken. What is left to be scandalous about?

Let's assume for a moment that it was a 16 year old girl and a fat old congressman. Would we apply the term sexual predator to that? Was JFK or Bill Clinton a sexual predator? (Remember age is not relevant to sexual predation.)

I have been out of touch for a few days so if I have missed something truly predatory then let me know.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

Kindlingman: "Let's assume for a moment that it was a 16 year old girl and a fat old congressman. Would we apply the term sexual predator to that? Was JFK or Bill Clinton a sexual predator? (Remember age is not relevant to sexual predation.)"

Maybe age isn't "relevant to sexual predation" on Planet Kindlingman, but as crazy as it sounds, many folks actually do think it's worse when sleazy old farts direct their creepy attention towards minors rather than people who old enough to vote. Go figger.

That said, you seemed to miss the entire point of LGND's post, which is that this is a piss-poor excuse for a scandal. Not because Foley isn't truly a creepy degenerate -- he is -- but because in the midst of a bloody, pointless war predicated on lies and the ritual shredding of the US Constitution, this tawdry tale might finally be the thing that brings the GOP down. And that truly is scandalous.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

this is one of the problems of the republicans partisanship: the scandals are easy to put squarely on them.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Kindling Man,

How exactly is this not a scandal that can be connected to the Republican party? Foley is a Republican is he not? Congressmen Hastert, Boehner, and Reynolds, and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl are all Republicans aren’t they? All four of these Republicans (and likely many more) knew about Foley’s actions and did nothing except cover it up. As far as we know there were no Democrats who knew about the emails.

I don’t think that Foley, JFK, Clinton or the hypothetical “old fart” are sexual predators. But I do think that the “old fart” and Foley are pedophiles. Keep in mind that in many states 16 is the age of consent. However, under a Federal Law that was championed by....wait for it....Foley, it is a crime to use the internet to try to lure a person under the age of 18 into a sexual liaison.

The scandal is not so much that Foley did what he did. It is that the Republican leadership left Foley in a position where he could further endanger children. And they did so because they were afraid of how the publicity would affect their hold on power. It has exposed them for the hypocrites that they are and if this ends up being a tipping point that returns Democrats to power then so be it.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Skippy said...

What to me is a critcal fact in the Foley situation is that there have always been three people on the House's page board, one from the majority as chair, one from the minority party and the Clerk of the House, a patronage job appointed by the majority.

So, the majority always is in aposiotn to set and apply policies regarding the pages.

In this case, Rep. Shimkus, the Republican on th epag eboard, only told the Clerk and never shared any informaton or concerns about Foley with the eminority page board member.

That was a purely political to protect Foley.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

I don't think that I missed the point of the article.
LGND made four points about this scandal:
Mark Foley is a sexual predator, Republican hypocrisy is evident on moral values by their cover up,Republicans are shooting each other, and Republicans are all about power and control.
LGND does say she would prefer a better scandal but then attempts to tar and feather the Republican Party over a human failing not a Party failing.
(Perhaps it is our expectation that congressman are so unique that they should never have the word sex associated with their name. Republican right wingers believe that to be true.)
Unless something more is revealed, this is a 'tempest in a teapot'.

This has reached its conclusion. The congressman has resigned, the boy is safe,and the outrage has been voiced that shameful sexual conduct will not be tolerated. The conservative right wing will be indignant that other Republicans must have accepted Foley's homosexuality and will give them a piece of their mind.

I do not see the Republican Party losing votes over this issue. I do not see a schism in the party over this issue. I do see that Republican leadership will be asked why they threw Hastert under the bus over creepy emails. Especially Boehner. He will likely move on soon for not supporting Hastert.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous david said...

I'm sorry, Kindlingman, but you've read the scandal incorrectly. (And severally pages have come forward, so it's not limited to one boy, and the emails & IM make frequent references to offers of drinks and a place to stay and the FBI is checking out the crossing the state line angle for illicit purposes, so I do think it's pretty sleazy. And, YES, it is different than adultery between consenting adults.)

Okay, what makes the scandal different. Well, the Republicans subscribe to a Machiavellian idea that the End justifies the Means. Their Christian Right base thinks this is okay, but only if the ones in charge are of the highest moral character. Absolute Christian Dictators can't be sexual predators or protectors of same. Nor should they have gays & lesbians on their staff.

Once the Christian Right's rank & file come to see that Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts ABSOLUTELY, they'll begin to doubt the motives of the Republican Leadership. Suddenly, every story about bribery, influence peddling, lies about Iraq, incompetence during Katrina will sound plausible. They've convinced themselves that they were Liberal propaganda up until now.

The Christians aren't actually as big on Law as they are Order. So long as they believed the Republicans were keeping the world Orderly, they would forgive the shredding of the Bill of Rights and the tampering of elections. But the Foley scandals shows the Republican party is DEPRAVED. And the sinful are not to be trusted with absolute power.

Of course, liberal Democrats knew that all along. It's just nice to see the Christian Right waking up.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Having read all of the comments again, I stand by my assertions.

I will keep an ear open for another shoe to drop but sexual discourse with a minor is not illegal.
The piper has been paid with Foley's resignation.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said... your moniker, symbolic and prescient as it is of the conflagration about to engulf the Repug Party!

I suspect you've set the'pipers' price too low. As a fed up Independent I consider myself a member of the piper choir and I'm not close to satisfied with the offering price.

How much more evidence do you need that the
Repug party is simply unfit to govern? They
can't win National elections without the votes
of the least informed, most frightened and most
frightening segment of the electorate, Christian
evangelicals....and even they are getting fed up!

We're only 4 weeks from the first installment in
the undoing of the Repug Coup that seized power
6 years ago. Hopefully it will be a peaceful transition.

However, if there's any evidence of Repug/Diebold
shenanigans we can't rule out the "Turkish Solution"
That's right, a real coup! It appears there are enough
disaffected generals to pull it off. And, with the
Chimp's approval now hovering at an all time low
of 33% the opposition won't be stiff, not to mention very bright or likely possessing any military experience, chickenhawks that most of them are!

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What blend of Kool-Aid are you sippin', Kindlingman ?

It must be served by the same crowd who likes to blame Clinton for all of society's problems whenever their hand gets caught in the wrong place.

If you don't think Foley is a Republican ethical contradiction, the American electorate including yourself are more naive than I perceived.

Perhaps the best resolution would be for the public to demand the Florida Attorney General prosecute the man for soliciting a minor since he's become a private citizen again.

Ever notice how deviants like Foley always find religion or check into a rehab facilty when the facts about their behavior come to light ?

We can't move on or seek closure until Foley is tried in a criminal court of law.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous dzho said...

---astounded that people are all talking about a dirty old man.

---disgusted that they are NOT talking about legal torture, and suspended habeus corpus.

---impressed with the GOP for understanding americans so well; realizing that just post a fake website with some smutty secret, and no one will remember they cancelled the Constitution THE SAME WEEK!

Indefinite detention in a secret CIA prison as an 'enemy combatant' will leave plenty of time to think about Foley, in between waterboardings. and they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

Elect Hugo Chavez president.

11:08 AM  
Blogger MarxistFromLebanon said...

If only I can make Chavez the President of Lebanon lol

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the other day the President was sitting at his White House computer terminal typing a TY to Mark Foley for his years of loyal service to the Republican Party.

Suddenly, he heard a chime like those associated with an incoming IM message. Much to his surprise, it was Foley trying to contact him.

Click the link below to hear their exchange:

Foley Sends IM Greeting To The President


9:27 PM  
Blogger Godlessfriend said...


Regardless of the logic you use to make your points...this a scandal connected to the Republican Party. Reality trumps logic everytime. This scandal does include numerous members of the republican house, their aides, and leadership. This scandal already brought down one republican at a very critical time and threatens to ruin the career of the speaker. Polls are showing over 50% want him to step down. And you have missed some serious predation on Foley's part. Again, reality is reality and a scandal is a scandal.

5:56 AM  

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