On Polishing Halos, Perverted Pols, and Mark Foley

October 2, 2006

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LATE AD: FOLEY IM’S AND EMAILS ALTERED. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

The Speaker of the House, Republican Denny Hastert has launched an investigation, the perv quit, and character counts. As always (notwithstanding what the Dems say).

I was thinking over the weekend about Barney Frank, a Democrat, who, when it was discovered his gay prostitute “lover” was running a ‘call boy’ operation out of Frank’s house, didn’t quit. The House leadership blocked an ethics investigation (called for by the minority Republicans) and no one in the House leadership called for him to step down. In fact his storied sexual appetite probably enhanced his image within his Massachusetts constituency. It certainly did with his party leadership.

Then of course there have been others. California democrat Gary Condit comes to mind. I wonder who murdered his intern/lover (?), Chandra Levy? The Condit story was dropped like a hot rock in favor of other, more titillating, stories. But what happened to Chandra? Gary stayed in Congress for two years after Levy’s body was found.

Closer to home there’s the case of democrat Neil Goldschmidt who spent YEARS systematically raping an underage girl while he, a man in his 30’s, was married and a public servant–running AND WINNING the Governorship of Oregon. We found out during this hubbub that an amazingly large circle of people KNEW about his PREDATORY CHILD MOLESTER/RAPIST behavior, which makes Kulongoski’s claim about caring for children this campaign season [Jessica’s Law?!] slightly laughable. You know the story: one of the Goldschmidt insiders insists the future former governor knew about the attacks and had a discussion with him about it. The circle of folks who knew included the newspaper of record (HA!) the Oregonian, and many in ‘official’ Portland. But you knew that.

So for you folks who want to make political hay out of this Foley perversion good luck with that. As Bill Clinton once said, after he spewed his semen on Monica’s dress when she was servicing him in the oval office, “You don’t want to go here!”

Character counts. Character doesn’t go out of style. It isn’t buttressed by changing political winds. It isn’t situational (or shouldn’t be). It telegraphs future behavior. Character just is.

The sick stuff committed by the above mentioned democrats in no way excuses Mark Foley. He’s getting punished. Good. While the timing of these revelations is suspect he still deserves everything he gets if in fact he got into the pants of the pages. Ugh.

But I’d hold off polishing your or your party’s halo if I were you.

For hypocrisy it’s hard to beat this Mark Foley moment with John Walsh of America’s Most wanted:


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