Tuesday, October 10, 2006
At the White House, aides were straining to sound optimistic. "I think we've stabilized," said one senior Bush aide, operating under the usual White House requirement of anonymity. "Unless there's another circular firing squad or new information comes out." Others were gloomier. In Rep. Ray LaHood's Illinois district, the Foley scandal has been the lead story in the local paper every day for the past week. "We had this game plan of coming home and talking about our accomplishments on border security and the economy, and nobody wants to hear about it," says LaHood. "The only thing I hear from people is Foley ... It's all anybody wants to talk about, and I don't see that changing anytime soon."
And it's not just the voters who care about "family values" who might be driven away, said Matt Dowd, Bush's longtime pollster. The brouhaha on the Hill threatens what Dowd calls "the gut values" relationship between voters and politicians they trust. "Values always determine elections," says Dowd. "Deep gut values, like 'Do I trust someone?' " Dowd worries that public trust in the House Republican leadership -- never exactly ironclad, even among the truest Republicans -- could be shredded by disarray in the leadership and doubts about whether they tried hard enough to deal with Foley before he could prey on teenagers.
There are people who either because they are pro-homo or they completely lack scruples in other ways who will deny there was/is any problem with Foley. They will reduce this whole scandal to just a "tiny little tinny bit naughty, ever so innocent and harmless" Foley. For those conservatives or Republicans who are not into that level of self-dellusion and irresponsibility, the issue is that a corrupt, non-family values bulk of the Republican party just exploded in their faces. It's OUT. They can either submit to being lied to and made fools of, to have their most important values dragged in the mud, and to have the top Republican politicos spin and play them as they want - or they can protest their indignation with their ballot choice (including not to vote).
The only way to make such corrupt pro-homos mildly take notice that their ensemble of attitudes regarding sexuality is profoundly detrimental to society is to hit them where they care: their own utterly selfish, greedy selves, careers, and election races. And this is what is making Republican chieftains nervous. That's why, no sooner had the Foley mess hit the public fan, that Republican pundits started their chorus, "But having Democrat winners will be even worse! So even though we lied to you, we deceived you, we have taken your family values and flushed them down the toilet - hey, you should still vote for us."
Which is what the following opinion piece by Star Parker is about. And I totally disagree with the "vote Republican, even though we are now liberals" call.
And this phenomenon is something very important, so many Repulicans are no longer social-conservatives, they are liberals. As I have been writing here, liberalism is the dominant culture for attitudes and values in the personal and family sphere in American today. And Foley is just one in a million that got caught. Because the corrupt "don't ask/don't tell" attitudes and behaviors towards sexual abuse and harassment is part of this dominant liberal culture, specially if the perpetrators are non-heterosexuals.
We can parse out every element of former Republican Congressman Mark Foley's behavior that sickens normal, decent Americans and find that these elements are today, in one form or another, a generally accepted part of everyday life in the country. We can thank liberals for this state of affairs, and these liberals are Democrats.
What are we upset about?
Sexual promiscuity? A third of babies born today in the United States are born to unwed mothers. The idea that sexual behavior belongs in the exclusive realm of marriage has long departed from popular American culture.
We relate to others as objects for our use, and then cast them aside when they are no longer useful. Why should we expect the culture of the U.S. Congress be any different from what we find generally accepted in the country as a whole?
Homosexuality? Let's face it. Culturally, homosexual behavior is now an accepted part of American life. Homosexuals host popular national talk shows. Most American corporations provide benefits for "partners" and prohibit any talk or behavior that might imply lack of openness to all "lifestyles."
The entertainment industry provides a steady diet of films, TV shows and music that legitimize every imaginable form of sexual behavior.
According to data gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Child Trends DataBank in 2005, 34 percent of high school students reported that they had had sexual intercourse during the previous three months, including 22 percent of ninth-graders. Half of 12th-grade students say they had sex in the last three months.
Twenty-eight out of our fifty states permit a teen-age girl to get an abortion without the permission of her parents. Seventeen states do not even require that the teenage girl inform her parents before getting the abortion.
One of these seventeen states is California, home of Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi, now palpitating at the prospect of becoming the first woman speaker of the House.
In 2005, parents in a local school district in California sued the school system for allowing a questionnaire to be distributed to kids from 7 to 10 years old, asking them explicit questions about their sexual feelings. The district court ruled against the parents. According to the court ruling, parents have no right "to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so."
Sexual "education" is now a regular part of public school curricula. Girls and boys receive this material together. The only message these kids get is that the only reason to abstain from any form of sexual behavior is the extent to which that behavior might inconvenience one's life. Sexual behavior is taught to be the result of "orientation" and not choice.
So what's the big deal about Mark Foley?
Bill Clinton transformed the Oval Office into a sexual romper room, used the power of the nation's highest office to prey on the young and naive for his pleasure, brought discussion about intimate sexual behavior into common public discourse, and educated America's children about alternative modes of sexual behavior.
Clinton suffered at most an embarrassing few moments, apologized for something or other that to this day remains ambiguous to me, and today postures as a global statesman.
Supposed Democratic outrage about Mark Foley cannot possibly have anything to do with Foley's behavior. In the world of the Democratic left, the only intolerance is intolerance. The only evil is to condemn any behavior that takes place between supposedly consenting adults.
Actually, that is now the world of many of the hypocritical Republicans in office or running for office.
The Foley affair is grave not just because it's one single Republican homo caught in his predatory behavior towards minors, this affair exposes the same corrupt collective cover-up that happened in the Catholic Church. We should remind readers that approximately 80% of cases in the Catholic Church abuse scandal referred to tween or teen victims of male sex, with no physical violence included, clearly homosexual abuse and exploitation.
Unfortunately, for all the grand, lofty speeches that are always pronounced on such occassions regarding how everyone other than Foley cares about the well-being of children, we know very well that reality doesn't match these silvery-lined words. Although I am hearing that Republicans risk being hit with more than a slap on the wrist on the Foley scandal, humanity has had a tendency to prove itself so heartless and irresponsible, that I wouldn't be surprised if the backlash was minimal. And that makes me sad because we know that if there is no backlash, there will be more and more rampant Foleys, with more and more cover-ups. All in the name of "family values."
And social conservatives will have no one to really represent them politically, as the well-written article points out below. Best question asked is at the end.
The Republicans will pay for their Foley (By GERARD BAKER)
THE MODERN conservative ascendancy in America grew in large part out of a rebellion against the liberal revolution in values of the 1960s. This moral and cultural revolution was the acme of modern Western liberalism. It produced some indisputable gains, most obviously the rapid progress towards racial and sexual equality. But its moral legacy was hazier. To many Americans the permissiveness it preached looked dangerously like moral relativism. The rallying cry of the conservative counter-revolution above all was personal responsibility. Criminals should not be "understood" in terms of their background but rooted out and punished. Welfare mothers should no longer be supplied the monetary support to finance their dependency. Fathers should be made to acknowledge their responsibilities.
A couple of decades after conservatives first rode this backlash into Washington, it is all starting to sound rather quaint. The latest sorry way-station on the road down from the moral mountain has been the storm that has engulfed US politics this week – the case of Mark Foley.
On Monday this staunch defender of personal responsibility took the well-worn American route of the outed scoundrel and announced he was checking into an alcoholism rehab unit. On Tuesday, as the storm deepened, his attorney announced that Foley had been sexually abused as a child by a priest. By the weekend it is expected that he will be urging the FBI to hunt for the real culprit in this tragedy – his mother.
It soon emerged that a number of Republicans had had their concerns about Foley for a while. There were many stories about how he had been trying to get too "close" to pages. But when the subject was raised with the House of Representatives leadership a year or more ago, no one took firm action to get him to desist. Since this story became public last weekend, Republicans have been casting around for the negligent enablers among themselves.
House members who had had misgivings about Foley blamed the leadership. John Boehner, the majority whip manfully stepped up to the plate – and said it was all the fault of Dennis Hastert, the Republican Speaker of the House. Hastert, in a brave display of personal responsibility, went cap in hand to the American people – and said the Democrats were to blame: they had deliberately held off on releasing the e-mails until they knew it would cause maximum political damage in next month's elections.
Now the Republicans, who coached the country through the great moral crisis of the Clinton presidency by promising to restore the virtues of individual morality, are in full blame-apportioning fury.
a member of congress is in a special position of authority towards the pages; hitting on them is a serious breach of professional ethics – and, yes, personal responsibility. To cap it all, Foley was an active member of the House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children, and had sponsored legislation to protect minors from aggressive electronic pursuit by adults.
Whether this incident will so repel voters that they will turf the Republicans out is now the main topic in Washington. But in a sense the true lesson of this story is that, whatever happens at the mid-term elections, it further emphasises how detached from their political, cultural and moral moorings Republicans have become.
Republicans came to power in Congress 12 years ago to complete the conservative revolution begun by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. But a decade or more later the Republicans are, like the pigs in Animal Farm, barely distinguishable from the rulers and the governing values they displaced. They have come, not only to tolerate big government, but to enthusiastically accept and garnish it, dispensing large public programmes in health, education and domestic security with a verve that makes their Democratic forebears look miserly.
Republicans have embraced a corrupt culture of swapping dubious legislation to favour special interest groups for large campaign donations. This is often done in hidden clauses in Bills, reminding us too that, as someone once said, in Washington the truth is merely another special interest, and a not particularly well financed one at that. Worse still, a number of Republicans have enriched themselves personally through accepting bribes.
It is in this context that the moral failings of the Foley scandal need to be considered. Having buried the conservative virtues of small government, honesty and truth beneath an avalanche of self-serving, self-aggrandising big government liberalism they have finally embraced the last defence of the moral liberal – "I cannot tell a lie: someone else did it."
So even if the Democrats do take control next month, will anyone really notice the difference?