Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Foley Moley

Advance notice - the links in the lower half are likely to induce nausea, so click with care.

Building off the Barking Spider/Coalition tag team, I'd like to direct your attention toward the right of the stage, and this invaluable compendium of linkage from the Gateway Pundit.

The picture at the Swilling's post is really fun, as it shows Democrats celebrating finding a picture of a president, congressman, and federal appointee doing their jobs. (There's hope.) Other possible interpretations based on the Democratic response:
  1. Mark Foley is not allowed to visit his own constituents in his own state because he is a Republican, and later shown to be a sexual predator
  2. Mike Brown is not allowed to visit a hurricane relief effort led by his own agency because he will be fired from that job sometime in the future

Number One seems to be acceptable to Foley himself, as he resigned in disgrace. Perhaps the Left would have preferred the Clintonite alternative - a drawn-out trial in the House of Representatives to remove him from office, as per Article I, Section 5, paragraph 2.

Otherwise, I can't see the point here. A lot of people on both sides of the aisle knew about this for a while, including several people whose reason to be* seems to maliciously out politicians against their own wishes**, or to store up dirt for the proverbial October Surprise, even when it is evidence of criminal activity. Those people should join Mr. Foley in disgrace, and possibly win all-expenses-paid trips to Club Fed. As Calvin Coolidge famously (and briefly) said, "Let the guilty be punished." Not because they've got the wrong letter trailing their names, either - but because they are guilty of crimes.

On a purely political level, I'm not sure how much hay is to be made in this brief twilight of bad news for the GOP. If one only cares about punishing the other guy when it helps your results in the midterms, it's obvious that your side will go just as far to shield a wrongdoer. It doesn't inspire confidence; in fact, it puts paid to the notion that you're offering any sort of "New Direction," unless "faster" is a new direction. A Google search for "Top 10 Republican Sex Scandals" (similar to the link above; w/t to the Swilling) turned up a lot on Foley, and a few pages later, some stuff on then-mayor James West of Spokane, Washington; and Brian J Doyle, deputy press secretary of Homeland Security. It also turned up this laundry list*** courtesy of something called the dKosopedia, a Wiki page that is filed under "Articles Lacking Sources" and links to the aforementioned out-sourcing site mentioned above, which I will NOT share.

Comparing this to the oft-glossed malfeasance of congressmen and presidents is sort of like bragging about one's squirrel hunting in the home of a man with five lionskin rugs and a stuffed grizzly bear in the corner.

Here's the twist, however - the ones making these comparisons are the politicos themselves. Average folk - voters and taxpayers and humble 60-hit bloggers - are wondering why ANY of it gets a pass. The Dems are right to call Foley a skunk, but they seem to also think that anyone who's ever pulled the wrong lever is tainted by the smell. They seem to conveniently forget that many of their own skunks are currently trying to pass themselves off as exceptionally homely raccoons while this is happening, and worse, they are attempting to convince the world that their own farts smell like rainbows.

I'd appreciate a little more honesty about the human condition. Does it really matter whether your rubbish heap has 11% less stench than someone else's? Even if Foley had been a paragon of virtue, wise as Solomon and cute as a bucket of puppies, you'd oppose his politics, right? That's the point. Something like this is going to quite properly lose one's supporters and send one to prison; it isn't indicative of some moral taint of Republicanism. If five people agree with you, and one of them turns out to be a serial killer, do the other four people have to change their mind in shame about capital gains taxes and the Second Amendment?

In short - stick to your vision for American governance, if you have one. If all you have is "the GOP has a few criminals," well, so does the Left. We're not proud of ours, and we'll help you bust them, but don't whine when we want yours busted as well.

* a little Kansas shout-out there, to make amends
** but only the Republican ones
*** among the genuine items is a generous portion of hearsay and rumor, and some people whose political affiliation is never mentioned, except for being on the list

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