Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Foley Follies: Republicans' Behavior in this Scandal is a Shameful, Disgusting Disgrace

First let's start with a quote from May 18, 2005:

"We're playing Russian Roulette with our children's lives. We need to stop these predators now."

That was scandal-plagued former Rep. Mark Foley speaking to reporters just a year before his Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which created a national sex-crimes registry and increased penalties for such crimes against children, was passed into law. For Republicans, it only goes downhill from there.

In a year which saw the GOP continuously rocked by corruption, where Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney have been forced to give up their House seats and where Jack Abramoff and Scooter Libby and others kept Republicans running for cover, the Foley scandal is adding a new layer of sewage to an already putrid party. The stink is so bad it can kill ya.

But Foley's not the only guilty party in this sorry mess. What's taking place in Washington right now is utterly despicable and a disgrace. GOP surrogates in the media such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity bring up news from almost 25 years ago--the 1983 sex scandals involving former Congressmen Gerry Studds (D) and Dan Crane (R) and underage pages--as if in some way it mitigates Foley's behavior and Hastert & Co.'s ensuing cover-up. Hey Sean, didn't your mama ever tell you two wrongs don't make a right?

We have the Republican leadership, as well as those involved in this cover-up--including Speaker Hastert (ILL), Majority Leader John Boehner (OH), and Rep. John Shimkus (ILL) chair of the Page Board--engaged in a round-robin of finger-pointing, with Hastert blaming Shimkus and Shimkus and Boehner blaming Hastert.

We have Hastert claiming he cannot remember if Rep. Tom Reynolds (NY), Shimkus and/or Boehner ever told him about the inappropriate Foley emails earlier in the year. On Tuesday Hastert, incredibly, said that he likely doesn't remember being told of the Foley scandal because he was probably informed of the situation at the end of a long list of legislative items. How about them apples? Perhaps the conversation with Boehner that day went something like this:

Boehner: Mr. Speaker, there's a number of very pressing issues me, Blunt, Reynolds and Shimkus need to discuss with you.

Hastert: Ok, Johnny-boy, you know I'm a busy man, so shoot....

Boehner: Well, we got the last vote needed on that $20-million highway reconstruction bill for Illinois. We also have that Immigration press conference set up for Tuesday with you and the president. There's also that hearing on the NSA wiretaps, and, oh, we've gotten complaints from a 16-year-old former page and his parents that Rep. Foley's been sending perverted emails to the boy.

Hastert: Immigration, yeah, big issue. Foley? Really? No shit! I guess we should look into that? Oh, make sure we get some 8x10's from that photo op with Bush. And let's meet next week to discuss status.

Hastert also claims that what he initially saw months ago didn't necessarily seem that inappropriate (a 52 year-old man flirting online with a 16-year-old boy, complimenting the body of another page, and then asking for an email photo isn't inappropriate?). If that's the case, why did he and Shimkus warn Foley not to talk to the boy again? Who the hell does Hastert think he's fooling? His self-defense so far is a colossal insult to every American. He's been lying so much that his head deserves to roll down Pennsylvania Avenue like a bowling ball.

We have White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, demonstrating gross insensitivity and lack of comprehension of the severity of the charges, referring to Foley's salacious communications as "naughty emails."

We also have the president on Tuesday coming to the defense of Hastert, much in the same way Bush typically lavishes praise on those who are completely inept (Michael Brown, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, etc). "I know Denny Hastert. I meet with him a lot. He is a father, teacher, coach who cares about the children of this country. I know that he wants all the facts to come out...and he wants to ensure that these children up there on Capitol Hill are protected. I'm confident he will provide whatever leadership he can to law enforcement in this investigation." Denny, you're doing a heck of a job.

We have Foley himself, who this week officially kicked-off his trial in the court of public opinion by announcing his alleged alcoholism (although no one in D.C. ever remembers the guy even a little tipsy), his homosexuality, and the bombshell that he was molested by a clergyman when he was 13-15 years old. Awww...poor Foley. What's most repulsive about this guy is that he's now trying to play the victim and disease cards. The words of that former page really ring true: Sick, sick, sick. With his political troubles behind him, he's clearly laying the groundwork for his future legal defense.

So what happens now? With the midterm elections just 34 days away, the Foley scandal has explosive consequences. The GOP was in trouble enough prior to the news breaking on this story, and the stakes were already high. Republicans have been afraid that if the Democrats retake the House and/or Senate, that leaves them and Bush open to extensive investigations into illegal wiretappings, torture and war crimes, the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, and also exposes Bush to the threat of impeachment. Well, the stakes just got even higher. Should Democrats regain control of the House, key Republicans--Hastert, Boehner, Roy Blunt, Reynolds, Shimkus, etc--face intense investigation into who knew what and when regarding Foley. Could criminal charges be next?

And what role will Christian conservatives play come November? Will they do the right thing and finally abandon the party that claimed to be the great bastion of morality and family values? Or will they too choose politics over priority and throw their weight to the GOP once again?

This is history in the making, folks. A political shitstorm of epic proportions. A story with great legs that will carry it into November.


Anonymous said...

Ah, but the kool aid drinkers will be with them no matter what.

They are trying to make it sound like the Dems have done the same kind of things.




Anonymous said...

The corruption in Washington is a disgrace. All corrupt politicians should be placed in jail. The Democrats are not innocent in all the corruption. All one has to do is look to Democrats running New Jersey - the state that leads the country in corruption and is entirely run by Democrats.

William Jefferson (D-LA) who was caught on video accepting a $100,000 bribe while laughing about the possibility that the FBI was listening is STILL VOTING in congress. Democrats don't care about this corruption.

Nancy Pelosi, who was caught twice committed the same crimes as Tom Delay is STILL VOTING. Democrats don't care about this corruption either.

This is not an attempt to make light of Foley's sexual exploitation of children - he belongs in jail.

I do find it interesting that the same Democrats, who have problems with the government wiretapping overseas calls from Al Qaeda to people in America believe Hasert should step down because he wasn't spying on a fellow congressman.

The Democrats on this blog were hand wringing about what the GOP October surprise was going to be while the DNC couldn't even wait until the end of September to unveil their October surprise. Anyone who believes that the Democrats didn't know about these emails (dated 2003) from Foley, or foley's sexual preference is swimming in the KoolAid. The Democrats who knew about Foley allowed Foley to continue exploiting children until it was strategically appropriate to release the information. Unfortunately for America's children, the release of this information was more about obtaining power, not protecting children. To be clear on my stance, I think sexual predators deserve capital punishment - regardless of their political affiliation. These predators destroy the mental and emotional state of the children they take advantage of.



Anonymous said...

It would seem that the Republicans should have learned by any Dems' mistakes in the past instead or making the same mistakes themselves. Can't they learn by example or did they think they were entitled, therefore, to indulge in the same disgusting excesses. Just because "a neighbor" commits a misdeed does not excuse me or anybody else. What a lame defense the Republicans are trying to use. We don't accept that kind of defense from our children. "If Johnny jumped off a bridge would you do the same thing?" I often heard from my mother when I was a child. And the Republicans are supposed to be the party of VALUES?

Anonymous said...

9:46 Well I'm convinced. I just wish I knew the capable Third Party candidate's name so I could vote for him/her and maybe check his record before I vote.

Anonymous said...

If the right to vote is important to you, then you can simply take a moment and research the third party candidates for your state. It's not that difficult, if the status quo is unacceptable to you. If you want more of the same, you can not do any research and pull either a Democratic or Republican lever in the voting booth.

The Ostroy Report said...

ANON 9:42 says: "Anyone who believes that the Democrats didn't know about these emails (dated 2003) from Foley, or foley's sexual preference is swimming in the KoolAid. The Democrats who knew about Foley allowed Foley to continue exploiting children until it was strategically appropriate to release the information."

Ya gotta love these sad, brainwashed Republicans. Even when one of their own is sexually "inappropriate" with children, and then others act to cover it up, they still cannot find it within themselves to take responsibility and condemn their own. To them, it's the "Democrats" who are to blame here, not Foley, Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds, Shimkus or anyone else. Let em ask you this, ANON 9:24, is everything a partisan issue with you? How abaout simply being a responsible adult American and condemn those who are clearly guilty and complicit here. The problem with our country today is that Republicans seem to be able to justify and condone any behavior from their elected officials so long as they belong to the right party. Shame on you. This is about a grown man abusing underage teens. It's not about finding ways to blame it on Democrats. Those guilty should be punished, regardless of their party affiliation. Should it come out that, say, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy or any other Dem was involved in a cover up, I'd be the first to be calling for their heads as well.

Anonymous said...

State Senator Randy White (D-WV) was "shocked" and "horribly embarrassed" after WCHS-TV aired photos depicting him and at least two other men wearing only body paint.

White, a 51 year old married father of three said, "I am a religious person and have been for some months praying to God to help my family and me through this tragic and troubling episode in my life," the letter said.

White served three terms in the House of Delegates before winning his seat in the 11th Senate District in 2002.

Anonymous said...

Anyone defending the Republicans drank the kool aid. If you paid attention you would know they the Repubs share nothing with the Dems. They hate them.

We are doomed if we don't make some changes next month.

Third party won't get it. First we have to get rid of the Repubs. Then it will be time to do something about third parties. Otherwise you will be handing the Repubs 2 more years to continue to destroy our country.

Anonymous said...

Have you "called for the heads" of William Jefferson for his bribery?

Have you called for the resignation of Nancy Pelosi for committing the same crimes as Tom Delay?

Anonymous 9:24 OBVIOUSLY condems Foley's actions TWICE. Maybe you didn't even read the post since it contains "he[Foley] belongs in jail." and "I think sexual predators deserve capital punishment - regardless of their political affiliation"

So when was it that you condemed William Jefferson (D-LA) ?? He committed these crimes last session of Congress. What are you waiting for?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:20,
"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told Democrats gathered at a Manhattan hotel. January 29, 2005.

Looks like there is definitely hatred of Republicans by the Democrats. Where is the PROOF that Republicans 'hate' Democrats?

Anonymous said...

Democratic and Republican politicians are DESTROYING this country. It doesn't matter which 'side' is in power.

The ONLY way to rid Washington of partisan politics and corruption is by voicing YOUR OUTRAGE AT BOTH 'SIDES' and VOTE FOR INDEPENDENT THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES.

We have the disgusting Foley crime and he blames it on everything - alcoholism, priest rape, he's gay. He should be in jail.

We have Patrick Kennedy (D-CT)driving drunk and on drugs AND abusing his power as an elected official by telling the police that he cannot be prevented from voting. He blames it on alcoholism and drug addiction. If he was one of us, he'd be in jail. He should be in jail today.

Then there is William Jefferson CAUGHT RED-HANDED accepting $100,000 bribes. He is still voting in congress. He should be in jail.

Where's the outrage AT BOTH sides? If you are tired of it, STAND UP AND VOTE FOR INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES!!

The Ostroy Report said...

Hey Anon 12:25...are ya sitting down pal? Get this: Jefferson is a crook who should be thrown out of Congress. Wow! Phew! Can ya believe that? A Democrat who actually abhors crime and criminals regardless of their party affiliation? You Republicans should try it sometime. It's quite cleansing!

As far as Pelosi is concerned, not so fast Sparky. She did not "commit the same crimes" as DeLay. If she did, she be facing the same fate. In politics, the innocent don't get taken down, and the guilty do. DeLay went down because he is/was a corrupt, greedy fool. Pelosi will likely become our next Speaker of the House because she is not. Please don't embarrass yourself by trying to convince us that, with a Republican-controlled Senate, House, White House and Supreme Court, Pelosi somehow is getting away with "crimes" where DeLay could not.

Anonymous said...

It's admirable to want the best for our country and I'm sure the people who yearn for a third party do so out of genuine concern and hope for America - but at this point in time there are only enough of you to swing a voting result from Democrat to Republican, so you're playing right into the hands of the people with the worst politics in the country. VOTE DEMOCRAT. We need to balance the scales of power first and foremost.

Anonymous said...

Are you sitting down, Pal?

Two political action committees linked to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been charged with attempting to circumvent to legal limits on campaign giving, the Federal Election Commission has ruled.

Tired of the direction of Washington DC Politics??

According to the March 2004 FEC finding, Pelosi appears to have violated the same kind of arcane campaign finance regulation that spurred the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this week.

Tom DeLay resigned as House Republican Majority Leader, because he was indicted and Republican Rules (not House rules) require that.

Nancy Pelosi has not resigned, even though she was found guilty of having a "fund-raising committee. . .improperly accept[] donations over federal limits" and fined $21,000.

The Democrats do not have a rule requiring Pelosi to resign, even though convicted.

The Ostroy Report said...

ANON 2:40, if you're going to do battle with me, at least get your facts straight. Here's the opening paragraph from USA Today article from 2004:

Pelosi PAC fined $21,000 by federal elections officials

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fund-raising committee run by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was fined $21,000 for improperly accepting donations over federal limits, according to records and interviews. The political action committee, Team Majority, was one of two PACs Pelosi used to fund candidates during the 2002 campaign. She stopped raising and donating money through the committee more than a year ago, after complaints that she was improperly using the multiple PACs to exceed limits.

Anon, Pelosi herself was not fined, nor was she convicted, as you state. Further, please don't compare a PAC donating a few extra bucks--which was subsequently all returned--to what DeLay was indicted for. DeLay was censured by Congress; Pelosi was not. DeLay was indicted in criminal court. Pelosi was not. DeLay's crimes forced his own party leaders to force him out. If they could, these same Republicans would crucify Pelosi--especially since they fear she's going to become the next Speaker of the House. Stop listening to liars like Hannity and Rush and start thinking for yourself. But hey...who am I to let facts get in the way of your opinions, right!?

Anonymous said...

2:40, who has recently and constantly urged us to vote for a Third Party candidate has also indicated that he is firmly in accord with Republicans. Therefore I'm convinced that his urging the Thire Party support is but a ruse to have another Ralph Nader tragedy as another post has indicated would happen. And, if I have to research the web to find the name of a Third Party Candidate I'm not interested in supporting one so obscure, unrevealed and remote. It's hard enough to check the records of the likes of Bush and Kerry.

Anonymous said...

Good work Ostroy. Thanks for stepping in. Please continue to shut them up with facts.

Anonymous said...

Foley is a distraction. Investigate this sicko and take down everyone with him but let's keep focused. As the Foley event unraveled, everyone forgets that we just lost Habeas Corpus a mere 3 days ago. Anyone, I repeat ANYONE can be an 'unlawful enemy combatant', no right to attorney, judges or even a hearing. Add it to the list of curbed rights like caging protestors, conducting warrantless wire-taps, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, stealing private lands and starting 2 illegal wars based on lies. Get the scumbags involved in this Foley mess (bet they ALL voted for Iraq war and Patriot Act), and let's get back to focusing on losing our Constitution.
Final link (before Google Books caves and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Anonymous said...

4:51 We will never get back our freedoms as long as the Republicans are in power.The focus has to be on winning a majority of Dems in Congress. That is the immediate and only winable goal at this time. After that victory we can then start fighting, impeaching, whatever to restore the Constitution. We may have to pressure some corrupt Dems but we the Dems will be in power. If it takes a sex scandal to knock out the Rebuplicans then so be it. One step at a time. First things first. You gotta do what ya gotta do. WIN THIS ELECTION.

Anonymous said...

while everybody is condemning Foley, Rice is quietly out of the spotlight which should be emphasizing her tremendous lie that she was not briefed on July 2001 by George Tenet and Cofer Black about a probable Al Qaeda attack. "I don't remember a so-called emergency meeting," Rice has said and she did not report it to the 9/ll Commission. That meeting has been confirmed by a State Department spokesman; and reported in the Aug. 4 2002 issue of Time magazine. Either she is lying about not remembering it or she foolishly did not care to take it seriously. "Moreover, on Tuesday the State Department confirmed that in addidtion to Rice, Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had also been briefed by Tenet about al-Queda's efforts to attack the US within a week of the July 10, 2001, meeting between Tenant and Rice." (Jason Leopold - Truthout.10/4/06)

Could it be they threw Foley overboard to save their lifeboat?

Jim said...

Personally, I don't see how voting for that sick lot called Democrats is going to make life remarkably better for the majority of Americans.

I'm fed up with both parties, both at fault, imho, in our crooked little country.

Anonymous said...

The GOP was/is funding the Green Party in PA, was it? Need there be more said about this third party BS? For now, it is a two party system, like it or not. The GOP is going down in flames and while the like of Jesse Ventura make occasional inroads, the pendulum is swinging in the Dems favor. These uninformed posters that think a third party candidate would have the prior knowledge, base, and power to navigate WA DC and do any good are astoundingly naive.

Back to the topic. When you sell your individual thinking rights to charlatans, religious bible pounders, and one political party, you get what you reap. If you're too lazy or frightened to think for yourself, then the Foleys and GOPers will find you.