Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Party of “Values??” “Morals???”

Yes I know this has been done to death already, but this dead horse needs to be beaten and flailed some more. Republican leaders knew about Foley’s escapades but they kept quiet about it. What’s this mean? And there hasn’t been a peep out of any of those righteous holier-than-thou Biblethumping organizations.

The American Family Association has been going apeshit over a lewd Madonna video and the fact that Ford and Wal-Mart are promoting the “Homosexual Agenda” (whatever that is). On their website the only mention of Predatorgate is a column by Gary Bauer (who isn’t even affiliated with AFA). Bauer says Predatorgate is “just further evidence that the pro-family agenda is needed desperately in America.” That’s right, we all need to be just a little bit more self-righteous and sanctimonious. Got it.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is taking that same approach. He’s blaming the whole scandal on “permissiveness” in general and homosexuality in particular. Perkins claims “the real issue” is “the link between homosexuality and child abuse.” He claims that “evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two.” Riiight. Go burn some books, Asshole.

Focus on the Family and the Traditional Values Coalition don’t mention anything on their websites about Predatorgate. Zilch. Nada. Zip point Shit.

OxyContin "Rush" Limbaugh’s only reaction is that the Foley scandal was “set up” and “coordinated” by Democrats. In fact this seems to be the Talking Point that all rightwing commentators and bloggers have been instructed to recite. Democrats have known about Predatorgate for years but they were just waiting ‘til the eve of the election to spring it on the public.

Sean Hannity spewed out the same Talking Point, and also managed to drag Bill Clinton into the picture. Yup, it’s Clinton’s fault. Damn You Bill Clinton!

We can no longer ignore the hypocrisy of the entire Religious Right, whether it’s Evangelical Christians, Republican politicians or the Catholic hierarchy. Predatorgate and the long-simmering priest scandals both highlight this same incredible double standard. Their consensus seems to be that if two adults voluntarily engage in a same-sex act, it’s the most sick, evil, wicked thing that ever happened. But if a priest molests a helpless child, or a politician uses his power and prestige to seduce a vulnerable teenager: “Oh, uh, well, we’ll look into it.”

I would think that if homosexuality is sinful, it should be infinitely worse if one person is forcing himself on a victim. But the Bible Brigade’s “reasoning” is just the opposite.

Anybody have any theories on this?

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Blogger J. Marquis said...

This situation clearly illustrates the fact the GOP is currently the party of bullies. They side with the rich against the poor, the corporations against the workers and the powerful against the powerless. That's why a Republican predator is less repugnant to them than a loving gay couple.

October 4, 2006 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Mags said...

I think the only "agenda" gay people have is to live with everyone else and have equal status.

I think the GOP agenda is to maintain influence, at any cost. Period.

October 4, 2006 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

j. Marquis: Yup, that's the GOP in a nutshell. They favor the rich over the poor and the powerful over the powerless, and every other possible variation. It's just a matter of time before they rewrite the Bible and give Goliath the slingshot and have him slay the wicked David.

Mags: You're right, I think if there's any such thing as a "gay agenda," it's exactly what you describe: they just want acceptance and equality. When Biblethumpers talk about those "special rights" they supposedly want, they never specify what they're talking about.

October 5, 2006 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Just to be clear, (since I used to work for a national organization that came to the aid of sexually exploited and abused children) - the statistical majority of pedophiles are white men; heterosexual, often with wives and families of their own. 60% of these men have white collar jobs, like that of lawyer. This does not mean that a hetero pedophile will go only after little girls - the gender of the child is often not relevant tot he pedophile. The fact that Foley happened also to be gay was actually an aberration to the norm, and being a homosexual is in no way, shape or form, related to being a pedophile. The right wing will try to swing it in that direction, but the two are not related.

October 5, 2006 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those damn pages in their hot little outfits.
no way I could keep my hands off of them.

October 5, 2006 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I think it's a shame that the Foley thing is taking attention away from Bob Woodward's new book and the daming revelations contained therein... but I also think the Foley business is important. As the Major said, the GOP currently IS the party of bullies.

The Foley matter, particularly the handling of it, seems to be an embarrassment to the GOP leaders who have been trumpeting (or in this case, butt-trumpeting) all their "family values" pablum for so long... gee, it sure does look like they're using the "religious right" voters more than just a little bit here, doesn't it!

It's like they've been piously saying "This is what we stand for, these high moral values... the other guys don't, so if you don't vote for us, all that stuff we think is "anti-values will be widespread!! Oh no!! You need to be afraid!!"

What I think they're really saying, behind the backs of all these "moral values" voters, is "O.K., let's keep the lid on this Foley thing... If word of this gets out, our goose could be cooked. We have to keep that certain part of our constituency uninformed, because as long as they stay uninformed and we keep feeding them bullshit, they're easier to control, and they'll keep voting for us!"

I hope the "values voters" are disgusted enough that they stay home from the polls this November. I hope large numbers of them are so disgusted they can't bear the thought of having to go to the polls and hold their noses while voting for the Republican candidates. I hope they are angry, as they should be, for being used as they have been.

I don't agree with where they are coming from, but I certainly believe they have a right to be totally pissed off. If they aren't, the terrorists within their party have already won!

October 5, 2006 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: This makes sense. I didn’t know the exact numbers, but I always assumed there was no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. But it figures that the Far Right, with all their fire and brimstone, would be trying to connect the two in the public consciousness.

Mike: Damn right. We need to come right out and ask that page: What were you wearing?

Snave: Actually, I think it’s a good thing that Predatorgate is getting lots of attention. I say hit ‘em with as many barrels as we can. Bob Woodward’s book, the intelligence report showing that the Iraqi invasion has increased terrorism: Bam! Pow! We need to attack them on every front.

They’ve been playing the “values” card for a long time (since way before GWB) and now it’s finally coming back and biting them on the ass. I sure hope religious voters will sit out this election. Or, who knows, they might actually read their Bibles and see that most of it talks about helping people and being humble, not hating everybody who’s different. Naaahhh!!

A lot of Bible groups are trying to blame this whole Predatorgate scandal on “permissiveness” (i.e. Democrats), but hopefully most voters will be able to see through the smoke and mirrors.

October 5, 2006 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

I gotta take a pass on Woodward's book, because quite frankly, many others have already written this book during this administration, some of which are over two years old when Woodward was writing books singing the praises of "tough" GWB. Now that GW's approval is in the crapper, Woodward has the balls to come out with this new one that refutes his previous two? C'mon.

October 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

So Foley's misdeeds, by your lights, are an indication that a pro-family / decent values agenda is wrong for America?

Methinks if the man were a Democrat, you'd be defending him to the hilt. At least Republicans have the decency to condemn one of their own caught preying on the young and naive. Or do I need to mention Gerry Studds, Mel Reynolds, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton yet again?

October 5, 2006 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger OTTMANN said...

While democrats were busy playing politics with a prank about Foley, the real world at war proved they are not fit to lead.

Looks like dems have done it again. By relying on their vengeful liberal media cohorts, they've fallen for misleading statements, just as they did with Dan Ranter of CBS before the last election. IT WAS AN OLD PRANK YOU STUPID MORONS! LIBS BLEW IT UP FROM NOTHING AND IT WILL NOW COST DEMS EVERYTHING... WATCH! As you know by now, I'm never wrong.

Dems are immature finger pointing conspiracy theorists' who do not live in or care about the real world. They are desperate and dangerously distracting, literally getting our people in Iraq killed!


News: California Court Upholds 'Gay Marriage' Ban. Awww, too damn bad libs!

Gays want everyone to be gay and so they are corrupting society. That is their true goals to make them feel normal, but it will never be realized.

October 5, 2006 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: I haven’t read Woodward’s book, or followed him much in the last few years. But I’m glad his book is having an impact. For whatever reason, most of the previous tell-all books haven’t seemed to have much impact, and right now we need all the ammunition we can get. It’s crucial that we get some of those wingnuts out of Congress this November, and every little bit helps.

Francis: I have nothing against a pro-family agenda. Especially if it really IS pro-family: decent jobs and wages, health care, clean air and water, etc. If somebody’s idea of “pro-family” is that they hate homosexuals and think life is sacred from the point of conception to the moment of birth — let’s just say I disagree with that view.

My issue with the Religious groups is that they don’t seem to be blaming Foley or his superiors who kept covering up for him. They’re just blaming the whole scandal on that same “permissiveness” that they’ve been ranting about for decades.

Ottman: Thanks for the laugh; I needed that. I wasn’t able to access your blog; I was planning to bookmark it so I could go there whenever I wanted a comedy fix. You do a hilarious imitation of a mouthbreathing rightwing snakehandler. ROFL. Keep up the good work.

October 5, 2006 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea, otto, no plan.

where is the liberal media when it comes to telling us about real plans from real democrats like Biden, then?

From his website:

On security
* Create a Homeland Security Trust Fund. "The Bush tax cuts for millionaires exceed $60 billion this year alone," said Biden, whose plan would take back some of the tax cuts for people making over a million dollars a year, to put $10 billion a year ($50 billion over 5 years) into a Homeland Security Trust Fund. This fund would be used for actions such as immediately implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, hiring over 50,000 new law-enforcement officers, requiring 100 percent cargo container scanning at America's sea ports and mandating strict interoperability standards for first responders and providing them with the spectrum and equipment for communications during emergencies.

* Intercept Threats Abroad. Biden is pushing the idea of proactively going after threats abroad -- security through prevention, not preemption -- and making sure worldwide risks to America are pursued on a more comprehensive basis. He proposes putting more energy into the original war in Afghanistan "so it does not become again a haven for extremists" and developing a real strategy for success in Iraq "to avoid trading a dictator for chaos." Biden also suggests expanding the program to destroy loose weapons of mass destruction -- and the many dangerous materials that have leaked to the world from the former Soviet Union -- and common-sense measures such as expanding foreign language expertise in the government, intelligence services and armed forces.

* Restore Partnerships And Build Effective Alliances. In a total departure from what we have become accustomed to under George W. Bush, Biden says that we should actually work with our allies and that "instead of alienating them, the U.S. must work with strong partners and build effective alliances. Taking on the radical fundamentalists alone isn’t necessary, it isn’t smart and it won’t work." Biden says the U.S. must form law-enforcement partnerships with other nations and "reestablish relationships of trust with allied democracies by engaging on issues of common concern, including climate change, energy security and infectious disease."

* Advance Democracy, Bolster Failing States, Win the War of Ideas. "America must engage and win the war of ideas between freedom and radical fundamentalism, proving to millions of people who are politically and economically disenfranchised that we offer hope while our adversaries offer only hatred," said Biden. "Democracy is an antidote to extremism, but it cannot be imposed by force and cannot stop at elections. We also must build democratic institutions and bolster failing states, which can become havens for terror." Biden's plan would bolster failed states by funding education programs, building schools and training teachers, opening closed economies, empowering women, relieving more debt while using "preemptive diplomacy" to "engage adversaries like Iran and North Korea and make clear what these countries can achieve by acting responsibly – and what they risk if they do not."

On Iraq
First, the plan calls for maintaining a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions. The central government would be left in charge of common interests, such as border security and the distribution of oil revenue.

Second, it would bind the Sunnis to the deal by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue. Each group would have an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.

Third, the plan would create a massive jobs program while increasing reconstruction aid -- especially from the oil-rich Gulf states -- but tying it to the protection of minority rights.

Fourth, it would convene an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.

Fifth, it would begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007, while maintaining a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.

October 5, 2006 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: Man, those are some detailed plans. I'll refer people to this the next time I hear the tired old Talking Point that "Democrats have no plan," "all they can do is bash Bush," etc. Thanks for posting this.

October 5, 2006 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

This whole being gay leading to child -predatory argument is similar to the marijuana gateway drug argument the right likes to spew.

I wonder if they realize that in both cases (assuming either is true) that the problem is that society looks down on both being gay and smoking marijuana.

Therefore, anyone who smokes marijuana has already broken the bond with society at large and now does not respect the laws.

Again, I reject either the connection, but if these hypocrits would follow their own twisted logic they would see that it is the castigation of those who are engaging in innocuous behaviour that ostensibly leads them to more dastardly deeds.

October 5, 2006 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

Ottmann's a fake? If he is, he's the best damned one I ever encountered. I've been arguing with the guy for years now :)

The Jesusistan agenda is about as pro-"family" as I am pro-Chimperor. The Jesusistanis have been very useful to those who are stealing everything they can get their hands on, and-guess what?-the thieves usually include any number of Jesusistan leaders, not a few of who are genuine perverts themselves.

By screaming about Jesus and "family values," they think that they can make enough noise to keep everyone from figuring them out. They are wrong.

October 5, 2006 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prague Twin: It’s true, those are both situations where the Right tries to see a connection where there isn’t one. I’m certain there’s no connection between somebody’s sexual preference and whether or not that person is a sexual predator. The statistics that Frstlymil provided make perfect sense, but even without them, it’s just common sense that those 2 things are unrelated.

As far as drugs go, if someone has a connection for getting marijuana, they can probably get other illegal drugs through that same connection (or a friend of that connection, etc.). Their “logic” about pot being a “gateway” drug was always hilarious when they’d try to turn the sequence around. “98% of all heroin addicts started off on marijuana,” etc. That’s totally meaningless, like saying “98% of all drunken drivers started off going 5 miles over the speed limit” or “98% of all mass murderers played cops and robbers when they were little.” But that’s the argument the rightwing fanatics have kept using, from the 1960s right up to the present.

Jolly Roger: Yeah, that “pro-family” rhetoric is as phony as a $3 bill. There are millions of Christians who are decent and well-meaning, but too many of their “leaders” are working hand in hand with Big Business and ultra-rightwing neo-Nazi groups, and they’ve had this connection since the 1930s. There’s a hardcore group of reactionaries who are determined to turn the clock back 80 years (or is it 800?), and one of their main tactics is to hide behind a bunch of phony “Christian” rhetoric about “the family” and “choose life.” And unfortunately, like the saying goes, there’s a sucker born every minute.

October 6, 2006 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

"Methinks if the man were a Democrat, you'd be defending him to the hilt. At least Republicans have the decency to condemn one of their own caught preying on the young and naive. Or do I need to mention Gerry Studds, Mel Reynolds, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton yet again?"

None of the above mentioned had sex with, or tried to have sex via email solicitation . . . WITH A CHILD, which is ILLEGAL FOR A REASON. It kills their childhood. No decent person, regardless of political party would support that - unless they were a power mad politician that thought the rules didn't apply to them.

First, I'm not a registered Democrat, but even if I was, the Democratic Party has been practically SILENT on this issue(which unfortunately, they are on most things), while the Republicans are the ones throwing Foley under the bus - and well they should and the Dems should join them. As the party of "Family Values" they should tar and feather the guy. But the party of family values protected a predator for 3 years, rather than do anything about it. The party of family values pledged when they took over that they would leave scandal and disgrace behind them and if they failed to do so, that they would resign for failing - THEY PLEDGED THIS - and yet, Hastert sits. The whole lot failed their pledge and they should do what they promised - leave if they fail. And they've failed miserably over and over again - Tom DeLay, Abramoff, Cunningham, Foley, etcetera, etcetera,

October 6, 2006 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger BaxterWatch said...

my favorite bummer sticker is
"The Religious Right Is Neither"

pretty much sums it up.

October 6, 2006 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: That's excellent. I can't add anything to that.

Baxterwatch: That's a good one. I also like "Annoy a Conservative: Think for yourself."

October 6, 2006 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

Please...being a Democrat is like holding a 'get out of jail free' card in a Monopoly game.

William Jefferson Clinton- Impeached by the House of Representatives over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice, but acquitted by the Senate. Scandals include Whitewater - Travelgate Gennifer Flowersgate - Filegate - Vince Fostergate - Whitewater Billing Recordsgate - Paula Jonesgate- Lincoln Bedroomgate - Donations from Convicted Drug and Weapons Dealersgate - Lippogate - Chinagate - The Lewinsky Affair - Perjury and Jobs for Lewinskygate - Kathleen Willeygate - Web Hubbell Prison Phone Callgate - Selling Military Technology to the Chinesegate - Jaunita Broaddrick Gate - Lootergate - Pardongate

Barney Frank - Democrat - U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1981 to present. Admitted to having paid Stephen L. Gobie, a male prostitute, for sex and subsequently hiring Gobie as his personal assistant. Gobie used the congressman's Washington apartment for prostitution. A move to expel Frank from the House of Representatives failed and a motion to censure him failed.

Gary Condit - Democrat - US Democratic Congressman from California. Condit had an affair with an intern. Condit, covered up the affair and lied to police after she went missing. No charges were ever filed against Condit. Her remains were discovered in a Washington DC park..

Gerry Studds faced controversy in 1983 when one of his former pages revealed that he had had a sexual relationship with the congressman some ten years earlier. During the course of the House Ethics Committee's investigation, Studds publicly acknowledged his homosexuality, a disclosure that, according to an article in the Washington Post, "apparently was not news to many of his constituents."

All three not only did not resign, but they were reelected.

That these are just instances involving pages and interns. I'm not going to take up all your space reporting scandals involving Democrats.

This should not be an issue of Democrats vs Republicans. This should be an issue of right and wrong. Even though now it seems that ABC misrepresented the pages age...claiming that this is proof of Republican corruption is nothing more than pure hypocrisy.

I wonder who held on to the explicit IM's for three years...only to be released as election time nears?

October 6, 2006 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

frstlymil said..None of the above mentioned had sex with, or tried to have sex via email solicitation . . . WITH A CHILD, which is ILLEGAL FOR A REASON.

Studds had sex with a teenager. If a teacher had sex with one of their teenage students it would also be against the law in most states.

Having sex with someone you have influence or power over, especially a page or an intern is a breach of responsibility regardless of their age.

Barney Frank PAID a prostitute.. I think that's breaking the law in most states.

Hypocrisy at its worst.

October 6, 2006 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

American Crusader: I'm not gonna stick up for Condit or Frank or Studds. I also don't think Foley himself is an issue, now that he's resigned. The issue is with Hastert and Boehner (among others) who knew about this and just sat on it, hoping it would blow over.

And since the Republicans claim to be so righteous and moral, it's more glaring when they themselves turn out to be sinners. It's like finding out that the president of Greenpeace is a major stockholder in Exxon and Halliburton.

As far as Barney Frank having sex with a prostitute: I know it's illegal, but I don't think it's as immoral or unethical as a priest or politician using their power and prestige as a weapon against children.

October 6, 2006 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PS: I forgot: All of Clinton's "gates" put together didn't lead to any deaths. The war in Iraq, which I blame on Bush and his henchmen, has killed almost 3,000 American soldiers. I know the war in Iraq is a whole 'nother issue, but I had to get that in there since you mentioned all of Clinton's scandals.

October 6, 2006 at 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AC, I can see that along with the rest of the mouthbreathers out there in Bush/Roveland, you really know how to parrot the talking points.

October 6, 2006 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

Idiot...wow. Didn't take much to reduce your argument to name-calling. That doesn't speak much for your IQ.

October 6, 2006 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take that as tacit agreement that you are in fact a Rove-licking mouthbreather..

October 7, 2006 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I would agree with anyone who assert there have probably been scandalous behaviors from Democrats during the past six years... I think scandal goes along with the territory when it comes to high-ranking pols. However, I can't help but think that behaviors far more scandalous than sex acts and subsequent coverups have come from an administration that lied and manipulated information to get us into an expensive, messy war in Iraq. Clinton was probably as crooked as a dog's hind leg, I have no doubt about that. To say that the current administration is not as ethically bad as Clinton, or to say they are not in fact worse than Clinton, is demonstrative of the kind of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE the Bush administration has sought to foster in its followers, and which is evident in current White House policies, both domestic and foreign. The gap between rich and poor continues to widen here in the U.S., the environment continues to deteriorate, we are still totally addicted to oil, we are not able to rapidly respond to disasters, the "9-11 Commission" recommendations haven't really been implemented, and it has been what, three and half years since "Mission Accomplished"? People need to wake up!

As conservative Kevin Phillips says in "American Theocracy", "They who serve also spend like there is no tomorrow." Whatever happened to our manufacturing sector? It used to be dominant, and we used to have an emerging blue-collar middle class. Why is it that the business of moving money around has now taken over as our top "industry"? Has the credit and finance industry been used to create another economic "bubble" like the tech bubble that popped shortly after Bush got into office? And with us already so deeply in debt, why on earth would the administration urge consumption (and subsequently, further consumer debt) as the "patriotic" thing to do after the September 11 attacks?

There are no things compassionate, no things conservative about the Bush administration. They are people hell-bent on running the country into the ground with massive debt, continued emphasis on oil, and marrying politics with fundamentalist Christianity. They advocate one-party government, they don't want checks and balances, they advocate giving the president virtually unlimited power, and they don't care about smearing opponents as much as they do destroying them. I was not brought up to believe that such practices are representative of "the American way".

While I don't care much for the current crop of Democrat leaders, I definitely view the Democrats as the "lesser of the two evils"... and I believe the survival of our country may well depend on restoring our much-needed checks and balances by giving Democrats control of at least the House this November.

October 11, 2006 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger IAmSorrow said...

Anyone who abuses a position of power is at the very least ethically impaired.

Anyone who hides abuse of underage boys/girls is as guilty of the crime as the perpetrator.

Putting forth previous such scandals as justification for current scandals is just imbecilic.

What the right wing seems to be in total denial about is the hypocrisy involved.

The right has courted the Christians by claiming to be the party of family values, religion, truth, justice and the American Way, blah, blah, blah ad nauseum.

How long before the self righteous right realizes they've been played? Not only does the Republican party not represent their values, they actively display contempt for those values.

I also wanted to address the comment that "gays want everybody to be gay" but it was just SO over the top preposterous I can't think of a comment.

October 15, 2006 at 2:43 AM  

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