Sunday, October 08, 2006

Different yardsticks

Then it was called principled defiance. Charles Krauthammer writes in the Weekly Standard:

 In 1983, Representative Gerry Studds, Democrat of Massachusetts, admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old male page. He was censured by the House of Representatives. During the vote, which he was compelled by House rules to be present for, Studds turned his back on the House to show his contempt for his colleagues' reprimand. He was not expelled from the Democratic Caucus. In fact, he was his party's nominee in the next election in his district--and the next five after that--winning reelection each time. He remained in the bosom of the Democratic Caucus in the House for the next 13 years.

The reactions to Studds and Foley will be radically different because the electoral bases of their parties are likewise different. When you have asymmetrical expectations you have asymmetrical disappointments.


Blogger Woman Catholic said...

When you have asymmetrical expectations you have asymmetrical disappointments.

And asymmetrical expectations follow from asymmetrical ideologies. When Democrats talk about pro-family they're talking about fiscal issues (wages and living expenses). When Republicans talk about pro-family they are talking about encouraging the existence of one certain type of family and discouraging the existence of creative alternatives. So Studds was pro-family to Democrats but not to Republicans, while Foley was pro-family to neither party.

10/08/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

This Foley thing is an obvious Democrat "October Surprise" (they knew about Foley for years). It's also obvious the Democrats would play this thing the same way the MSM played Abu Ghraib, i.e. dribble out new pictures every other week and turn the thing into a "death by a thousand sound bites". No doubt some Democrat operative has a complete archive of Foley's missives along with lurid photographs of him with underaged playmates. The photos would come out a couple days before the election.

So what do the Republicans do? Coming back with tales of Democrat sexual misbehavior won't work because the electorate already assumes that the Democrats misbehave. The Republicans only option is to get people bored stupid with Foley right now and then come back with their own October Surprise (hopefully the Republicans have one).

10/08/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

The Studds/Foley comparison is interesting for those fascinated with politics -- but how many people fall into that category anymore?

The Mainstream Media have been losing their market for a long time. The BBC is no longer regarded as an unbiased source of news, and is consequently increasingly talking only to itself. Membership in political parties is in decline, as is actual voting in elections.

The elephant in the corner may be the "Consent of the Governed", which is steadily being withdrawn from the political class. With their current actions, Democrats and the media (to be redundant) may be poisoning the well from which they themselves will have to drink.

As to the long-term consequences of the alientation of the bulk of the citizenry from the small political class -- who can say? But it is not likely to end happily for the political class, including Democrat activists.

10/08/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Eggplant said...
This Foley thing is an obvious Democrat "October Surprise" (they knew about Foley for years). It's also obvious the Democrats would play this thing the same way the MSM played Abu Ghraib, i.e. dribble out new pictures every other week and turn the thing into a "death by a thousand sound bites".

What I don't understand is why the Republicans handed the razor over to the Dems. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Florida) is blabbing to Newsweek that she learned of Foley's drunken attempt to storm the Page dormitory back in '02. '02! This corroborates what Fordham and other staffers have claimed, that the House leadership has known about this peculiar little problem for almost four years. Were they simply afraid to reveal the power of the Lavendar Bund within the GOP? I really don't understand the internal deliberations of the leadership over the handgrenade beneath the table.

10/08/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Undertoad said...

The difference between Studds and Foley is 23 years of an increasing trend towards child protection.

Catholic priests are burnt by the same match except that, in that case, we apply modern standards to the behavior 30 years ago.

10/08/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Teresita,I tend to be Republican.As a matter of fact I couldn't conceive of voting for a Democrat above the county level.Mainly that is over the reality in our world that we face grave danger and I see no evidence the Democrats are willing to show the courage to resist.
Besides that I have pretty much voted straight Republican since 1980 because of abortion and their support of deviancy.Here in Alabama,the last bastion of Democratic support is aging TVA New Dealers,a few yellow dogs and the African American community.Even amongst the blacks there is some movement away from the Democrats over moral issues(maybe that's who the Foley scandal coverage is aimed at)
Why do I say all that?How in the world can any rational,morally sane person consider Gerry Studds to be pro-family?Because he voted for the WIC program or the tried to raise the minimum wage.This guy seduced and buggered a seventeen year old(who incidentally was part of someone else's family)If that is pro-family to Democrats they really are the Party of Hell.

10/08/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I voted Republican over Democratic support of deviancy,Bad sentence structure,just wanted to clear that up.

10/08/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

The democrats have sunk a few three pointers (and a few notches) with this issue, taking the steam out of the republicans 3rd quarter run centered around the fifth anniversary of 9/11... doing so, they've decided to divide and conquer, going for the whole enchilada; but, will it play?

It appears that this issue has been calculated (since when were Democrats sponsoring family values 527's??) to simultaneously
a) Show the Republican leadership as hypocritical to their conservative base,
b)Show the codified don't ask don't followed by the Republican leaders as untenable, while also quietly implying the conservative base is bigotted on this matter, and
c) Allow collateral damage by outing log cabin, no Uncle Tom, gay members of the republican party as being less than true to their inner selves...

...all designed to discredit the leadership, show the conservative christians as bigots who no longer deserve to sit in the front of the family values class, and let the gays know that unless the republicans legitimize their status, they are to remain a democratic block...

...hopefully, as the republicans get over the doe in the headlights numbness, they'll quickly come to their senses and perhaps counter just enough to scare this story off the front page...
...among the peculiarities that seem apparent:
a) the same bunch willing to scuttle the patriot act over invasion of privacy issues are more than willing to use scurrilous emails & IM to scuttle their adversaries (no qualms),
b) do the democrats suggest that all such rumors of impropriety be investigated by the gestapo? or, only if only if you and your bigotted cohorts deem the behavior particularly repugnant? also,
c) Which is more hurtful, the democrats and activist gays so adamant for their cause that they are willing to inflict this type of humiliation of gays within the republican establishment; or, the republicans for quietly accepting these people while not making a public spectacle of their orientation, which they may or may not condone?

10/08/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"So Studds (a proven actual pederast given 3 cheers by the Dem caucus during his minimal punishment)was pro-family to Democrats but not to Republicans, while Foley (a keyboard diddler with a drunkenscene outside the page dorm, to boot; he forgot to try to vote out there in the page dorm yard)was pro-family to neither party."

What gets me about this is this is, first, a direct assault on a core of the GOP base, not an attempt to sway the undecideds, who presumably are closer to the Dems on "lifestyle" issues. All this using intent to buggery, while having cheered, literally, for one of their own who actually accomplished buggery of a juvenile....

I am always amazed at how stupid the Dems believe America to be.

10/08/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger betsybounds said...


An increasing trend toward child protection???? What HAVE you been smoking?

It was only recently that the Democrats tried, both legislatively and judicially, to have the Boy Scouts' charter revoked because of the Boy Scouts' rule against gay scoutmasters. Which children, exactly, did that effort protect?

It was only recently that the Democrats blocked a bill that would have prevented interstate transport, by a non-family member, of a minor for the purpose of obtaining an abortion without even parental knowledge, much less parental consent. Which children, exactly, did that effort protect?

And by what grotesque standard is an 18-year-old considered a child, anyway? A minor, yes--depending on the jurisdiction. But a CHILD? Puh-leez!

I could go on, but you get the point--or maybe you don't. I frankly give up on trying to predict or understand which points liberals get.

10/08/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

North Korea may have conducted a nuclear test.

Nothing certain yet, but thus far not looking good.

10/08/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

The Return of Sexual McCarthyism

10/08/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger American Fool said...

Interesting site... why is it Repubs always join "clubs"? In any case, Studds and Foley are both disgraces, but this discussion is absurd.. I don't know any democrats who would consider Studds' actions to be pro-family. This thread is just a hook for many Republicans to feel better about their party, which is soundly deserving of the thrashing it is receiving. Many Democrats on the other hand are a mite too gleeful, which lowers (many of) them greatly in my estimation. The only thing I can do as a purportedly intelligent voter is to vote for integrity, as best I can discern it. And I find it as often in Dems as in Repubs, but rarely in any politician. As for Rove following with his own October Surprise.. since when have he and his cohorts required anything as pedestrian as evidence before launching their smear tactics? I am overwhelmingly disgusted with the Bush/Rove/Cheney approach to gaining and maintaining power, and republican tactics in Congress, not to mention the repeated inaccuracies they've spouted to purposefully mislead the American public. I'm not claiming every public utterance was a lie, but there is a clear track record of the essential dishonesty of this administration in the public record. However, Democratic leadership has been weak and vacillating since Clinton, who was surpisingly a very solid president despite his rather disgusting personal behavior.

Trangbang68, respectfully, I don't follow - what do you think we need to resist? surely not terrorism... the administration policy towards the elimination of terrorism has been less than direct and on the whole has been of questionable efficacy. Iraq is Bush's folly, a huge mistake (yes I've been against it from the beginning... one of the few non-liberals who i think would make the same claim... not because it's war for oil, or any other such taglines, but because it was a stupid war. We didn't need to fight it, it was highly unlikely to provide long-term benefit to American interests, it diverted our attention from the immediacy of fighting terrorism (while satisfying the national bloodlust we all felt over 9/11 to be sure), we violated almost every tome of military wisdom in our approach to the war, and it was engaged in with zero comprehension of the culture in the region - the same mistake the US has made multiple times, and this administration was too full of hubris to recognize it.) The Bush administration has also mis-appropriated the appeasement discussion, willfully ignoring the most direct lessons of WWII and other conflicts (War is a last resort. Apply overwhelming power when you do commit to war. Avoid fighting two unique foes on separate fronts simultaneously. Never fight a battle in disadvantageous terrain... this last being what basically doomed Gen. Lee at Gettysburg, though you could probably nit pick that interpretation of events) in pursuit of ideological satisfaction. I have seen a lot of nit-picking of issues on this thread; Repubs and Dems can easily taunt the other sides with rampant stupidities committed by both parties. What makes me cry and laugh at the same time is so few people seem to recognize that pattern in their own behavior (3case, betsybounds) So with that said, I am quite as open to Dems as Repubs at the national level, even inaction might have accomplished more than this flurry of military adventurism.

So back to the topic, the asymmetry is more likely driven by the intense public compaign of the past 25 years or so to unmask child predators than anything else... my outrage would be quite as strong had democrats hidden evidence of sexually predatory activity committed by one of their own, and I think that's true of the country in general, though certainly the "holier than thou" attitude of the Republicans towards the sancitity of family has not helped them. And the rampant whining from supposed Repub "leaders" is disgusting... Winners do the right thing. Period. The timing of the information doesn't change the truth of what happened. Ok, voting record: Reagan, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Clinton, Gore and Kerry (holding my nose on the last two, but convinced G.W.B. was not qualified for the Presidency. I guess you could say that for the last two elections, I wasn't "the decider".

10/08/2006 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Come 'n listen to my story 'bout a Rep. name Foley,
closet-case Republican had to keep his family holy,
An' then one day he was shootin' fer young a**,
an' up on the screen popped up someone to harass.

Male page that is! Grade-A teenaged prime!

Well, th' first thing you know, he's virtually a chickenhawk,
GOP belatedly said, "Mark, you need to take a walk,
Out of Congress is th' place ya ought to be",
so he loaded up his PC, moved to rehab luxury.

Resort that is! Internet access! Male orderlies!

Ol' Foley got a suite, Lawdy it was swank,
Next door in-patient was Pat Kennedy on crank,
Pelosi objected that th' Republican was so gay,
'cause his therapy allowed him laptop use all th' day.

Medical IM-ing! Digital strokes! Key climactic recovery!

Well, now it's time to say goodbye to Mark and all his boys,
but some would finally like to squeal as the Dem surprise deploys,
we're all invited to hear about pederasty an' House pages,
an' to have a heapin' helpin' of intolerance fer their ages.

Age of consent, that is! But legal limbo! Terror an' a hummin' economy ain't sexy!

Y'all vote Dimmycrat, hear?

10/08/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

one of the few non-liberals

Of course you're a non-liberal...

This thread is just a hook for many Republicans to feel better about their party,

Actually, this thread looks to be just a simple comment on the democrats stunning hypocrisy in expressing outrage over Foley's sick emails and IM's compared to their 'ho hum move along' attitude to Stubb's actual sexual intercourse with a 17 year old boy - a comment which strangely enough, you studiously fail to address in your 700+ word response to the thread.

my outrage would be quite as strong had democrats hidden evidence of sexually predatory activity committed by one of their own,

What about if – as is looking more and more likely – it turns out that they had hidden evidence of “sexually predatory activity” by one NOT of their own, purely for political purposes ie for the “October surprise”? Will your outrage be just as strong then?

10/09/2006 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...a simple comment on the democrats stunning hypocrisy in expressing outrage over Foley's sick emails and IM's compared to their 'ho hum move along' attitude to Stubb's actual sexual intercourse with a 17 year old boy - a comment which strangely enough, you studiously fail to address in your 700+ word response to the thread."

Well said. Hypocrisy ["...a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion." - Webster's] radiates from his post.

Dems/Libs love the tactics of shift and split. Shift the focus of the discussion, often by ignoring the central point(s) which would be too painful for them to address, and seek to split their opposition by hurling accusations designed to cause quarelling amongst them, providing an opportunity to escape.

10/09/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

still republican,

That is GENIUS!

I may be biased. I'm a huge BH fan.

10/09/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

From Jed Babbins' piece at today:

"Media entrapment is what this campaign is all about. First we had the Dems' phony "hearing" in which the discredited "revolt of the generals" was revived, to widespread media coverage it didn't merit. Then we had the National Intelligence Estimate leak and condemnation of the war by all the usual suspects. After that, the Woodward book, timed to embarrass the president before the election. And then came the Foley matter, again apparently timed to affect the election by media outlets who had the story for months before and were themselves apparently manipulated by yet another George Soros group. Republicans are on the verge of collapsing into an entirely defensive campaign, kept behind their crumbling ramparts by the incessant media barrage. And none of their campaign leaders -- Dole, Reynolds and the lot -- seem willing or able to take the offense. If ever there were a recipe for losing the election, that's it."

Lemony Snicket Republicans

10/09/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gene Felder said...

All want to work diligently to keep pedophiles from harming children. But is the new standard that any suspicious act should be seen as a red flag? Is that enough for a full and thorough investigation to then be conducted including reading personal emails?

I think that any investigation should require some evidence of wrong doing.

What about when a man who spends a lot of time with boys? I am a stepfather who coached many Little Leagues teams and umpired many games. Also, I was involved with boys in AYSO, Pop Warner, and Indian Guides. Is it suspicious that none of these boys were my real sons?

I am sure I was seen hugging boys and patting them on their butts. Many times there was no other coach, so I was alone on the practice field with the boys. Is that suspicious enough for a full investigation?

I mention being a stepparent as I resent the way stepparents are depicted in movies, etc. However, I am more concerned for my gay friends. What’s the threshold required to conduct an investigation of a single man who volunteers to spend time working with boys? I hope it’s some evidence of wrong doing.

Congressman Mark Foley’s instant messages were the “smoking gun” proving improper behavior, but in the initial emails according to ABC News “Foley asks the young man how old he is, what he wants for his birthday and requests a photo of him” see and not close to any evidence of wrong doing.

A parent responding with a demand for no future contact is fine, but not for the government to conduct an investigation.

10/09/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger American Fool said...

Ok, it was late night, I apologize for the length of the post... but to answer your questions directly Michael, yes, I think it disgusting and a failure of Democratic Leadership that Stubbs was allowed to retain his seat, and yes I should have mentioned that last night, mea culpa. And yes, if Democrats in any way delayed exposure of Foley, I will be just as outraged... it's absolutely sick to be playing politics over this. I'm already half convinced the Dems did have some role in this, and want the names of every representative who sent such e-mails, or participated in the delay or burial of this information rather than sending it directly to the authorities... Dem and Repub... I want them all out, and up on charges if appropriate. And yes the Dem leadership is engaging in blatant hypocrisy... as are the Repubs. Sadly, I suppose I'm rather inured to it by now.

10/09/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

ooo...nice comeback AF.
Have to say I can't find anything to disagree with there.

10/10/2006 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Suggest that from this point forward surprise and shock shall be limited to politicians doing moral things of a noble purpose.

10/10/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Georgfelis said...

Ok, a quick comparison.
Democrat Studds is found to be committing indecent acts with an underage page.
Democrat reaction: Defense
Republican reaction: Outrage

Republican Foley is found to be talking about indecent acts with a young former page.
Democrat reaction: Outrage
Republican reaction: Outrage

So who’s being inconsistent here?

10/10/2006 07:42:00 PM  

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