Thursday, October 05, 2006

Democratic Hypocrisy On Foley Scandal

It is really sickening watching Democrats pretend to be outraged by the Foley sex scandal and demanding the heads of the top House GOP leadership. Consider how they've handled things. The last year the Democrats were in control of the House of Representatives in 1994, Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was indicted for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old campaign volunteer in August 1994. Instead of demanding his resignation, Democrats rallied to his defense and played the race card and the "nuts and sluts" defense ala Bill Clinton. "Deny, deny, deny. Attack, attack attack." That's the Democratic mantra when one of their own is accused of wrongdoing.

Reynolds was inexplicably re-elected by the voters of his district. The following August he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. He waited another three months after his conviction before he resigned. While he was in prison, he was convicted on other crimes for bank fraud. And for being such a nice guy, President Bill Clinton rewarded him on his way out of office by commuting his sentence to time-served. Reynolds was a free man.

Earlier this year, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) drove his car while intoxicated and barely missed striking a Capitol Hill police officer before colliding with a police barricade. He checked himself into rehab and pleaded guilty to his crime. Any calls for his resignation by Democrats? And then there was Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), who is being investigated by the FBI for various political corruption matters. A raid of his home netted a $90,000 stash in his freezer that he allegedly obtained from bribes. Democrats did strip him of his plum committee assignment pending the outcome of his case, but they did not ask him to resign.

Lest we forget the last scandal involving congressmen having sex with pages back in the early 80s. The Democrats felt that a mere censure of the two congressmen, Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) and Rep. Dan Crane (R-IL) was sufficient punishment. No calls for a wide investigation. No finger pointing at top leadership for putting the safety and well-being of the House pages at risk. And lest we forget Sen. Ted Kennedy driving his car off a bridge, leaving the scene of the accident without reporting it to police and allowing the female passenger in his car to drown. No, nothing wrong with that. Democrats came damn close to nominating him for President over then-President Jimmy Carter (D) in 1980. Spare me the hypocrisy Democrats. You don't give a damn for the well-being of the House pages. You only care about winning control of the House of Representatives and using this latest scandal to your full advantage.

And while we're on the subject of the Foley scandal, shame on ABC's Brian Ross for falsely reporting that the IM messages between Rep. Foley with a House page involved an under-age boy. As Matt Drudge discovered, the page was over the age of 18 at the time the communications were made. Drudge also reports this bombshell today. The page, Jordan Edmund, actually goaded Foley into the lurid IM exchange as a prank. After Foley took the bait, Edmund shared the IM messages with his friends. Somehow or another the IM exchange wound up in the hands of a Democratic operative, who then passed them on to ABC's Brian Ross, who conveniently held on to them for two months, waiting until after it was impossible to remove Foley's name from the Florida ballot before reporting his story.

This does not in any way excuse Foley's behavior. Republicans were right to demand his resignation. That's the way it has always been with Republicans, and that's what sets them apart from Democrats. They will not coddle a wrongdoer. If anything, they are too quick to pull the trigger on their own. If the Democrats held themselves to the same standard they hold their Republican Party counterparts, they would have a whole lot of cleansing to do themselves.


stAllio! said...

don't believe the hype, gary. even michelle malkin knows better than that.

the page was 17 when the communications began, and then he turned 18 later. the page explicitly said they should "slow things down a little" because we "dont want to do anything not 18 till feb 23"

regardless of whether the page was pulling a prank or honestly wanted to hook up with foley (and once his name was disgustingly leaked to the press, i'm not surprised he would want to claim it was a prank even if it wasn't), it doesn't change the fact that he was underage when the correspondence began. that's a textbook example of grooming on foley's part.

Jeff Newman said...

I'm just not seeing it; maybe we're getting news from different sources. It appears to me the Repubs are the ones throwing each other under the bus while the Dems are just happily watching it all unfold.

Most of the comments I've seen from Democrats are to denounce Foley; who's calling for the leadership's heads? I've seen quite a few die-hard Dem bloggers say that they hope Hastert stays, theorizing that he's more of a liabilty for the Republicans right where he is.

Interesting that you bring up 1994 when a fed up public had had enough of a scandal-ridden congress and the party with the lions share of the scandals (fresh ones, not 20+ year old ones) lost power. Why shouldn't that happen again?

Advance Indiana said...

I'm not excusing Foley's behavior as I've already said StAllio. My point is that the IM exchanges which everyone has been reading were written when the page was over the age of 18. That makes a hell of a big difference as far as criminal liability. ABC and Ross didn't bother to check this out even though that sat on the story for 2 months before they ran with it. It still doesn't excuse Foley's behavior. His resignation was in order.

Jeff said: "It appears to me the Repubs are the ones throwing each other under the bus while the Dems are just happily watching it all unfold."

What planet have you been living on for the past 6 days. Give me a break. Have you not heard what all their leaders are saying? I don't disagree with you that the Rs deserve to lose control of the House, but for reasons other than one extremely screwed up guy, including the outrageous lobbying scandals and out-of-control federal spending.

Wilson46201 said...

from the Political Wire:

Internal Poll Shows Hastert Dragging Down GOP

"House Republican candidates will suffer massive losses if House Speaker Dennis Hastert remains speaker until Election Day, according to internal polling data from a prominent GOP pollster", Fox News has learned.

Said the source: "The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker. And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss."

The source also said "the internal data had not been widely shared among Republican leaders, but as awareness of it spreads calculations about Hastert's tenure may change. The source described the pollster who did the survey as 'authoritative,' and said once the numbers are presented, it 'could change the focus' on whether the speaker remains in power."

However, The Hotline notes there "is clearly a movement afoot among Republicans to get behind their leader."

Wilson46201 said...

Andrew Sullivan:

If Hastert stays the GOP could lose 50 seats, according to an internal poll. And if he quits? Maybe they didn't ask that question. One aspect of this is worth further noting. The base of the GOP has been fed homophobia and gay-baiting for years now. It was partly how Rove won Ohio and the presidency. Gay-hating is integral to their machine. Now, the very homophobia these people stoked and used is suddenly turning back on them.

Part of me is distressed that the GOP could lose not because of spending recklessness, corruption, torture, big government, pork, and a hideously botched war ... but because of a sex scandal which doesn't even have (so far as we know) any actual sex. But part of me also sees the karmic payback here. They rode this tiger; now it's turning on them. And it's dinner time.

Anonymous said...

Wilson's right.

Or, as John Stewart said on the Daily Show the other night: "They're abandoning the ship, and jumping into an ocean of their own jism!"

Anonymous said...

In a way, everyone here is right.

The far-right has been pandering and baiting for a good while.

Remember the gay mariage amendment talk? Gotta keep the fags from marrying.

Flag amendments? Disguising a failed and ridiculous war policy by branding any opponent a "cut and run" Democrat?

Do I need to go on?

Mel Reynolds was a goof. And a thief. Why Clinton pardoned him is beyond me. Coulda been that he was extremely ill at the time.

Gerry Studds shoulda been shown the door. He wasn't.

Barney Frank did horrible things, too.

If you're looking for consistency in enforcement of moral values, don't look at the GOP Congressional crowd.

Sadly, don't look at my party either.

Maybe, just maybe, we can look to the future?

Hastert's fall from Speakership was already well on its way. I hope this sorry episode doesn't contribute to it any more than it should.

Then my party will likely have to lead. And try to do so in an incredibly fragile glass house. It won't be easy.

I'm just hoping it can be a new era.

Anonymous said...

Where's Ross Perot when you need him???

Advance Indiana said...

Ross is still looking for that crazy Aunt hidden away in the attic. He hasn't figured out it's the man in the mirror.

stAllio! said...

i told you not to believe the hype.

A former congressional page is willing to talk to the FBI and the U.S. House Ethics Committee about former Rep. Mark Foley, his attorney said Thursday.

"He will answer fully and truthfully any questions put to him," attorney Stephen Jones said.


Jones said Edmund has done nothing wrong.

"Jordan was a minor when the alleged events described in the media occurred," Jones said. "He retained me ... to guide and assist him through a difficult investigative and media onslaught because he thought I might be able to help him.

"Jordan has authorized me to say that if he has any relevant information on the matters involving Congressman Foley, he will voluntarily present it to any appropriate official authority."


The attorney disputed as "a piece of fiction" a report on a widely viewed Internet site, The Drudge Report, that Edmund's exchanges with Foley were a prank by the page.

Jones said, "There is not any aspect of this matter that is a practical joke nor should anyone treat it that way."

Advance Indiana said...

Stallio, Edmund is also claiming he isn't gay. Did you read the exchange he had with Foley? The then 18-year-old kid was quite the willing participant in talk of gay sex. If he expects people to believe he's not gay, then the only logical conclusion is that it was a prank. He can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Isn't his attorney that whacko who defended Timothy McVeigh and tried to prove bin Laden and not his McVeigh was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing?

Wilson46201 said...

3 more Pages have come forth - was it all one giant prank?

Wilson46201 said...

since the GOP is desperately grasping at straws, "drudging" up ancient Democratic scandals, lest anybody forget:


Wilson46201 said...

Chicago Tribune:

Comments that Hastert made in a Tribune interview suggesting the scandal had been orchestrated by ABC News, Democratic political operatives aligned with the Clinton White House and liberal activist George Soros were considered a serious misstep in national Republican circles, an official said. Senior Republican officials contacted Hastert's office before his news conference Thursday to urge that he not repeat the charges, and he backed away from them in his news conference.

"The Chicago Tribune interview last night--the George Soros defense--was viewed as incredibly inept," a national Republican official said. "It could have been written by [comedian] Jon Stewart."

Advance Indiana said...

Looks like there was some there there to the hype StAlio. CNN revises Edmund's attorney's statement--he doesn't rule out that it was a prank:

"We asked him about that item in the DRUDGE REPORT. He said very clearly he cannot rule that in, he cannot rule that out. He says he is not saying it was not a prank but later in the interview, CNN pressed him on that. He said that he -- he does not read the DRUDGE REPORT, not part of his regular reading and, quote, it sounds like a piece of fiction...