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What a Twit

There have been times when I thought my former Congresscritter, Joe Scarborough, was overcoming his KoolAid habit, but he manages to fall off the wagon.

He has guts enough to identify Mark Foley as a friend he met as part of the “class of 1994” in the big win for Newt, and that he knew that Foley was gay, but didn’t out him or cut him off.

He also admits he was one of the people who talked Foley out of running for Senator in 2004 because of the gay issue. Bob Graham retired and Florida had an open Senate seat that year. Karl Rove felt a Republican primary involving several sitting Congresscritters would be risky, especially if Cruella de Harris was involved in a statewide race, when the Shrubbery was running for re-election, and it would open up a number of safe House seats. So a combination of threats and promises was used to bring Mel Martinez back to the state from Washington without Republican challenge.

Joe must have been persuasive, and Foley just had to look at what is being done to Harris by the Republicans to know that the promises were empty, when he decided, despite the urging of Republican leaders, not to seek the Senate nomination this year. Understand, after they knew about the e-mails, the party wanted Foley to challenge Harris in this year’s primary battle for the Senate seat.

So Joe slams the way this whole thing was handled and admits it’s a problems for Republicans, but then he goes right back to the KoolAid saying that Democrats shouldn’t try to use this, because they have page problems of their own.

The page scandal was in 1983 and involved a Republican sleeping with a 17-year-old female page. The Democrats were in charge and they investigated. The investigation showed that a decade earlier a Democrat had been sleeping with a 17-year-old male page. Both Congressmen pled guilty to the charge, and both were censured by the House, although Newt wanted them both expelled. This was done in spite of testimony that both pages consented to the relationships.

According to the Wikipedia Page article the Democrats went further and limited pages to 16-year-old high school juniors, moved them into a supervised dormitory, and established the Page Board to oversee the program. Compare that reaction to what the Republicans have done.

Foley did what he did, knowing what had happened to the last two Congressmen who got involved with pages, and he did it without the consent of the pages.

4 comments

1 Mustang Bobby { 10.03.06 at 6:59 am }

This is no surprise. The Republicans will grasp at any straw — or straw man — to mitigate the damage and justify their moral relativism. The fact that the comparison is both irrelevant and unequal makes no difference to them. They’ve done the same with the lies leading up to Iraq: Mr. Bush started a war based on lies and has killed over 2,700 American soldiers and untold number of Iraqis. But Bill Clinton got a blow job.

2 Michael { 10.03.06 at 9:00 am }

Most of the Bu$hevik Bloviators seem to be following the Coulternator’s lead and bringing up Barney Frank, who is completely irrelevant in this context and who was never censured by the House. They should be mentioning Studds, except that his case doesn’t really help theirs, either–the relationship was consensual and with someone over the age of consent. (Still creepy, yes, but not illegal.) And as you point out, when we found out about it, we did censure him and took steps to make sure that it would not happen again. Steps that the Rubber-Stamp Republicans, in their eagerness to hold on to their power and burnish their image as the Party of Values, ignored or circumvented.

3 andante { 10.03.06 at 12:19 pm }

There may well be some Democrats with “page problems”; I seem to recall reading somewhere that there were some other shoes about to drop.

Still, I’d be surprised if the shoes were Democratic – if there are Democrats with similar problems, you’d think the Republicans would have plastered the news across the globe by now. We’ll see.

4 Bryan { 10.03.06 at 3:13 pm }

Let’s be honest as adults, Foley has a problem and it didn’t just start. This has been a problem the guy’s entire life and anyone who was around for any significant length of time, especially in a social setting would figure it out.

It happens in high schools and the priesthood and scouting, not just in Congress. There is no way that the leadership of the party didn’t know about it, and any Democrats he met socially should also have noticed it. You can’t convince me that the Washington press corps didn’t know what was going on.

This isn’t about sex, it is about power, specifically abuse of power.

As you mention, Michael, they didn’t tell the Republican Congresswoman on the Page Board about this. As a mother she would have gone ballistic, just like Nancy Pelosi did. Women get it, the Republican leadership doesn’t.

Andante, Joe Lieberman is the only “Democrat” the Republicans are apt to protect, and something like this requires protection.