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Monday, October 02, 2006

The Right's New Spin; Criticism about Mark Foley is Gay Bashing

I caught a Ben Stein piece at The American Spectator. Ben sets the spin for the Foley email scandal -- Clinton got a blow job, gays sexually harrass kids, and democrats are hypocrites:

The Representative Foley "scandal" is really worthy of a whole book on hypocrisy. On the one hand, we have a poor misguided Republican man who had a romantic thing for young boys. He sent them suggestive e-mail. I agree, that's not great. On the other hand, we have a Democratic party that worships (not likes, WORSHIPS) a man named Bill Clinton who did not send suggestive e-mails as far as we know, but who had a barely legal intern give him oral sex kneeling under his desk in the Oval Office while he talked on the phone to a Congressional Committee Chairman, took great pleasure in putting a cigar in her orifice and then smelling it and tasting it, and having her fellate him when in the sacred seat of power of the world's leading Republic. And the Democrats cheer themselves hoarse for him. His wife has a great shot at being our next President.

Geez, he even puts 'scandal' in quotes. In his desperate attempt to put blame anywhere but with Foley, Stein attacks all gays as potential pedophiles. "I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys," he says. After smearing gays, he says he's not smearing gays.

Don't get me wrong. My very best friend is gay. I have many gay friends and they are great people. But how the Democrats, the party of gays, can be coming down this hard on a MC who's gay is simply beyond belief. One of my top, favorite congressmen, Barney Frank, is openly gay. Might he say a word in defense of his fellow gay MC right about now? Hmm, I thought not.

I have one question for Ben Stein -- WTF are you talking about? Stein is actually saying that Barney Frank should speak out in defense of an internet predator -- because they're both gay. How about you speak out in defense of the Son of Sam, Ben? After all, you're both white men. Hmm, I thought not.

The real hypocrisy here is that the GOP -- the 'pro-family' party, the party of hand wringing over 'moral decline', the party that beats everyone over the head about how terrible it is to be anything other than their idea of the perfect christian (which doesn't include Mr. Stein, BTW) -- has covered for a child molester for over a year.

That's the problem and it doesn't have anything to do with Clinton and Lewinsky. The guy's asking sixteen year old boys to measure their penis, all Stein has to say about it is, "I agree, that's not great," and Democrats are the hypocrites? Please.

This seems to be the right's opening defense. As I posted to Griper News, Newt Gingrich has jumped on this bandwagon early.

Well, you could have second thoughts about it, but I think had they [GOP Leadership] overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would have also been accused of gay bashing.

That's right, there's absolutely no difference between child molestation and homosexuality. Just as they did with the Jeff Gannon scandal, they're trying to reframe this as an attack on a gay man. In that scandal, the spin was that it wasn't about the fact that the White House had hired a prostitute to lob softball questions at press conferences, it was about the fact that the White House had hired a gay prostitute to lob softball questions at press conferences. Emphasis on gay -- gay, gay, gay, gay, gay.

Glenn Greenwald finds pretty much the same defense being played at John Hinderaker's Powerline:

After reviewing the fact that Hastert was told months ago about the e-mails sent by Foley to the 16-year-old page (a fact which Hastert first categorically denied and -- after Reps. Reynolds and Boehner both said they told Hastert -- he now claims not to recall), Hinderaker offers this defense of Hastert:

I've never been Speaker of the House, but I can imagine that such a conversation would not be among the most significant Hastert has had in the last year, and would not necessarily make a deep impression. Foley was, I take it, generally assumed to be gay.

Hinderaker then devotes two paragraphs to discussing the cases of Gerry Studds and Barney Frank -- two other gay Congressmen involved in sex scandals (with individuals of legal age) -- and Hinderaker then says:

So I'm not particularly surprised that Foley wrote some "over-friendly"--I'm sure I would find them creepy--emails to one or more underage pages.

So as best I can tell, this is Hinderaker's defense: Hastert knew that Foley was gay, so it would hardly have been a surprise to Hastert to learn that Foley was harrassing underage pages.

Foley was just a gay man being all gay and stuff -- what's the big deal? This from the party that warns that gays are trying to destroy the very fabric of the republic. Can you imagine how they'd howl if Howard Dean or Hillary Clinton had done something like this?

Foley himself is still in denial. He hasn't picked up on the spin that this is all about him being gay. Foley's own spin is that he's an alcoholic, which pretty much explains everything, I guess. Who hasn't gotten hammered and asked a teenage boy to measure his penis and describe how he masturbates?

The hypocrisy here rests entirely with republicans. When notified of the problem, they dealt with it as a public relations challenge, not a crime. Hypocrisy is when the reliably gay bashing right accuses anyone of gay bashing. And in this case it's worse, because they're using their own lies about gays to defend someone they'd attack as a monster if he weren't a Republican congress critter.

They're playing the homophobia card, while at the same time saying that gays rape kids. I'm sorry, who's doing the gay bashing here?


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Ole Blue The Heretic said...

I think republicans are unable to accept responsibility for their own actions. It is always someone elses fault.

Anonymous said...

To some extent it is gay bashing.

Afterall, teenagers are not children. The law says as much in almost all countries where age of consent is typically 14-16. The indidividual states as well have lower ages of consent than the federal govt uses to define a “minor” for internet/telephone contact. Even in DC, age of consent is 16.

In fact Foley did not commit a crime, because the age of consent in the jurisdiction is 16. Federal solicitation charges depend on the laws of the jurisdiction. There's no indication that he offered to pay for sex. Sexual harassment is also an unlikely charge because the page in question was not in his emply.

Wisco said...

Sorry, but it's illegal and, irony of ironies, Foley would be well aware of that fact, since he helped write the law that makes it illegal.

From Unclaimed Territory:

...under the so-called "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (of which Foley was a co-sponsor), along with 18 U.S.C. 2251, discussion or solicitation of sexual acts between Foley and any "minor" under the age of 18 would appear to be a criminal offense (see Adam Walsh Act, Sec. 111(14) ("MINOR.--The term 'minor' means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years") and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2256 (1) (“'minor' means any person under the age of eighteen years").