Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Q: Why don't Florida Republicans use book marks?

A: because it's easier to just bend the page over.

I always like to read the Cheers & Jeers from Bill in Portland, Maine, on the Daily Kos blog. It's one of the few non-wonky posts you get there. Anyway, I liked this take on the whole Foley scandal:

CHEER... NO, JEER... NO, CHEE... NO, JEE... to the October surprise. Yes, we're thrilled that a stake appears to have been driven through the GOP's chance of keeping the House (and Senate?). But the circumstances under which it's happening are frightening. Leave it to the Republicans to steal our glee at their meltdown.
Yeah, it's kinda hard to say, "Whoo-hoo! The GOP is goin' down!" when it was teenage kids they wanted to go down on. I certainly hope IMs and emails and pats on the knee are as far as it went... but the cynic in me fears some actual hanky-panky went down and we'll be hearing about it as soon as the hypothetical now-grown molested-former-page gets the book deals and exclusive interviews nailed down.

JEERS to cheap scapegoating. The Republicans, true to form, are playing the gay card to blunt the Foleygate scandal. There are two lines of "reasoning" in play that collide like freight trains on a gorge-crossing trestle: 1) We couldn't expose Foley because it would be interpreted as gay-bashing, which we don't do anymore (compassionate conservativism and all that). 2) Gays are pedophilic and/or predatory monsters by nature and therefore should be quarantined at Gitmo because they're filthy, stinky sinner beasts. Argument 2, of course, is quickly becoming the dominant argument. Hate just feels so right to this crowd.
This would be the classic example of Republican cognitive dissonance. To be able to say, in effect, "We didn't out Foley because people would think we're gay bashing," and then excuse Foley by, well, gay bashing, should cause one's head to explode a la "Scanners". Of course, these are the same people who think government is an inefficient monstrosity that does nothing but harm and cares only for maintaining its own power... and are then surprised when their reaction to Katrina is inefficient, causes harm, and spun to try to maintain their own power.

P.S. For the record, all you right-wing knuckledraggers who read C&J in droves:
The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so.
Now, more likely to have fashion sense and rhythm? Guilty and guilty.
Ah, but homosexuals are more likely to molest young *boys*, and therein lies the appeal of this illogic to the knuckledragging set. Remember, in their mind, homosexuality is an abberation one must be recruited into. So the hetguy IMing young girls wouldn't be as shocking to them, because, despite her young age, male + female is *natural*. The hetguy is being inappropriate in the age category, but not the sex category (again, in their warped worldview).

I've already read this line of reasoning when the righties say things like "this is why homosexuals should never be elected." Because if homoguy IMs young boys, he's inappropriate both in age and in sex. In their minds, abusing the trust in an adult-child relationship isn't as sinful as recruiting our young men into the "sodomite lifestyle".

It's also why Queen Drudge could say something like, "those beasts were egging him on." The recruitment angle works both ways, and its those shameful homoboys trying to recruit (or entice) poor Foley.

So my question of the day: Suppose the Foleygate scandal was a different, heterosexual congressman and the victims were 16-year-old girls. Would that scandal explode to the same level as the current scandal? Would the some in the GOP be calling for Hastert's resignation? Would the congressman resign?

I think not. I think it would have been a below-the-fold story at best, a censure at best, and off the radar screen in less than a week. Yes, the heart of this scandal is abuse of an adult-child relationship, and boy/girl, gay/straight shouldn't matter. But the subtext of this story is the exposure of the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment party as harboring not only gay people, but depraved gay people, and keeping the matter closeted at the expense of children's safety in order to maintain power by, in part, bashing gay people. This isn't a month-long sweep-the-GOP-out story without the gay petard they've hoisted themselves upon. The "gay" has nothing to do with the crime and everything to do with the story.

(thanks Ivan for the opening joke)

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