Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A GOP(edophile) Primer

Here's a "Cliffs Notes" version of the Foley/Pedophile scandal and how the House Leadership are in a bit of trouble.

First it started when the Speaker of the House and GOP Majority Leader of the House contacted the Washington Post about the story, both trying to head off problems. what they didn't do was get their stories straight. The conflicts point to to a speaker of the house that may have sat on bad news to protect his party (and, let's note here, NOT protect a kid).

Now, for the last few days, Speaker Hastert and the rest of the leadership have gotten their Lies...err STORIES straight and it goes a little something like this: They WERE notified of the innappropriate emails coming from Congressman Foley in late 2005. they were informed that the emails were implying inappropriate things, but didn't come out and SAY it. either way, this wasn't OK and they spoke to Foley about it. done deal

Fastforward to last Friday and they find out that all of this stuff was MUCH worse than they were led to believe and they were just as shocked as we were on Friday. They also would like to add it wasn't certain if Hastert 'knew' of all this or if his staff did and just lost it in the shuffle.

OK. pretty weak, but come on! they'll take anything they can get. it does imply that they couldn't be bothered with follow-up when this problem affected children and that they didn't take this all very seriously..etc etc...but WAIT! there's more...

Kirk Fordham, Rep. Foley's previous chief-of-staff (and curent chief-of-staff) has come along to spoil the party. he says that all that line fromt he leadership (Above) is a pile of crap. he says that he HIMSELF told Speaker Hastert's (then) Chief-of-Staff Scott Palmer all about the problem with Foley and the pages. What's more, he told the guy about it THREE years ago!! This screws up their entire story.

what?? what's that?? if you listen close enough...on a night like this... you MAY just be able to hear the sound of messenger being killed, all the way from the capital.


Polly said...

I've been thinking. the minors involved in this matter were 16 or above (so it seems). that is above the age of consent. that is at LEAST the age of my grandmother when she was married.

while this is still wrong and an abuse of responsibility, I don't know if it was actually pedophilia. i don't know that you mystically become a non-pedophile when the object of your affection hits 18.

for partisans like myself, there's outrage on many levels...but one. i'm not bothered that he's gay. I have to wonder if this is the ultimate sin on the Southern, Conservative, GOP side? is THIS the problem more than the age of the kids? I don't know. I just don't.

Swirly n DC said...

the age of consent in dc is 16.

Polly said...

that was part of my consideration here.

brd said...

Don't you think the GOP's may have acknowledged the possibility that he was gay? As long as he could win the election, I'm sure they were happy with don't ask, don't tell. And I agree there is no magic in an age, but to me the point of that is that older, powerful people can abuse an 18- or 21- or 25-year-old as well as children. It is abuse of power.

I don't know about you, but at 21 I was still figuring life out at a fairly primitive level.

But I guess I'm expressing a concern that is not bounded by legalities.

brd said...

Question: What did the Democrats know? My Washington daughter is telling me they did know about Foley's practices quite a while ago and kept quiet hoping to raise the the issue immediately before election time. Is this verifiable or just more smoke?

Polly said...

well, i know some knew he was gay. I also know some dems knew he liked to flirt with the pages, but i don't know that anyone knew the depth of it all.

I also find the GOP talking point that this is somehow a Democrat trick...popping this out just before the election, well, just a bad argument. i mean, is it REALLY a defense to say "HEY! you WAITED to reveal we were protecting a pedophile!" I mean, is that a serious argument?

of course, knowledge of any of this by a Democrat ignores that the matter would never get to any oversight without GOP approval. the house does not allow anything without a majority of their members in pre-agreement on the outcome.

brd said...

Yes, I suppose so. What do you mean exactly by your last comment paragraph? Are you talking about moving an official reprimand through the system?

Polly said...

yes. for example. lets say you are a dem in the house. you want to write a bill and have it go out, be debated, amended, voted upon, and pass or fail.

well, you can't. dems don't get bills in the house. they can have their stuff co-opted by a GOP bill, but dems are not allowed to have their submitted bills on the floor. actually, bills that go to the floor not only have to be GOP bills but they are pre-set NOT to allow amendments of any type not designated by the GOP. OR not at all, meaning the GOP decides what they want before it goes out. when the senate version and house version of a bill conflict, they create a conference committee to work through a compromise version to go to the president. the GOP House leadership doesn't allow democrats in those conference committee meetings (this is unheard of prior to the current GOP gang in power).

so, if THAT is the day to day operation of the house, you can IMAGINE what luck you'd have with damaginginfo calling to task a popular republican. most of the action that HAS taken place (like with DeLay) was done in the hope to stave off prosecution.

this being the case, the only option the Dems have to 'handle' this would be to come to the press. they didn't. maybe they should have, but the GOP are already fabricating that this infact DID come from the Dems to make it into something less real and more like partisan bickering.

brd said...

How did the Republicans make this change? This is very scary. I kind of goes (just a little bit) against the constitutional concept of balance of power. Is what you are describing a formal change in the way things are done or just something informal but very rude, like fillibustering.

Thanks for the Poli Sci 101!

Polly said...

these are the formal House Rule changes that started in 1994 after the GOP take-over and intensified when Bush got elected. when people talk about the 'hardball' tactics of Tom DeLay, etc. this is part of what they were talking about.

If you want to see how Abramoff and others get into the mix, then imagine the scene i described above and THEN people like DeLay having control not only of what goes up for a vote but what goes IN those bills. they basically extort lobbyists into donations, etc.

brd said...

Oh, dear! This is another fine mess they've gotten us into.