Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What Should Republicans Have Done about Mark Foley?

What should Republicans have done about Mark Foley?

That depends on what they knew.

I worked with a guy on one of my jobs who I’m sure was gay and who I’m sure had pedophilic tendencies. He worked with children and was overly friendly with them. I always had the feeling he was right on the verge of crossing the line. He never did cross the line, though. He was, of course, very popular, very good at his job, and, considering he never crossed the line with the children, he seemed to help the children in many ways.

What should I have done? The man also happened to be African-American. I could put people on alert about the guy. I could report him, but for what? He never did anything wrong. My guess is that the guy has these tendencies, but manages to contain himself. I don’t think you can condemn someone for “tendencies.” If he continues to resist temptation, containing himself, he will have done what all good men must do—resist the “devil” and overcome the allures that lead us astray. So, he’s a good man, isn’t he?

Yes. And yet I know that both he and the children are in danger. He is in the wrong profession for a man having this tendency. Yet, I am powerless. I can’t accuse the guy of having “tendencies.” I have no right to besmirch his character. Unfortunately, I had no choice. I could communicate with him directly in a diplomatic way, which is what I did. So, at least I had put him on alert that someone was watching.

What should Republicans have done? My understanding is that they saw the emails, but not the instant messaging. The emails were overly friendly, but not sexual in nature. If the Repubs had seen the sexual messages, then they were obligated to confront Foley and report him, ask him to resign, and take any further actions to expel him from the House. Having seen only the emails, however, they were obligated to take him aside and talk to him, and to put other people on alert about him.

Did they do any of this? Did any Republicans do the unthinkable, sweep this thing under the rug until after the election? We’ll find out soon.


(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)

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1 comment:

paz y amor said...

Ahhh, good old Mark Foley! I can't say whether they swept it under the rug, but D. Hastert is definitely in the hot seat! We'll see. By the way, I have your newly minted "Bush is an idiot blog below. Enjoy:

Wait, this ain't my blog....where am I? It seems I have landed in the eternally conservative webspace of "The Truth Rock" and though I am familiar with Rock's opinion- one I rarely if ever agree with- it's a beautiful feeling to know that my humble opinions are welcome on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

In the few months that I've been reading this blog, the subject of George W. Bush's intellectual capacity- "intelligence" if you will- has been debated several times with Rock believing Bush is a good, smart, righteous president, while I have argued the contrary. I've been given the task of writing a post discussing why I think the current president of the United States has a major disconnect between his thoughts and his reality.....uhh, that's a nice way of saying "stupid". Now, the accusation from Rock has been that "liberals" accuse Bush of being an idiot based on emotional arguments and lack logic when they speak ill of the Commander in Chief. This I can agree with wholeheartedly because people say Bush lacks good sense, but forget to give proper examples to bolster their case. The flip side is that conservatives and republicans are indeed guilty of the same when talking about the banes of conservative existence, namely Ted "the drunk" Kennedy and Hillary "bitch" Clinton and whoever else fits the mold. Not one Repub I've spoken with has given ANY good political reasons as to why these two chap right-winged asses so badly, but that's another blog for someone else, some other day.

Here we they say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

1. Bush is an idiot because:

He dismissed or alienated anyone in his cabinet/advisory council who didn't agree with his mindset.

One of great things about communicating with people with different opinions is that you get a wide perspective on an issue. If you don't agree with gay marriage and the only people you share your opinion with have the exact same opinion as you, what are you learning? Your view will be very limited and you'll feel that your opinion is completely correct because everyone around helps validate your perspective. The problem is that every issue has more than one side and in order to make a succint decision- which is what a good LEADER does- a variety of perspectives have to be taken into account. Most presidents of the past have had a few Devil's Advocates in the cabinet giving opposing viewpoints to help with decision making. Those adverse voices in the current administration are all working the streets of DC's Red Light District instead of helping make better administrative policy. Bush is an idiot because he believes it's better to have a room full of "yes" (wo)men to agree with everything he and Dick "the dick" Cheney say than having a variety of valid opinions to consider. It's important to correspond with many different opinions because you become more aware of how others think and be more informed about an issue rather than stuck on you own mental treadmill.

Coulda used yous guys-
Colin "you break it- you bought it" Powell, Paul "read my book" O'Niell, Richard "he wouldn't listen" Clarke, Rand "diamond de" Beers,

2. Bush is an idiot because:

He proudly proclaimed, "I don't read the papers".

For those who don't know, I'm an educator and I have children in my fourth grade class who read on a second grade level! For the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES to come out of his face to say, "I don't read the papers" would make anyone sitting in a classroom want to put down the chalk and walk out on their job. Instead, Bush gets his news from his staff. This is a tidbit from an interview he had with Fox "news" host Brit Hume:

He walks into the Oval Office in the morning, Bush said, and asks Card: "What's in the newspapers worth worrying about? I glance at the headlines just to kind of (get) a flavor of what's moving," Bush said. "I rarely read the stories". Instead, the president continued, he gets "briefed by people who have probably read the news themselves. Rice, on the other hand, is getting the news 'directly from the participants on the world stage.' "

What that tells me is that instead of relying on his own brain to gather information, he depends on the people around him- and no intelligent individual relies on ANYONE to give them knowledge, they read for themselves. Intelligent folks READ a number of sources, make a judgement themselves and formulate a personalized opinion on the matter. We're not talking about a grocery clerk or student who reads the paper for leisure, we're talking about the leader of the free world who apparently doesn't know much about the world he leads- unless someone tells him about it.

3. Bush is an idiot:

For believing whoever told him (Chalabi, et al) that armed American troops would be welcomed as "liberators" in Iraq by the Iraqi people and the IRAQI MILITARY?!?!?!

The flowers and love received by allied troops in Nazi-occupied France wasn't coming to American troops walking the streets of Falluja, which I'm sure the administration was envisioning. It ain't Normandy, it's IRAQ. Maybe if he had read the papers over the last ten years, he would have known that Iraqis have blamed the 10 year old, US sponsored trade embargo for their suffering- not Saddam Hussein (they might not live if they publically blamed his punk ass). The point is, no country would accept a foreign occupying force lying on their backs, especially in the volatile Middle East which has had a LONG history of fiercely fighting occupying forces- regardless of where they come from. Anyone remember this line from the beginning of "Gladiator" when Maximus and his boy Quintus are preparing to lay down the serious wood on the last holdout Germanic tribe?

Quintus: People should realize when they're conquered! (and give up...)

Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

Are we any different in the US? I'm one of the most peace loving, passive, anti-gun individuals (that is- until I had a daughter) but let some country invade the US claiming that they're "liberating" us from Bush's tyranny and I'll be standing side by side with all you trigger-happy NRA mofos shooting the hell out of whoever decided to occupy this vast land! I can't help but think that the touted "shock and awe" military strategy of using a light armored, undersized force took the "welcomed as liberators" idea heavily into account when they planned their entire war strategy. Rather than planning for a violent alternative outcome- should it occur (the outcome that DID occur), they planned on the best case senario, which intelligent people know, is NEVER an appropriate way to prepare for any situation. Now their lack of a viable plan has the military stuck in a battle it's trying desperately not to lose, and the administration trying desperately to make it appear as if things are getting better. You know, janitors in schools don't get the credit they deserve in society for being some of the brightest minds in the building, but they should. Mr. Caslin told me in a conversation, "Boooooooy, Bush is in a world of hurt right now. When you fight a war, you go in, kick ass and get the hell out, and that's what his daddy did the first time. Bush Sr. sent in 600,000 troops, whooped up on Saddam and took care of business. Too bad the boy ain't as smart as his daddy." I wasn't a fan of Bush the First, but he sure wasn't an idiot.

4. Bush is an idiot because he says shit like this all the time!:

I can only assume that he didn't understand that the interviewer was referring to Native American sovereignty within the US (and not Indians from India) but Bush was hoping his circular-style of speech would get him out of it. Nope. Rock claims that Georgie has some form of dyslexia that keeps him from communicating coherently, but I think it goes beyond that. Dyslexia keeps you from picking up information correctly, words, numbers, that sort of thing. He's obviously got something else. Can we conclude that he's an idiot by nature then?

5. Bush is an idiot because:

He blew a major chance to improve his image, and (by proxy) the images of the Republican party by essentially treating the Katrina disaster as if it happened in Guatelmala rather than in his own backyard.

I know, I know, one side says "They shoulda got their asses out of town!" The other side says, "It's the government's fault!" I'm not here to debate all that. Bush could have used it (like all politicians do) to boost his image and restore the faith of the populace by doing the right thing and getting into New Orleans to take care of business personally rather than flying over in a chopper, waving to the stranded folks on rooftops and returning to his vacation in Texas. I'm sure some advisor called him at his ranch and said,

advisor: "Uh Mr. President, I REALLY think it would be a good idea for you to cut short your vacation short and make your appearance felt in the Gulf Coast, ala Manhatten after 9-11. It would really benefit your fellow Republicans who will need your help in next year's elections."

Bush: "Leave me alone! Can't you see I'm too busy fucking Anne Coulter in the ass!" (My bad Rock, I had to use it!!! That story was crazy!)

No seriously though, he's an idiot for neglecting the horrendous damage that was wrought among ALL people in the Gulf Coast when he could have shown the strength he is "known for" when fighting terrorists overseas. The first thought on everyone's mind when the flooding started (without ANY government response) and all the images of stranded people hit the newsreels was, "What if this was a terrorist attack instead of an act of God? Does this mean we'd have to fend for ourselves if Osama rolled up in here?" With a word he was able to get troops to aid tsunami victims in Indonesia within 48 hours but it takes almost a week to get troops into the Gulf- what does that say to the voting public?

6. Bush is an idiot because:

He used the phrase "Illegal workers are good for the economy because they do jobs most Americans won't do."

If memory serves me correctly, this sound bite came right around the time major corporations were laying off American workers by the thousands (which continues today...) As a person who has worked in a popular local bakery side by side with "illegal" Mexican dishwashers and sandwich makers, I can tell you that they worked harder than anyone else in that dirty ass place, and recieved the lowest pay. However, a "legal" American worker could have easily worked the same jobs and at the very least not be lining up collecting unemployment. The point is, Bush's main immigration outlook is that Americans WON'T do the work illegal aliens do and the government should allow them to work because otherwise dishes in restaurants won't be cleaned and hotel linen won't be folded. The fact is, when an American is unemployed, they SHOULD be looking for whatever will help pay the bills, regardless of whether it's cleaning toilets or sweeping streets. Bush's message to the country should have reflected the ideal that "hard work pays off", not reflective of the absurd notion that Americans are too good to do shit jobs.

7. Bush is an idiot because:

He tried to get his personal counsel to sit on the HIGHEST COURT IN THE COUNTRY!

How quickly we forgot the Harriet Myers situation. Nepotism is an issue the world over, but how logical was it for the President to nominate someone with no judicial experience to the Supreme Court- and be ADAMANT about pushing her through? This goes for John Roberts too- although he seems a bit more qualified, if only slightly. Even Bush's Republican allies had to shake their heads in disgust and put their collective foot down, and do so without publically appearing as though they were not supporting their dear, pretty boy president. Alas, she put in her forced "resignation letter" to save face and exit stage left, leaving Bush to lick his wounds privately. I have my own theory as to why he chose to nominate Harriet Myers:

Harriet Myers had been performing fallatio on the President in the Oval Office during a "private meeting" and in the heat of the moment, little Georgie said, "You know, since you've been doing such a fine job down there, I think I'll nominate you to the Supreme Court! That's my thanks to you for years of service."

Not a bad idea to keep an affair quiet, but not such a good choice if you're replacing an esteemed Supreme Court Judge.

8. Bush is an idiot because:

He can't seem to understand that "staying the course" is essentially going in the wrong direction.

Every great man in history has a bit of stubborness and megalomania attached to their psyche. That little touch of dementia is what gave them prominence in their day, posterity in ours. However, that same bit of egotism is more than likely the one thing that brought them crashing down for the last and final time. Whether it was a decision to make an ill-advised attack when they should have stood down, or making a left when their advisors told them to take a right, walking across a balcony when everyone knew it was safer to stay indoors, or boarding an airplane when their bandmates told them that it was a bad idea. Something inside them made them feel that they were invincible and eventually they realized- many times tragically, that this is not the case. EVERY man is vulnerable. Now it has been said that every king expresses his prowess through his army (actually I just made that up, but it makes sense, no?). When that army succeeds, the king is strong- when that army is torn, demoralized and battered, the king is weak. It would appear that Bush's army of military leaders, right wing conservatives, religious leaders, fellow Republicans and everyday citizens is suffering from low morale. When politicians and pundits within his own party feel they have to distance themselves from Bush's policies in order to be (re)elected, there's a major issue there, and the only person who can't seem to understand that (at least publically) is the president himself. It's clear that Bush has no conception of reality, or at the very least, his stubborness is keeping him blind from the truth.

9. Bush is an idiot because:

He consitently contradicts himself. There have been many moments within the last six years where Bush will say something that completely contradicts his previous words or previous actions. Case in point:

2003 Given a US imposed deadline, the UN sends in teams to look for these mysterious WMD's that the Bush adminstration SWEARS that Saddam has and comes up empty- one official saying, "We need more time..."- time Bush refused to allot them. Weeks later, the US launches an invasion into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction and after a year and a half (and currently), they come up empty. Bush, after being questioned about the lack of evidence to support his original rationale for invading Iraq says, "We need time to find them." Now, I'm not up for induction into MENSA, but there's something amiss. The UN is not given proper time to find WMD's because the US can't afford to wait, but three years later, no WMD's have been found and now "We need time..." Hmmmm.

early 2005 In an interview with on NBC's Meet the Press, Tim Russert asks Bush, "What if the Iraqi people elect a conservative Iranian-type of government in upcoming elections? What then?"

Bush's reply (to paraphrase)- "They won't. The Iraqi people want freedom and I've been informed that there is no possibility that they'd elect that type of government."

Huh? "They won't" isn't an answer that is even worthy of credibility. Obviously the situation on the ground is much different than Bush is recognizing with sectarian violence slowly tearing Baghdad apart along religious lines. Religion in Iraq and most of the Middle East is virtually indistiguishable from daily life. Some would say their religion IS life for most of them. To say that the Iraqis "won't" elect anyone in free elections because his handlers "told him they wouldn't" shows that Bush is (was) completely disconnected from the reality of Middle Eastern religiopolitics, especially in THAT part of the Middle East. No one with half a bit of sense would come out of their mouth and say something like that, especially when "free" elections can swing any which direction. You don't have to read the papers to understand that!

2006 Bush says that if information comes that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan, he'd "ask permission" from Pakistani president Musharraf to send in forces because Pakistan is a "sovereign nation."

Pop quiz: Since WWII, how many nations has the US invaded that wasn't "sovereign"?
Answer: ZERO. N. Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, - all sovereign nations....Nobody else was asked "permission", including the last two, so why start now?

and a little FYI: The reason Osama will NEVER be found is that the ethnic groups who habitate the areas he's believed to be hiding are bound by custom to shelter strangers (friend or foe) if they ask for it. Cultural traditions in the region are strong and honor is held to the highest esteem, so high in fact that offenses are settled Old West style, with guns, not fist fights. Add in the fact that these groups are virtually self autonomous in the rugged areas they live in and are VERY mistrusting of outsiders- you have a very small chance of success. Picked that up in the National Geographic..... get to reading ya'll!

He's an idiot because he can't seem to understand that a leader's credibility is much more important than his ability to call the shots. If your people have no faith in you as a leader, you have nothing....

So there you have it Rock, no left wing liberal emotion (since I'm neither), just my humble opinion.