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My Vote for The Oddest Commentary So Far
about the Mark Foley story is from a former GOP leader who according to this story recently claimed that Democratic sex scandals have been "far worse" than GOP sex scandals:
"What we don't have to do is allow our friends on the left to lecture us on morality. There's a certain stench of hypocrisy."
The source? Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, who at the time of the Lewinsky scandal was cheating on his wife by carrying on an affair with a Congressional staffer 23 years his junior.
bwilliamsdc:
Oh Newt. We miss you! *eyeroll*
10.5.2006 12:56pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
Isn't the state of our democracy wonderful? A month before an important election, and with all that's going on in the world, we're once again obsessed with a sex scandal...until the next blonde girl goes missing...
10.5.2006 1:05pm
Joel B. (mail):
There is a "certain" hypocrisy, but not really if you ask me. The Republicans tend to at least pay lip service to social conservatism and family and religious values. Democrats don't, democrats haven't and the don't really have any pretentions about seeking the socially conservative vote. So for Republicans to seek the social conservative vote and pay lip service to it, and then not live it, is a certain kind of hypocrisy different from, we don't care about sexual morality but will use it against you when you're sexual immoral because your base cares. One's hypocritical, the others, well political.

And I say all this as a socially conservative Republican. We all have failings, no doubt, so there needs to be room for forgiveness, but we certainly have to be able to recognize that we'll undergo greater criticism when we fall.
10.5.2006 1:09pm
cirby (mail):
It's really annoying that I'm not that socially conservative, but I live a much, much more conservative lifestyle than a lot of the people who basically get paid money for it.
10.5.2006 1:14pm
Ming the Merciless Siamese Cat (mail):
"with a Congressional staffer 23 years his junior."


Infidelity is a bad thing, but what is the relevance of the age difference?

I'm married to a woman 22 years my junior. Are you positing that my marriage is immoral? Or was I just being immoral when we dated prior to our marriage? Or is it somehow more immoral to cheat on your wife with a 21 year old than it is with a 40 year old (I'd advise against actually trying the "Honey it doesn't count, she had crows feet" defense)?

What precisely is the relevance of the age of Gingrich's paramour?
10.5.2006 1:15pm
JosephSlater (mail):
One could get into Newt's own personal history, of course, but that would be too easy.

Joel B. has it right. A decent chunk of the Republican Party has been braying for over a decade that Repubs really were morally superior to Dems in the personal sexual conduct/misconduct realm. Dems don't run on that platform. But apparently it's still important for some chunk of the Repub party to feel that, despite Foley, Repubs are the party of straight-and-narrow personal conduct.

As a liberal Dem., I find the hypocracy amusing, but I wish the nation could focus less on this and more on Iraq, Afghanistan, the torture and habeus corpus issues, and other issues of more long-term importance.
10.5.2006 1:17pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Newt is an astute politician. It's possible he wants to discuss the sex scandal because he thinks focusing on this topic is less harmful to the GOP than discussing Iraq.
10.5.2006 1:26pm
Matthew in Denver:

I think the elephant in the room is that Foley's relationship was with a man. Here is a hypothetical: an unmarried congressman was dating an 18 year old female staffer. Before she turned 18, he flirted with her but there was never any physical contact. After she turned 18 they started sleeping together. Would this have been headline news? Of course not.

The reason this story is getting so much attention is because of the problem Americans have with homosexuality, and the hypocrisy of gay-bashing conservatives who are just as likely to be gay as gay-tolerant liberals.

But I think the truly offensive hypocrisy is from the left-wing. They are essentially tarring and feathering Foley for being gay, while simultaneously claiming to be the champion of gay rights.

-Matthew

ps. Rereading my post makes me seem really sympathetic to Foley. That is not the case. I think he deserved to be tarred and feathered. I just think the social conservatives should have been doing it themselves, not the left wing.
10.5.2006 1:26pm
Tom952 (mail):
because of the problem Americans have with homosexuality

Well, yes, that they prey on adolescent males, possibly influencing the youth's sexual orientation so that as adults they might themselves prey on adolescent males...
10.5.2006 1:42pm
MarkW (mail):
Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, who at the time of the Lewinsky scandal was cheating on his wife by carrying on an affair with a Congressional staffer 23 years his junior.

Moreover, the wife he was cheating on was his 2nd wife, whom he married after forcing his way to the hospital bed of his first wife and browbeating her into signing divorce papers (at a time when she was recovering from cancer surgery). His reported reason was that she "isn't young enough or pretty enough to be the President's wife."

Gingrinch's conduct shows him to be an ethical monster capable of enormous cruelty.
10.5.2006 1:43pm
A.S.:
Huh??? Orin has really jumped the shark with this one.

The person Newt was with was in her 30s! That's nothing like Rep. Studds having sex with a 17-year old page.

Does Orin really object to Newt having sex with a woman in her 30s??!!?
10.5.2006 1:51pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
MarkW:

What is your opinion of the ethics of former governor McCreevy (spelling?) of New Jersey who had sex with his male lover while his wife was in the hospital after giving birth?
10.5.2006 1:51pm
Truth Seeker:
Ditto Ming, what's wrong with someone 20 years younger? Is there something improper or is it just jealousy?

Men naturally prefer youth and beauty in a mate (for breeding) and women naturally prefer wealth and power (for security), What's more natural than a young beautiful woman with an older successful man?

And I hear many intelligent younger women prefer older men because they are more mature than men their own age.
10.5.2006 1:54pm
NesterT (mail):
Perhaps he was talking about the Gerry Studds incident (a Democrat who sexually propositioned House pages and had homosexual sex with a 17-year-old male page whom he took on a trip to Portugal. Studds called it a "witch hunt" and a "mutually voluntary, private relationship between adults" and was subsequently reelected five times).

Hyprocrisy? I think so.
10.5.2006 1:56pm
Arbusto Spectrum (mail):
Matthew -
sorry to be blunt about this, but you don't know what you are talking about. Which Democrat has even commented on Foley's sexual orientation?

If you don't know the difference between (a) homosexuality and (b) a person in a position of power and responsibility serially hitting on minors whose parents have entrusted them to be properly supervised while away from home, I suggest you find some form of remedial education.
10.5.2006 1:56pm
Luke 1152 (mail):
Homosexuals "prey on adolescent males, possibly influencing the youth's sexual orientation"

And think - the person who wrote this drivel can probably vote, too.
10.5.2006 1:59pm
Arbusto Spectrum (mail):
The most interesting part of this whole debate is that the Republican talking points on this topic are the same as on every other topic at the moment:

"yeah, we're bad, but the Democrats are worse."

It's times like this that one must remember that democracy is nothing more than the least bad form of government....
10.5.2006 2:00pm
Matthew in Denver:
Arbusto -
The phrase "Elephant in the Room" means that it is the item people AREN'T commenting on. I learned that recently in my remedial education. I was taking an idiom refresher course.

My point is that no one is saying this hoopla is because the relationship was a homosexual one, but that is in fact the reason for the hoopla. If it was a heterosexual relationship, it wouldn't have caused near as much of a firestorm.
10.5.2006 2:02pm
Mike S (mail):
Plenty of hypocrisy to go around here. On the part of Foley, the Republicans, and the Democrats.
10.5.2006 2:03pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
If this were a hetero relationship, IMO, there would have been more noise, sooner.

People are tiptoeing around the problem of being called "homophobic", and so, in certain circles, gays get a bit of a pass.

Suppose the republicans had stumbled on this all by themselves. What could they do? The guy who got the nasty IMs was no longer a page or a minor.

You can bet they'd have been hammered for gaybashing.
10.5.2006 2:10pm
Serenity Now (mail) (www):
Orin's argument seems to be: Gingrich cheated on his wife, so he shouldn't object when hypocritical Democrats lecture others on sexual morality.

This is a bad argument. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise.
10.5.2006 2:18pm
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:
Studds is who he is refering to. The Dems and gay activist response to Foley is pure hypocracy. They supported Studds and reelected him. Foley resigned. The contrast is clear.
10.5.2006 2:22pm
Hugo:
When bringing up the Gerry Studds incident, why not mention the other congressman involved with a 17 year old page?
Rep. Dan Crane (R-Ill.)
10.5.2006 2:23pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
I think the analogy that Orin was trying to draw between Gingrich and Foley is that both were individuals either having or seeking sexual favors from subordinates. (The age difference between Gingrich and Foley and their subordinates is irrelevant.) Let's not forget that the former chairman of Boeing was forced to resign by his Board because he was carrying on with a subordinate, albeit a mature (age-wise) subordinate. Therefore, morality aside for a moment, Gingrich and Foley created an atmosphere ripe for sexual harassment claims, which is hypocritical when you consider that Congress has legislated against sexual harassment via Title VII.
10.5.2006 2:29pm
Hoosier:
Well *I* object to Newt having sex with a woman in her thirties. What an awful image to have in one's brain.

Please! Let's not speak of this again!
10.5.2006 2:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hugo. The difference is that Crane seemed to be ashamed. His constituents certainly were. He was seen no more, unlike Studds. His party colleagues didn't care for him. Unlike the dems and Studds.

This is one of those places you really don't want to go.
10.5.2006 2:33pm
steve k:
"...Democratic sex scandals have been "far worse" than GOP sex scandals..."

Because instead of writing emails they actually have sex with minors or have prostitution services operating out of their apartment? And then don't resign when they're found out?

"...who at the time of the Lewinsky scandal was cheating on his wife..."

And was he committing perjury and obstructing justice?
10.5.2006 2:33pm
Shake-N-Bake (www):
I have no idea how someone turns the condemnation of a child predator to "gaybashing" just because the predator is gay. I don't care whether the person is gay or straight, because either way he's a pedophilic sexual predator. That's what he's (rightly) being tarred-and-feathered for, not because he's gay. We put those people in jail regardless of sexual orientation.

Now, maybe it's getting more attention because it was a boy and not a girl, but I don't see that as meaning the Democrats are gay bashing, and if you do, it's because you really want to believe the Democrats did something wrong here when the reality is there is nothing there. The media knows what sells, and a homosexual scandal plays to both the Democrats, who bash based on the inaction of GOP leadership as well as the actions of Foley, as well as social conservatives who either think homosexuality is a sin, or just flat-out hate homosexuals (there being a difference between the two, to be sure). It isn't because the Democrats are gaybashing. We all bash child molesters, regardless of sexual orientation, and they deserve the bashing they get.

Past instances by the Democrats as well as Republicans? Of course. Most of our politicians are power-hungry scum of the highest order. But the past has nothing to do with the here-and-now when it comes to the condemnation of Foley. If the conservatives tarred and feathered a president for lying about oral sex with a legal-aged intern, then they shouldn't be surprised when Democrats as well as conservatives tar-and-feather a conservative soliciting from an underage person, something that our society through its sentencing laws deems to be a far worse crime.
10.5.2006 2:38pm
Steve:
Hugo. The difference is that Crane seemed to be ashamed. His constituents certainly were. He was seen no more, unlike Studds. His party colleagues didn't care for him. Unlike the dems and Studds.

What are you talking about? Crane ran for re-election just like Studds did. The only difference is that he lost, but that's not to his moral credit.
10.5.2006 2:44pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Crane seemed to be ashamed? Really?!

He was my Representative when the scandal broke. I couldn't detect shame from the election matarials he sent to my mailbox. Heck, I couldn't detect shame on the part of his remaining supporters one of whom, assured me that at least if I voted for Crane, he'd continue to keep birth control out of the hands of minors. ( For some reason, he assumed I thought that would be a good thing! )

Crane and Studds were both censured as they should have been. Crane and Studds both ran for re-election -- suggesting equal amounts of non-shame.

Crane lost because the his platform rested on family values and keeping birth control out the hands minors. Under the circumstances, just exactly who the heck was left to vote for him?
10.5.2006 2:45pm
LeftLeaningVolokhReader:
I take it that Orin pointed out the age difference to highlight the oddness of Newt's commentary. But, if you're highlighting Newt's vigor and appeal, Clinton still is the ladies man.
10.5.2006 2:46pm
Aultimer:
Ming wrote:

Infidelity is a bad thing, but what is the relevance of the age difference?

I'm married to a woman 22 years my junior. Are you positing that my marriage is immoral? Or was I just being immoral when we dated prior to our marriage? Or is it somehow more immoral to cheat on your wife with a 21 year old than it is with a 40 year old (I'd advise against actually trying the "Honey it doesn't count, she had crows feet" defense)?

What precisely is the relevance of the age of Gingrich's paramour?

Cheating with a woman of similar age as one's self and wife suggests a different (and socially preferred) motivation than cheating with a younger woman suggests.

Balance might require mention that Callista is now Mrs. Gingrich and to avoid noting that she's pretty hot for a hill rat.

Outside the cheating context, the appearance of less-worth motives remains, but is blunted when the bimbo is well above the age of consent. Nice stealth gloat on your child bride, BTW.
10.5.2006 2:47pm
Mark Field (mail):
If we're going to talk about which party has worse scandals, we at least need to be clear what the big scandal is here. It is NOT Mark Foley, though his conduct was deplorable. The big scandal is the failure of the House leadership to investigate (the polite view) or to cover it up (the impolite, but IMO more correct view).

Just curious: how far back in time do we get to go for scandals? Both parties have some great ones in the more distant past. If you want something comparable to this on the D side, Bobby Baker isn't too bad.


Suppose the republicans had stumbled on this all by themselves. What could they do?


Uh, they could have investigated it? Maybe found some others?


You can bet they'd have been hammered for gaybashing.


This hardly seems to be much of a deterrent to a substantial portion of the Republican party.
10.5.2006 2:49pm
JohnO (mail):
Maybe Foley should call a press confernece and say he was resigning because he was "a gay American," as this admission apparently wipes away anything that might have been improper about your relationships (such as whether you were cheating on a spouse or got a job for your paramour). Just kidding, sort of.

I think Aultimer pretty much has it right in responding to Ming on the age difference thing. Nothing wrong with dating and marrying someone 20 yerars your junior, but cheating on your 50-year-old wife with a 25-year-old woman suggests motives that are different than when the cheating is with someone more your wife's age. Neither is right, but there's a certain "trading in the old version for a newer model" quality to one of those scenarios.
10.5.2006 3:01pm
DJR:
Prof. Kerr:

The comments to your recent posts should be exhibit A as to why you should go back to the solo blog. People will keep reading even if you don't have something lengthy and interesting each day, I promise.
10.5.2006 3:05pm
Enoch:
Cheating with a woman of similar age as one's self and wife suggests a different (and socially preferred) motivation than cheating with a younger woman suggests.

It does? News to me. No kind of cheating is socially acceptable (let alone "preferable") as far as I'm concerned.
10.5.2006 3:06pm
Enoch:
cheating on your 50-year-old wife with a 25-year-old woman suggests motives that are different than when the cheating is with someone more your wife's age.

No, I don't buy this at all.
10.5.2006 3:11pm
Arbusto Spectrum (mail):

My point is that no one is saying this hoopla is because the relationship was a homosexual one, but that is in fact the reason for the hoopla. If it was a heterosexual relationship, it wouldn't have caused near as much of a firestorm

I disagree with your premise -- if you had written "my opinion" instead of "fact," I would accept it as opinion; I do not accept it as fact.

In my opinion, It's a firestorm because (a) it's election season and (b) it's salacious. No more, no less.

If the homosexual nature of the relationship is creating the firestorm, why was Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky such a hornets' nest?
10.5.2006 3:13pm
AppSocRes (mail):
Three additional factors that make Studds's behavior worse than Foley's: (1) He actually committed sodomy with the young man in question. {As far as I can tell from all the hoopla about Foley, he did nothing more than verbally harass the boys in question.]; (2) Studds was guilty of statutory rape because the boy he sodomized was under-age; (3) Studds was probably guilty of straightforward rape because he purposefully got the boy in question drunk before "seducing" him.

One factor that makes dimocratic behavior in Studds's case far worse than Republican in Foley's: Although both parties provided their representatives with cover before the scandals broke, Foley knew as soon as the scandal became public that he would get no Republican support and resigned. Studds got surreptitious, up-front encouragement from the dimocrat leadership when he chose to weather his storm. Otherwise he too might have chosen not to disgrace the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Congress of the United States with his continued presence.
10.5.2006 3:18pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
I don't see that Kerr was drawing any "analogy." More like Newts in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
10.5.2006 3:24pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
First, I don't believe for a minute that Foley would be in any less trouble if he went trolling for female pages. Unless and until his defenders on this thread find a Congressman who is getting away with that, they should can this argument.

The much more interesting question is why do we treat Foley so much more seriously than Studds and Crane. (Yeah, spare me the stories about how only Crane nobly lost his re-election campaign; that isn't a valid distinction.) I think there are a number of reasons for this.

Adult-teen sex has been opposed from both sides of the moral spectrum, the conservatives because of their opposition to the increasing licentiousness of American society, but also the liberals who are attuned to the power-difference in this type of relationship. It's the liberals, for example, who are drafting college campus dating codes for faculty and graduate students. I suppose to a large, but unacknowledged, degree this arises from the Catholic Church sex scandals, which mostly involved true pedophiles but which slopped over onto ephebophiles whose victims often, also, seemed to have suffered greatly.

But Foley and those who defend him along this lines have the problem of the impersonality and scabrousness of his communications. Studds and even Crane seemed to be in some sort of romantic or at least friendly relationship with the teen. Foley, sending out his advances to any boy he thinks might reciprocate, looks like a dirty old man after any piece of ass he can get. His predecessors may have been just the same, but they didn't leave the archived evidence that shows it.
10.5.2006 3:24pm
Houston Lawyer:
If Bill Clinton wasn't a sexual predator, he wouldn't have been defending a sexual harrassment law suit. If not for the Paula Jones suit, he wouldn't have been testifying and his relationship with Monica wouldn't have been confirmed. Also, he wouldn't have been put in a position of having to deny the relationship under oath. We knew Clinton was a horny old goat when we elected him.

It now appears that ABC news knew that the page in question was 18 when Foley made his move on him. Yet we were all under the impression that the page was a minor. The FBI has been brought in although it appears that Foley was at most trying to exercise his right to commit sodomy.

Clearly the only solution is to have Ken Starr hired to conduct an investigation into the sex lives of all of the members of Congress.
10.5.2006 3:25pm
Mongoose388:
Didn't a Chicago Dem. Congressman go to jail for having sexual affair with 16 year old campaign staffer?
10.5.2006 3:34pm
Enoch:
We knew Clinton was a horny old goat when we elected him.

Third youngest President in history! =D
10.5.2006 3:36pm
Lawstsoul:
1. Go to GoogleWikipedia
2. Type "Studds" and "censure" in the search box;
3. Read (moving lips optional);
4. Return and bloviate to your heart's content.
10.5.2006 3:54pm
JosephSlater (mail):
What DJR said about the solo blog.
10.5.2006 3:56pm
LAS (mail) (www):
'Congress has legislated against sexual harassment via Title VII.'

Notwithstanding the issue with harassing a minor, the Speaker should have handled this like employers handle sexual harassment complaints (Faragher Ellerth).

Hmm? Considering the Justice Dept.'s investigation with regard to criminal charges, is the Speaker immune from a civil suit brought by a parent of Foley's victim(s)? Appears to be a winner for any plaintiff attorney.
10.5.2006 4:03pm
Enoch:
the Speaker should have handled this like employers handle sexual harassment complaints (Faragher Ellerth).

Hastert does not employ Foley.

How would the senior partner in a law firm typically respond if one of the other partners were accused of a Foley-like transgression?
10.5.2006 4:10pm
Mark Field (mail):

It now appears that ABC news knew that the page in question was 18 when Foley made his move on him.


Not according to Raw Story.
10.5.2006 4:22pm
LAS (mail) (www):
'Hastert does not employ Foley.'

Yes, I agree, but he's the person at the top, the CEO. The Speaker has a duty to report the incident. He says he reported this incident; it should have been investigated and resolved. The Speaker or the designee responsible for 'handling' sexual harassment complaints would have an affirmative defense, if this incident had been handled appropriately like employers handle sexual harassment complaints.

What happened in this incident with regard to how it was handled, has happened to many employers, but employers don't get the media attention. Somebody dropped the ball and now the Speaker finds himself without an affirmative defense.
10.5.2006 4:54pm
Toby:

How would the senior partner in a law firm typically respond if one of the other partners were accused of a Foley-like transgression?

Uhmm - ask if his date had a friend?
10.5.2006 4:55pm
OrinKerr:
Some very strange comments here, folks.

To clarify, I wasn't suggesting that there was anything inappropriate with a 50-something man having a relationship with a 30-something woman. Nor was I suggesting that what Gingrich did was in any way equivalent to what Foley did. I have no idea where you are getting the idea that I suggested this; I didn't.

My suggestion is that it is odd for New Gingrich to call his political opponents hypocrites on questions of sexual morality given his own record of hypocrisy on questions of sexual morality.
10.5.2006 4:58pm
SeaLawyer:
Orin,
When you call someone a hypocrite, you are saying their actions are equivalent. At least that is the way I read it.
10.5.2006 5:11pm
OrinKerr:
SeaLawyer,

You're being silly, or else you don't understand what the word hypocrite means. The comparison obviously is with Gingrich and "the Democrats," *not* with Foley. And it makes no sense to say that someone isn't inconsistent because they're inconsistent about different things than other peoiple are inconsistent about.
10.5.2006 5:17pm
footballfan1:
I love how the Studds issue arises when GOPers talk about Foley. As a point of historical reference, I agree it is relevant, but it's not relevant in the manner that some GOPers have been using it--as a GOTCHA ploy.

Just admit that the leadership was negligent--perhaps criminally--in not pursuing leads on this issue. The problem with Republicans is that they have become so arrogant over the last 12 years, they honestly believe they can attack their way out of this issue.

Fire staffers that knew about Foley's conduct, expell members that had knowledge of the conduct and did nothing to stop it, and the party will be credible on this issue.

Arguments that the other party was guilty of the same conduct 23 years ago ring a little hollow, especially when talking about a sitting member of Congress making inappropriate and sexually explicit solicitations to a minor. Just accept the fact that Congress, unfortunately like the rest of the world, houses some people on both sides of the aisle who hide reprehensible conduct. Foley's gone, the staff and members who covered it up should be put out to pasture, and the Congress should move on.

The GOP botched it's response, and revealed a leadership which is much more concerned about party control and loyalty than the integrity of the Congress. Could it happen to the Dems if they were in power? Absolutely. But in this case, it's the GOP. Their response has been despicable, and frankly, they deserve what's coming in the next 5 weeks.
10.5.2006 5:21pm
Tom952 (mail):
As a Dem, Foley could have a) come out gay, thus aligning himself with a group b) gone into rehab, while c) his lawyer shifted the focus by repeating as often as possible to the media that Foley did not have sexual contact with any underage person d) repent and let the voters decide, and e) blame the voters for being narrow-minded hicks if he lost the election.

The Republicans are too stiff to go along with this level of politics.
10.5.2006 5:43pm
A.S.:
Just admit that the leadership was negligent--perhaps criminally--in not pursuing leads on this issue.

Can you tell us what law was perhaps broken by the leadership?
10.5.2006 5:45pm
SeaLawyer:
Orin,
Newt was not claiming that either himself or the Republican party are perfect, but they are much more consistent on taking action when someone from their own party does something like this.


He told the crowd of 300 at a hotel that Democratic sex scandals have been far worse and Democrats have wanted to punish their offenders far less.

"What we don't have to do is allow our friends on the left to lecture us on morality," Gingrich said. "There's a certain stench of hypocrisy."
10.5.2006 5:52pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
I say Orin, JoelB and Anderson hit the dinger.

I'd add, the point isn't that 30 is too young to have sex, but that having extramarital affairs with people decades younger than you makes you look, well, not socially conservative. It suggests sex was the reason, and that he allowed himself to exploit the power of his position. It suggests "stench of hypocricy" is probably a phrase he should leave out of his vocabulary. Blech.
10.5.2006 5:55pm
SeaLawyer:
I also want to make it clear that I do not condone Newt cheating on his wife.
10.5.2006 5:56pm
Hans Gruber:
"My suggestion is that it is odd for New Gingrich to call his political opponents hypocrites on questions of sexual morality given his own record of hypocrisy on questions of sexual morality."

It was a long time ago, did Newt criticize Clinton about sexual morality, or did he criticize him about perjury and obstruction of justice? Have you really fallen for the Dem talking point that Clinton was impeached because of a blow job?
10.5.2006 5:56pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
"What we don't have to do is allow our friends on the left to lecture us on morality."

And what's that about? So he's really saying Republicans are the only ones qualified to lecture on morality? What a cretin.
10.5.2006 5:59pm
A.S.:
So, Orin's point is that only non-hypocrites are permitted to point out others' hypocrisy?
10.5.2006 5:59pm
SeaLawyer:
Marcus1,
There are rumors that Newt was actually seeing her before she was a Congressional staffer and got her the job. Which in my view makes it worse, if those rumors are true.
10.5.2006 6:00pm
Randy R. (mail):
Nope. Gingrinch often remarked on how much more moral the GOP is than the Dems, in matters both sexual and otherwise. That was pretty much the premise for throwing out the Dems.

Also, if we want to talk about hypocracy, one of the first things the GOP was going to do once it got all houses was to pass a balanced budget amendment. Guess that hasn't gotten very far!
10.5.2006 6:07pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
A.S.,

If you're known for hypocrisy on an issue, you should tone down your rhetoric on issues related to that hypocrisy, particularly in asserting your own moral supperiority.
10.5.2006 6:08pm
non_Lawyer:
People keep saying that the response to this issue would be different/the same if Foley had been soliciting females instead of males. So, I have a question to throw out there:

What would be the response if this were a female member of congress who had been getting nasty in the IMs with female pages? With male pages?

Would the press/dem/repub reactions be any different?
Would YOUR reactions be any different?
If so, why? If not, why not?

Just curious. (Okay, that was more than one question.)
10.5.2006 6:09pm
Randy R. (mail):
Some snide comments have been made here that Foley should align himself with a gay group, or announce he's gay, and then assume everything is fine.

It wouldn't. Sorry to disappoint, but all the gay groups have denounced Foley's actions. All gay activists and so on are united that we are against the solicitation of sex for anyone underage, and against sexual harassment in the workplace. This has nothing to do with homosexuality. He can claim he's gay as much as he wants to (and now he has, in fact, though he denied it during his terms), but he will not and has not gotten a 'pass' from anyone.

That pretty much should be what you expect of all gay groups. Or is there something more we should do?
10.5.2006 6:10pm
OrinKerr:
A.S.,

Tone it down, please. I realize that you enjoy being hyperpartisan, and that it's fun to be absurd behind the veil of anonymity. But your uncharitable readings of everything anyone says that happen to be unflattering to a Republican are really becoming tiresome.
10.5.2006 6:10pm
lucia (mail) (www):
A.S.
I assumed Orin's point was: It's oddly funny when known hypocrites complain about hypocrisy!
10.5.2006 6:13pm
Enoch:
he's the person at the top, the CEO.

I don't even agree he has a CEO-like relationship to the other members of Congress.

it is odd for New Gingrich to call his political opponents hypocrites on questions of sexual morality given his own record of hypocrisy on questions of sexual morality.

Newt does not have political opponents. He is not in office and is not running for office.

The GOP botched it's response, and revealed a leadership which is much more concerned about party control and loyalty than the integrity of the Congress.

The GOP did not botch its response. Foley resigned and other Republicans universally condemn his actions. What more can one want?

I'd add, the point isn't that 30 is too young to have sex, but that having extramarital affairs with people decades younger than you makes you look, well, not socially conservative.

There is NO age at which the woman you're having an affair with makes you look socially conservative! Having affairs at all, with anyone of any age, is not socially conservative.

Sex can be the reason for an affair with an older woman, and a decades older man can have an affair with a much younger woman with the full intent of forming a life-long relationship (his life, not hers, anyway). In short, the relative ages of the man and the woman involved says nothing about intent.
10.5.2006 6:16pm
SeaLawyer:
Randy,

Some snide comments have been made here that Foley should align himself with a gay group, or announce he's gay, and then assume everything is fine.


I agree that would not work. It seems to me that most gay groups are not very supportive of openly gay Republicans.
10.5.2006 6:18pm
Randy R. (mail):
That's true, although there is the Log Cabin Republicans, but they have been marginilized by this administration to the point of total ineffectiveness.

Hey, I just read that the LA Times outed Kirk Fordham. So it turns out he's gay. I bet Ken Mehlman, head of the RNC, is getting pretty nervous. No wonder he's kept a pretty low profile this past week! He'll be next, I'm sure.

I wonder how the religious right will take it when they find out so many gay people are running the GOP. I mean, truly, the halls of congress are the cruisiest place in Washington, and the best kept secret.
10.5.2006 6:23pm
RTB (www):

1. Go to GoogleWikipedia
2. Type "Studds" and "censure" in the search box;
3. Read (moving lips optional);
4. Return and bloviate to your heart's content.


Done. Now go and do the same thing in Nexis for July 1983. You'll learn that D controlled ethics committee voted for "reprimand," which is the lightest punishment. Speaker O'Neill urged the House to adopt it. Minority Leader Michel won a vote on his suggestion to upgrade to the censure. Studds voted "present" on his censure. Three dems voted against both his and Crane's censure. Studds ignored the rebuke and went on to reelections 5 more times.

That's what happens when a Dem has actual sex with an underage page. Contrast that to the Foley situation, in which a Repub exhanged x-rated IM's, and is so shamed by it he resigns his office, and the right wing pounds the table for the Speaker's head for not finding out about it sooner.

The hypocracy is obvious.

And it seems silly to have to point this out, because I assumed the the VC had an educated readership, but Newt's comment cannot possibly be interpreted to mean that either he or conservatives have a monopoly on moral judgment, as so many of you seem to assume. His comment - that we don't need to be lectured by liberals on morals - merely posits the truism that they are hardly the ones who should be throwing stones. It doesn't mean, and cannot be interpreted to mean, that Newt specifically or conservatives generally are free to - because, as Orin and so many others have pointed out, neither party has a monoply on immoral behavior.
10.5.2006 6:27pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Sometimes it seems like VC readers, (i.e., "We"), will argue about anything. An intelligent 8 year old can tell you what hypocrisy is, and that to accuse a group of being sexually immoral while cheating on your wife with a staff member is hypocrisy. Why in the world does that proposition have to set off Flame World War III?
10.5.2006 6:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
Furthermore, the congress is a far different make-up that it was in 1983. Sheesh -- that was over 20 years ago! You would think that no scandals of the sort in 20+ years is cause for celebration. Let's play this game, and see how far back we can go!

What is obvious here is that there was a scandal, Foley did the right thing and resign. Hastest and the rest of the GOP continues to take any blame for their complicity in the matter. Like the catholic bishops, they are holding fast, hoping this will blow away. But it won't, and so their apologists have to search back 20 years to find something, anything, to tar the Dems with.

Tar all you like, but it doesn't change the facts of today -- Hastest knew about Foley's problems with pages and did nothing to protect the pages. I don't care whether this is hypocracy or not, or whether the Dems *would* have done something as bad, or whatever.

Let's keep the focus on where it should be -- today.
10.5.2006 7:04pm
gab (mail):
Tom952 said:



The Republicans are too stiff to go along with this level of politics.



You said a mouthful there Tom.
10.5.2006 7:23pm
byomtov (mail):
His comment - that we don't need to be lectured by liberals on morals - merely posits the truism that they are hardly the ones who should be throwing stones. It doesn't mean, and cannot be interpreted to mean, that Newt specifically or conservatives generally are free to

I'll take your comment seriously when conservatives actually stop lecturing everyone on morality. When do you think that will happen?

The comments on this post are pathetic. It seems there is absolutely nothing a Republican can do that wouldn't be met by denial or "a Democrat did something similar sometime, so it's OK," from some people.
10.5.2006 7:37pm
Mark Field (mail):

That's what happens when a Dem has actual sex with an underage page. Contrast that to the Foley situation, in which a Repub exhanged x-rated IM's, and is so shamed by it he resigns his office, and the right wing pounds the table for the Speaker's head for not finding out about it sooner.


You left out some pretty significant facts here:

1. Foley's behavior has been known for quite a while, yet the House leadership never convened an Ethics Committee hearing. In fact, the House Leadership deliberately concealed the information from the Dems.

2. Even taking Hastert at his word that he first heard about this only 11 months ago, he didn't investigate. It would be hard to censure someone if you don't try.

The whole comparison to Studds and Crane is a dodge. Foley is not the scandal. The scandal is the failure of the Republican leadership. That, and their ever-changing stories about their failure.


The GOP did not botch its response. Foley resigned and other Republicans universally condemn his actions. What more can one want?


See above. But by all means continue to react this way for the next 5 weeks.
10.5.2006 7:44pm
Randy R. (mail):
Tom: [gays] prey on adolescent males, possibly influencing the youth's sexual orientation so that as adults they might themselves prey on adolescent males...

But I suppose if I were to call conservatives nasty names and whatnot, I would be considered an 'angry gay activist."
10.5.2006 8:05pm
PeterH:

The GOP did not botch its response. Foley resigned and other Republicans universally condemn his actions. What more can one want?


That's only what they did when the situation became irreparably public. The "botched" part really comes during the period when they knew that this was going on (or had very real reasons to question whether it was going on) and allowed it to continue without taking any action to stop it.

It becomes very hard to conclude that they give a damn about the behavior, or about protecting the pages, or about "Internet predators" or whatever, and not just about the damage control.

What more can one want? How about maybe actually doing what they are trumpeting that they are doing? Why pass laws so other people get arrested for what you are overlooking in your own membership?

Where is the high moral ground in waiting until you get caught to fix what you then admit was wrong?
10.5.2006 8:08pm
PersonFromPorlock:

Bob from Ohio: What is your opinion of the ethics of former governor McCreevy (spelling?) of New Jersey who had sex with his male lover while his wife was in the hospital after giving birth?

Er... sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?

Sorry! Sorry! I'm going to go wash my brain out now.
10.5.2006 8:11pm
Kazinski:
If it turns out that some Democratic Congressman, staffer, or 'operative', had the IM's or knew about them for a number of months but kept them in reserve for the right political moment, is that part of the cover-up scandal?
10.5.2006 8:52pm
randal (mail):
PERSONALLY, I think if Foley had been going after female pages in the same ways, the scandal probably would have been WORSE.

1. People tend to assume that guys, even young guys, are able to take care of themselves, especially sexually, and inspire far less sympathy. (For example, we separate female prisoners from male ones, yet have almost zero sympathy for male prisoners who are raped.) I haven't seen anyone express any genuine concern for the actual pages Foley targetted, instead it's all a generic "protect the pages" talking point. If they had been girls, the scandal would have had this additional, what-about-poor-Jane-and-Sally dimension.

2. Although the gay angle is a fascinating twist, it softens the scandal overall for the reason other commentors have mentioned (homophobiaphobia).

3. It also makes it easier to believe that Foley is just one bad apple. If Foley were one of the hundereds of straight guys in the House, people would be more apt to imagine him being just the tip of the iceberg.

Tom's retarded.
10.5.2006 8:55pm
Adam K:
If this scandal teaches us anything, it's that mainstream political discourse in this country has devolved to nothing more than steering any debate to the relative severity of one's own actions as compared to the actions of some member of the opposition party, which (1) presupposes a strict binary view of politics, (2) completely prevents any sort of discussion of any issue on the merits, and (3) serves to keep the two dominant political parties firmly entrenched.

Seriously, when the argument is "zomg teh democrats are hypocrites" versus "zomg no teh republicans are bigger hypocrites," it completely ignores the individual merits of this specific case and just lets each party pander to and motivate its unwavering, base supporters. Nothing is accomplished.
10.5.2006 9:02pm
Asinine Off Topic Conversations (mail):
So back to the legal question -- is it legal to offer a minor a place to stay for the night in exchange for a blow job?
10.5.2006 10:23pm
FoolsMate:
Dear Orin Kerr
The Gary Studds and Mark Foley page sex incidents are clearly similar and relevant here. Comparing the actions of the respective perpetrators, and that of their political parties as well, Newt's statements are objectively true.

The End.
10.5.2006 10:30pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
An intelligent 8 year old can tell you what hypocrisy is, and that to accuse a group of being sexually immoral while cheating on your wife with a staff member is hypocrisy.

The same 8 year old can tell you that tying a person down and pouring water over his face so he feels like he's drowning is torturing that person, and yet, VC readers can't agree on that, either.

As Groucho Marx said, "Now, somebody go find me a child of nine." Too bad the Constitution requires the President be at least 35.
10.5.2006 11:09pm
OrinKerr:
Dear FoolsMate:

You are absolutely right that the sentence, "There's a certain stench of hypocrisy," is completely true. Thanks for the tip.
10.5.2006 11:11pm
Cornellian (mail):
Homosexuals "prey on adolescent males, possibly influencing the youth's sexual orientation"

Whereas adolescent girls never get any attention from straight guys. It's not as if the Beatles, The Who and Led Zeppelin would ever write songs about sexually active teenage girls or anything like that.
10.5.2006 11:47pm
Cornellian (mail):
"What we don't have to do is allow our friends on the left to lecture us on morality," Gingrich said. "There's a certain stench of hypocrisy."

Absolutely, they should instead be lectured about morality by the hypocrites of the right, like Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Bennett.
10.5.2006 11:49pm
Cornellian (mail):
The GOP did not botch its response. Foley resigned and other Republicans universally condemn his actions. What more can one want?


Umm, how about universally condemning his actions BEFORE the story hits the newspapers?
10.5.2006 11:51pm
Cornellian (mail):
That's what happens when a Dem has actual sex with an underage page. Contrast that to the Foley situation, in which a Repub exhanged x-rated IM's, and is so shamed by it he resigns his office, and the right wing pounds the table for the Speaker's head for not finding out about it sooner.

The hypocracy is obvious.


I see, so Nancy Pelosi is a hypocrite for something that happened in Congress 23 years ago, before she was even elected to Congress, because she belongs to the same political party that had a majority in the House at that time? If that the standard then every single member of the House, regardless of political party, is a hypocrite.

Anyway, Republican whining about hypocracy isn't going to get them anywhere. If the best defense of the Foley situation they can come up with is something that happened 23 years ago they're in for some serious pain in November.
10.5.2006 11:56pm
Lev:
Re: Hoosier 10.5.2006 1:33pm

Too many words. Fewer will do:


Well *I* object to Newt having sex. What an awful image to have in one's brain.

Please! Let's not speak of this again!


Re: Enoch:


cheating on your 50-year-old wife with a 25-year-old woman suggests motives that are different than when the cheating is with someone more your wife's age.

No, I don't buy this at all.


Yeah it does. SEX. And more of it than with a woman the age of the 50 year old wife, and with less sass and backtalk.

Gingrich on morality - He remains a rotting albatross around the neck of the Republicans. He should go crawl back under his rock and stay there.
10.6.2006 12:27am
Lior:
Hastert does not employ Foley (the people of the United States do) and there fore does not carry managerial reponsibility for his actions. Hastert did employ the page, however (while not directly in charge of the page program, the speaker is the general manager of the House). Hastert (and the United States) might conceivably therefore be held responsible for exposing the page to inappropriate work conditions.

[IANAL]
10.6.2006 1:37am
Tom952 (mail):
Randy R
My original post that attracted some comments (10.5.2006 12:42) was in response to the statement "because of the problem Americans have with homosexuality…"

The Foley matter encapsulates many elements of this issue.

Foley demonstrated a strong compulsion to pursue adolescent male pages despite the risk of great personal loss he subjected himself to. He approached multiple pages over many years demonstrating the serial nature of the crime. In the end, he blamed his sick behavior on being molested by an adult gay man while he was an adolescent male, acknowledging the tragic long term harmful effects of gay adult -- adolescent male molestation incidents.

The usual vitriolic response toward anyone who raises this issue will not advance gay rights and acceptance of gays into mainstream America. There is strong evidence that a) gay men are more likely than heterosexual men to molest (e.g. Washington Times published summary of priest incidents), and b) that the harm done by these incidents is major, long lasting and irremediable. Americans have a rational fear of the perceived threat to the safety and welfare of their offspring posed by gay men in certain situations. Branding them as stupid or narrow minded is wrong, and it is a lazy way to avoid confronting the underlying issue. Those who wish to advance gay rights would best serve the issue by addressing this problem rationally, gathering information, and taking a political stance that is consistent with the facts and respectful of the concerns of their fellow Americans.
10.6.2006 10:24am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
I don't know what I think about the Republicans being responsible for this, but there is a certain difference from 23 years ago just based on the hooplah in the Catholic church. There's definitely a sense that, by now, you really ought to know better.

Really, though, there could be a lot of reasons why society's reaction to the Studds thing 23 years ago may have been a lot different than its reaction to Foley. I doubt it was just the Democrats.
10.6.2006 10:53am
Randy R. (mail):
Tom: Americans have a rational fear of the perceived threat to the safety and welfare of their offspring posed by gay men in certain situations."

really? Then why the snide comments? Americans may have that fear, but it's hardly rational. It is made up by people, such as the Washington Times, which continually bashes gay people, and others, such as the Family Research Council and the Focus on the Family. The Times regularly publishes their quotes and so-called research, and that research is regularly dismissed by peer reviewed publications. It's unreliable because it comes from biased sources.

According to FBI states, the vast majority of people who pose a threat to the offspring of parents are heterosexual men. Don't believe me? When was the last time a gay man abducted a boy? Seems that the Amber Alerts I've always seen had to do with men abducting little girls. But whatever, that's anecdotal evidence. When it comes to molestation of children, however, yes of course, some gay men do it. But the vast majority do not. And the most of it is done by heteros. Additionally, the majority of members of SNAP, the survivors network of people abused by catholic priests, are women. And SNAP has been very vocal in stating that it's not the gay priests they are worried about, it's the pedophilia priests that worry then.

And just to throw this in: the vast majority of gay men, like myself, have never been molested in youth, nor have molested others. But of course, you probably wouldn't believe anything a gay person says about himself, right?

Please learn the difference. There are gay people, and there are staight people, most of whom are good decent people who don't harm anyone. Then there are people who have a sickness, and it's called pedolphilia. Those people need to stay away from children. There are ways to identify characteristics of pedophiles, but the layman might have diffficulty doing so in all cases.

So be fearful all you want, but simply painting all gays as lusting after young boys is not only utter BS, but that is truly the lazy way to think.
10.6.2006 12:21pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Well, I have been known to "lust after" 16-year-old girls, so I would be a little surprised if gay men didn't lust after 16-year-old boys.

Of course, being 37, married, and not an idiot or a monster, I keep my lustful thoughts to myself, and do not send lustful e-mails or IM's to any teenagers.

As the great majority of straight and gay men manage to do as well.
10.6.2006 12:54pm
Randy R. (mail):
Well, true, Anderson. I speak of actions, which matter, not of thoughts, which don't. And in our society, we fetishize youthful images in many ways that appeal to both men and women, gay and straight, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

The point is that most people are decent respectable people. But religious right doesn't want you to think so -- they gain a lot by keeping everyone fearful of people who are different in any way.
10.6.2006 1:01pm
A.S.:
A.S.,

Tone it down, please. I realize that you enjoy being hyperpartisan, and that it's fun to be absurd behind the veil of anonymity. But your uncharitable readings of everything anyone says that happen to be unflattering to a Republican are really becoming tiresome.


I'm at a loss to determine what I wrote above that Orin is so upset about.

I shall assume that lucia (5:13 pm above) accurately describes Orins point: "I assumed Orin's point was: It's oddly funny when known hypocrites complain about hypocrisy!" Is that an incorrect assumption? I'm not sure (indeed, if lucia is correct, then I didn't understand Orin's point when I made my initial post regarding Rep. Studds). But let's say it is - at least that seems to be the tenor of the thread.

My point was: was should that be "oddly funny"? Orin's argument was a classic tu quoque argument. But as the linked article points out, its a fallacy. And I don't find anything odd, or oddly funny, about an argument that is a fallacy.

Now, of course, Gingrich himself is engaging in a tu quoque argument. Which is why I don't find Gingrich's statement interesting or relevant. But I'm not the one who posted it.

Furthermore, I find it funny that Orin calls me hyperpartisan, when my position on the Foley matter is diametrically opposed to the Republican position. (I don't actually think that there was anything wrong with what Foley did, since the page was over the age of consent.) But I guess if having a position that is opposed by the entire Republican party, including Foley himself (who obviously thought what he did was wrong, since he resigned), makes me a hyperpartisan in Orin's eyes, so be it.
10.6.2006 1:54pm
NickM (mail) (www):
There is one Republican who clearly attempted to cover up for Foley - that's Kirk Fordham (formerly Foley's Chief of Staff), who attempted to get reporter Brian Ross to sit on the lewd IMs in return for an exclusive on Foley's resignation. Fordham has now resigned. I see no members of Congress who engaged in coverup. I expect that there were other staffers who know of Foley's improper advances, but they have not yet been publicly identified, and may well escape detection altogether.

Hastert was informed of email exchanges that made a former page uncomfortable and referred the matter to the head of the Page Board, who later told him that everything had been taken care of. Reynolds was informed of those same email exchanges and (as far as I can tell from the stories) told that everything had been taken care of.

Shimkus appears to have screwed up, but not covered up. He met with Foley, was given an innocent explanation by Foley, and told him not to contact that former page any further. By all accounts, Foley stopped contacting that boy. Should he have brought the matter to the attention of the Page Board? In hindsight, it appears so, but hindsight is 20-20.

The screwup here appears to be of a sort that people have overlooked - it's hard to sit in oversight or judgment of your friends and colleagues - you have a natural tendency to believe the best about them and to accept their defenses at face value.

There is also a culture on Capitol Hill where staffers do not "snitch" on their own bosses or on other members (at least not within their party). This has built up for decades within both parties. Good luck breaking it down.

In response to the points about a man cheating with a woman a generation younger versus his own age, a politician carrying on an affair with a woman his own age of high social standing is not seen as predatory (Rudy Giuliani is a strong example here). That makes it different in the minds of a significant portion of the public who cares far more about abuse of power than about sexual morality. [There's also a large segment that would give a politician a pass under the "I'd have done it too" theory if the woman is especially famous and attractive - think JFK and Marilyn Monroe, or the Clinton-Sharon Stone rumors.]

Nick
10.6.2006 2:28pm
Lawstsoul:
"Done. Now go and do the same thing in Nexis for July 1983."

You went into Nexis just to find those irrelevancies? Do you pay for the subscription yourself, or did you waste someone else's nickel?
____________________________

"And it seems silly to have to point this out, because I assumed the the VC had an educated readership,..."

OUCH! I'd sure hate to meet up with you down at the courthouse.
10.6.2006 3:12pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Ah, Randy R., I see my comment fell into the "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" trap. I actually had some of your opponents in mind.
10.6.2006 3:21pm
lucia (mail) (www):
AS:
For the record, I find Newt's grandstanding oddly funny. I also find it oddly funny the press pays attention and reports his grandstanding. As to your question: Should that be oddly funny? I don't know. You may not find it funny and aren't required too. Still, I don't see why I shouldn't find it funny. Is there shame in laughing at irony?
10.6.2006 3:36pm
eddiehaskel (mail):
The real "elephant" in the room that no one seems to talk enough about is that Foley engaged in conduct for which he specifically (and in perhaps a non-conservative manner) enacted federal laws to proscribe. Is it that difficult to get. This is not brain surgery. Whether he actually had "sex" is irrelevant given his own standards for soliciting sex on the internet.

So when a "conservative" party that has unabashedly campaigned on, with and claimed the mantel of, morality and the "christianity" of the basis for this nation tries to brush aside one of their own's conduct, the level of hypocrisy is indeed difficult to stomach. William Bennet pontificating on morals when he has gambling problem (oh I guess he gets a pass since its just a disease), but not all of those other people who can't be as moral since they don't write books about how others should behave. And Mr. Gingrich should not be talking about the dissolution of families, when he himself seems incapable of sustaining his own.
10.6.2006 3:37pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Oh... also, Orin's comment wasn't a tu quoque argument.

Tu quoque is this:

1 A makes criticism P.
2 A is also guilty of P.
3 Therefore, P is dismissed.

Gingrich may be making that argument but I don't see how Orin's post includes the idea: "P is dismissed". I think his point 3 would be "Let's laugh at A!"
10.6.2006 3:52pm
A.S.:
Could be, lucia. I thought Orin was making a substantive comment about Gringrich's argument "stench of hypocrisy". Which was why I said that pointing out Gingrich's hypocrisy said nothing about the Democrats' hypocrisy.

But if the purpose of the post wasn't to substantively address Gingrich's argument, but rather was just to "laugh at" Gingrich, then I suppose it makes sense. It would also be disappointing, since we don't usually see posts here whose sole point is to make fun of someone.
10.6.2006 4:18pm
Randy R. (mail):
After the dust settled in the pedolphilia case in the catholic church, it became clear that the real problem was the church bishops and hierarchy that ignored the problems and just reshuffled the offending priests around. The public rightly put the blame on the priests first, but mostly upon the bishops who knew about the behavior and did nothing. The church holds itself up as a moral institution, but its support cracked when people found out that maintaining power was more important than any morals.

The parallels are striking with the Foley case. So what did the catholic church do? They let the bishops off, they blamed 'homosexuals in our midst' for their problems, and they now have a policy that bans any gay person, or even questioning person, from being a priest.

My fear is that the Republicans, even more concerned about holding on to power than the church, will do the same thing. In the end, they will blame the 'homosexuals' for the whole thing, and vow that no gay person will ever serve in the GOP ever again, either as an elected official, or as a high level operative, like Ken Mehlman. The church still hasn't recovered from the scandal -- is this the fate of the GOP?

Any one else have a prediction?
10.6.2006 4:46pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Could be, lucia. I thought Orin was making a substantive comment about Gringrich's argument "stench of hypocrisy".

I strongly suspect Orin was making a substantive comment: Gingrich's comment has a stench of hypocrisy.

I also think Orin communicated this indirectly, permitting us to make the inference. Of course, I could be wrong.

Which was why I said that pointing out Gingrich's hypocrisy said nothing about the Democrats' hypocrisy.


Yeah, so? Are all of Orin's posts required to comment negatively on the Democrats?

But if the purpose of the post wasn't to substantively address Gingrich's argument, but rather was just to "laugh at" Gingrich, then I suppose it makes sense. It would also be disappointing, since we don't usually see posts here whose sole point is to make fun of someone.


I'm sure making fun of Newt wasn't Orin's the sole point; I doubt it was his major point.

I'm suggesting he may have intended to point out the irony in Newt's behavior. I have reason to suspect Orin is intelligent enough to know many people find irony funny. So yes, I suspect him of poking a bit of fun at Newt.

Still, Orin, like you, may abhor the idea anyone would ever make fun anyone, anywhere at anytime. He may be horrified I think he would never stoop to making fun of powerful political figure whose words are published in widely circulated newspapers. In that case, I apologize to Orin and will be happy to modify my "proof" that he didn't commit a tu quoque by suggesting his "point 3" translates to: "A is a hypocrite". (I had suggested he might mean: "Let's laugh at A". )

In that case, Orin is cleared of your accusation of tu-quoque and we can all agree he is a much nicer, kinder, gentler more circumspect person than I who would be inclined to say "Let's laugh at A"!

As to being disappointed by humor: I enjoy the fairly frequent funny posts at VC. I laughed when I read EV's short post on the use of the term "aging". I chuckled at J. Adler's comment about reconsidering owning cats. Ilya's post about how to get name your paper to have it downloaded is hilarious.

Others may be disappointed by the occasional humor, but I'm not!
10.6.2006 5:52pm
Lawstsoul:
Looks like Newt has some serious competition.

www.sltrib.com/ci_4451609
10.6.2006 9:35pm
Randy R. (mail):

The Republicans keep trying to blame everyone but themselves in the whole Foley mess. Many keep repeating this baloney that the pages themselves are to blame for egging Foley on.

Is anyone really buying this? I think it would hurt them even more, by appearing to fail to take it like a man, so to speak.
10.7.2006 12:18am
Greg L. (mail):
Sounds to me like high-stakes gossip. Haha.
10.9.2006 4:06am
farmer56 (mail):
Let us look.

Senator leave the scene of an accident that results in the DEATH of a young girl. Action? None

Representative is running a whore house out of his apartment. = action nothing

Representative is convicted of having phyisical sex with a page. Action...=nothing

President of the United States has admitted to sex with a 19 year old intern, action= nothing (just impeacment)

Presidendent Clinton uses executive parodon to release a congressman convicted of having sex with a 17 year old.

This of the top of my head

So?

Is there a double standard? Dirty notes v. actual sex. Hum???
10.9.2006 1:28pm