With all that has happened to the Republican party over the past couple weeks – torture bill, Mark Foley and the fallout in the House, etc – what is your take? It seems to me that there is some major corruption and hypocrisy going on, especially when you actually listen to what’s coming out of their mouths (Wallis and Campolo have good blogs on this). And too many Republicans are looking the other way (since they have the power) and not confronting evil (though some are). Are you going to ride this ship til it reaches the shore or sinks? Being apologetic for them? Are you Republican idealistically and therefore able to renounce their behavior?
I'll just go ahead and say right off the bad that I'm not riding any ships and will not be apologetic for any unethical, or illegal behavior. Mark Foley (presumably under pressure from the GOP) resigned immediately upon the news breaking. This seems to be a point that has been lost but that the Republican party should get some credit for. It may seem a little childlike, and overly reactive, to immediately want to pull out the Clinton-Lewinsky card, but I think the contrast between how each situation was handled by the political parties are quite telling. This would be illegal, while Clinton's contact with Lewinsky wasn't. But both are equally unethical. In one case, the guilty party resigned immediately. In another, the guilty party refused to accept responsibility for his actions and fought against consequences tooth and nail.
If the facts come out that Foley had a sexual relationship with a minor, and that was known by House leadership, then anyone who knew about it and didn't report it should resign (and be prosecuted.) This includes the Republican AND Democratic leadership. It appears that Foley's indiscretions were suspected for a while by many. If the Republicans suppressed the information and didn't do anything about it, they were wrong and should pay for the possible damage that could have been done to other minors. But the same goes for the Democratic leadership. If they knew abou this months ago (and it appears they did) then they are just as morally repugnant for waiting a month before the elections to say anything about it. If this is the case, then both parties put minor's at risk and should be held accountable.
I think if the torture bill and Foley scandal has done anything, it's proven that the Republican party is NOT the party of people who remain loyal at all costs. Bush's wanting to rewrite the Geneva Convention was not stopped by just some random moderate Republicans, but by three prominent conservative Republicans. Bush is supporting Hastert, but you can rest assured that if it comes out that he knew about specific illegal behavior and did nothing about it, it will be the Religious Right who is the first who speaks out against it. I can say all sorts of ill about that wing of my party, but one thing I cannot question is their consistency.
The ironic thing about all this, is that I think it might actually save the Republican majority in the House. I think the reason Hastert took responsibility, but didn't resign, is to keep the Foley story in the news. It's advantageous to have Americans interested in a sexual pervert. Why? Because that sexual pervert has resigned and is being investigated by the FBI and no one believes the Republicans support him. So while people are thinking about him, what are they not thinking about? The hundreds of people dying in Iraq every week. Before this story broke, CNN was giving me an hour-by-hour count of people dying. Now all I'm hearing is about whether or not a resigned congressman made a 17 year old page "a little horny."
Oh, and the Dow Jones is up and gas prices down.
In other news, did anyone catch the Texas Governor's debate last night? It was simply unbearable. Even the candidate I'll be voting for, Kinky Friedman, sounded like a broken record. Hats off to the journalists who conducted the debate. There was a round where they asked the candidates questions about their Texas knowledge. Chris Bell was given the biggest, slowest softball of the night..."When was the battle of the Alamo?" It appeared he didn't know the answer and didn't really answer but rather sort of asked, "Uh, 1836?" Congratulations, you paid attention in 7th grade social studies. Friedman was asked what tuition was at UT, something that no one except a student and parent would know, and answered a like a seasoned politian..."Yeah, it's too high." Perry was asked the hardest question, which was what the avery mortgage rate is. He guessed 5.9 to 6 percent. The answer is 6.3 percent. Not bad. Carol Keeton Strayhorn was asked who the newly elected president of Mexico was, and couldn't answer it. Good luck, grandma.
Alright, back to my non-political, warm-fuzzy life.