Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Matter Of Trust...

So, President Bush continues to campaign and fundraise, telling Americans that they should not trust the Democrats with the security of the nation.

Meanwhile, Republicans cannot be trusted to defend the security of minors in their own corridors:

Maybe Americans shouldn't trust the "liberal media" to present the truth to them, either? Well, perhaps those that can't trust Democrats and can't trust the media will trust the members of their own party who are calling for the resignation of Dennis Hastert:
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: If anybody participated in a cover-up, whether it was a member or whether it was a staffer or whether it was somebody who was holding e-mails, that individual needs to resign immediately.

REP. BRIAN BILBRAY (R), CALIFORNIA: It's just like when someone of the cloth or a teacher violates the trust, a congressman violating his trust is an outrage.

BAY BUCHANAN (Conservative Analyst): I think the speaker will be gone by the end of the day.... I mean, he can't sustain this now. There are Republicans already talking on the Hill, talking amongst themselves, what they should do. Many of them do believe he should step down.... I think this kind of revelation tells them he has to go. He has to go now. And I think the speaker himself will realize that.

RICHARD VIGUERIE (Conservative Icon): This isn’t an isolated situation. It is only the most recent example of Republican House leaders doing whatever it takes to hold onto power. If it means spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars on questionable projects, they’ll do it. If it means covering up the most despicable actions of a colleague, they’ll do it.... They’ve lost their moral rudder.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES editorial: House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.

How about Dennis Hastert himself? According to CQ, Hastert has now stated that "...he would resign as the top congressional leader if it would help the Republican Party stave off defeat in November."
Keep in mind that this is a small group of 70 or 80 kids whose parents have trusted Congress to keep them safe during their time in Washington. If they can't be trusted to keep these kids safe, how is it that Americans are supposed to trust Republicans with the security of 300 million Americans?

Who Do YOU Trust?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:33 AM /


  • Blogger Targuman posted at 6:08 PM  
    OK, FP, did you see Studio60 this past Monday? Good show imho, Matthew Perry has found his niche. His character, when challenged that he is too scared to take on Bush and Republicans in his sketches (MP's character is a writer for an SNL-type show) replies "I would write if the Democrats would say (do?) something!"

    We discussed this in a faculty round table today; how was it that Gingrich, with Clinton in office, with nothing too bad going on and the economy on the upswing, was able to engineer such a decisive change in voting habits BUT the Dems, with everything that is going on to put the Republicans in a bad way just cannot get it done? Someone said that George Will recently said (second hand, i have not found it) if the Dems cannot win this fall then they need to find a new line of work.

    Seriously, what is wrong with Dems that they cannot change the tide?

  • Blogger Targuman posted at 6:13 PM  
    Might I add this comic to illustrate my point? ;-)

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 9:16 PM  
    Perhaps you are too young to remember the previous scandals, but I certainly remember the news.

    If we look back at the 1983 scandal, and compare that scandal to the one today, the differences are perhaps more striking than the similarities.

    In 1983 the scandal actually involved SEX. There were two congressmen charged in 1983, and both were censured by the Democratically controlled House. Newt Gingrich called for the expulsion of both, however neither were thrown out, and only one lost his subsequent re-election campaign. In 1983 the scandal was truly bi-partisan. One congressman was a Republican, and the other, a Democrat. Only the Republicans expressed displeasure at the action.

    In 1983 the Republican, who was charged with having sex with a female page, responded (according to a recent ABC story) by apologizing for his actions, and is quoted as saying "I only hope my wife and children will forgive me."

    On the other hand, in 1983, the Democrat, charged with having relations with a member of the same gender (that would make it homosexual relations) chose instead to not only claim that it was alright since it was consensual (albeit with a 17 y.o. minor), but according to the ABC story went on to fight back against the House, charging " that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy." He then went on to win re-election after re-election, until retiring in 1996.

    How about that. When it was actual sex involved, and when it came time for action, the Republicans (like now) were the most outspoken against the actions.

    Interesting for those with an eye towards history is that in the current situation, a situation that involved no (at this time) documented physical contact, the member of Congress has been forced to resign and the Speaker of the House is being pressured to resign as well. In 1983, the House only censured the two members. Apparently the Democratic Congress found, at least in 1983, that actual sex is not that bad a thing to have with minors.

    Have the Democrats truly changed their spots? Do they now see these actions as bad, or do they only taste blood in the water?

    Fleshy, let me ask you: Dig deep in your soul, and tell me, if this were 1983, would you be supporting Gingrich and his call for expulsion, or Gerry Studds and his defense of privacy against the house Committee?

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 12:26 AM  
    CB - I'm right with you.... Studio 60 is the best new show of the season!!!

    As for the Dems, who says they're not going to get it done? Have you seen the polls recently? I can easily point to polls that say we'll be taking control of both houses of Congress come November.

    True - there's 30 days left for things to go in the opposite direction, but I'm going to continue to put my efforts into activism for now, and then worry about defeatism after the fact.

    I'm not sure where you stand politically, but I'm a Dem... and so I try to focus on how "WE" can get it done... not how "they" can't seem to get it done.... we're all in it together, if the system is working right, that is.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 12:35 AM  
    Prof - you certainly seem to like leaving comments about age - from the way it sounds sometimes, you must be as old as dirt. :)

    And yet, for someone who claims the maturity of past history, your defense comes across as that of a 3-year old.... "they did it... whay can't he?"

    How about joining us and living in the here and now? Regardless of the actions of the past, does that mean that we should simply ignore this truly offensive story and let it slip by with no consequence, because it may have happened before in the past?

    Remember - Foley wasn't "pressured" or "forced" to resign by Democrats... his colleagues were the ones applying the pressure.

    The quotes I cited were not made by Dems asking Hastert to resign.... they were made by members of the Republican party.

    So, you've got to ask yourself... is it Dems smelling blood in the water, or is it Republicans realizing that they're bleeding, and making an attempt to cauterize the wounds?

    The question I asked was simple... who do you trust?

    I can't control the past... I can only take a stake in controlling the future. For as often as you cite the past, maybe you'd like to join me?

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 12:58 AM  
    Ahh, a 3 year old? Good retort, I suppose...

    Perhaps you missed the part where I wrote that it was the Republicans in 1983 that were calling for the expulsion of the two members from Congress, and it is the Republicans again that are doing it.

    I suppose, if you were to ask me "who I trust" it has to be the Republicans. They have consistently said that this sort of behavior is wrong, and have consistently called for punishment of "the evil doers." In fact, the Republican district kicked their Congressman out in 1983. The democratic district kept their pedophile another 13 years.

    So I have responded to your simple question. I trust those that have consistently held a tough line against such behavior.

    Now my question remains unanswered. With whom would you have sided in 1983? Gingrich? Or the Dems on Congress that only censured these two men?

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 1:06 AM  

    Your response to CB seems to miss the point. You write "who says they're not going to get it done?"

    I infer, from your focus on the elections, that the "it" to which you refer is winning elections. I must admit "you" might actually win this round. That's not the "it" I am concerned about.

    I want to know exactly what the Dems will do to get the "it" of governing done. What is their plan to wrap things up correctly in Iraq (since they say we are doing it wrong now.) What is their plan for moving forward in health care, tax reform, leaving money in the hands of the people earning it, and so forth.

    The Dems agenda has been that Bush is Evil, Bush must Go, and The War is Wrong.

    Where's the message of action? What can I expect a Democratic Congress to do that is productive?


    As Larry the Cable Guy says...

    Git Er Done!

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 11:30 AM  
    I don't think I misread or misinterpreted what CB was asking, though I'm sure that CB can be the ultimate judge. He made reference to Gingrich's ability to "engineer such a decisive change in voting habits....", which was the basis for my response.

    Indeed, we can have the discussion about the Democratic plan on ALL of the issues you mention, though I believe it falls on deaf ears - because Republicans are too busy defending themselves with the "Dems have no plan" attack to actually admit that there ARE plans in place for much more effective government than what we've seen in the last several years.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 11:41 AM  
    Prof - you mention that you trust the Republicans. You state that they're allegedly the only ones to call for punishment in these cases.

    Honestly, I think there are MANY issues where you and I could "agree to disagree" and just state that it's a difference in philosophy or political beliefs. I find it staggering, however, that you would choose this issue to champion.

    Indeed, in many ways, you and I are probably saying the same thing. If you, as a Republican, are in favor of punishing those who committed these crimes, then why are you defending the actions of Republicans who were aiding Foley by covering up his actions? Should they not be held accountable, as well?

    Again, I will point out that it's Republicans who are calling for the resignation of Hastert. So, what's your issue, if your point is that Republicans are allegedly consistent on this?

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 12:58 PM  
    Okay. One more time, more clearly.

    What Foley did was wrong.

    Republicans today are the ones calling for change. They did that in 1983.

    Democrats, when in power, only slap wrists, and in 1983 it actually involved sexual/physical misconduct. Tip O'Neill's preference was to stop the Page program not remove the Congressmen.

    When asked which party I can trust, I trust the party that removes the offenders and not punish the victims.

    Can you agree that it has been the Republicans that, in both cases, have ultimately called for, and executed, decisive action (including the voters that removed the Republican congressman in 1983?)

    You ask: "So, what's your issue, if your point is that Republicans are allegedly consistent on this?"

    My point simnply is this: you stated that we can't trust the security of minors to the Republicans. I am pointing out that they were the party you could trust in 1983, and (as your numerous quotes point out) are the party we can still trust. As a body, Republicans remove the offender. When given the chance in 1983, as a body, Democrats slapped wrists.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 3:12 PM  
    And so, accoridng to that same logic, you have no problem removing Hastert and Boehner, along with anyone else who covered this problem up and aided Foley - their immediate resignation is the least action that should be taken... correct?

  • Blogger Targuman posted at 4:35 PM  
    FP, you said, "As for the Dems, who says they're not going to get it done?" Oh "they" might, but they didn't in the last presidential and congressional races. That is all I meant. And why is Santorum still so close as he is?

    And you also said, "I'm not sure where you stand politically, but I'm a Dem... and so I try to focus on how "WE" can get it done... not how "they" can't seem to get it done.... we're all in it together, if the system is working right, that is."

    I say "they" because I try and evaluate each candidate and race on its own merits. I also try and do the same with each party, but I am not completely comfortable with either party, depending upon who I am told "truly represents the Dems or the Reps." Speaking of...I just got my license in the Commonwealth and therefore am now registered to vote. So I will miss the LA politics but it looks like PA can give it a run for the money!

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 6:18 PM  
    CB - Why they couldn't get it done in 2004 is a great question. I think John Kerry's lackluster Presidential campaign was a large part of it. In addition, I don't think the public opinion had swung against the Bush Administration in Iraq as clearly as it has in the following two years, and ultimately, I think a lot of Republicans found themselves re-elected to Congress on the strength of Bush versus Kerry.

    That clearly isn't going to happen this year, as Republican candidates flee from Bush and their voting records.

    As for Santorum, there's a three-to-one advantage that Santorum has in terms of cash right now, though I don't know what Casey is waiting for in spending the money that he has. I have seen LOTS of VERY malicious negative ads run by Santorum thus far, while very few, positive or negative, run by Casey.

    If Casey doesn't win, he'll have no one to blame but himself.

    I'm sure you'll find PA politics entertaining (particularly in the next 30 days - though State College doesn't get quite as much attention as Philly and Pittsburgh), although I'm not sure if we'll be able to live up to some of the more illustrious campaigns of LA.

  • Blogger Francis W. Porretto posted at 6:59 PM  
    I don't trust partisans...such as yourself.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 12:13 AM  
    Fran -

    The question was "who DO you trust?"... it's far easier to babble on endlessly about who one does NOT trust. To commit one's trust TO something or someone... well, that's an entirely different story.

    I never asked you to trust me. But after viewing your website, I wear your distrust as a badge of honor.

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 11:00 AM  
    PF wrote:
    " And so, accoridng to that same logic, you have no problem removing Hastert and Boehner, along with anyone else who covered this problem up and aided Foley - their immediate resignation is the least action that should be taken... correct?"

    That is correct, with one caveat. I will support their removal if it is shown that they knew about the more explicit IMs (and emails, if they exist) and then chose to cover-up or ignore those. As it stands, they apparently only knew of the "overly friendly" and perhaps "weird" emails.

    If I understand the story correctly (and feel free to share links to MSM stories that have more information) Hastert was aware of the initial emails only.

    Any chance you will answer my question, since I answered yours? As you recall, I asked "With whom would you have sided in 1983? Gingrich? Or the Dems on (sic) Congress that only censured these two men?"

    And more importantly, can Penn State bury the Gophers today at 12?

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 12:18 AM  
    Oh, blah blah blah. Why is it that all the Republican apoligists can say is, "Well, you did it too, back then. So it's okay, 'cause you did it too. You did! Not it!" As the fine Fleshpresser has stated, this is now. So now, it's time for the Repubs to SUCK IT UP and accept that they really really really fucked up. They lied, and they covered up, and they cared more about politics than about the safety of 16-year-old boys. You can't argue your way out of this one. This is not an academic argument. We're talking about children and exploitation. Why is this so hard to understand? Enough with the esoteric arguments. Foley was wrong, the Republican leadership knew it, and they tried to cover it up. 1983 doesn't make a bit of difference unless you're writing a book. So stop trying to be right. You're wrong. You lose. Take it and learn from it.

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 12:36 AM  
    Seth--I have to wonder if perhaps you cannot read. Where did I say that, since the Democrats let the congressmen get away with a slap on the wrists that it should somehow be acceptable for Foley to do what he did?

    My point was to simply answer Fleshy's question: Whom do YOU trust? I trust the party (the Republicans) that in 1983 said the actions of the Congressmen was wrong, and according to all the quotes Fleshy lists here, continue to say the action was wrong.

    NOTE: Foley is gone. Gerry Studds remained until 1996.

    In 1983 the Congressmen admitted to having sex--physical contact with MINORS. Republicans said that was wrong then. They say it is wrong now.

    I trust REPUBLICANS to protect minors. They always have. They always will.

    I am not sure I can make it more plain than that.

    Want to actually hear my comments? Go visit my newest incarnation of the blog at

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 12:13 AM  
    "I trust REPUBLICANS to protect minors. They always have. They always will."

    Really? So when REPUBLICANS see an email from a 52-year-old man to a 16-year-old boy saying that the boy's 16-year-old friend has a really nice body and do nothing about said email other than be concerned about how they might affect the REPUBLICAN majority in the U.S. Congress they're protecting minors? I would consider such an email to be a bit disturbing, or at the least a bit odd and worth a little bit more investigation. You?

    Come on. Yes, I can read, thanks for asking. And yes, Foley is gone. Now. But the issue here is that the REPUBLICAN leadership in the U.S. Congress knew for years that he was targeting minors in an inappropriate way and did nothing about it.

    By the way, numerous devout REPUBLICANS have come out quite strongly against the REPUBLICAN leadership of Congress, including Bay Buchanan, Chris Shays, Tom Kean Jr., and the Moonie Washington Times.

    This isn't about Democrats or Republicans. It's about taking inappropriate behavior seriously enough to do something about it. Now. Not in 1983.

    This time, the REPUBLICANS didn't.

    The more you argue about it, the more blindly partisan you sound. I've read enough of your comments here at PTF to know you're not stupid. So why are you so gung-ho to make this okay?

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 11:49 AM  
    Seth, you write "So why are you so gung-ho to make this okay?"

    So I have to ask--what is it that you think I am trying to make "okay?"

    I am just pushing back against the notion that somehow we can trust the Democrats MORE on this issue. Even your most recent post is about how certain Republicans apparently sat on some information, and other Republicans have come out strongly opposing not only Foley's actions, but anyone who may have covered it up (and despite the protestations, I have yet to hear anything substantive about covering up actual, legally actionable, activity.)

    So let's tally it up:

    What I believe is "not okay":

    * Congressmen having sex with Minors
    * Congressmen being left in office after having sex with minors
    * Congressmen soliciting sex with minors via any means, including the internet
    * Congressional leaders covering up evidence of sex/solicitation
    * Congressional leaders slapping the wrist of sex offenders (see first bullet) but allowing them to remain in Congress

    What I believe is "Okay"
    * expressing concern when faced with "weird" but not actionable emails
    * stepping down when "weird" becomes "illegal"
    * being removed when it is proven that one knew about potentially illegal activities, and covered it up

    So--what did YOU think I was trying to make "okay?"

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