Focus, People

So the stupid’s especially crispy today.


Between Drudge saying the kids led Foley on, and Hastert saying it’s all a plot to make America lose Survivor: 9/11 and Foley saying he was abused by a priest and he’s in rehab, it’s remarkably easy to get distracted into arguing minutiae with concern trolls or the press equivalent of the same (see Beinart, Peter).


So let’s talk first of all about what this scandal’s not about. It’s not about Teh Ghey; I could give a fuck what Foley likes to screw so long as he/she/it’s of legal age and consents. Had Foley held a press conference and pulled a McGreevey, sure, I would have chuckled about the Party of Gays Are Gonna Git Yer Kids being full of closeted gays, but aside from its amusement value it wouldn’t have been cause for much notice.

The scandal’s also not about Foley, not in any meaningful way. The revelation that he was molested by a priest … that’s awful. But, and pardon my bluntness, that doesn’t exempt Foley from the consequences of his own actions. There is no “get out of jail free” card for this kind of stuff, I don’t care what happened to you when you were younger. Clergy abuse ruined hundreds of lives. That’s not an all-access pass to hand that ruin down to another generation. Reasons and excuses are not the same things. The kids Foley messed around with don’t know shit aobut his clergy abuse, they just know they were messed with, and they deserve justice, which is a completely separate issue from what happened to Foley and what he may or may not deserve.


Which is all a smokescreen anyway, because the scandal is and has always been about Hastert and the abuse of power inherent in protecting somebody you know to be skeevy around kids. Somebody’s molesting a kid, you don’t send a memo, you bring down the wrath of God, and even the halfbright Bush voters get this, which is why Hastert’s shitting bricks.

(Media aside: a sex scandal is like a weather story: news orgs push weather stories because you don’t actaully need to know anything about anything to have an opinion on the weather. Sex, same deal, everybody understands how it works no matter if they have a PhD or never finished high school. It’s relatable, to everybody, everywhere. Tab A into slot B or C is something everybody gets and can talk about at the hair salon.)


This scandal is also not, not really, about political gain. Other than demanding investigations, I haven’t really seen anybody, not evenJohn Laesch who could use some of your money, make a whole lot of needless hay out of this. It’s too soon: the thing broke on Friday, we hardly know what this is yet. So far, all I’ve really seen is Democrats doing what Republicans should have done, which is ask why a guy who’s into underage kids in his employ doesn’t raise eyebrows on Capitol Hill. Again, with this: was it difficult to keep track of them all? The level of forgetfulness displayed on this subject would shock the corpse of Ronald Reagan.


So before we get all wrapped up in the stupid, arguing about who did what to who and for how many cookies, let’s take a deep breath and realize what this is about. They knew he was screwing with kids and they did nothing. Ain’t nothing Foley or Hastert can say that’ll change that.

They knew he was screwing with kids and they did nothing.


That’s all. That’s it.


A.

8 thoughts on “Focus, People

  1. “Which is all a smokescreen anyway, because the scandal is and has always been about Hastert and the abuse of power inherent in protecting somebody you know to be skeevy around kids. Somebody’s molesting a kid, you don’t send a memo, you bring down the wrath of God, and even the halfbright Bush voters get this, which is why Hastert’s shitting bricks.”
    What I been sayin’. The Republican party shouldn’t get a pass on “bad apples” when it protects and/or enables them.

  2. that segment on the not-keith Countdown was on the money- you can tell how deep in shit they are by the aggressiveness of their response.
    It’s full th’o-down hive mind/talking points/message disicpline ‘ time.

  3. Actually I’d say the focus should be this… According to what used to be Knight Ridder’s Washington Bureau, not only did Tenent, Black and Clarke brief Rice in early July warning of an impending al Qaeda attack, they also briefed Rumsfeld and Ashcroft with the same information.
    All three have claimed they either weren’t briefed, or that they can’t remember being briefed, but the State Department has confirmed that the briefings took place.
    These briefings were also laid out for the 9/11 commission, but didn’t make the final report. (And the principal author of the 9/11 report was, and is now a high-level aid to Rice).
    So… they were warned about attacks, and yet they did nothing. After the attack they lied and claimed they weren’t warned, then tried to cover up the proof that they had been warned.
    Some congressman spanking it while i/ming with a 16 year old, while creepy and disgusting and probably criminal, is a side-show. And I don’t mean that because the Foley issue and it’s cover up is small, but because the failure of the bush administration to protect the american people is so friggin’ big…

  4. A) Abused or not, he’s 53. He’s responsible for his own actions, has been since he became an adult.
    B) Was he abused? First he said it was the alcohol that did it. Now, conveniently, it’s a priest 40 years ago. Imagine using that excuse even 3 years ago. Now you can say it, and everyone just says, “oh, yeah, that happened a lot.” Well, maybe not quite that much. What’ll the next excuse be? Internet porn?
    C) Back to A). He’s an adult. He’s responsible for his actions. He gets no free pass, and no excuse that allows him to walk away from responsibility. He doesn’t have to be vilified, but let’s admit anybody caught in this is gonna give off more than a few “reasons” why it’s not his fault, before finally accepting that it is his fault.

  5. So the stupid’s especially crispy today.
    <ahem&rt;
    I resent that.
    —CrispyShot

  6. (that should be:
    <ahem>
    — perhaps it’s the Crispy that’s especially stupid…)

  7. I agree with the Anonymous above. One mistake by the Repubs is bad but forgiveable – we all make mistakes. We all misread the cues. We all take 11 items into the 10 item express lane.
    What is overwhelming is the constant bombardment of revelations of where the administration was briefed and they did nothing while making pronouncements of their infallibility. They didn’t listen and yet they still insisted that they are doing such a great job.
    To add to the list:
    *) Intelligence doubts about WMDs; Colin Powell before the UN giving irrefutable evidence.
    *) “Brownie, you’re doing one heck of a job”; Superdome? What Superdome?
    *) We’re winnin the war; death squads and civil war
    *) We’re fighting terrorism; North Korea claims to have the nuke (assuming it works).
    *) No Child Left Behind; School board in Texas city is found guilty of fudgin the numbers
    *) Protecting our children; Congressman who led the way is making suggestive IMs to underage boys
    *) Clean our own house; house leadership knew of the problem for at least 5 years and did nuthin.
    Making the list is too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

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