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Monday, October 09, 2006

Foley Scandal About Power, not Sex

A friend of mine used to work with victims and perpetrators of sexual assault. He used to tell stories about the disgusting incidents he would hear about. The one thing he would always say about these assaults was that they were about power of the perpetrator over the victim, not about sex.

That is true of the Foley scandal as well.

This isn't about the salacious communications of a 54 year old with underage pages, this is about the House leadership that covered it up. And for what? To maintain their power.

The Republicans have been trying to equate the Foley scandal with Gerry Studds a Democratic Congressman who was involved in a page sex scandal in 1983. They consistently fail to mention that this scandal also involved a Republican Congressman Dan Crane. Both were censured by Congress, neither were forced out by their parties. Studds was re-elected and Crane was not. (Studds also received the much mis-attributed standing ovation from his constituents not Democratic members of Congress, as has been parroted by Republicans.) Republicans are decrying the Democrats because they didn't dump Studds when they themselves didn't dump Crane.

Should Studds have been forced out of Congress? Hell yes! His constituents for some reason seemed to have a high opinion of him, however.

Now, to my point. I'm an independent. Yes, I am working (and working hard) to elect Jim Webb to the Senate and I hope that the Democrats can take control of both houses of Congress. However, and this probably won't win me any friends on the Democratic side but, the Studds and Foley incidents are both examples of what the real problem in Washington is.

Power corrupts.

The Democrats were wildly corrupt by the time the Republicans took control in 1994. Several decades in power led them to think they were untouchable and could do as they pleased. The Republicans reached this point in a much shorter time period. But the point is this: If one party controls the levers of power for too long they will become corrupt and do what is necessary to cover up that corruption in the name of perpetuating their power.

So, in 1994, the Congress probably did need to be wrested from the Democrats. In 2006, Congress definitely must be wrested from the Republicans. In another 12, 10, or 4 years perhaps the Congress will need to be again overtaken by the Republicans.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
In other words, extended entrenchment of the status quo is not good for our Democracy. Or, to put it another way, the tree of Congress must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of incumbents.

It is time for a change.

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Comments on "Foley Scandal About Power, not Sex"


Anonymous Tim Webster said ... (1:46 PM) : 

Don't expect Alberto Gonzales to sit on the sidelines as Republicans go down to defeat. He'll come up with some timely scandal to distract voters from the Foley/Hastert coverup.


Blogger Robb said ... (7:45 PM) : 

I'm not saying I disagree with you about a planned distraction, but why Gonzales?


Blogger Tim Webster said ... (9:11 AM) : 

As Attorney General, he can investigate and prosecute at will. See Dept. of Justice Organizational Chart at:


Blogger Robb said ... (9:15 AM) : 


I understand the function of the Attorney General.

I was just wondering why you singled out him vs all the other potential conspirators.

It just seemed a little non-sequitury.


Anonymous tim webster said ... (12:42 PM) : 

I "honored" Gonzales because he has impressed me with his total lack of moral compunction and ignorance of law - more than most others, who seem to act mostly out of political expediency. His view of the Geneva Convention as "quaint" is very telling and boiled my blood!


Blogger Robb said ... (1:52 PM) : 

Can't argue with that.


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