Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is there anything a Democrat can’t do?

From the Washington Post. This article has a lot of good information and shows very clearly that for Republicans, a sex scandal means the end of a political career. But, for Democrats, even having a homosexual affair with an underage boy does not prevent you from getting reelected.

The Redder They Are, The Harder They FallRepublicans More Damaged by Scandals

Washington Post, Tuesday, October 3, 2006; C01

Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives.
The latest example: Mark Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, who abruptly became an ex-congressman from Florida last week amid revelations that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys who were serving as House pages.
Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured. With a Republican at the center of the seamy scandal, however, it was almost a slam-dunk that Foley would have to quit.
That's how it usually turns out for members of the conservative, traditional-family-values party. Just ask Bob Livingston, Jack Ryan, Bob Packwood, Dan Crane or others in the GOP who've watched their careers go pffft! with salacious disclosures. Or ask Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank and other Democrats who've withstood embarrassing revelations to govern another day. Consider, for example:
Packwood, from Oregon, resigned his Senate seat in 1995 amid repeated allegations that he had sexually harassed women. A few years earlier, Rep. Jim Bates, a Democrat from the San Diego area, faced similar allegations by two female staffers. Bates refused to resign and won reelection (he eventually lost his seat to Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who ran into his own ethics problems last year, and resigned after being convicted of bribery).
In 1998, Livingston won the Republican Party's blessing to succeed Newt Gingrich as speaker of the House. But Livingston, of Louisiana, never served a day in the job. He was sunk by revelations that he'd had an extramarital affair, a disclosure that carried the additional baggage of hypocrisy since, at the time, Livingston was leading the Republican impeachment of President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, of course, ultimately survived impeachment.
Rep. Thomas Evans (R-Del.) was voted out of office in 1982 after he publicly regretted his "association" with a lobbyist named Paula Parkinson, who later posed for Playboy; Evans and two other Republican House members (including one named Dan Quayle) had shared a Florida cottage with Parkinson on a junket. Contrast this to the reaction to allegations of an affair between Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) and Tai Collins, a former Miss Virginia. Robb claimed that Collins had only given him a back rub in a hotel room. Robb won reelection three years later.
The clearest illustration may be in the divergent outcomes of the cases against Crane (R) and Studds (D) in 1983. Both men were censured by the House for having sex with underage congressional pages -- Crane with a 17-year-old girl in 1980, Studds with a 17-year-old boy in 1973. Crane, of Illinois, apologized for his actions, while Studds, who declared he was gay, refused. Crane lost his reelection bid the next year; Studds, of Massachusetts, kept winning his seat until he retired in 1996.
A double standard? And if so, by whom?
"The reality is that Democrats seem to get away with more," says Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the Hotline, a daily political journal...
Todd thinks he knows who's to blame for this: "It's the media, to be honest…”
He cites the case of Jack Ryan, the Illinois Republican whose bid for the Senate was derailed in 2004 when his wife, actress Jeri Ryan, alleged in divorce papers that he had taken her to sex clubs and had asked her to engage in sexual activity in front of other patrons. "What's amazing is that his candidacy hit the wall not because he had sex, but because he was thinking about having sex," says Todd.
But it's tough to blame the media when it's the electorate that determines who stays and who goes.
In Studds's case, he happened to represent a liberal (and apparently quite forgiving) district, while Crane came from a conservative rural district. Ditto with Barney Frank, who was reelected in his liberal Massachusetts district after it was revealed that he hired a male prostitute in 1985 to work in his District apartment, and the young man used the apartment to run a prostitution service. Clinton, meanwhile, was elected president twice, which may have had something to do with his ability to survive the storm over alleged extramarital affairs…
There are exceptions, of course. A few Democrats have lost their jobs as a result of scandals. Wayne Hays, a Democrat from Ohio, resigned his House seat in 1976 after the disclosure of his affair with Elizabeth Ray, the curvaceous blonde who "worked" in Hays's office despite no evident secretarial skills. Gary Hart, who famously dared reporters to follow him around to prove he was squeaky clean, blew up as a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 after reporters found him leaving a Capitol Hill townhouse after spending the night with a woman not his wife. And Gary Condit, a conservative Democrat from Modesto, Calif., lost his seat in 2002 following saturation coverage of his relationship with murdered intern Chandra Levy.
It's also true that Wilbur Mills, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the 1970s, lost his chairmanship after cavorting in the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxe, "the Argentine Firecracker."
What's forgotten, however, is that Mills won reelection after his Tidal Basin romp; he was stripped of his chairmanship only after he appeared on a stage in Boston with Foxe, apparently drunk. House Democrats demanded his resignation, and got it.

So Congressmen, want to have an extramarital affair? Then you better make sure you are a Democrat, so you can still get reelected.

Believe me, I am not, and will not defend Foley. But, Studds actually had an affair with an underage boy and got reelected, and Frank hired a male prostitute and the prostitute used his District office to run a brothel, and he got reelected too?


Blogger Rogue Mariner said...

I think it's probably because Republicans make such a show when Dems do something bad. When THEY get caught with their pants down, it just seems so hypocritical. Some of Clinton's loudest critics during the Lewinsky deal were later found out to have been involved in adulterous affairs and other scandals. Nobody in Washington is clean. My personal fave on Foley is 3 years ago he denounced a teen nudist camp...I think his real protest was that he never got an invite. Did anyone catch today's reason for his actions? So far we've got:
Personality disorder
He's gay
Abused by priest

My guesses for the next reason:
Mommy didn't love me
Tainted bagged spinach
One time, at band camp.....

Thu Oct 05, 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Bobkatt said...

Publius-check out the latest "liberal" antics of the open borders students at Columbia University. So much for free speech.

Fri Oct 06, 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Oncorhynchus Mykiss said...

I agree with RM. He states one of the reasons I started hating Republicans. Don’t get me wrong, I hate liberals as well (often just as much or more, depending on my annoyance with celebrity liberals) but the pathetic attempts at moral vanity and superiority are what originally turned me away from Republican politicians. A guy got a blowjob in the oval office? That is despicable and disrespectful. But guess what: no one died.

All politicians are crooked and starved for attention and/or power, regardless of party. Nearly the exact same reaction would've occurred if the molester had been a Democrat, only the Repub's would be saying "See! They have never had any moral fortitude!" instead of the Dem's that are now saying "See! So much for their so-called moral fortitude!"

The fact that this guy is a potential child-molester is horrible, but it ain’t a result of his party affiliation, just like being a liberal had no effect on Clinton getting a BJ from a young intern.

Fri Oct 06, 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Rogue, you might be right. There is more hypocrisy when Republicans do these things, but that still should not excuse Democrats. Unless Democrats are the anything goes party where morality is a non-issue, then they should be held to the same standards.
My Kiss, true, there are a lot about both to dislike. And no Clinton never did kill anyone, but I would have rather he killed Osama though…
But, I don’t think he is a child molester, there has been nothing that I have read that said he actually did do anything with a page, only send them some IM messages while drunk and while at work. But, Studds did have a homosexual affair with an underage page, and he did get reelected.

Fri Oct 06, 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

Ok, stop conflating pedophilia and sex with teenagers. At best, Studds was guilty of what we refer to as "statutory rape," not child molestation. And yeah, it is creepy.

But you are right about one thing: the issue is hypocrisy. Not only did Foley send inappropriate and obscene messages, but there is substantial evidence that the leadership knew about it and wanted to keep the lid on it, for political gain.

So Fox labels Foley a "Democrat" and calls it a "mistake." Gingrich (hilariously) suggests (again on Fox) that they kept the lid on it because they would be accused of "gay-bashing" (not a problem for the GOP, me thinks). And it goes on and on and on.

So what do conservatives resort to? Pointing out events that took place over 20 years ago.

The American people won't swallow this, sorry. The GOP majority is history in November.

it is the cover up that kills you.

Sat Oct 07, 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Spotz said...

Say, wasn't "Jeff Gannon" a male prostitute with many, many visits to the White House, while providing softball questions to dear Scott McClelan?
And since we're strolling down memory lane, why not bring up Kennedy?
I'm not quite sure what you want, Pub. Frank and Studds were re-elected by their constituents. I don't really remember the case, but I doubt their actions were known about for years while being covered up and ignored. So what exactly do you want, Pub?
Your "point" that Democrats are all out trolling for sex with underage boys and get a free pass, while Republicans are victims is just another shallow, moronic arguement trotted out by a wannabe shill.

And Mariner is right. I thought Repubs were the party of personal responsibility. Personally, I don't advocate sex with anyone underage, nor have I knowingly voted for anyone who does. I am personlly sickened by anyone who preys on children, regardless of party affiliation. Calling each other hypocrites does nothing to address the real issue.

As far as I can tell, nothing is stopping Foley from running at a future date- legally anyway - so the good people of Palm Beach can re-elect him. Of course it would be after being born again in rehab, getting married, yadda yadda yadda. That's up to them.

But what about all the other Republicans who knew about Foley and the e-mails and did nothing? No right-wing finger-wagging over that, Pub? Nope. Just lots of allegations that it's all Democrats fault. Perhaps you should be asking "Is there anything Republicans won't do?"

Sun Oct 08, 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Ok Alec, at least you agree that what Studds did was creepy, but I think it depends on state law as to whether it is statutory rape or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. I think in Virginia, under 14 is statutory, between 14 and 16 is only contributing to the delinquency of a minor if the parent or minor presses charges, and 16 and 17 is contributing to the delinquency of a minor of the minor consents. I leave that to you to find out.
Like I said, I am against what Foley did, and I am against those who might have covered up what Foley did as well. They should have made him resign the moment he admitted to what he did. Now if he did not admit wrongdoing, and it was mere “rumor” then they should have investigated further. Obviously he did act inappropriately, so they should have been able to find something out if ABC was able to so easily. Although considering how far back this goes, and with the suggestion that people have known about this for some time, I DO question why it came out so close to an election.

But, my point is this: I think we all admit that what Foley did was wrong. I also think that evidence had shown that sex with an underage page is something that has happened before. I also think that there have been other occurrences where politicians have had inappropriate affairs, either heterosexual or homosexual, and yet it is Republicans who get removed from office and don’t get reelected. My question, is how you can justify reelecting someone like Studds or Frank? They all should have been removed from office and not reelected. BUT, it was not Republican voters who then voted these people back into office. So the question remains, is there anything a Democrat can’t do and Democratic voters will not reelect him?

Mon Oct 09, 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Spotz, what Foley did was wrong, if Republican leadership knowingly covered up what he did, that is wrong too. No, I don’t think Democrats are out “trolling for sex with underage boys,” nor do I consider Foley the victim here. But someone who breaks the law like Foley, Studds, Frank, or Crane did, should be removed from office, and I don’t understand how anyone could vote for them again.
The point of the article was that in the case of Studds and Frank, they engaged in illegal sexual activity, and yet were reelected. If that is not enough to not be removed from office and to not be reelected, than what does a Democratic politician have to do for Democrats not to vote for him?

Mon Oct 09, 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

Not at all.

First, MA is not the rest of America. Sex issues do not appear to animate Bay State voters. And frankly, if we are talking about consensual sex (which was the case for Studds) then, creepiness aside, policy just might matter more if you are faced with the prospect of choosing between a sleazy democrat and a radical right winger.

But we are not talking about Massachusetts or the preferences of those democratic voters. Republican voters in Michigan would not send David Duke to Congress, just as Democratic voters in Michigan would not have returned Studds to Congress. You want to take two examples and generalize. That is just not the case.

But frankly, no one would blame republicans if the matter was simply about the sexual advances. They cannot control Foley. But the GOP has been plagued by allegations of corruption for some time now, and a cover up in this area just serves to show what a swamp the Republican leadership is running. The fact that Republicans are pointing fingers at other Republicans, that some have suggested the Democrats were somehow responsible, is just absurd. The conservative noise machine cannot shout out something of this magnitude.

Even your post is a diversion. You want to point to incidents that took place over twenty years ago, and blame the character of Democrats generally. But did the democratic leadership attempt to hide the truth for political gain? No. Did the Republicans? Maybe. And now they have to answer for it.

For a movement that is obsessed with personal responsibility, the conservative approach to this issue reeks of hypocrisy. The refrain is so familiar it is comic: A conservative says, "I want Foley and those who knew to be held accountable, BUT we cannot forget that the Democrats, gays, liberals and the media are also responsible." What? Huh? Did I miss something? A Republican congressman has a hard on for teenage boys and there is evidence the House leadership covered it up, and OTHERS are to blame?

Spin, spin, spin.

Mon Oct 09, 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

When did I say Democrats, gays, liberals, or the media were to blame for Foley’s actions or for any possible cover up? But, in the case of Studds it was still sex with a minor because the page was under the age of 18.
What I am saying is that Republicans and Democrats both do a lot of creepy things, including Crane for having sex with an underage female page. What I am also saying, is that the timing of this is very convenient.
Also, I don’t think conservatives believe in personal responsibility, they believe in government control. Conservatives want more censorship of what can be on your TV and radio. Conservatives don’t want legalized prostitution. Conservatives don’t want legalized drugs. Conservatives want the government to be able to tell a woman if she can or can not have an abortion. Real social conservatives, like myself, don’t want less government, they want more.

Mon Oct 09, 10:55:00 PM  

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