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The Moral Aspects of Foley’s Failings

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:59 pm - October 4, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Given how great a job Bruce has been doing in his posts on the Foley kerfuffle, I had thought I would leave this story to him. Yet, when I heard today that the ex-Congressman had entered “rehab for alcohol abuse and mental illness,” I almost blew a gasket.

Look, if he has a problem–and obviously he does–he should seek treatment. And to be sure, as he brings up the “trauma he sustained as a young adolescent” from the sexual abuse he suffered, at least his lawyer claims that “He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct.

But, now that he entered rehab, it seems to follow the pattern of the typical tabloid scandal. Celebrity has problem which gets him into trouble. Celebrity acknowledges problem, brings up past abuse. Celebrity goes into rehab.

We all have our faults, something of which I am well aware, after going through a period of pretty intense introspection during the Jewish High Holy Days. And like many Jews, I acknowledged my wrongdoing, regretted my failings, atoned for my sins and resolved to act better in the future. And the question for the year is whether I hold to my resolve. That is entirely up to me.

Countless people of faiths (and even those with no faith) engage in similar processes. Yet, it seems that celebrities (including politicians caught in scandal) have a different manner of response to their failings.

If Mr. Foley needs rehab, then by all means, he should find a program appropriate to his problem. But, he also, as any individual who has strayed, should not neglect the moral aspects of his wrongdoing. He must make it clear that he did wrong, that he regrets his past actions — and that he will do everything in his power to change his behavior.

Now that he has identified as a gay man, it would be nice if he could come forward as a moral exemplar for our community. We need gay people, particularly men, unwilling to shirk from their moral responsibilities as human beings. And to do so publicly — to challenge the notions of the anti-gay social conservatives who believe that merely by acknowledging our orientation, we have lost the ability to make moral decisions.

That means not only acting in a responsible manner, but also being forthright about our wrongdoings. Unfortunately, in making much of Mr. Foley’s past trauma and his decision to go into rehab, his lawyer downplays the moral aspects of his client’s actions.

And that is truly unfortunate. We gay people are just as capable of acting morally, of acting responsibly, as our straight peers. It’s too bad that all too many gay men in the public eye have not acted so responsibly. And that those many who do are not so forthcoming about their own moral choices.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest).

UPDATE: Looks like Captain Ed scooped me on this issue, blogging yesterday (October 3) in a similar vein, saying that Foley, needing “another weepie-show affliction . . .
Foley had his attorney float the molestation defense today. And note that it wasn’t just molestation, but molestation by clergy. Very trendy indeed.
” Just read the whole thing!

What a difference a few months make…

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 7:56 pm - October 4, 2006.
Filed under: Constitutional Issues,General,National Politics

Allow me to put aside my intense anger about the Foley mess for a moment.  I found these statements in a report from the Associated Press (via BreitBart.com) to be quite interesting:

The Justice Department ordered House officials to “preserve all records” related to disgraced Rep. Mark Foley’s electronic correspondence with teenagers, intensifying an investigation into a scandal rocking Republicans five weeks before midterm elections…

Acting U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor for the District of Columbia sought protection of the records in a three-page letter to House counsel Geraldine Gennet, according to a Justice official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Such letters often are followed by search warrants and subpoenas, and signal that investigators are moving closer to a criminal investigation.

Search warrantsSubpoenasOrders to “House officials” to “preserve all records” in a criminal investigation?  This all seems very familiar to me, as if something like this occurred just a few months ago.   I have to wonder just when House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) will be holding a joint press conference to protest this “breach” of the separation of powers.  Will House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) be holding any hearings soon about this obvious “trampling [of] the Constitution” by the FBI?  Surely Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) will condemn this latest “Justice Department invasion” with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md) at his side to vigorously assert Congress’ “right to protect itself”?  After all, these ‘distinguished’ members were only upholding principles enshrined in the Constitution when they angrily protested a legal warrant being served on the office of Congressman William Jefferson (D-La).  Right?  Hmm, most curious…

(Related posts of mine on this can be found here and here.)

CALL TO ACTION: STOP THE GAY STAFFER WITCHHUNT

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:35 pm - October 4, 2006.
Filed under: General,Outing Witchhunt

Anyone and everyone — Republican or Democrat — who is involved in the effort on Capitol Hill to purge gay Republican staffers using “The List” needs to cease this outing witchhunt immediately.

Please call the Capitol Hill offices of House Speaker Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Frist as well as House Minority Leader Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. 

Demand that they issue a statement calling on all House and Senate Members and their staff to stop this outing campaign immediately.

This type of behavior is un-American.  If the Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans or the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force won’t stand up to this witchhunt atmosphere, then we sure will here.

HASTERT: 202-225-2976  PELOSI: 202-225-4965

FRIST:  202-224-3344  REID: 202-224-3524

More Foley Fallout: The Gay GOP Witchhunt Begins

**UPDATE BELOW** Welcome readers from Instapundit, The Corner and Mary Katharine Ham!

From liberal blogger David Corn (of The Nation and “outing Valerie Plame” fame) comes this disturbing development in the Foley saga.

There’s a list going around. Those disseminating it call it “The List.” It’s a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.

On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there’s anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a “network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice.” The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List–drawn up by gay politicos–is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.

I have a copy. I’m not going to publish it. For one, I don’t know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don’t fancy outing people–though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.

What’s interesting about The List–which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications–is that (if it’s accurate) it shows that some of the religious right’s favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas. These include Representative Katherine Harris and Henry Hyde and Senators Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum. Should we salute these legislators for being open-minded enough to have such tolerant hiring practices? After all, Santorum in a 2003 AP interview compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and polygamy. It would be rather big of Santorum to employ a fellow who engages in activity akin to such horrors. That is, if Santorum knows about his orientation.

Let’s be clear about one thing: the Mark Foley scandal is not about homosexuality. Some family value conservatives are suggesting it is. (GP Ed. Note – So are most Liberal Chestbeaters…. calling Bob Beckel!)

But anytime a gay Republican is outed by events, a dicey issue is raised: what about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay? Are they hypocrites, opportunists, or just confused individuals? Is it possible to support a party because you adhere to most of its tenets–even if that party refuses to recognize you as a full citizen? The men on The List might want to think hard about these questions–as they probably already have–for if I have a copy of The List, there’s a good chance it will be appearing soon on a website near everyone.

Full citizen? No party has the power or right to tell me I am a full citizen. Supporting or opposing gay marriage does not make you a hypocrite. It makes you question the policy on its face. I am a full citizen thanks to the US Constitution.

Did it ever occur to Mr. Corn that the representatives and Senators he mentions that may or may not have gay staffers do not care about their sexual orientation yet value their participation as public servants? Is it not rational that you can hire a gay staffer, but at the same time oppose PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS that you are morally or philosophically opposed to without being labeled a homophobe?

Perhaps Mr. Corn is ignoring the fact that most gay conservatives identify more strongly in our American Identity than our Gay Identity. Did that ever cross your mind, Mr. Corn? Probably not since you seem to have had no problem outing a CIA agent and then letting others take the fall for your actions.

I am not surprised that this is where we are headed. But my question is…. why have our national gay organizations (HRC, Log Cabin, NGLTF) not stepped in to stop this witchhunt which originated on the Gay Left in the first place? I think we know the answer. Tolerance and diversity of opinion is a one-way street for the Gay Liberals and their masters in the Democrat Party.

By the way, the only people that are advancing or talking “The List” that I’ve seen are Liberals! And that List was begun by Gay Leftists years ago.

This witchhunt has got to stop.

**UPDATE** The first casualty of the Gay GOP Witchhunt has occurred. Forced out by Democrats politicizing the Foley Affair. Statement by Kirk Fordham, Rep. Reynolds Chief of Staff…

“I have resigned today from Congressman Tom Reynolds’ office. It is clear the Democrats are intent on making me a political issue in my boss’s race, and I will not let them do so.

I want to clarify a few things: When I sought to help Congressman Foley and his family when his shocking secrets were being revealed, I did so as a friend of my former boss, not as Congressman Reynolds’ Chief of Staff. I reached out to the Foley family, as any good friend would, because I was worried about their emotional well-being.

At the same time, I want it to be perfectly clear that I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation of Foley’s conduct by House officials or any other authorities.

Like so many, I feel betrayed by Mark Foley’s indefensible behavior. Again, I will not allow the Democrats to make me a political issue in my boss’s race, and I will fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.”

Where will it end?

[RELATED STORY – Ace Of Spades sees the dawning of liberal “conversion camps” for those pesky gay conservatives who have slipped off the plantation.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UP-UPDATE (from GPW): The Malcontent‘s Robbie had a good followup post and describes it as Torquemada Ascendant. Just read the whole thing!

Anti-Bush Ads Don’t Help Democrats in Golden State

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:50 am - October 4, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Bush-hatred,California politics

Well, I’m not the only one noting that California Democrats’ anti-Bush ads haven’t helped their gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides gain any ground against in his bid to unseat our Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Several political analysts have also been reading the polls.

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior scholar at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California pointed out that “Voters are aware of the fact that being governor is a completely different job to being president, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger has very little in common with George W. Bush.” She did, however, show some sympathy for Democratic tactics, “I can understand why the Democrats are doing it — there’s very little else they can do because the Governor has been extremely smart in terms of peeling issues away from Angelides.”

While Democrats may be trying to “energise their own base,” a recent survey found “two-thirds of voters in the nation’s most populous state — including 57 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of liberals — say Bush’s leadership will have no bearing on their vote for the next governor.

The director of the survey, Professor Melinda Jackson that Angelides’ strategy of using “President Bush as a weapon against Governor Schwarzenegger” has been “futile.

Despite what people say about us Californians, we’re not all that air-headed. Most people in the Golden State understand that the issue in the gubernatorial contest is which candidate has the best plan for moving the state forward in the next four years. And having looked at the record of both Governor Schwarzenegger and his Democratic opponent, most of us agree that the incumbent has done a pretty decent job since winning the recall election in 2003 and deserves a full term to continue that good work.