Notice the political cartoon by Mike Shelton in the Orange County Register. I point it out, because it is one of the many variations of a GOP theme to take no responsibility for the Rep. Mike Foley scandal.
I have assembled the responses of various GOP spokespeople, politicians and talking heads, because the next time this pious party clothes itself in the myth of superior moral values we will be able to remind them of their hypocrisy.
THE 'IT'S NOTHING' ARGUMENT
Tony Snow (White House Press Secretary):
"Look, I hate to tell you, but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill and there have been other scandals as you know that have been more than simply naughty e-mails."
Michael Savage (Right-Wing Talk Show Host):
"I think it's a very dangerous trend. Not only the obsession with child molestation, which is an obsession, by the way, with the American media right now because they don't have the guts to take on radical Islam so they make a big deal out of child molestation. It's like a new hysteria. It's the new witch hunt. Going after child molesters today is the equivalent of witch hunts in Pilgrim times. Everyone is suspected of being a witch or a child molester because -- well, many different reasons."
THE 'IT'S THE DEM'S FAULT' STRATEGY
Rush Limbaugh (Right-Wing Talk Show Host):
"This constantly being on defense and waiting for the next shoe to drop, it is time for the Republicans to fight back and point out, and it should led by Hastert, point out how the Democrats continue to avoid the real issues of importance that we as a nation face.Dennis Hastert (Speaker of the House):
"Nancy Pelosi knows the person who planted the story about Foley five weeks before the election. But, Rush, but, Rush, but, Rush, tell us what you know, how can you be sure she knows? Well, I can almost guarantee it. She might not know who specifically did it, but she knows where it comes from, all the liberal Democrats do. She knows the person because these e-mails were held by a liberal, they were planted by a liberal, and they were timed to the 2006 election cycle by a liberal, and liberals know liberals, and so Pelosi knows who Deep IM is. There's a Deep IM here, not Deep Throat, but there's a Deep IM."
(Continuing the unproven charge that Democrats leaked the sexually explicit messages) "We have a story to tell, and the Democrats have — in my view have — put this thing forward to try to block us from telling the story. They're trying to put us on defense."
THE CLINTON GAMBIT
Brit Hume (Fox News Anchor):
"It is very serious misbehavior on the part of Congressman Foley, whether it stems from arrogance or just weakness of the human flesh is another question. It’s probably worth noting that there’s a difference between the two parties on these issues. Inappropriate behavior towards subordinates didn’t cost Gerry Studds his Democratic seat in Massachussetts, nor Barney Frank his. Nor did inappropriate behavior toward a subordinate even cost Bill Clinton his standing within the Democratic Party, even though indirectly he was impeached for it. Mark Foley found out about this, was found out to have done this, and he’s out of office and in total disgrace in his party."
BLAME THE VICTIM
Matt Drudge (Right-Wing Blogger & Talk Show Host):
"And if anything, these kids are less innocent — these 16 and 17 year-old beasts…and I've seen what they're doing on YouTube and I've seen what they're doing all over the internet — oh yeah — you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the Congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him. We haven't got the whole story on this."
There you have it. According to the GOP, Rep. Mark Foley, who was allowed to continue as co-chair of the Missing and Exploited Children's caucus despite his party knowing of his behavior months, if not years, before this revelation, is not the true problem. And his party has a myriad of ways of denying responsibility.
They invoke Clinton, who never had sex with a minor, as if his behavior was morally equivalent. They blame the Dems for the fact that the truth got out, as if it should have stayed hidden until after the election. They have suggested that child molestation is a non-issue. And they have had the audacity to blame the victims.
If the GOP holds onto the House and/or Senate now, either the American people are truly blind, deaf and dumb, or Diebold will have done a heckuva job.