Tuesday, October 03, 2006


October Surprise #1

Fairness. Equal treatment. That’s all I would ask. As such, I must disagree with The Washington Times.

If there were members of Congress who knew about Representative Mark Foley’s predilection towards young males in general, and Congressional Pages specifically, then they should have acted on specific information or even suspicion and reported him.

Likewise, if there are members of Congress who know today of similar behavioral offenses by members of Congress, they should act on specific information or even suspicion and report them.

My guess, such watchfulness in the halls of Congress would implicate dozens of members and cause havoc in both parties.

Note that nobody is asking for this kind of vigilance.

I am a born again Christian, a registered Republican, and I abhor the behavior in evidence on the part of Congressman Foley. The parents of his victims had every reason to suppose proper motives for any attentiveness towards or interaction with their children. He violated trust in multiple ways, as a Congressman, as a public servant, as a leader in Washington and as an elected official towards his constituents.

Were Congressman Foley’s behavior or violations of his public trust isolated phenomena in Washington, I would no doubt argue for a vigorous investigation and laud any consequential prosecution or censure.

But having witnessed the way things are in Washington, for the entire of my adult life (just short of 30 years), I resist what will surely be a whitewash of partisan color, illiberally brushed solely for political gain in a turbulent election period.

Have we so quickly forgotten previous Congressional Page sexploitation scandals? Similar Congressional and Executive Branch sexploitation of interns?

Why stop with sexual misbehavior? Why not go after the senile, or those who sleep through sessions? Why not go after drug abusers or chronic alcoholics? Talk about your open secrets, anyone that came across certain Democratic Congressmen at social events past say 8 pm at night knew at first sight the explanation for their slurred speech, wobbly gait, and reddened complexions.

Don’t our elected officials have an obligation to all of us as constituents, to blow the whistle on those incapable of fulfilling the high standards of public office?

If the Democrats want to suggest failures of oversight and “sins of omission,” they might as well tender their own resignations en masse. All of them, both parties.

One other point, then I’ll shut up.

The Democrats and their netroot blog-allies frequently decry every faint trace of the evil Karl Rove and his political machinations. Most of this is tinfoil at its finest, surely.

But here we have a political contract hit, classically and finely orchestrated as an archetype for an October surprise. For the ignorant or deliberately obtuse, here’s how it works.

  1. Find an open secret, preferably with some salacious aspects or characteristics most disturbing or damaging to the target. For Dems, that would be something involving an act of treason or complicity with an enemy. For Repubs, any sexual (preferably, homosexual) behavior that offends “family values.”
  2. Find a single piece of evidence or allegation, without reference or connection to the larger scandal, that can be used in hindsight to say, “the writing was on the wall.” This is the red herring for the later surprise.
  3. Expose the red herring. Frame it in a way that encourages its own dismissal or discounting. If possible, pass it privately to Opposition Party officials who can be counted on to ignore, dismiss, or discount.
  4. Wait for political opportunity.
  5. Recruit media co-conspirators, expose full scandal in full court press.
  6. Highlight inaction by Opposition Party, spin as evidence of “irresponsibility at the highest levels.”

A variation on this technique works time and time again with Ex-Official Washington Books, hit pieces on individual officials, and media campaigns of selectively leaked classified information. The point to remember is, no scandal or event or transgression can ever be accepted merely as the failure of a single individual, but rather, a damning of the enemy as a whole.

Karl Rove as he exists in fevered Democrat imaginings has nothing on the folks who cooked up this October surprise.

By all means, let’s agree to clean up Washington. But if it deals exclusively with one side of the aisle, then we’ve left an awful lot of sewage left for future Congresses to endure. And we won’t like that any more than we like what we have today.

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