Friday, August 31, 2007

gang of perps


curry: well, let's talk about the political fallout. first it's been a rough year for the right. let's list them: congressman mark foley, conservative pastor ted haggard, senator david vitter. all involved in scandals, accusing them of inappropriate conduct. so the question's gotta be asked, why do these kinds of scandals seem to be following republicans, lately?
scarborough: what's with the republican party? and before that you can talk about duke cunningham apparently having poker parties where reports were that they were trading votes for sex. i don't know.

you can talk about the closeted republican that votes like larry craig, that votes for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage or votes against protections for discriminating against gays in the workplace. perhaps they are more closeted, perhaps the republican party does not allow gay members to win their primaries.

so maybe these guys have to live these secret lives where on the democratic side, you've got democrats — i think it, it comes down to hypocrisy. mainly where you have democrats that will support same-sex marriage or civil unions and will fight to stop discrimination in the workplace against gays and lesbians.

because of that there are the issues of hypocrisy that follow republicans around, whether you're talking about david vitter or whether you're talking about larry craig or whether you're talking about mark foley.

curry: well the question, i think is, you know, how does this specter of hypocrisy affect the party, especially as we're now moving into a very critical time for the republican party facing this presidential election year?
scarborough: well it's, it's very simple. you know, last year people were talking about the war, they were talking about runaway deficit spending but the bottom-line is, with the republicans that i spoke to, after the mark foley scandal broke, they looked at each other and said, "well, that's it. we're gonna have a democratic senate and we're gonna have a democratic house and because of mark foley, nancy pelosi is gonna be speaker of the house."

so, of course, you can't blame mark foley for everything but there were these scandals following jack abramoff, following duke cunningham. following —

curry: point taken, joe, but what's the impact going to be if that's what happened after mark foley came, faced the scandal? what's going to happen now, regarding, after this senator's, what he's facing.
scarborough: well — it's not, it's not a good impact. it's not gonna have a great impact on idaho. i think, you know, i just don't think a democrat can be elected for the u.s. senate in idaho but larry craig's career is probably over. the former 'singing senator' is gonna be singing alone in idaho, probably next year.

but the bigger impact with the republican party in america will be like the tory party in great britain when they had one sex scandal after another. there is a sleaze, an element of sleaze that will hang over this party. because, again, we had the david vitter scandal a couple of months ago. the two sex scandals, this year, have involved republicans, conservative, pro-family, pro-life republicans.

curry: it's also interesting to note, joe, that senator craig has been a co-liaison to the, in the senate, for the mitt romney campaign.
scarborough: yeah.
curry: so the question is, also, is this gonna spill over?
scarborough: well you know, i don't think anybody would blame mitt romney for what larry craig did in a bathroom in minneapolis because of larry craig's, as he says, "unusually wide-stance." [touché, joe!] that he wasn't sending signals. but what this does bring up for mitt romney is a problem about his flip-flops. his flip-flops on abortion, his flip-flops on gun control and his flip-flop on gay rights. so, you have a guy like larry craig, who's on your campaign, at least for 24 hours in this news cycle, will raise questions. well, mitt romney do you support same-sex marriage this week or do you oppose same-sex marriage this week? and i suspect after that it'll all blow over.

the biggest problem, though, again, has to do with hypocrisy and the republican party. and right now you've got larry craig linked with mark foley, linked with david vitter, linked with duke cunningham going, my gosh, i think every sex scandal in washington d.c., since bill clinton and monica lewinsky has involved a republican. and that has to have an impact and may break the republican party, again, just a little bit more away from its evangelical base.

curry: and, and joe, i was gonna remind people, you are a republican. you are a former republican congressman, so those are very strong words and opinion from you. joe scarborough, thank you so much this morning.
scarborough: always good to remind my republican friends, that yes i am a republican. doesn't sound like it. thanks a lot.

the g.o.p. most definitely have a big problem dogging them into the next election cycle, but hypocrisy on family values and gay issues is really just a small part of it. american voters can deal with hypocrisy. and like most other people, most homosexuals don't lurk in public bathrooms, so just being gay isn't a problem for republicans as long as it's on the down low.

no, the big problem for the gang of perps in washington is criminality. über-lobbyist jack abramoff is in prison for fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion. former ca. rep. duke cunningham is with him for bribery. former fla. rep. mark foley may be looking at charges for corrupting minors, under some of the same statutes he helped enact.

louisiana senator david vitter frequented prostitutes. florida state rep. bob allen is facing charges for solicitation of prostitution, while idaho senator larry craig plead guilty to disorderly conduct to avoid charges of lewd conduct.

scarborough tossed in the lewinsky affair in a feeble attempt for balance, but sex between consenting adults still isn't criminal behavior, so the gang of perps tried to hang clinton on perjury. but lewinsky did not create a problem for the democrats at the end of the clinton era — the democrats' own timidity under fire from the right-wing noise machine™ was what undermined them.

so it's the steady stream of arrests, trials and convictions that's killing the g.o.p. and it's the accompanying "sleaze" that's souring their brand for the voters. and as long as the gang of perps keep turning up on the wrong side of the law, the party that once boasted of a permanent majority will remain locked up as a permanent minority.

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