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Many of the leading voices of the right-wing are throwing out their common sense in their attempt to deflect blame away from their leaders over their loathesome dereliction of duty in protecting American high-schoolers from the sexual predator Mark Foley (R-Fla).
Digby has captured a couple of clear examples of standard plays from the Republican playbook intended to shift blame. First up is Drudge:
Clip #1: 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.

Drudge continues:

Clip #2: You could say "well Drudge, it's abuse of power, a congressman abusing these impressionable, young 17 year-old beasts, talking about their sex lives with a grown man, on the internet." Because you have to remember, those of us who have seen some of the transcripts of these nasty instant messages. This was two ways, ladies and gentlemen. These kids were playing Foley for everything he was worth. Oh yeah. Oh, I haven't...they were talking about how many times they'd masturbated, how many times they'd done it with their girlfriends this weekend...all these things and these "innocent children." And this "poor" congressman sitting there typing, "oh am I going to get any," you know?

To paraphrase Drudge, the kids propositioned by Foley are "beasts" and "their pop culture" is responsible. They led Foley on, they wanted it, and they brought it on themselves. No word on whether Drudge also thinks sexy clothing had anything to do with the fact that Foley couldn't tell a tenth-grader from an 18 year-old.

Not to be outdone, Rush Limbaugh manages to blame it all on the Democrats who, according to Rush,  of course could care less about homosexuals propositioning tenth-graders. We Democrats feel in our crotches it was ok and we condone it. The only reason Democrats are complaining is not because they care about kids, it's because of politics.


LIMBAUGH: I'm just thinking out loud here. What if somebody got to the page and said, you know, we want you to set Foley up. We need to do a little titillating thing here. Keep it and save it and so forth. How would you get a kid to do that? Yeah, who knows? You threaten him or pay him. There's any number of ways given the kind of people that we're dealing with and talking about here.


Now, folks, I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm not trying to mount any kind of a defense. That's a bad word. I'm not trying to get into a defense of what Mark Foley did. Please don't misunderstand. I'm just telling you that the -- the -- the orgy and the orgasm that has been taking place in the media since Friday and with the Democrats is -- it's all coordinated, and it's all -- it's all oriented toward the election. There's no concern about the kid -- no concern about the children.


There is -- there is -- there's not even any real problem with what Foley did, as we've discussed. In their hearts and minds and their crotches, they don't have any problem with what Foley did. They've defended it over the -- over the years.


Of course, Democrats do not defend the sexual exploitation or propositioning of minors. Never have. But Rush has a problem here. How do you defend a bunch of Republican politicos who sheltered a sexual predator? You've got to make it the other guys fault. Republicans couldn't possibly be responsible for something so base, so disgusting, so sexually avaricious could they? No way. That's the stereotype that is supposed to describe Democrats and come hell or high water they desperately need to keep that stereotype breathing through November. So they lie and they smear. Nothing new here.


Perhaps they can blame it on Clinton? Sure! It's Clintons fault for lowering standards and over-sexualizing our culture! That won't wash? Ok .... it's the fault of the Democrats for coddling homosexuals! Over at TPM Josh Marshall quotes the Wall Street Journal:


But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?


Right. The gay-bashing party was afraid to offend gays.


The excuses keep coming but their lameness has been notable. What they need to realize is that you simply cannot defend to American parents of any political persuasion the despicable actions of the Republican House leadership (Hastert, Reynolds, Shimkus) in allowing the sexual predator Foley to continue his attempts to copulate with high school boys. Every parent has had to leave their children in the care of others and every parent expects those caretakers will truly care for our kids. Finding out that high elected Republicans abused that trust and put their own political interest above the welfare of the children in their care is guaranteed to enrage all but the most jaded parents or most ardent Republicans. Most parents will have none of their pathetic excuses and will harshly judge them for their poor morals and low character. When Drudge and Rush and the WSJ try to defend Foley or his enablers they will surely lose stature by trying to defend the indefensible for political reasons.


To win this war of words Democrats need only continue pointing out that the Republicans are scurrying like rats to keep from taking personal responsibility for their own words and actions. Blaming others for your own faults is certainly not indicative of good moral character. Even worse, they sheltered a sexual predator of high-school boys to protect their own positions of power. As a parent I can think of few greater crimes than for someone I trust to shelter and protect my children to abuse that trust. Americans won't stand for that and well they should not.

Originally posted to Curt Matlock on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pedophiles will say "The GOP disgusts even us !" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Pol Sci, JohnGor0, murrayewv

    But at least it'll take care of the GOP's problems

  •  They are getting deeper and deeper. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YetiMonk, LivesInAShoe

    It's nauseating trying to wade through the slop when you engage in what amount to debates against opponents who have no sense of decency.

    a hope that may come close to despair

    by epppie on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:14:39 PM PDT

    •  Parents won't buy any of it. (12+ / 0-)

      Not Democratic parents.  Not Republican parents.  Not Indpendent parents.

      None of them will buy this "let's-throw-a-ton-of-crap-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" spin approach that Rove is so desperately trying.

      Parents are protective of their children.

      And to top it all off, these were the children of Republican heavy-hitters.

      How stupid can they be?

      Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

      by Bob Johnson on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:20:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Bob... (4+ / 0-)

        ... just goes to show: you can be the greatest spinmeister in the world, but if you surround yourself with scum, you're going to get stinky.

        And, for the record, my first and foremost concern is for this kid and others like him who have been stalked and taken advantage of by disturbed adults.

        "It is never unacceptable to think." Keith O.

        by socratic on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:28:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Would you trust them to babysit your kids? (5+ / 0-)

        That is a question that we should ask the voters in the district of the Foley Five (to contribute to the Democratic Candidates who are working to take them down).

        And, it is similar to the question I asked of parents in 2000:

        • On one side, you have a neighbor who is married to his childhood sweatheart. The neighbor served in Vietnam after graduation from university and has been working/providing for his family ever since getting back. His spouse works on something you don't fully agree with, to restrict access to violent lyrics, but that you understand. Their kids are generally nice and, while occasionally rambunctious, have given no indication of being anything but basically decent people.
        • On the other side, the husband is an alcoholic (recovering? on the wagon?) with multiple  DUI/drinking & driving incidents, has had a series of failed jobs, and jokes about youthful indiscretions that date into his 30s.  His wife seems rather restrained (you consider, at times, that she might be battered) but you have tension because you know that she killed someone when driving as a youth and have never her talk or emphasize safe driving. Their daughters, to  be honest, scare you.  They have been arrested for underage drinking, show little respect for the people around them, you think that they use drugs, and show little concern for the world around them.

        Whose kids would you trust to babysit yours? Which parents would you want to see in the White House?

        9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

        by besieged by bush on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:36:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  my ex-cop mom is a good german (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Johnson, LNK, ariesm44

        i asked her once if she would have backed HItler or joined the resistance in ww2 if born in germany...she said she would have been a "good citizen" probably.

        She's been pro-Bush through each and every Bushco Fiasco until....now.

        I asked her if she'd heard about Foley and at 1st she came back with "the Dems do it too" meme (i could tell her heart wasn't really into the defense) until i pointed out the obvious JUVENILE quality of that defense. My twin brother and i had used it on her for all those years when WE were children. Add to that the fact that Dems don't control ANYTHING in Washington these days.

        Sweet jesus she cracked. Finally. She said, "maybe 1 party rule isn't such a good idea".

        Me? i'm investing in companies that manufacture shredders...
        I'm anticipating HIGH demand for the suckers this winter.

    •  Tell us, Rush (14+ / 0-)

      How old were the girls you went to Santo Domingo to sleep with?  There are several notable kiddie prostitution outlets there, according to reports.  How much Viagra did you need, again?

      -4.50, -5.85 In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --Orwell

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really hope all this 'blame the kids' stuff (21+ / 0-)

    ... gets plenty of airtime.  At some point, the families of some of these kids will get hacked off enough at the crap an idiot like Drudge is spewing that they'll decide that keeping quite isn't the right way to go.

    This is the same shit the Catholic Church pulled when the crap really started to break.  They went after the victims.  And, believe me, nothing makes a victim more angry than being blamed.

    Keep it up, dumbfucks.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

  •  as far as I'm aware... (4+ / 0-)

    all of the pages who have come forward thus far have been Republicans... which makes the conspiracy theories even more preposterous.

  •  as Mom used to say "Consider the source" n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, MadGeorgiaDem, godislove

    An election is coming. Universal peace is declared....and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. ~T.S. Eliot

    by maggiemae on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:17:09 PM PDT

  •  That "personal responsibility thing" is sooo 2000 (5+ / 0-)

    Well, they were never actually so big on it.  But it made for a good bumper sticker.

    Anyway, Hastert & Krew never saw a responsibility they didn't want to dodge.  Republican "values" on parade.

    BenGoshi
    _____________________________________________________

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:17:58 PM PDT

  •  So the GOP really DOES endorse pedophilia? (3+ / 0-)

    because it sure seems like they are making the case that child molesting is OK.

    But hey, if torture is patriotic, it's no stretch to throw in child molesting as a civic duty.

  •  Is that living in Dream (0+ / 0-)

    Running Down A Dream? Living in Wonderland? Why does this remain me of the horrible times when it was blame the rape victim for what happened to them. I would like to see them all in a Japanese Prison a place no one wants to go.

  •  Last night's Daily Show (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4jkb4ia, blueoasis, godislove

    featured a segment from John Oliver, where he casts blame for the Foley deal on the Democrats. It was meant as satire, of course, but I didn't think it was far off. And now this ... never underestimate these guys. It's Hillary's fault!

    "One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native land of hope." Wallace Stegner

    by Mother Mags on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:23:30 PM PDT

  •  Their statements seem surrealistic. It's almost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    April Follies

    like it's all made up.  Watching them melt down is an amazing and gratifying experience, don't get me wrong.  It's just so dramatic and there have been so many stupid moves by Republicans all over the country on this and other things.  I'm afraid I'm going to wake up!

  •  Boehner today accused ABC (5+ / 0-)

    On a Cincinnati radio station, WLW today, he said that the most guilty party is whoever had information about Foley's emails and held it back to release it just before the election. Boehner claimed that they were endangering the pages by withholding incriminating evidence, and Boehner demanded an investigation to identify who had this information.

    He later singled about ABC for blame.

    Talk about sick.

  •  The GOP is supposedly "in charge" (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing can change the fact that the Republicans are in the majority, and if there's something about the "culture" they don't like, they can say so loud and clear, and bully everybody about it, they way they do everything else.

    But they didn't.  One of their own turned out to be a pedophile, and they did nothing about it.  Shame on them.

  •  IMPEACH (0+ / 0-)

    Al Gore is my President. We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. --Albert Einstein

    by PBMUS on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:35:27 PM PDT

  •  Intellectual laziness, Rush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4jkb4ia

    Rush, who has been known to call conspiracy theories "intellectual laziness" has himself become a mental sloth, suggesting a conspiracy so outrageous, so self-serving, so devoid of reason, that to consider such a scenario plausible, for even the briefest moment, would require a complete suspension of mental function and a willingness to accept the absurd as commonplace. The only thing less likely to occur than Rush's imagined ravings, is the confession, apology, and resignation of all of the Republican leaders who knew what was happening and failed to act to stop it.  

  •  They're making it easy. (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody that tries to deflect blame from Republicans on this is an outright propagandist and doesn't deserve one reader, one dollar, one minute of airtime. They're just liars who evidently will say ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING they have to in order to get heavy petting from their GOP bosses.

    In fact, Limbaugh really should be pulled from U.S. airwaves. He can go work for the Taliban or whoever fits his values... but propaganda is suppose to be illegal in America.

    This is a useful time for measuring which rightwingers are actually working FOR Republicans and which are just Republicans themselves with Republican views.

    Drudge and Limbaugh are no more than mouthpieces for Hastert and the GOP. They get their talking points from HQ every morning... they're just Party Propaganda.

    They'll lie just like the politicians do... they're really no more than prostituted politicians themselves.

  •  Concerned Women of Amerikka: Foley = Harvest (0+ / 0-)

    of our obsession with celebrating diversity.

    We must stop tolerating diversity.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 08:54:48 PM PDT

  •  This is sick on so many levels (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curt Matlock

    First of all, even if the "page led Foley on", it doesn't make him any less responsible for his actions. As the adult in the situation Foley had the responsiblity of notifying the Housse Page School psychiatrist/psychologist and his parents. Instead of notifying the appropraite authorites, Foley chose to abuse this young man.

    This young man was below the age of consent. He lacked the maturity to enter into sexual relations with the Congressman. Even if he didn't have sex with him, Foley was wrong to engage in those conservations. He abused his position of trust.

    As for what Limbaugh said--blaming the victim--that doesn't make Foley any less responsible. It's akin to the analogy of the rape victim. While a woman probably shouldn't go up with a man late at night to his hotel room and expect to not have sex, it doesn't excuse the man's raping her and violating her. Bad judgment doesn't justify criminal behavior.

    The final exceprt from the WSJ is infuriating. They are implying that gay men are inherently sexually predatory. That's hardly the case. The statistics show that most predators and child molestors tend to be straight and male. So now the WSJ is blaming "political correctness" for the House GOP not investigating the matter? They are now again implying that gays are more likely to molest children. So now the GOP is "victimized" becuase of "political tolerance toward gays"?

    http://www.keen.com/jiacinto For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 09:36:07 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      No matter how much "thinking out loud" (i.e, pulling idiotic talking points out of his butt), Limpballs does, there is absolutely no good reason for Foley to have IM'ed a minor at home.

      If Foley had had a legitimate need to contact a page after hours, he would have gone through an adult assistant, a secretary, or the page's immediate supervisor. And every halfway decent parent knows that fact.  The bullshit excuses won't fly.

  •  Like Tailgunner Joe ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys."

    But like Sen. Joe McCarthy, the WSJ won't say who exactly they're talking about.  Just "some" of them".  Not only cowardly but slimy too.

    "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

    by Bob Love on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 09:36:52 PM PDT

  •  Of course... (0+ / 0-)

    and the 22 year old college graduate turned intern is suddenly and mysteriously 19.

    I know a lot of college students. And they rarely graduate before the age of 20.

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 09:49:28 PM PDT

  •  The WSJ editorial board is now exposed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doinaheckuvanutjob

    It works at the same intellectual level as Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge. What quality! I guess that editorial board is made up of a neanderthal rumormonger (who often gets it wrong) and a drug addicted viagra user with all the intellectual powers of a dead centipede.

  •  Let me see if I get this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curt Matlock

    Drudge - it's the kids fault.
    Limbaugh - it's not really a problem.
    WSJ - the liberals made us look the other way.

    This would have made a great epilog to State of Denial.

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