Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nothing Like An Opportunity For Opportunism



I thought I'd weigh in very briefly about the current gnashing of teeth on and about cap. hill and the "Mark Foley wants to get laid by congressional pages, and just who did what about it?" scandal.


I'm amused when I hear anyone speak about it [these quite-a-few days after the revelation] as a talking head or politician on TV. Otherwise sensitive people who would fall all over themselves to bemoan the poverty and deprivations that led a barrio youth to stab his mother explain that the Congressman's alcoholism and "childhood" sexual abuse are just excuses that he's lining up. Otherwise tough and unyielding men who would scream "try him as an adult" if a twelve-yr.-old shot his neighbour quickly lament the abuse and exploitation of "children," describing the sixteen-yr.-old pages. Dems urge us to sweep out all Republicans, who were obviously humping little boys and lying about it. GOPers explain that the "timing" of all of this is shady, and it's obviously political trickery by those dirty damned Dems. . .

A pox on all their Houses. And Senateses . . .


6 Comments:

Anonymous Juvenile Buffoon said...

Ahem. As an inner-city prosecutor (and a lib) it seems to me that poverty, racism, and lack of resources and opportunity have a lot to do with the disproportionate rate of minority defendants in my caseload.

Also, I have heard no corroborating evidence that Mark Foley is either an alcoholic or a clergy abuse victim. I think it's likely he is hiding behind these claims to avoid admitting 'yeah I did it, and it was wrong'.

And I see nothing contradictory in holding these views.

Also, I think you mischaracterize the primary criticism coming from the left: it's not that they're "humping boys and lying about it" it's that GOP leadership knew about the situation and swept it under the rug - thereby exposing minors to further inappropriate contact - for fear of losing the seat. And this from the party that claims to represent traditional moral values.

Are Dems who are being heard on the issue guilty of political opportunism? Or is it their responsibility to speak out?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 10:51:00 am  
Anonymous !barangus! said...

Isn't every celeb/politico who gets caught with his pants down instantly an alcoholic?

And more importantly, how come no mentions from dubster about the return of Dana Delaney to the small screen?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 11:13:00 am  
Anonymous google-icious said...

As an inner-city prosecutor (and a lib) it seems to me that poverty, racism, and lack of resources and opportunity have a lot to do with the disproportionate rate of minority defendants in my caseload.


I couldn't agree with you more that poverty and a lack of resources and realistic opportunity contribute mightily to the criminality of lots of the defendants you prosecute. That doesn't change in any way my distaste for the relexive defense of wrongdoing based on diaphonous societal causes, and my observation that political opportunism strips away that relexive defense when it's convenient or the purported wrongdoer is an obnoxious gay white representative.

I can make my own personal observations about alcoholism and the depths of depravity in which its practitioners find themselves, and wonder where the sensitivity to the poor plight of the secret boozer/child abuse victim is.

I have heard no corroborating evidence that Mark Foley is either an alcoholic or a clergy abuse victim. I think it's likely he is hiding behind these claims to avoid admitting 'yeah I did it, and it was wrong'.

I have heard nothing to suggest that either claimis untrue, and indeed assume that they are both entriely accurate. In which case, Mark Foley should still admit "yeah I did it, and it was wrong," and it doesn't change or excuse one damned bit of what he did. And I think that if he sent a lawyer out to trumpet those facts to somehow "soften" whatever he did and get him some sympathy or ease his guilt, then he's a bullshit asswipe.

I think you mischaracterize the primary criticism coming from the left: it's not that they're "humping boys and lying about it" it's that GOP leadership knew about the situation and swept it under the rug - thereby exposing minors to further inappropriate contact - for fear of losing the seat.

We can respectfuly disagree about what the Dems are saying and doing. I think you have very accurately described the text of their concerns and arguments. I think you either intentionally or unintentionally ignore the subtext of their message.

And I think the GOP leadership did try to sweep under the rug any accusations of wrongdoing, or wrongdoing, by Mark Foley when his tendency to send inappropriate e-mails to pages was brought to them.

Are Dems who are being heard on the issue guilty of political opportunism? Or is it their responsibility to speak out?

Yes. And yes.

These are two things that aren't inconsistent.

Isn't every celeb/politico who gets caught with his pants down instantly an alcoholic?

No. But we forgive a "recovering" anything a lot of his wrongs, and so I'm not at all surprised that a Cngressman or actor would cynically use that to try to get off easier in the court of public opinion, or in the court.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 11:54:00 am  
Anonymous Juvenile Buffoon said...

I have heard nothing to suggest that either claim is untrue, and indeed assume that they are both entirely accurate.

I have heard people close to him come forward and say "he is not an alcoholic."

"Are Dems who are being heard on the issue guilty of political opportunism? Or is it their responsibility to speak out?"

Yes. And yes.

These are two things that aren't inconsistent.


No, no, no! If the latter is true, the former cannot be: If an opposing party has an obligation or legitimate basis for criticism, they are automatically immune from the charge of political opportunism, for the very sensible reason that it would be irresponsible to NOT speak out.

Let me give you an example: Dems are often accused of political opportunism by seizing on bad news from Iraq to criticize the administration's handling of the war. Yes, it is political. That's what they do, hence the term politician. But it's their responsibility in the democratic system to provide such checks and balances.

An example of political opportunism: seizing upon 9/11 to support the cause for invading Iraq, since one had nothing to do with the other.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 1:51:00 pm  
Anonymous hamstrung by the political process said...

::"Are Dems who are being heard on the issue guilty of political opportunism? Or is it their responsibility to speak out?"

Yes. And yes.

These are two things that aren't inconsistent.


No, no, no! If the latter is true, the former cannot be::

I respectfully disagree. Having an obligation to speak out and criticize creates a license to speak out and criticize thoughtfully and responsibly. Which some critics have done; I've actualy heard a lot of thoughtful voices on this, and I've heard folks on both sides of the aisle not even being arsewipes. But legitimate right or obligation to criticize doesn't immunize the opportunists that I've heard from my [I believe] accurate assessment of political opportunism, and my revulsion over it. I've heard talking points on shows from Larry King to Scarborough to Hardball and in the NYTimes and WaPo and WaTimes. Some of the talking points were legitimate criticism. Others were wild-eyed, pandering, opportunistic horse manure taking advantage of certain questions to make some unsupportable, bullshit points.

I don't take your implicit point that, because folks rightly should criticize, folks are not being opportunistic.


I have heard people close to him come forward and say "he is not an alcoholic.

I haven't heard those people, but they would provide me something to "suggest that the claim is untrue," so I would have to maned what I said. Indeed, they may actually be right; I also have no reason to doubt that the guy is shamelessly ginning up any exc [nice pun, eh?] excuse that he can to cover being a scummy effhead.

Of course, I wouldn't necessarily place much stock in such a statement, a number of people, including people I spent hours with every day, and women I was once married to, said the same thing. Actually argued with the screeners from rehab, who called them to get a good picture of my behaviour. They were right on the money, except for the 1.75 ml of daily spirits. . .

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:46:00 pm  
Anonymous he who just wrote . . . said...

I don't have any idea what I typed when the word "maned" showed up there, but you can substitute "revise" for "maned"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:48:00 pm  

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