Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mark Foley, A Different View: A Misdirection Ploy

I have a different point of view on the Mark Foley scandal. I believe it is one of the greatest misdirection ploys of all time by Rove and the Republicans. Coincidences may happen but rarely do they happen with such good results. You say, “What good results?” Lost in all this discussion about Foley is the fact that Senate Bill 3930, “A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes,” has gone to the President to sign. Even though Bush got damned near everything he wanted in the bill, his proclivity for signing statements will make up for any perceived inadequacies. Incumbents on both sides of the aisle can more easily deflect criticism about Foley’s peccadilloes than they can defend supporting this reversal of the Magna Carta.

Lost in all this discussion of how this hurts the Republican cause is no critical examination of the timing of this scandal. A month ago, most liberals and Democrats were outraged about ABC showing the crapudrama, “The Path to 9/11.” While ABC made some changes to this piece of propaganda, it still left many with the impression that 9/11 was all Bill Clinton’s fault and Bush was in the clear. Can we believe that ABC changed their stripes in one short month? I say, “NO!” ABC has a stake in remaining in the administration’s good graces. ABC would not have released the Foley story without at least the tacit approval of the White House.

I cannot believe for a moment that Rove and company would have any compunction about sacrificing Foley to pay for this integral part of consolidating Bush’s power. I mean here was a GAY Republican House member just waiting to be outed, why not kill two birds with one stone. Bird one: Deflect attention away the detainee and torture law. Those who voted for the bill are not going to be held to account for their vote as they might have. Most can easily deflect any criticisms cast their way about Foley. Bird two: The albatross that was Foley is eliminated. The Republicans have already claimed the reason Foley didn’t get in trouble earlier was they did not to appear to be “Gay Bashing.” The Republicans are such homophobes they still believe homosexual and pedophile are synonymous. This was the perfect opportunity to look good to their base and fence sitters that they were cleaning “House” of undesirables.

I am now going to ask any that read this to step through the fog of Republican misdirection. It is time to ask this Congress, why what little you did do, was so dismal. I have researched the final roll call votes on the detainee and torture bill. Most members of Congress voted along party lines as might be expected. Many Republicans voting for the bill said they expected reversal by the courts and voted for the bill out political expediency. I guess I am a minority of one that believes this is a violation of their oath of office to defend and support the Constitution. Those who did not vote along party lines deserve special recognition and consideration in three categories:

These Republicans had the convictions of their beliefs to vote against this step to tyranny.
In the Senate, 1 Senator:
Chafee (RI)
In the House, 7 Representatives:
Bartlett (MD-6)
Gilchrest (MD-1)
Jones (NC-3)
LaTourette (OH-14)
Leach (IA-2)
Moran (KS-1)
Paul (TX-14)

These Democrats supported this step to tyranny. I would assume from political expediency, with many using the same excuse as Republicans, it would be reversed by the courts. The 12 from the Senate are particularly troubling, since this many defections made any chance of a filibuster nil.
In the Senate, 12 Senators:
Carper (DE)
Johnson (SD)
Landrieu (LA)
Lautenberg (NJ)
Lieberman (CT)
Menendez (NJ)
Nelson (FL)
Nelson (NE)
Pryor (AR)
Rockefeller (WV)
Salazar (CO)
Stabenow (MI)
In the House, 34 Representatives:
Andrews (NJ-1)
Barrow (GA-12)
Bean (IL-8)
Bishop (GA-2)
Boren (OK-2)
Boswell (IA-3)
Boyd (FL-2)
Brown (OH-13)
Chandler (KY-6)
Cramer (AL-5)
Cuellar (TX-28)
Davis (AL-7)
Davis (TN-4)
Edwards (TX-17)
Etheridge (NC-2)
Ford (TN-9)
Gordon (TN-6)
Herseth (SD-At Large)
Higgins (NY-27)
Holden (PA-17)
Marshall (GA-23)
Matheson (UT-2)
McIntyre (NC-7)
Melancon (LA-3)
Michaud (ME-2)
Moore (KS-3)
Peterson (MN-7)
Pomeroy (ND-At Large)
Ross (AR-4)
Salazar (CO-3)
Scott (GA-13)
Spratt (SC-5)
Tanner (TN-8)
Taylor (MS-4)

These lawmakers come from both sides of the aisle. They couldn’t be bothered with voting on this step to tyranny.
In the Senate, 1 Senator:
Snowe (R-ME)
In the House, 12 Representatives:
Castle (R-DE-At Large)
Cleaver (D-MI-5)
Davis (D-FL-11)
Davis (R-VA-11)
Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18)
Keller (R-FL-8)
Lewis (D-GA-5)
Meehan (D-MA-5)
Millender-McDonald (D-CA-37)
Ney (R-OH-18)
Radanovich (R-CA-19)
Strickland (D-OH-6)

Please examine these “Halls” and give special attention to any of them that represent you. Encourage those in the Hall of Bravery and hold feet to the fire from the other two. I am especially troubled by the 46 Democrats in the Hall of Shame. Even if they win reelection and the Democrats take numerical control of the Congress, are these 46 reliable enough not to cross party lines and give the Republicans the majority on a whim.

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