Fumbling toward failure
Kane County Board candidate Brent Schepp's was arrested
on 26 counts of forcible sexual abuse. Notice the Hastert
sign on his lawn
You wake up one morning to find out your daughter has been raped by a business associate, one whom owes you $250,000. If you persue him, you could lose everything you worked for over the last 25 years. His fall could cost you everything.
What do you do?
Hide it, make it go away or call the cops?
David Brooks likes to call the GOP the Daddy party.
But what good is Daddy, if he stands by and let you get raped.
Republicans have based their entire political appeal on the ability to protect the American people. The Daddy theme has been their political subtext in the post 9-11 world. They have used this to denigrate war veterans, restrict rights, even wage war. They have used this as a bludgeon for those who would question their actions in the slightest.
Bush, of course, has played this hand better than most. His swagger and clever misprounciations plays on the image of the Western hero concerned with results over process. Process is for pussies. The GOP sold results. Yeah, it was bullshit, but it sold to a lot of people.
Of course, the results sucked, but the second part of the pitch was that the Dems were too weak to protect you. Bush even said it last week.
Images are hard to shake, and that of the weak, appeasing liberal, never true, merged with the hippie of the 1960's, and has been used to define Democrats who want even the smallest restraint on force. The chickenhawks of the right slam actual veterans with the language of phony bravery. They were tough, they were the decision makers, they would make the hard choices. Just because you survived Vietnam, doesn't mean you're as resolute as the draft dodger willing to wage war with other people's kids.
Then came Mark Foley.
All the tough talk was bullshit. Complete bullshit. Utter bullshit. When faced with a real crisis, one that needed to be solved, they ran like little bitches. They all hid from their failure. They couldn't stop blaming each other. It was a disgusting scene. Hastert claiming ignorance, people blaming children for the actions of adults, a revolting scene.
A lot of people think the true believers will soldier on.
Because this is too grand a failure. The House refused to protect children, not for a year, but for a decade. Jim Kolbe's rafting trip is now a federal case, each day more dirt comes out about Foley and his disgusting actions, showing up drunk, sleeping with a former page, it's a jackpot of the worst nightmares of the American mother.
You can't say after five years that you're the bulkwark against the brown hordes, but fail to keep the boys from being buggered. There is no way to explain that, no way to excuse that, no way to wish it away. People worry about bombs and terrorists in the abstract. They worry about their children in the here and now.
There are always voters who will seek to be right at any cost. They will blame the GOP's problems on the Democrats, the flying spaghetti monster and the media. But there are going to be women, and more than a few men who will dredge up their nightmares, dredge up the worst parts of their lives and see the fat lying Hastert taking the place of the principal, the priest, their dad, refusing to see, refusing to act.
Some crises are worse than others, mean more than others and this is one of those times. Because it strips the bullshit and gets to the core of the man. Are you a coward or not. Will you do the right thing or not.
I recently posted a story about a young Marine who was killed in combat and may win the Medal of Honor. His family and friends were surprised at his bravery, but not the character behind it.
They knew the content of his character.
People thought that if they could trust anything, it would be the House of Representatives, that if they ran something, it would not be of concern. But to have that level of betrayal is beyond surprising. How could Congress fail to protect children? How could they let a predator at the kids in their care and then lie about it, blame the kids, do everything but man up and admit they fucked up, horribly.
People are seeing the character of men like Kolbe, Hastert and Reynolds and they are not happy at what they see. Because it is way too familiar to too many people.
posted by Steve @ 3:43:00 AM