Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And The Bitch Is Back

Last week, I wrote how payback is a bitch, and when you set yourself up as some moral authority, you're going to pay a heavy price when (not if) you show your feet of clay.

Well, here it comes:
Democrats have big lead after sex scandal": polls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic candidates have a big edge on Republicans one month before elections to decide control of Congress, a flurry of new polls said on Monday, with ratings for President George W. Bush and Congress dropping after the Capitol Hill sex scandal.

A USA Today/Gallup poll gave Democrats a 23-point edge on Republicans in the battle for Congress, while a CNN poll gave Democrats a 21-point lead.

A ABC News/Washington Post poll found Democrats held a 54-41 percent lead in the congressional horse race among registered and likely voters, which ABC said was the biggest Democratic lead this close to election day in more than 20 years.

And a new CBS News/New York Times poll showed 79 percent of respondents thought Republican leaders were more concerned with politics than the well-being of the teenage congressional assistants who received lewd messages from former Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida.
Key, that last paragraph, so I emphasized it.

For more than twelve years, we've had, first, the televangelists running the Republican party, then Congress, and then a President, lecture to us about the "moral values" that are sorely lacking in this nation. We heard about it during the Clinton sex "scandal", the battle over gay marriage, Janet Jackson's nipple slip, Ten Commandments in the courtroom, Terry Schiavo, Howard Stern, immigration policy...all the while, all this was happening as a subtext to it all.

Even as those stories began leaching out, the GOP would continue to hammer the rest of the country, good decent folks, some of them actually liberals, about terrible Hollywood moral values and how the Coasters (Left and Right, as opposed to the honey-voiced harmonies of the 50s singing group) were out to ruin heartland America with their beliefs of tolerance and peace.

Well, it looks like the dam has burst and the American people, while they'll tolerate some hypocrisy, won't be overstuffed like a bad Thanksgiving turkey.

But why is it always about sex with us? Bush and the Republicans lied about a war, and thousands of America's youth are dead for it. Bush and the Republicans have likely stolen more than a few elections, and yet people are not up in arms about the sanctity of their vote. Bush and the Republicans stole money from the working classes in the form of programs designed to clear a path to a moderate amount of wealth, and gave it to the rich, and hardly a blip appeared in opinion polls. That list goes on.

But a pervert lets his pecker lead his brain, and suddenly Americans are storming the barricades, trying to throw the fuckers out?

It reminds me of the old joke: "I am the CEO of one of the world's biggest corporations, but does anyone call me a magnate? I give millions each year to charities, but does anyone call me a philanthropist? But suck one cock..."

Why is this? It can't be that we're the most moral country in the world. France has a greater percentage of church attendance, Islamic countries certainly have tougher moral codes than we do, hell, many Third World countries practically govern by Papal bull, but none seem to have the particularly noxious reaction that America does to a good old fashioned sex scandal.

Why is that? Yes I know, in the UK, Foley would also have been forced to resign in disgrace, yadayadayada, and probably any country would have similar reaction to sex (or even just sexual advances, if you buy the right wing spin on this) with a minor below a certain age...although I'm fairly sure 17 would pass cultural muster in places like France or Spain...but here, if you want to take down a celebrity or leader, just find him or her in a compromising position with a person he or she is not married to, and the nation eats them alive.

Hell, even we liberals are as guilty as the next critter of similarly offensive behavior when it comes to judging our own peers. Remember Gary Hart? A man who, stupidly, challenged the press to discover Donna Rice. When he was found out (the next day!) did liberals rush to his defense?

Nope. They left him twisting in the wind, despite the fact that he could still have made a good President, and hey, if he was getting a bit on the side, damn, she was a fiiiiiiiiiiiiine one to be getting it from!

This is a puzzle I've pondered on more than one occasion, and frankly have never been able to come up with a satisfactory...well, not even a rationalization, much less an answer. Jealousy? Morality? Media manipulations?

None of these fit the bill, and all seem more to describe symptoms than the root problem. For example, media manipulations would only skim the surface, seeing as so many in media have their own perversions and peccadilloes to deal with, some of which even make the radar of society as a whole. Why would they call so much attention to sex scandals knowing the clown at the door will be ringing their bell next?

Any thoughts?

UPDATE: scribes at Martini Republic posts an interesting thought on this precise issue.
The reality-insulated suburban soccer moms have never seemed to mind the war too much, so long as there’s no draft. They’ve never cared about the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice Axis of Lies running the country, because that’s just all about terror, which only happens in cities, so who cares. They know that military service is for poor people, not children of the married smug in the suburbs. They’ve never worried too much about global warming, oviously; their SUVs and minivans and neighborhood-bereft lifestyle is testimony to that. And rape only happens in the inner city, doesn’t it? And birth control will always be available to white people, right? So the fundie zeal against choice hasn’t fazed them much either.

But they’d like to think that one of their highly-pampered, safety-seat-strapped darlings might end up a Congressional page someday—and that has given them pause.
It's a start, but far from an answer.