Speaker Hastert - Scapegoat

The latest scandal in the Congress has to do with Florida Congressman Mark Foley’s lewd e-mails to pages who have served in the House of Representatives. Apparently Foley never touched one of the pages, all boys, but his e-mails have certainly marked him, a homosexual and at least a potential pedophile, as unfit to either serve in the Congress or be in the presence of young people.

This is an election year and so the opposition has its long knives out, strangely aiming a stab-in-the-back for Republican House Speaker Hastert, accusing him of not protecting the pages, even though Foley never touched them and Hastert claims to have learned of the e-mails only recently. How have other speakers fared when similar situations have arisen? Consider the cases of Illinois republican Dan Crane and Massachusetts democrat Gerry Studds. Crane had sex with a 17-year-old female page and was never reelected; Studds had sex with a 17-year-old male page and was subsequently reelected five times.

The difference between the Crane and Studds cases (1983) was caused by demographics and the same outcome would be the same today regarding the same circumstances. Folks in Illinois took a dim view of Crane’s actions, while Studds’ lurid act of perversion was perfectly acceptable to folks in Massachusetts, in which marriage between homosexuals was legalized in 2004. In 1983, Studds, the homosexual who had violated a 17-year-old boy, actually mooned (virtually, of course – turned his back on) the House when he was being censured.

Stephen Gobie ran a homosexual prostitution ring from Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank’s home. In 1987, the Washington Post broke the story. An attempt to expel Frank, himself a homosexual, from the House of Representatives failed on a vote of 390-38, but he was censured with a vote of 408-18. Frank's political career has survived and he still serves in the House of Representatives, in line to chair the House Financial Services Committee if the democrats recapture the House in November. The speaker in both 1983 and 1987, Democrat Tip O’Neill Jr., kept his office.

In 1974, Democrat Wilbur Mills, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was caught up in his affair with stripper Fanne Fox, billed as the “Argentine Firecracker.” While out with Mills, Fox, with two black eyes, was found thrashing around in the Tidal Basin on the Mall in Washington, while Mills had scratches and broken glasses. Both were drunk. The speaker, Democrat Carl Albert, stayed right in place.

Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported California Congressman Gary Condit’s candidacy five or so years ago for reelection despite his affair with an intern, Chandra Levy, who was later murdered. In California, where homosexual marriage was approved by the legislature last year, that’s not a problem for Pelosi – another case of demographics. The democrat House leader, presiding over landslide-size majorities, was not expected to resign in any of these cases, so the drive against Hastert is purely political. He was not hounded to resign in the Condit affair, either. Foley apparently didn’t touch anyone, but Crane, Studds, Mills, Frank, and Condit did.

In October 1964, just weeks before he faced reelection, President Lyndon B. Johnson was told that his close friend and most trusted aide and father of six, Walter Jenkins, had been arrested on a sex charge, caught with another man in a YMCA toilet. Jenkins, of course, resigned. Even though Jenkins had high governmental clearance at a time when such was never granted to a homosexual because of the possibility of blackmail, Johnson’s opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater, did not make an issue of the matter, another way of not holding one man responsible for another man’s behavior.

The quintessential example of sexual perfidy in government, of course, was provided by former president Bill Clinton, who apparently had a great time dallying with intern Monica Lewinski and others, even coughing up $800,000 to Paula Jones and her lawyers to settle a lurid suit out of court. Besides the well-publicized hands-on violations/perversions, one wonders how a phone-sex conversation would compare to an e-mail. Clinton was impeached in 1998, not for the sexual misconduct, perverted and otherwise, but for perjury and obstruction of justice in his attempted cover-up. The Senate did not think the matter serious enough for removal, so the democrat rush to judgment regarding Hastert is not even small potatoes, though unbelievably hypocritical, even by Washington standards.