A relatively short journal entry
Return to the Forthuyse Home Page:
Now that all the conventional hoopla has subsided somewhat, I feel it is safe to wade through these troubled waters and see what we can retrieve from them after the recent political hurricane in Minnesota.
Is it me or was something essential missing in St. Paul?
Like that fat Chesshire Cat in Alice's Wonderland, which only left its grin, Bush W. seems to have become well nigh invisible, leaving only a virtual Smirk. That was still more than we saw of Cheney who didn't even leave his Snarl--or of Rumsfeld whose Grimace has been gone from the scene for a long time now.
But apart from this unholy trinity, there were many more bodies missing in all the hoopla: where were all the main characters of the last eight years that used to grace the Publican stage?
Where was Karl Rove? Where was Tom Delay? Where was Alberto Gonzalez? Where was Ralph Reed? Many other formerly prominent names were also either avoided or barely mentioned.
For sure, there are some juicy stories on the Democratic side as well, but (except for Edwards and Spitzer) none quite so richly stewed in their own hypocritical juices. Check the long list hereunder and get a whiff of the pungent pot pourri, this smelly rotten pot, for yourself:
From his long and questionable history--I will list just two samples of probable misconduct:
On July 10, 2005, Newsweek posted a story from its July 18 print edition which quoted one of the e-mails written by Cooper in the days following the publication of Wilson's op-ed piece. Writing to TIME bureau chief Michael Duffy on July 11, 2003, three days before Novak's column was published, Cooper recounted a two-minute conversation with Karl Rove "on double super secret background" in which Rove said that Wilson's wife was a CIA employee: "it was, KR [Karl Rove] said, Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on WMD issues who authorized the trip". In a TIME article released July 17, 2005, Cooper says Rove ended his conversation by saying "I've already said too much."
In March 2001, Rove met with executives from Intel and successfully advocated a merger between a Dutch company and an Intel company supplier. Rove owned $100,000 in Intel stock at the time but had been advised by Fred Fielding, the White House's transition counsel, to defer selling the stock in January to obtain ethics panel approval. Rove offered no advice on the merger which needed to be approved by a joint Pentagon-Treasury Department panel since it would give a foreign company access to sensitive military technology. In June 2001, Rove met with two pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. At the time, Rove held almost $250,000 in drug industry stocks. On June 30, 2001, Rove divested his stocks in 23 companies, which included more than $100,000 in each of Enron, Boeing, General Electric, and Pfizer. The same day, the White House confirmed reports that Rove had been involved in administration energy policy meetings while at the same time holding stock in energy companies, including Enron.
In 2005, a Texas grand jury indicted DeLay on criminal charges that he had conspired to violate campaign finance laws during that period. DeLay denied the charges and pled not guilty, saying they were politically motivated and the law he was indicted under did not apply until later, but Republican Conference rules forced him to resign temporarily from his position as Majority Leader. In January 2006, under pressure from fellow Republicans, DeLay announced that he would not seek to return to the position. In the months before and after this decision, two of his former aides were convicted in the Jack Abramoff scandal. DeLay ran for re-election in 2006, and won the Republican primary election in March 2006, but, citing the possibility of losing the general election, he announced in April 2006 that he would withdraw from the race and resign his seat in Congress. He resigned on June 9, 2006, and sought to remove his name from the ballot. The court battle that followed forced him to remain on the ballot, despite having withdrawn from the race.
Judge Alberto R. Gonzales (born August 4, 1955) is an American jurist who served as the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Gonzales was the first Hispanic to serve as United States Attorney General. While Bush was Governor of Texas, Gonzales had served as his general counsel, and subsequently he served as Secretary of State of Texas and then on the Texas Supreme Court. From 2001 to 2005, Gonzales served in the Bush Administration as White House Counsel. Amid several controversies and allegations of perjury before Congress, on August 27, 2007 Gonzales announced his resignation as Attorney General, effective September 17, 2007.
In early July 2007, Vitter's phone number was included in a published list of phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates, a company owned and run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, also known as the "D.C. Madam", convicted by the U.S. government for running a prostitution service. Hustler magazine identified the phone number and contacted Vitter's office to ask about his connection to Palfrey. The following day, Vitter issued a written statement:
This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there - with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.
The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included in phone records dating from his days as a member of the House of Representatives. Phone records show that Vitter's number was called by Palfrey's service five times, the first on October 12, 1999, and the last on February 27, 2001. Two calls were placed while House roll call votes were in progress.
On July 16, 2007, after a week of self imposed seclusion, Vitter emerged and called a press conference. Standing next to his wife, Vitter asked the public for forgiveness. Following Vitter's remarks, Wendy Vitter, his wife, spoke. Both refused to answer any questions.
As background, several news outlets reported that in May 1999, Vitter replaced Congressman Bob Livingston after Livingston resigned due to an adultery scandal. Vitter said about Livingston's decision to resign, "It's obviously a tremendous loss for the state. I think Livingston's stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess", referring to the Monica Lewinsky scandal of President Bill Clinton. In 2000, his wife, Wendy Vitter, commenting on the same scandal, said, "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he [Vitter] does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me," referring to the incident of Lorena Bobbitt severing the penis of her husband and to Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton.
Once known as a crusader against child abuse and exploitation, Foley resigned from Congress on September 29, 2006 after allegations surfaced that he had sent suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to teenaged males who had formerly served and were at that time serving as Congressional pages. As a result of the disclosures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened investigations of the messages to find possible criminal charges. The House Ethics Committee has also opened an investigation into the response of the House Republican leadership and their staff to earlier warnings of Foley's conduct.
Ralph Eugene Reed, Jr., (born June 24, 1961) is a conservative American political activist, best known as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990s. He sought the Republican nomination for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, but lost the primary election on July 18, 2006 to State Senator Casey Cagle. Reed is also a part of, and implicated in, the ongoing Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. Reed and his wife, the former JoAnne Young, were married in 1987 and have four children.
During debate over the impeachment resolution on December 19, 1998, Livingston stepped down as Speaker-elect and announced he would resign from the House in May 1999. After denouncing then President Bill Clinton over the issue of adultery, it was made public that Congressman Livngston had himself kept several mistresses. It was also made public that he had participated in sexual bondage games, role playing, and attended fetish parties. In the months before Livingston's resignation, Larry Flynt claimed to have received evidence that Livingston had indulged in extramarital affairs. Livingston was succeeded by David Vitter, who later went on to become the first popularly elected Republican Senator from Louisiana. Vitter won a jungle primary special election runoff. In July 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey's prostitution service in Washington, D.C.
On August 27, 2007 the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call revealed that Craig had been arrested for homosexual lewd conduct in the men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 11, 2007, and entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8, 2007. As a result of the controversy surrounding his arrest and subsequent guilty plea, Senator Craig announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference on September 1, 2007, which was to become effective on September 30, 2007. After failing to withdraw his guilty plea, on October 4, 2007, Craig released a statement refusing to resign as senator for Idaho.
Jack Abramoff (born February 28, 1959) is a former lobbyist, and a businessman who was a central figure in a series of high-profile political scandals. He is serving time at a minimum security federal prison in Maryland.
Randall Harold Cunningham (born December 8, 1941), usually known as Randy or Duke, was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 50th Congressional District from 1991 to 2005.
Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. On March 3, 2006, he received a sentence of eight years and four months in prison and an order to pay $1.8 million in restitution. Prior to his political career, he was an officer in the United States Navy for 21 years during which time he became a flying ace for actions during the Vietnam War.
Robert William "Bob" Ney (born July 5, 1954) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Ohio. A Republican, Ney represented Ohio's 18th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until November 3, 2006, when he resigned. Ney's resignation followed his guilty plea to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in relation to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.
Did I miss anyone--there were so many good and wonderfully moral people on that publican stage.
Indeed where was El Maverico himself, that Senator John McCain who voted 9 out of 10 times with Bush and still defends the Republican record of the past eight years? Who admits that he does not understand much about the economy but makes the assertion that it is in great shape:
Who criticizes Obama for being a rock star and a celebrity with little experience and then picks Sarah Palin as his Prima Donna? Oh no, his Prima Donna, his First Lady, that would be Cindy McCain, of course--Sarah is supposed to be the Pitbull standing ready to conduct foreign policy and be commander in chief of our armed forces in case the unforeseen happens to McCains 72 year old ticker tape parade.
We saw a lot of biographical haloism during the Publican convention regarding John McCain--but something was missing from his hagiography--just how he met his current wife, for instance:
In 1965 John McCain, a member of the US Navy, married an attractive model named Carol Shepp. In 1967 McCain was sent to Vietnam. It didn't take long before McCain was shot down and taken prisoner. Carol waited faithfully for McCain during his imprisonment. In 1969, Carol was in a terrible car crash. She was thrown through the windshield and suffered serious injuries. But Carol would not allow her POW husband to be notified of what had happened to her because she didn't want him to feel any additional stress. She stood by her man, alone, for the 5 years he was in prison.
McCain was released in 1973 and returned home to find that Carol's accident had "left her 4 inches shorter and on crutches, and she had gained a good deal of weight."  McCain no longer had a trophy wife he could feel proud of.
By the late 70's McCain had engaged in adulterous behaviors, as chronicled in the book "The Nightingale's Song" by Robert Timberg. Timberg wrote:
"Off duty, usually on routine cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John started carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women with whom he was linked by rumor were subordinates. At the time the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of McCain's persona, impossible not to take note of."
In 1979 John McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley at a military reception in Hawaii.  Cindy was a millionaire and very attractive. McCain was eighteen years older than the wealthy Hensley, but that didn't stop him from developing an adulterous relationship with her. 
McCain says of their first meeting, "She was lovely, intelligent and charming, 18 years my junior but poised and confident. I monopolized her attention the entire time, taking care to prevent anyone else from intruding on our conversation. When it came time to leave the party, I persuaded her to join me for drinks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. By the evening's end, I was in love."
Knowing that Cindy's father had extensive business and political contacts , McCain decided to abandon his first wife and marry Cindy. McCain divorced Carol in April 1980 and immediately married Cindy the next month, May 17th. With the Hensley fortune and connections, McCain ran for Congress in 1982. He craved power and has been on a course to secure ultimate control ever since. Un gran maverico indeed.
Well, OK, maybe I should stop here. I would not even have perpetrated this kind of journal entry, were it not for the atrociously hypocritical way Republicans have of smearing their political opponents--and continue to do so even today--regardless of the truth of their allegations, and often allowing their shadowy alter egos to do the dirty work for them--while themselves hiding behind the most threadbare deniable culpability.
Obama has pledged he will not engage in any smear campaign, een smeerveldtocht--but personally, I do not consider it smerig, or dirty, to expose hypocrisy in those who do make use of smear campaigns--either directly or indirectly--while cloaking themselves in the holier than thou robes of travesty.
Palin, should McCain be failin', was perhaps picked for one important reason: to be McCain's
pitbull with lipstick
as she herself intrepidly has suggested. I thought she was very funny, by the way. Unlike McCain, she sure knows how to deliver a joke. For instance, she also said that being the mayor of a small town was a lot like being a community organizer. Oh yeah? The statement was funny, but untrue.
Here is a little news flash for you Ms. Palin:
Organizing a community of 7000 Alaskans in a hamlet called Wassila is not exactly equivalent to organizing a community of inner city folks in a huge megalopolis like Chicago, with all its diversity and complexity--where the majority of people had lost their jobs when the local steel plant closed.
Here is the single job offered in Wasilla Alaska, according to City of Wasilla : Home
|MUSC Build Support Worker I - Temporary||Temporary||9/11/2008||$13.50 per hour - non-exempt|
For an exciting overview of what is happening in town, see:
Let's compare that with a News Flash about the Chicago job market, shall we:
"After a year, All Kids Bridge program to help chronically ill..."
Which community would have required more skill in organizing--Wassila or Chicago?
And here's yet another news flash:
You know who also were community organizers?
Jesus Christ and Usama bin Laden
You know who also were governors?
Pontius Pilate and George W Bush
What conclusions should we draw from these observations?
Stop skating on hot ice, especially when you are a big fat elephant!