No, not really.
I have a habit of committing faux paus. I tend to say what I'm thinking and try to be forthright and honest. In some company, that can be impolite. I'm not very practiced at being deceptively friendly.
So I had no problem with being called a troll, and being informed that I was offensive. Well, I was called a Republican and I was called a 'Concern Troll'. Both were clearly intended to be insulting terms on Eschaton's Blog.
But what concerned me was understanding how I offended, and I think I understand it.
I made the argument that the Mark Foley event was really a non-event. It wouldn't hurt the Republican chances at election time and would be forgotten in two weeks.
Some folks were celebrating his status as a pedophile that had gotten caught in the act, so to speak. It seemed a big coup.
When I argued that he was probably going down anyway and that the timing would probably benefit the Republican Party well, that's when feathers got rankled and I got on the troll filter.
So I'm a party pooper and evidently not a true Democrat, because I see wheels behind wheels in this incident, while Democrats see a chance to celebrate. That is my sin, if I understand this correctly. And worse, I predicted a positive outcome for the Republican Party. Merely saying this outloud, brands me a traitor in a political party that wouldn't have me anyway.
And here's how I see it.
Mark was going down anyway. You can only talk dirty on IMs and text messaging so long, before word gets around. I know he has been doing questionable things like this for years, but this could well have been coming to a head. The NSA wiretaps likely had records of all of his conversations.
The Republican Party can't afford for this to go down in November. It has to happen soon, or after the elections.
The Senate is debating legislation that would be controversial if the public learned about it. It legalizes gulags, torture and the secret detentions of anyone that the US Military picks up. Once they get you, that can automatically torture you and imprison you forever. It doesn't matter if you're a citizen, or how innocent you are. Once they pick you up, you're guilty automatically.
They probably cut a deal and let him know ahead of time how it would go down. No prosecution if he disappears for a while. He's now in a private facility until after the elections. Or is he about to check in?
So by leaking now, they get the Democratic Party accepting a Sacrifice Pawn while they go after the Queen.
They get their torture legislation passed in a quiet peaceful session. The media hypes Mark Foley until the legislation is passed.
Bush makes a speech, sounding grand and whatever, says terraist and pederphiles a lot. He makes grand moral gestures with his headed doing the turkey move. Republicans feel better, because they've eaten one their own and regained the moral highground.
By the time the elections happens, the public will ask, "Foley who?"
The net effect is a Democratic loss, and a loss of our freedoms. While the Democrats gleefully party over a sacrifice pawn being taken from the board, the Torture Bill get's passed with no fanfare.
One of the questions I was asked was, "How do the Republicans benefit?" And the short answer is, he was going down anyway. So the Republicans picked the time and place, and were on their marks and ready for the media. They took their own down. It wasn't Hillary that blew the whistle. The media took days to even report it, because they were in on it.
The Republicans chose their ground, and have taken the tactical lead here.
For some reason, Democrats believe they'll have a majority in 2007. I doubt that, but... It won't slow Bush down any. The Democrats are already saying they won't impeach.
One person asked why Bush wouldn't fear the power of subpoenas. Well, he and Condi have danced that dance before. They took months to get around to it and then cut a deal first. What was the deal? They wouldn't testify under oath. Then they went and lied about everything. What fear is there in appearing for a political sham like that?
The only thing that can possibly reign Bush in, is fear of impeachment and as Mark Foley has shown us, it's probable there's dirt on a lot more politicians that could be brought to light. They are likely to sit back and remain silent in 2007-2008.
If this assessment offends you, then that's a good thing. It bothers me.
And finally, what charges will ultimately be brought against Foley? No one is saying he actually touched any boys. Maybe he did. Maybe this will billow into a big deal. But right now it sounds like his crime is that he was talking dirty to minors. That is a crime, but not as serious as the charges that would be brought if he actually had relations with one of those boys.