How To Decide if Hastert/Foley Should Go/Have Gone


Small "l" libertarian Democrat Terry Michael, former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and current head of the Washington Center of Politics & Journalism, has a very good post up about the Mark Foley/Dennis Hastert issue. A snippet:

Through their democratically selected Republican representatives, let the citizenry decide whether Hastert should stay or go. I wish Mr. Foley had chosen to be judged by the people of his district in Florida, rather than hide behind a smarmy, lawyerly "I was drunk and molested" defense.

A Democrat involved in a page-related sex scandal a few decades ago, gay Congressman Gerry Studds, stood before his voters and was repeatedly returned to Congress. His straight Republican colleague, Dan Crane, who had sex with a female page, was fired immediately by those who had sent him to Washington. Gay Democratic Congressman Barney Frank and gay Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe both won approval of their constituents after they were outed while in office.

In all those cases, a crowd casting ballots probably showed more wisdom than some House "ethics" committee or "independent" counsel could ever muster.

And he's got some pretty good political advice for the Republicans, too, I think:

My advice to you, for what it's worth, is to stop playing with the fire of anti-gay bigotry. I say that as a Democrat who's not exactly proud of my party's countenance of religiously-justified slavery and segregation for a century-and-a-half.

You fan the flames of hate too long, and you end up in political hell.

Whole thing, well worth reading, here.