D.C. Madam

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I have little interest in who is and isn't on the D.C. Madam's list, though the rank hypocrisy of Randal Tobias paying for sexual massages after a hard day of requiring foreign governments to swear off prostitution before receiving foreign aid to fight AIDS is pretty rich.

What's instructive about this mess is that it shows exactly what it takes to get booted from the Bush administration. Until now, the only thing that could get you axed from the White House payroll was disloyalty. Set the stage for and choreograph an ill-considered and horribly executed war resulting in the death of 3,300 U.S. troops? Get a soft landing as president of the World Bank, where the president says your admirable record fighting corruption in the developing world ought to offset the niggling truth that you yourself have some serious problems with corruption. Mislead the nation and the entire world about Saddam's WMD capabilities? Consider yourself Medal-of-Freedomed!

Ah, but hire an escort? Not in this no-porn, no-gambling, abstinence-happy administration. Have your resignation in hand by the end of the day.

The other slight benefit in all of this is we get to witness the preposterousness of people like Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt extolling the importance of privacy, droning on about "Scarlett Letters" and McCarthyism, and defending the principle of "innocent until proven guilty," likely because this scandal will disproportionately hit Republicans and conservatives, if not in sheer numbers, then certainly when it comes to hypocrisy. Hell, given the way Hannity's valiantly sticking up for the accused in this clip, you'd think there were Duke lacrosse players on that list. If this were a service catering exclusively to Democrats, I'd bet a kidney you'd have Hannity and Hewitt sermonizing about how this just goes to prove the moral depravity of the left.

Check the 3:20 mark for a particularly "oh, come on" exchange.

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  1. Radley,

    I hope for your sake that Rupert doesn’t read H&R! You’re the only reason I’d read anything on FoxNews.com! 🙂

  2. Another great post by Balko.

  3. I can think of two reasons to watch this particular episode of Hannity & Colmes, laddie.

  4. If Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt’s names turn up on that list, I will join a monastery and devote my life to Jesus.

  5. “Hell, given the way Hannity’s valiantly sticking up for the accused in this clip, you’d think there were Duke lacrosse players on that list.”

    Yeah because the only reason anyone ever stuck up for a Duke Lacross players is because they were well LAX players I guess. Had nothing to do with a racially motivated witch hunt or anything and no one who ever defended them would ever defend any other injustice.

    Why is it more hypocritical for Republicans to do this kind of thing than Democrats? Yeah, Republicans like to thump the bible a bit more than Democrats. Please show me one example of a national Democrat who wants to legalize prostitution? I see people from both parties going after porn and gambling and the like. Yeah, this administration is worse than Clinton but it isn’t the Clinton administration was some kind of libertarian one. Moreover, the current Democratic members of Congress will sure as hell take the brick and mortar gambling industry’s money in return for shutting down internet gambling “for the children”. They sure are not rushing to do anything to stop the administration from going after internet porn and would absolutely be a part of any lynch mob going after a sex offender. Also, isn’t the major objection to prostitution a feminist one? That it degrades women and is nothing but an expression of male power? I think it is just as hypocritical of a neutered male Democrat politician who spends his time boot licking NOW for campaign money and votes to be caught with a prostitute as it is for a Republican moralist who spends his time bootlicking the evangelicals for money and votes.

  6. In a perfect world, the list would include a bunch of Libertarians.

  7. Say Radley,
    How does Michael Brown fit into your “How this administration responds” theory.

    1. Lie on resume
    2. Demonstrate gross incompetence resulting in untold suffering
    3. Receive “You’re doing a heck of a job” pat on back from POTUS
    4. Name removed from parking space, desk packed, badge revoked.

  8. John,

    The problem with Hannity’s sudden interest in people victimized by the criminal justice system is that it doesn’t square with, to give just one example, his treatment of Abner Louima.

  9. Barney Frank is trying to repeal the internet gambling ban. There’s one D who’s at least trying I guess.

  10. Radley, I was sort of expecting a post from you regarding the LAPD’s recent use of force at the May Day rally. No input on that?

  11. [On Louima’s statement, from Hannity’s radio show]: “You’re once, twice, three times a liar.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Right-wingers, facts and humor just don’t mix.

  12. Saddam’s WND capabilities

    Saddam worked for World Net Daily?

    Eh, what do you expect from an IU grad.

  13. In a perfect world, the list would include a bunch of Libertarians.

    Most of us don’t make enough money to use such services. Not that there’s anything wrong with them.

    When our wives/girlfriends/boyfriends found out they would exercise their unenumerated rights to make us miserable.

    The best part of the scandal is the delightful Schadenfreude of seeing the supposedly righteous fall. They will say, “It was only a massage” when they ought to say, “Publish and be damned.”

  14. John,

    It will hit Republicans more than Democrats because Republicans tend to hit these kinds of moral turpitude issues harder than Democrats. That doesn’t mean the Democrats aren’t hypocrites too, just somewhat less so.

  15. Poxes on both houses and everything, but this administration has twisted loyalty into a positive vice. I’m more concerned about loyalty to the Constitution and to the nation than I am to persons paying fealty to the POTUS or to any other high-level jokers.

    Maybe patronage is back! I’m leaving now to go gather some clients.

    Apostate Jew,

    I was kidding. I only meant that it would be nice if the LP was in Washington in any numbers greater than zero 🙂

  16. This news item should be called “Dangerous Beauty 2007.”

  17. Brain24,

    Agreed. When your political party presents itself as the moral superior to its opposition, expect a certain amount of glee when your prominent members are caught with their prominent members out.

  18. this administration has twisted loyalty into a positive vice.

    This administration’s definition of loyalty is the same as that of a gun moll.

  19. Ach, not a one of you is going to discuss the buxom lass? The hell you say! This isn’t why I lurk around Hit & Run. Nay, I’m going back to the Scottish National Party’s blogReason be damned!

  20. Jennifer,

    It does have a mob-like feel to it. I don’t view the administration as “pure evil”, though I disagree strongly with a lot of its policies. However, their methods are. . .unsound.

  21. I bet Sean Hannity hasn’t been hiring any female escorts, if you get my drift.

    This is going to be the feel good story of the summer.

  22. In a perfect world, the list would include a bunch of Libertarians.

    In a perfect world, the list would include my name.

  23. nothing but an expression of male power

    I would have thought the opposite, namely that a powerful male (or female) wouldn’t have to pay for it.

  24. …as Bhh’s comment indicates.

  25. “Yeah, Republicans like to thump the bible a bit more than Democrats.”

    Yeah, and the New York Yankees spend a little more on players than the Kansas City Royals.

  26. Yeah, abstinence for you but erotic massages for us. Similarly a Republican-backed bill in Ohio that just passed the senate (SB 16) says strippers cannot be within six feet of a patron and there can be no stripping between midnight and 6am. Their reasoning? Strip joints draw too much crime otherwise. Uh, hello…I say prostitution doubles. How about they love pushing their morals on everyone else but not so much for themselves?

  27. “What’s instructive about this mess is that it shows exactly what it takes to get booted from the Bush administration.”

    Hello, Operator? Please get a message to Radley Balko that a life spent wearing blinders sure must suck.

  28. It does have a mob-like feel to it. I don’t view the administration as “pure evil”, though I disagree strongly with a lot of its policies. However, their methods are. . .unsound.

    I’m not even talking about evil per se here, PL; I’m talking about a sick sort of attitude wherein “loyalty” is considered a virtue in itself, rather than something deserved only if virtue is already present.

    To make an extreme example: I love my boyfriend, but if ever I discovered he were a serial rapist I’d damn sure do what I could to help the cops nab him, rather than allow a sick sense of loyalty to blind me to the harm he’s causing others.

  29. I did NOT have sexual relations with these women.

  30. Jennifer,

    Didn’t mean you were saying that–I was just qualifying my remark. I agree completely. This kind of loyalty is the kind people at Nuremberg were hanged for.

    Oops, sorry Mike.

  31. Mr. Ed | May 3, 2007, 12:09pm | #

    “What’s instructive about this mess is that it shows exactly what it takes to get booted from the Bush administration.”

    Hello, Operator? Please get a message to Radley Balko that a life spent wearing blinders sure must suck.

    That coming straight from the horses mouth…heh.

    So, Mr. Ed, does it suck?

  32. here. Have a carrot.

    Hey – JimmydaG:

    I’m out of glue. Dammit. Where’s the freakin glue.

    ah! of course! of course…

  33. Don’t think for a moment the Democrats don’t thump the bible. What would Jesus drive? They just do it for different ends but they do it just the same.

    Perhaps I am niave but I would imagine if you looked hard enough you would find plenty of local Democratic politicians who want to pass stupid laws like closing stip clubs and the like. Hell, the Democrats run the city of San Antonio and the city banned lap dances when I was there. This in a city whose biggest business is conventions. Yeah, that will help you compete with Veges for the next insurance exectutive convention. I wish it were just a few evangelicals who pushed for crap like that, but its not.

    The point is that everyone on both sides love to get up on the moral bandwagon if it benefits them politically. The same Democrats who will join the lynch mob to run some Republican out of town for frequenting a prostitute will freequent them themselves and think nothing of it. But hey it is Reason so the Democrats are always superior to Republicans, so it makes sense Reason would be happier to see a Republican go down than a Democrat even if said Democrat is some for the children nanny stater who has dedicated his career to destroying the Constitution in the name of stopping preditors and put in a special order with the madam for the youngest girl possible wearing a Catholic school girl outfit.

  34. oh man, i love it. “it was just a massage”. that’s perfect. because whenever someone is feeling a bit tight and needs some muscle therapy – they call an upscale escort service. not a physical therapist, not a sports rehab clinic, fitness club, or reputable spa. nope – an escort service. for a massage.

  35. I’m expecting a m?ssage.

  36. “Please show me one example of a national Democrat who wants to legalize prostitution?”

    Barney Frank (who, as MassHole pointed out, is also in favor of legalizing gambling).

    At least some years ago I received a flyer from Barney Frank’s opponent claiming that he is in favor of legalizing prostitution. His opponent seemed to think that would make the good people of Newton, MA see red.

  37. downstater | May 3, 2007, 12:33pm | #

    oh man, i love it. “it was just a massage”. that’s perfect. because whenever someone is feeling a bit tight and needs some muscle therapy – they call an upscale escort service. not a physical therapist, not a sports rehab clinic, fitness club, or reputable spa. nope – an escort service. for a massage.

    Begs the question: Were they licensed massage technicians? Good thing they weren’t in Hillsborough County, FL. Otherwise they’d be in serious trouble.

  38. I haven’t seen flailing like John’s since the last time I went fishing.

    He seems to just know that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, on the theory that they’ve just gotta be.

  39. Alright, John. I can always tell when your outrage index is maxed because spelling goes out the window. I’m just saying, the R’s thump the bible more than a “bit”.

    You came up with an example, “What Would Jesus Drive.” This came from an evangelical group, not the DNC. Compare that with the Texas Republican Platform or vetting Supreme Court nominees through Dobson.

    Boo hoo, Reason mentioned some Republican hypocrisy. Apparently you think this is unfair. If it upsets you so much, maybe you shouldn’t spend every waking hour here.

  40. I don’t despise these people for using an escort service. Prostitution should be legal. I despise them for being so stupid as to leave a trail that can identify them. Hello, use a pay phone, a fake name and pay in cash you morons!

  41. “In a perfect world, the list would include a bunch of Libertarians.”

    Would a libertarian be a hypocrite for *failing* to hire a prostitute?

    “When your political party presents itself as the moral superior to its opposition, expect a certain amount of glee when your prominent members are caught with their prominent members out.”

    I think *both* members of the two-party cartel present themselves as morally superior. The flip side of this is the mutual accusations of hypocrisy. I suppose both sides are right.

    As post-modern Pharisees, our best bet, if we want to proclaim our moral superiority, is to say, “at least I’m not a *hypocrite* like *them!*”

    Frank had a scandal some years back when his boyfriend was running a prostitution business. But at least Frank wasn’t a hypocrite, right?

  42. The term “massage” has been irreparably tied to prostitution. I recommend that everyone choose to partake in something a bit more reputable, like oriental acupressure.

  43. The point is that everyone on both sides love to get up on the moral bandwagon if it benefits them politically. The same Democrats who will join the lynch mob to run some Republican out of town for frequenting a prostitute will freequent them themselves and think nothing of it.

    I don’t think anybody here is claiming that hypocrisy is the exclusive province of Republicans, John. But overall, the Republicans do seem to be more likely to vocally criticize the same sins in which they indulge. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife. Newt Gingrich also cheated on his wife, whilst loudly proclaiming that Clinton’s adultery was a travesty.

    By way of analogy: Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to give anti-marijuana speeches, but Republicans are more likely to be stoned while they give them.

  44. Yes. Let us be clear. My bihousal poxery is not based on each party being equally vile in the exact same way. Their basic corruption and disregard for things outside of the Beltway are similar, true, but their other vices can be quite different. I do think the differences tend to wash out at the local level somewhat–for instance, a Democrat in a religious town is unlikely to be an atheist–but they do exist, nonetheless.

    For me, it’s the general corruption, abuse of power, and hypocrisy that make me despise all of them at, more or less, the same level. Each party has its virtues and its virtuous, too, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. I suppose I resent the Democrats’ appeal to victimhood a bit more than the negative GOP traits, but ask me that after some GOP jackass has attempted to attack science with his bizarre and arrogant believe that he speaks unerringly for God.

  45. “I think *both* members of the two-party cartel present themselves as morally superior.”

    Yes, but the Republicans proclaim their moral superiority specifically for their positions on issues related to sex, promiscuity, and family values. A guy who gets caught with a prositute isn’t hypocritical for having celebrated his superior moral position on aiding the poor and opposing war. A guy who gets caught with a prostitute is a hypocrite for having celebrated his superior moral position on abstinence, marriage, and porn.

    “Frank had a scandal some years back when his boyfriend was running a prostitution business. But at least Frank wasn’t a hypocrite, right?”

    1. Barney Frank didn’t know about the prostitution, whereas Elias did.

    2. Barney Frank has never presented his private life and his positions on sex-related political issues as evidence of his moral superiority.

    So, no, Barney Frank is not a hypocrite.

  46. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Apropos.

  47. DC Cab was much funnier…

    as you can plainly see.

  48. I have no brief for Tobias and his Clintonisms, but let’s keep some perspective on this whole “who’s the worst hypocrite” contest. I mean, if I wanted to minimize Republican hypocrisy (which I don’t), I could say something like this:

    As I understand the policy Tobias was enforcing, he wanted to make sure that foreign-aid money (i.e., taxpayer money) wasn’t used to subsidize programs which are “value-neutral” on prostitution. You can say he was a hypocrite by using his salary – public funds – to pay a “masseuse.” A key difference is that the salaries of public officials are considered the personal property of the officials – the government’s interest ceases after it cuts the check. With foreign aid, there’s *supposed* to be monitoring after the check is cut, to make sure the money is spent properly. Thus, while the public generally has no business how a government spends his salary during his off-hours, the taxpapers have an interest in seeng that when their money is given to foreigners for certain purposes, the money gets spent in accordance with those purposes – otherwise the taxpayers are simply being robbed.

    See how easy this is? Now let’s try this on the Democrats. They’re big on government schools as being the salvation of children – and they want government schools to be racially integrated. Yet they don’t seem to carry this principle into effect with *their* kids – because they know that it would be bad parenting to expose their children to the consequences of their own policies. So they hypocrically prefer their children to their principles by sending their kids to private schools (which often have a bigger white population than government schools). This applies to Democratic teachers in government schools, too. You may object that education issues aren’t about sex, but without sex, you wouldn’t have kids to educate.

    However, I can play this game both ways, depending on the needs of the moment. I can argue that Dems are more hypocritical than Rep, or vice-versa.

    I think this is called meta-hypocrisy.

  49. “For me, it’s the general corruption, abuse of power, and hypocrisy that make me despise all of them at, more or less, the same level. Each party has its virtues and its virtuous, too, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. I suppose I resent the Democrats’ appeal to victimhood a bit more than the negative GOP traits, but ask me that after some GOP jackass has attempted to attack science with his bizarre and arrogant believe that he speaks unerringly for God.”

    You are exactly right. The general rule the political class of any stripe is that rules are for the peasents not for thee. Of course Republicans who had a fit about Clinton being filanderer were hypocrites. That doesn’t make them any less right to point out the hypocrisy of people crying foul after Clinton was sued for the very same sexual harrassment laws they helped to pass. A average person who is sued for sexual harrassment has no privacy and has to open up his entire sex life to deposition to determine if there was desparate treatment and if he lies about having an affair with one of his subordinates, he is a perjurer. Bill Clinton, not so much. Why? Becuase he is one of us and the rules shouldn’t apply to him. That is the nature of the political class. If you think that someone is immune from that syndrome because they have an R or a D next to their names you are either stupid or a hypocrite yourself.


  50. I think this is called meta-hypocrisy.

    No, it’s called “Hypocrisy 2.0”

  51. Max,

    There is nothing hypocritical about Democrats sending their kids to public schools. You just don’t understand that they are better than the people who go to public schools and their enlightened efforts to help public schools by keeping children out of private schools does not change the fact that they and their children are better and more deserving of an education than kids whose parents can’t afford private schools.

    You need to be more in touch with your inner elitist.

  52. “…but Republicans are more likely to be stoned while they give them.”

    Really? I wouldn’t have thought so.

    I once heard a joke (probably here at H&R) that went something like “Libertarians are just Democrats who own guns or Republicans who smoke pot.” That seemed plausible to me at the time as it incorporated a broad spectrum of rights – liberties, that is – into Libertarian philosophy (if such a thing actually exists). Perhaps not?

  53. Wasn’t “Brownie” fired after Katrina? Rumsfeld “retired” but was fired. So it is possible to get canned in this administration.

  54. Of course there have never been any incompetant cabinet members held onto in other administrations. Never. Janet Reno took responsibility for burning those people in Waco but became the longest serving AG in history. Hazel O’Leary was probably the most corrupt cabinet member since the Nixon Administration, but was never asked to leave. No one is really quite sure what if anything Donna Shalala did other than collect a salary for 8 years.

  55. at least we’re getting some entertainment value for our dollar now, eh?

    or for their dollar i guess…which in many cases is still actually our dollar because we paid their salaries.

    so is it too jaded to say “scratch a moralist, find a perv” ?

  56. How rich that Hannity sits there and snipes that “the media” (which he, of course, is not a part of) just want ratings from this story. So why wasn’t that 7 minutes of his show devoted to some other, more newsworth story? You saw the same thing with Anna Nicole Smith.

    That Hugh Hewitt is awfully reptilian in both manner and appearance. I love how he slithered away from the questions by simply repeating ad nauseum that ABC is biased and YOU BETCHA there wouldn’t be any Dem or ABC names on that supposed list.

    And neither of them would even begin to entertain the question of Tobias’ hypocricy. Toads.

  57. Yes, let us all come together and join on this one point: Sean Hannity is an ass.

  58. “an ill-considered and horribly executed war resulting in the death of 3,300 U.S. troops?”

    Yes, if only that great champion of liberty Saddam Hussein was still in power. 25 million Iraqis would have been freed from the need to exercise free speech, form hundreds of independent media, and hold daily protests.

  59. “offset the niggling truth that you yourself [Wolfowitz] have some serious problems with corruption”

    No, he doesn’t. He disclosed the relationship up front, and the entire matter was reviewed and approved by the ethics board.

    Sort of ironic to see “libertarians” joining the witch hunt against the man who did the most to try to bring Iraqis some measure of liberty. Oh well, Tom Paine died despised and alone too.

  60. Yes, if only that great champion of liberty Saddam Hussein was still in power.

    Creating blatant strawmen is a good way to assure you won’t be taken seriously.

    Oh well, Tom Paine died despised and alone too.

    Comparing Paul Wolfowitz (who said the war would pay for itself and didn’t keep track of troop deaths) to Tom Paine (who said, “He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.”) is an even better way to not be taken seriously.

  61. Of course there have never been any incompetant cabinet members held onto in other administrations. Never. Janet Reno took responsibility for burning those people in Waco but became the longest serving AG in history.

    Calm thyself, John. Nobody here is saying Democrats are angels. Why is it so hard for you to simply say “Yes, this Republican did something scummy” instead of having to lash out “But–but–there have been scumbag Democrats too!” Is partisanship that important to you?

  62. Les:

    Sarcasm != strawman. Not knowing one from the other is a great way to look like a genius (see, that wasn’t a strawman either).

    Tom Paine also said:

    “O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!”

    and

    “Oh ye that loves liberty, loves man. For God made man free, but kings, tyrants, and dictators would reduce the divine in man to the slave of the earth. Hunt the oppressor of man no matter what corner of the world he inhabit, for the tyrant must be eviscerated and entombed, not entreated and entertained. And so therefore stand ready to support the free-man, no matter where he arise, or in what guise, for he is your brother at arms no matter his home or hsi aspect. The day of the closely guarded Citadel of Freedom is over and dead. It is now the duty and mission of every free man, no matter his station, to remember his fundamental duty in this world – to free it. And such freedom can only be spread with the zeal of the missionary, for liberty cannot be nursed and warded by standing along the watchtowers of the frontier – the frontier is what we must now conquer, the unknown and the impossible is what we must now tame. With liberty there are no borders, and in the future we will realize for all men what now we only speak. Be free men for all men in all times and all places, or be slaves of yourselves in the small pits of the world”

  63. If Tobias is trying to ban prositution and seeing one on the side, then he is a jerk. Of course, high end hookers and trophy wives in DC is not quite the same thing as third world prostitution in places like Thailand. I think that there ought to be something done about international trafficing in women.

    Any Dem on this list who is married and not willing to support the legalization of prostitution is a hypocrite to. Just as much or more than Tobias. I seriously doubt Reason will bother to point that out.

  64. TallDave,

    Oh, it’s a Paine-off, is it???

    No, let’s not subject the readers to that (though you found a good one, I’ll admit; when do we go after all the other tyrants and will those actions be as competently executed as the ones in Iraq?).

    But seriously, regarding Hussein, there are any number of people – conservative, Republican, military types, even – who would point out that there were many options in dealing with him that didn’t involve dishonesty and an incompetent, destabilizing occupation.

    And really, Thomas Paine and Paul Wolfowitz? Now, THAT’s sarcasm, baby!

  65. Any Dem on this list who is married and not willing to support the legalization of prostitution is a hypocrite to. Just as much or more than Tobias. I seriously doubt Reason will bother to point that out.

    Reason doesn’t need to; whenever it runs a “Republicans behaving badly” story you’re in the front row screeching “BUT DEMOCRATS ARE SCUMMY TOO!” with the tone of a man who thinks he has an actual point to make.

    Damn. You really aren’t capable of simply admitting a Republican’s being a scumbag, are you? You’re got to bring up a similarly sleazy Dem in hopes of scoring a partisan point.

  66. I recall, Central Park in fall. No, wait, I recall that Reason beat up the Democrats quite regularly and with quite a bit of scorn back when they were calling the shots in the White House. If they take control of the White House and strengthen their hold on Congress, look for the Democrats to get all of the bad press around here. Until that time, the guys in the captain’s chair will get the heat.

    James Bovard did/does the same thing, incidentally.

  67. TallDave,

    Did Paine make these statements in support of the American Revolution, or the French?
    If you think Paine is an authority, consider the “isolationist” sentiments he uttered in his pamphlet *Common Sense,* where he argued that independence would keep America free from England’s European quarrels:

    “Besides, what have we to do with setting the world at defiance? Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free port. Her trade will always be a protection, and her barrenness of gold and silver secure her from invaders.”

    http://www.ushistory.org/paine/commonsense/sense4.htm

    I suppose Paine meant to add – “Peace with Europe will give us a wonderful opportunity to democratize the Ottoman Empire – replacing the tyrannical Sultan with several independent republics whose people will love us.”
    The cause of Paine’s dying alone, according to what I’ve heard, had something to do with his vitriolic public attacks on Christianity. What attacks on Christianity has Wolfowitz published?

    (By the way, Paine had unpleasant things to say about Jews, too – at least the Jews of the Old Testament era.)

  68. Les,

    Yeah, options like “Hey! Maybe Saddam will embrace liberal democracy!” Please. And yes, it was so dishonest to repeat the consensus pf the world’s intel agencies.

    No war is perfectly planned. In WW II, we sent hundreds obsolete torpedo bombers to die in hopeless, futile bombing runs, sent thousands of Marines to needless deaths in frontal assaults on fortified Jap positions, and didn’t even plan for hedgerows in Europe.

    Yes, Wolfowitz is our modern Paine, a true idealist and lover of liberty despised by lesser men who make excuses for leaving tyrants in power.

  69. “Yes, Wolfowitz is our modern Paine, a true idealist and lover of liberty despised by lesser men who make excuses for leaving tyrants in power.”

    He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with criticism in the MSM. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth except when there was a TV camera present.

  70. Mad Max,

    Sure, Paine very reasonably wanted us to avoid becoming embroiled in the interminable European wars that were generally over things like claim to territory or what one king said about another’s wife. He supported wars for freeing people.

    Again:

    “It is now the duty and mission of every free man, no matter his station, to remember his fundamental duty in this world – to free it. And such freedom can only be spread with the zeal of the missionary, for liberty cannot be nursed and warded by standing along the watchtowers of the frontier – the frontier is what we must now conquer”

    He’s not talking about America or France per se, he’s talking about humanity.

    Paine’s attacks on religion were only one reason he died with only 6 mourners. Advocating the freeing of slaves (2 of the 6 were black freedmen) and other positions also made him unpopular.

  71. TallDave,

    I’m still not sure whether you’re quoting Paine from his American phase or from his French phase. Paine saw the French Revolution as the harbinger of a new democratic era for Europe, and he contemptuously dismissed the concerns of those like Burke who said that the Revolution would end in disaster. In fact, the Revolution *did* end in disaster, if you count dictatorship and devastating wars as disasters.

    Maybe Paine was right the first time – when he advocated American nonintervention.

  72. What a waste of time and money… how many tax dollars are going to be wasted on CYA activities now… I couldn’t care less who these people slept with or how much they paid for it… the fact that prostitution is STILL rampant is indicative of a broken and useless law.

    Free the Pussy.

  73. “Maybe Paine was right the first time – when he advocated American nonintervention.”

    Yeah, then we could have avoided those 500,000 deaths in the 1940s.

    I would miss France, though.

  74. I’m *still* interested in knowing if that “liberty has no borders” quote from Paine is from the time he was in America, or from the time he was in France (serving in the French National Assembly for a time). Also, was Paine’s eloquent advocacy in support of American intervention in a foreign war?

  75. TalLDave,

    I’m confused – you’re citing Paine as an authority – a visionary worthy of comparison with the great Wolfowitz himself – yet you don’t seem to like *me* citing Paine. Has Paine suddenly lost his authorative, prophetic voice when he says something you don’t like?

  76. authoritative

  77. Oh, and liberal democracy in Japan.

    “Paine saw the French Revolution as the harbinger of a new democratic era for Europe”

    True, and that nearly killed him, but ultimately he was concerned with not just Europe and America, but mankind.

  78. “Yeah, then we could have avoided those 500,000 deaths in the 1940s.”

    Is that a Godwin violation? Let’s consult our distinguished panel of judges . . . yes, Godwin! Everyone take a drink.

  79. Mad Max,

    I don’t mind you quoting him at all, you’re just misinterpeting him. He clearly wasn’t against intervention per se, just intervention that wasn’t in defense of freedom.

  80. Mad Max,

    Invoking Godwin doesn’t change how incredibly stupid the idea we shouldn’t have intervened in the 1940s was. Sorry.

  81. Damnit TallDave! You stepped on the invocation!

    Everybody skip a round.

  82. Oh, and Godwin’s purvey now apaprently extends to all mention of anything in the 1940s, henceforth known as That Decade Which Shall Not Be Named.

    I will order the expungement of the offending ten years from textbooks immediately.

  83. TallDave,

    Now it’s Godwin *and* straw-man!

    We entered World War II based on what we saw as our national interest, not because of some “with liberty there are no borders” kumbayah claptrap.

  84. TallDave,

    See, I know you mean it as sarcasm, but since zero people have said, “Maybe Saddam will embrace liberal democracy,” it’s utterly useless as part of a rational argument.

    And yes, it was so dishonest to repeat the consensus pf the world’s intel agencies.

    It wasn’t the consensus that there was “no doubt” that Hussein had WMD’s. The international consensus was “maybe he does, let’s keep looking.” It wasn’t the consensus that those aluminum tubes could “only” be used for nuclear purposes, as Condi stated after she’d received reports to the contrary.

    WW2 was over in less than four years, which is how long ago we were told that combat operations in Iraq were over. It’s a terrible, terrible analogy.

    Yes, Wolfowitz is our modern Paine, a true idealist and lover of liberty despised by lesser men who make excuses for leaving tyrants in power.

    To suggest that a man who was a friendly ambassador to Indonesia while Suharto was president is a “lover of liberty” is to admit to some ignorance of recent history.

    But being an idealist and loving liberty isn’t enough (what are you, some kind of hippie?). You have to be competent and man enough to take responsibility for your fuck-ups.

    He said the Iraq war would pay for itself.

    He said that Iraq could pay for its own reconstruction “and soon” (over 4 years ago).

    He said that the occupation could be done by less than 100,000 troops.

    Over a year into the war, he didn’t know how many U.S. casualties there had been.

    So if you want to put someone like Wolfowitz up there with Paine, it’s a free country. I prefer to hold my heroes to somewhat higher standards.

  85. “Maybe Saddam will embrace liberal democracy,” it’s utterly useless as part of a
    rational argument.

    It’s quite useful in pointing out what Saddam was like, and how terrible an idea leaving him in power is.

    WW2 was over in less than four years, which is how long ago we were told that combat operations in Iraq were over.

    You mean “major combat operations in WW II” were over. The occupation STILL hasn’t ended, last I checked.

    To suggest that a man who was a friendly ambassador to Indonesia while Suharto was president is a “lover of liberty” is to admit to some ignorance of recent history.

    Ignorance?

    “JAKARTA, Indonesia — At the height of President Suharto’s autocratic rule, then-U.S. Ambassador Paul D. Wolfowitz publicly offered advice in 1989 that could have landed domestic critics in prison, pointedly telling the dictator that his record of rapid economic growth was not enough.

    “If greater openness is a key to economic success, I believe there is increasingly a need for openness in the political sphere as well,” Wolfowitz said in May 1989 farewell remarks at Jakarta’s American Cultural Center as he prepared to leave Indonesia after three years as ambassador.”

    Indeed.

  86. “[Paine] clearly wasn’t against intervention per se, just intervention that wasn’t in defense of freedom.”

    In his French phase, when Paine was serving in the French National assembly and writing pro-French polemics (except for that unfortunate stint in prison when he came close to being guillotined as a counter-revolutionary), he advocated war for the sake of freedom, freedom being equated with the progress of the French armies.

    Then Napoleon became the dictator of France and the boss of much of Europe, and it began to look like Paine’s equation of freedom with an aggressive, meddling French foreign policy seemed to look kind of, you know, *wrong.*

    That’s why I said Paine was right the first time in *Common Sense* when he hymned the praises of American neutrality.

  87. TallDave,

    I may just be an ignorant liberal who can’t make change when someone pays for a soy drink with an evil dollar bill down at the co-op, but even I know that wanting to see something happen isn’t the same thing as supporting a long, expensive, bloody government program that has a poor chance of succeeding.

  88. That’s why I said Paine was right the first time in *Common Sense* when he hymned the praises of American neutrality.

    And as I pointed out, later events (careful! the Unnamable Decade loometh nigh!) Paine was clearly more right when he advocated actively intervening on behalf of freedom.

  89. joe,

    Well, I’m glad you weren’t advising FDR in 1942.

  90. Oh no! I named it again!

    Oh well.

    Anyways, I could have sworn we deposed Saddam and they held some sort of elections, and made a constitution or something.

  91. TallDave,

    And I’m glad you weren’t advising Clinton in 1993.

    “Eliminate AFDC? Why, you must want people to starve! Don’t give me that ‘it isn’t going to work’ crap! There can be no other possible reason.”

  92. “Anyways, I could have sworn we deposed Saddam and they held some sort of elections, and made a constitution or something.”

    And the country actually became more violent, less safe, and more a threat to the rest of the world.

    Nice trick, fellas. I didn’t think it was possible. Never again will I underestimate the capacity of neo-conservatism to change the world.

  93. TallDave,

    I’m still interested in knowing the context in which Paine made the quoted remarks about intervening in behalf of freedom. Since Paine, in at least one major occasion, got it wrong in interpreting who was pro-freedom.

  94. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my bunk, making up a list of 100 things I want to do with Jennifer Pozner’s hair before I die.

  95. TallDave,

    Suharto was every bit the evil dictator that Hussein was. He killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians during his rule. And you’re applauding Wolfowitz for telling him that he wasn’t growing his economy fast enough and that his brutal, atrocity-laden dictatorship should be more politically open? And as he was leaving his post?

    Those are the actions of an amoral coward. If I didn’t still think you were ignorant about Suharto’s murderous regime, I’d be forced to think you were something else.

  96. Who can forget the stirring passage in *The Crisis* when Paine said:

    “These are the times that try men’s sou – no, not really, because defeating England will be so easy! We just need to invade England and reform their government to make it more democratic so that people there will like us again. It’ll be a cakewalk! Shouldn’t last long at all! They’ll shower us with Cadbury chocolate bars and those cute little scones! They won’t even make fun of our accents! The troops should be home by dinnertime!”

  97. Little-known fact illustrating the similarities between Paine and Wolfowitz: When he was in France, Paine persuaded the Banque de France to hire his “housekeeper,” Mademoiselle Claudette de Chaudfille, to a high-paying job in the Accounts Receivable department. He and Claudette had lots of safe sex.

  98. Which kind of brings us back to the original topic of this thread – hookers! Well, not hookers as such, but at least sex.

  99. Powerful men buy sex because it’s a sure thing

    pay the money, get your ashes hauled

    better than the uncertainty of trying to seduce a woman for cum-dumpster purposes

    especially if you’re one of our government’s reptilian functionaries

    comely babes don’t dig reptiles

  100. Stevo Darkly,

    It took about 100 posts for someone else besides myself to notice that Jennifer Pozner honey. You must be Scottish!

  101. This is not a Republican thing or a Democratic thing or Green or Libertarian.

    This is about the arrogance of powerful men who think they can break the law, and call a phone number and order a woman like pizza.

    They think that they will be able to pull strings to hide their crimes.

    And given the current gossip, that ABC is only going to release 2 more names and a whitewashed report, they may be right. Maybe they are above the law after all. Maybe ABC just doesn’t have the spine to do the right thing.

  102. Hannity is dull
    Prosaically he speaks
    Of imagined truths

  103. Could you possibly jam more fairbanksing into a whole post Radley?

    Christ! Just the Wolfowitz paragraph is worse than a New Republic story, five Examiner stories, three days of Mr. Weigel and a week of Ezera Klein!

  104. I would have thrown in callinf APCs tanks, but you did that yeaterday better than a Nation article.

  105. “Scarlett Letters” – now THERE’S a Freudian slip! [Insert photo of Scarlett Johannsen wearing minimal clothing, looking coy and vulnerable.]

  106. This is about the arrogance of powerful men who think they can break the law, and call a phone number and order a woman like pizza.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with ordering a woman like you would a pizza, so long as that woman has consented to be ordered like one would a pizza. Same thing goes for men who choose to be ordered as one would a pizza.

    You’re right that this isn’t about a political party. It’s about hypocrisy and that’s about all.

  107. You’re right that this isn’t about a political party. It’s about hypocrisy and that’s about all.

    Of course, it must be limited to Republicans because they are the only ones who can be hypocrites. Yea, right.

    There was a Naval Officer in there, who was nout “outed” because she could be courts martialed. Guessing she votes the proper way to work as an escort without being hypocritical.

    The “major Conservative Think Tank” guy who’s story was leaked without his name turned out to be a wrong number repeatedly misdialed by the “Madame”.

    See the latest Washington Post story.

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