Sunday, October 15, 2006

Situational Morals

Let's talk about morality. And priorities, really. To be precise, let's once again talk about Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM).

Heather seems to have a problem with human sexual intercourse. During her first year in office, she voted to have Bill Clinton impeached for having consensual sexual relations with a 22-year-old woman.

Six years later, she became something of an embarrassment to any reasonable adult in New Mexico, by practically bursting into tears over the momentary, grainy exposure of a female breast during a Superbowl halftime show.
"You knew what you were doing," said Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., her voice cracking. "You knew that shock and indecency creates a buzz that moves market share and lines your pockets."
But then, faced with a Republican Congressman like Mark Foley (R-FL) who had an inappropriate fondness for teenaged boys, what's her reaction? She plans to donate the money she got from him to charity.

It would be crude and unkind of anyone to point out that Heather Wilson only seems to object to heterosexual adult relations, wouldn't it? So let's not get into that.

Instead, let's consider a point made by Ms. Wilson's opponent, Patricia Madrid: Heather, you see, was on the House Page Board from 2001 to 2004. Would it be unfair to say that she was one of the people in charge of protecting the pages from predatory congressmen? That was, after all, the reason the Board was set up.
The House Page Board was created after a scandal in 1983 in which two members of Congress were censured after admitting having sexual relations with pages.
Of course, when Ms. Madrid pointed this out, Heather's spokesman, Enrique Carlos Knell, indignantly blustered that "Patsy Madrid's charges go well over the top and don't have any credibility, and she should be ashamed of herself even suggesting such a malicious thing."

(They like to call her "Patsy" - it's a diminutive. They're classy that way.)

But nobody seems to want to ask one question of Mr. Knell. Heather was on a five-person board that was specifically created to prevent congressmen from having sex with a small group of teenaged boys. And she had no idea that there was a congressman out there who wanted to have sex with those same teenaged boys.

So what, exactly, was she doing during her four years on that board? How is it unfair to point out that she wasn't doing her job?

Let's compare that with ads saying that Patricia Madrid, as Attorney General, was responsible for a pervert named Matthew Ward getting "back on our streets"? I mean, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe it's the judge who gets to decide a man's sentence, isn't it? At least, when I'm watching Boston Legal or LA Law, I don't remember the prosecutor getting to do that, anyway.

Hell, let's compare the two cases. Matthew Ward, thinking that he's talking to a 14-year-old girl, tries to get together and have sex with her. Mark Foley, who actually is talking to sixteen-year-old boys, tries to get together and have sex with them. One gets probation and is now a registered sex offender. The other... is in rehab.

Oh, yeah. By the way, in Foley's case (at least according to conservative talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage), the whole thing is obviously a case of entrapment by those teenaged sexually predators against a fine, upstanding Republican congressman.

Go figure.

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