I have a humor post coming later, I promise, but first this.
EJ Dionne's column highlights the problem of right wing hypocrisy. Moral and family values are more than campaign slogans and those right wingers who now look to blame people other than Mark Foley and the Republican leadership should be ashamed of themselves.
Accountability. As The Anonymous Liberal points out, Republicans made it the hallmark of their 1994 Contract with America--that they would restore accountability. Anyone who thinks that Republicans have accomplished that probably need a reality check.
As I see it, Republicans have two choices. You can either reform your own party--meaning that you actually call your reps and senators when they do stupid and illegal stuff AND stop the President from undoing 900 hears of civilization
You vote Democrat during this election. Not forever. And not without reservations. But we have to have some level of accountability in this system or it no longer works. Bush cannot have carte blanche to ignore laws as he sees fit. Bush cannot bamboozle the American people into two failed wars and then blame Democrats. Even my republican friends and family have to see that.
I would be more than happy to see you reform your own party. But you know that you promise to reform it and then never do, and who ends up walking the dog? er., or cleaning up Congress? We do. We do.
No, until you can prove that you can hold your leaders accountable, you are going to have to vote Democratic. Not because they are more moral. Far from it. Let me guarantee one thing. Democratic leaders will screw up. They will sexually harrass people. They will sleep with someone they shouldn't. They will date hookers and strippers. They will take advantage of the system to line their own pockets, and they will abuse their power.
That seems to be what separates me from my religious right colleagues. I know that people are vulnerable to the lure of power and corruption. I know they are flawed. I know that they are not there because God tapped them on the shoulder and tells them how to vote, but that they are there for a mix of motivations--some good and altruistic, some self-centered and proud.
That is why we have to hold them accountable too. And if you had held Delay, Hastert, Bush and Cheney accountable, we wouldn't need to have this talk.
Vote Democrat. Then maybe, just maybe, we can get back to arguing about how best to govern under our Constitutional government. Not with fear-mongering and gay-bashing. But about how to use government to make this country a better place.