October 3, 2006

Double Standard Sort-out of WaPo Article (Plus “Oversights”)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:26 pm

Here is a useful grouping of politicians mentioned in this article by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post — commentary unnecessary:

Republicans whose personal sex-related scandalous behavior was exposed who resigned or did not run for reelection: Mark Foley (Congress – 2006), Bob Livingston (Congress/Speaker of the House – 1998), Bob Packwood (Senate – 1995).

Republicans who lost subsequent reelection races or who ended political campaigns when personal sex-related scandalous behavior was exposed: Thomas Evans (Congress – 1982, lost in 1982); Bill Crane (Congress – 1983, lost in 1984); Jack Ryan (IL Gubernatorial Candidate – 2004, dropped out).

Republicans whose political careers survived personal sex-related scandalous behavior: NONE.

Democrats whose personal sex-related scandalous behavior was exposed who resigned or did not run for reelection: Wayne Hays (Congress – 1976); Wilbur Mills (mid-1970s, forced out of Way & Means chairmanship, but was re-elected by voters after scandal exposed; did not run for reelection after “relapse”). (Aside: The WaPo article gives the casual reader the impression tha Mills resigned from office, but he never did. He only resigned from Ways and Means. — Ed.).

Democrats who lost subsequent reelection race or who ended political campaigns when personal sex-related scandalous behavior was exposed: Gary Condit (Congress – 2002, but more because of his possible association with Chandra Levy’s murder than the affair he may have had with her); Gary Hart (1988, but ONLY AFTER being rejected by New Hampshire primary voters).

Democrats whose political careers were uninterrupted despite personal sex-related scandalous behavior being exposed: Gary Studds (Congress – 1983; served until retirement in 1996); Barney Frank (Congress – 1985; still in Congress); Jim Bates (Congress – early 1990s; re-elected once); Bill Clinton (President – 1998-1999; despite impeachment for lying under oath and obstruction of justice, completed second presidential term).

Note that it has been more than 30 years since any Democrat has been forced to resign from office by his own party before actually being convicted of crime relating to personal sex-related scandalous behavior (Mills was asked to step down as Ways and Means Chairman, but he decided not to run for reelection after his “relapse”; Hays DID resign on September 1, 1976).

Not mentioned in the article (how convenient — Ed.): Ted Kennedy (Senate – 1969; though obviously never proven, it is reasonable to believe, based on subsequent behavior, that he was having an affair with the drowned Mary Jo Kopechne); Mel Reynolds (Congress – 1995; resigned only AFTER he was convicted “on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography”).

While it is some comfort that someone at the Post noted the glaring inconsistencies, its treatment was nowhere near as complete as it should have been. It also glosses over the fact that scandalized Democrats who left office, unlike Mark Foley, did so only after a great deal of kicking, screaming, and resistance.

Cross-posted, with some revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: A commenter at the NewsBusters link noted the following Democrat additions not mentioned above (links are to Wiki entries that corroborate):

  • Fred Richmond (Congress – 1978; served until 1982; add to the “uninterrupted careers” category) Richmond was a Democrat from New York who was arrested for soliciting sex from a 16 year-old boy, was not disciplined, and was re-elected in the same year.
  • Gus Savage (Congress – 1989; served until 1992; add to the “uninterrupted careers” category) Savage was a Democrat from IL. He was found guilty by the House of fondling a Peace Corp Volunteer but was not disciplined and later re-elected. Savage held the seat before Mel Reynolds defeated him after redistricting in 1992.
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