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La Cage Aux Foley

Reactions to Ben Stein's "Hypocrisy, Democrat Style." Are Republicans "sick and disgusting"? Plus much more.

10.3.06

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STUDDS SUCCESSION
Re: Ben Stein's Hypocrisy, Democrat Style:

Ben forgot to mention Rep. Gerry Studds, who was involved in a sexual relationship with a page (male), and refused to apologize. But, then, he was from Massachusetts.

Ben Stein has perfect pitch on Mark Foley. But now the Democrats are asking what did Dennis Hastert know and when did he know it -- I want to know when the Democrats first knew about this! This whole unfortunate episode has a certain smell about it. I am wondering about the timing.

We know Democrats hold their best smears to the last month before an election; could this be just that? First, George Allen; last week Mark Foley; this week Dennis Hastert and John Boehner -- who's next?

Remember, the Democrats promised us a scandal a week until the election. More to come, folks, more to come!
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

Re: Ben Stein's homophobic garbage: Gays and lesbians believe in legal protections for people in adult, consensual relationships. To link us with Rep. Foley, who was coming onto adolescent boys (even worse, with whom he was in a position of power), is despicable.
-- Jay Weiser
Associate Professor of Law & Real Estate
Zicklin School of Business
New York, New York

Ben Stein's comments on Mark Foley bring to mind this quote from a news article:

"I don't know anything he could do that would allow him to come back to politics as an elected official," said David Johnson, former executive director of the Florida Republican Party and a political consultant who has worked with Foley.

Well, not so fast Mr. Johnson. As Ben Stein reminds us, Mark Foley could simply change parties (and maybe move to Massachusetts).

If Foley were a Democrat, we wouldn't be focused on his crimes, we'd be hearing about his "personal truth" on the nightly news.

If Foley were a Democrat, we'd be getting lectures about "tolerance."

If Foley were a Democrat, he'd be a role model of the GLBT community -- one who actively encourages our youth to "explore" their sexuality.

If Foley were a Democrat, we'd have a "teaching moment," and we would be asked to keep an open mind to changes in our age of consent laws.

If Foley were a Democrat, he would not have resigned.

If Foley were a Democrat, he would have been re-elected.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Is this post real? Did Ben Stein really write: "an entire party, the Democrats, whose primary constituency, besides the teachers' unions, is homosexual men and lesbian women. I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys." I am not homosexual, and I may sometimes have a similar thought cross my mind, but I cannot believe a known personality put this thought into print.
-- Chris Wyser-Pratte
New York, New York

I enjoyed Mr. Stein's article very much, but unfortunately, I think this issue is seen in reverse terms. It is a matter of group identification. Democrats as a group, ostensibly support homosexuality and promiscuity without reservation, and Republicans are seen to tend otherwise. Despite all obvious violations done to women and homosexuals by individual Democrats (you left out the worst criminal violator of all time -- Mr. Kennedy), their party pays lip service to this view. Thus Mr. Foley's destruction.
-- John Doherty
San Francisco, California

How dare you print something from this ignorant, pathetic homophobe that says, " I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. (Take a look at anyone renting Endless Summer next time you are at the video store.)"

Excuse me? Since Ben Stein says best friend is gay, I suggest he ask his best friend what the difference between HOMOSEXUAL and PEDERAST is?

As a card-carrying faggot from way back, with about 8,000 gay friends, I don't have a single one that is interested in YOUNG BOYS.

PLEASE. You Republicans are so sick and disgusting.
-- Kary Walker
Gaithersburg, Maryland

I think there may be an even more disturbing facet of the behavior of representatives and senators. We had Wilbur Mills and Fanne Fox; Abscam; we had a democrat from the Midwest who liked and had sex with underage girls; we had the Congressional bank scandal; we had Dan Rostenkowski, we had Bill Clinton and his alleged strong-arm sex with one woman and strong-arm come-ons to two others; Mrs. Clinton's instant stock market success; and now Mark Foley's love letters to underage boys...

What this indicates to me is that The United States has two sets of laws. One set is for us schlubs who work 50 or 60 hours a week to have enough left over after paying our incredible tax burdens and the other one for the egotists who truly believe they are entitled to govern us. They seem to have assumed the mantle George Washington was offered and refused: they are all Kings and Queens and thus law unto themselves.

My father once told that never has so much been taken from so many by so few to such little purpose."
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

Ben Stein's, "Hypocrisy, Democrat Style" missed the point. With regard to Mark Foley, the issue is Pedophilia, not Homosexuality.

Furthermore, his statement that, "a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys" is not a fact. Moreover, it is a common myth that homophobic types put forth to support their irrational fear of Homosexuals.

Mr. Stein's statement that he "has many Gay friends" may have been true at the time he wrote the article, but I suspect it's not the case anymore.
-- Jeff E.
California

Although my political persuasion doesn't match Ben Stein's, I respect his intelligence and his experience within Washington politics. It was much to my surprise and my absolute disgust that I read his comments on your site. Comparing a 23-year-old consenting adult with a 16-year-old victimized boy is a shameful attempt at sleight of hand and something I would have expected from a lesser person than Ben Stein. Sexual predators, regardless of their profession or political persuasion, should never be given a pass. Any politician, Democrat, Republican, or independent, found harassing underage pages (male or female), should not only be removed from office but be lawfully prosecuted.
-- Joseph L. Selby
Saint Louis, Missouri

Dr. Stein, after refilling your prescription for clear eyes, do see that this reprobate was messaging teens in high school! You should recognize that fixed terms for both houses and unlimited electioneering leads to rascality in office and a rottenness of conduct. Barney Frank fixed parking tickets for a male prostitute he dallied with, other representatives have used their power to descend on pages, this is disgusting, not let's play gotcha, or odes to hypocrisy! Mark Twain's apercu that our native criminal class is housed in Congress is more apt, but these actions and proclivities are perverse! As an economics maven, Dr. Stein, you should easily recognize Gresham's law here, that the current value of people in power at the national level is determined by the worst type in circulation! And you can apply that law to education, religion, and culture!
-- E. Del Colle

I am part of the primary constituency of the Democratic Party. I am not a teacher or a homosexual. I am incredibly offended by Ben Stein's characterization of my friends, my family and my representatives in Washington. Until I read Stein's column of October 2, I did not associate him intellectually or rhetorically with the hateful fringe of the far right.

What this world and nation need less of is the merchandising of hatred. For shame. In this country you have the right to write and publish such drivel, but that, after all, is one of the prices the rest of us must pay for free speech.
-- Mike Kelly
Austin, Texas

Spot on, Ben! (no pun intended regarding the blue dress, etc., well, maybe a little)
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Nice try casting the case against Foley as being an issue of homophobia. The Foley scandal is about child molestation, and the height of hypocrisy is in this man writing laws against his own routine behavior. The height of hypocrisy is him and his party bashing and infringing upon the rights of gays, meanwhile being closeted AND sick to boot. The height of hypocrisy is REPUBLICANS pretending to be so SCANDALIZED now that the cat is out of the bag, when SENIOR members of the party have known about Foley's behavior FOR 5 YEARS or more.

Did Clinton get nasty with a LEGAL intern? Yes. Did republicans try to lynch him for it? Yes. Has the world forgiven him? No. Did he commit a crime? No.

Come on, Ben! You're way smarter than that.
-- Laura Athavale Fitton

Of course this is hypocrisy on the Dems' part. Before this is over, the Foley story will be their 2006 Wellstone Memorial minute. Democrats just can't help themselves in times like these and will go over the line, as usual, and lose another election, as usual. These people are soooo predictable they are easier to figure out than a multi-state lottery.
-- Michael Marie
Cibolo, Texas

When Ben Stein alluded to "the [S]tars and [B]ars," I presume that he meant what we sometimes see on the bumpers of pickup trucks. That flag, properly referred to as "The Confederate Battle Flag," is informally known as "The Southern Cross."

The term "Stars and Bars" refers to the first national flag of the Confederate States of America (adopted in March of 1861), which had a field of three broad horizontal stripes -- two red, with a whit e stripe between them -- and a blue canton in the upper-left corner which bore a circle of seven white stars, much in the manner of the Betsy Ross
Flag.
-- David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

You're absolutely correct that a major reason Rep. Foley is a story at all is because of Clinton and because of hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy, however, is that the same people who tore after the Dems for years because of a sexual affair (the same people who make "gay marriage" an issue every two years) suddenly want to sweep it under the carpet (or into the closet) when it suits them. Only when the story broke out did the "party of values" convince Foley to resign. How long the Republican leadership kept that secret will soon be known.

Mr. Stein: You may personally not be the type of Republican who gets red in the face about men having sex with each other, however that is your party. You want to have an honest discussion of real conservative values such as free trade, capitalism, security, states rights, and immigration? Then let's have it all the time -- not just when it's Republicans trying to change the subject.

Like it or not (and I suspect you do not), this is story because you cannot be a member of a group which claims the higher moral values, and play politics at the same time. Let's all be moral, or let's all be in the mud. This is the administration of black and white choices, so make yours and stick with it.

Oh, yes: And then there was the actual issue of the 15-year-old boys. 15 years old, Mr. Stein. Lewinsky was 22 years old -- barely, "barely legal," as you insinuate. Gross, and a desecration of the office, but not pedophilia -- as is the case here.
-- Jesse Erlbaum
New York, New York

The Mark Foley affair seems to be taking the familiar route. Democrats say, "The Republican leadership knew about the [insert scandal here]. The Republican leadership should resign."

Should the Democrats really be given their choice of Republican leadership?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

Brilliant, incisive column by Supergenius Ben Stein. How can you be all gay AND against pederasty?

His empathy for this "poor misguided Republican man," which stems, doubtlessly, from his many touted gay (ergo pederast) friends, is admirable, and weird!

But contrariwise, does Ben Stein have no straight friends who can assist him to view Clinton's frolics with an adult Monica Lewinsky with the jarring benevolence he affords Mr. Foley's lewd remarks to a child? Because Mr. Stein seems (somewhat obsessively, after all this time) to find the whole cigar thing more disturbing than Foley asking an eleventh-grader to masturbate into a towel for him, and I can't say as I think that it's actually, you know, worse.

WOW!
-- Sebastian Wreford

I have read some pretty wild-eyed things in my day but...There is no excuse for pedophiles, or those that attempt to prey on children. Ben Stein attempts to justify, or put into context, the actions of a man that was talking dirty to a 16 year old boy, by illustrating that Clinton had engaged in sexual relations with a "barely legal" intern is SICK! First off, barely legal is a stretch, 21 is old enough to buy beer in all states, and it is, above and beyond LEGAL!

Foley was "IMing" a boy that was not of legal age. After all of the "rule of law" statements from the Republican Party shouldn't they just be slamming this guy? This is not the time to turn this into a partisan fight. Just take aim at this bastard and let the bullets fly. Make sure that this has not happened with others, and make sure that it will never happen again.

The Republican Party can easily take the high road and discipline all that did not take action, and show the American public that the Republican Party stands for family values, and will do anything to protect children.

Shame on Ben Stein, and shame on you for publishing this crap.
-- Matt Geller

I had thought you an educated and reasonable man, even though I rarely agreed with you on policies and political positions, but your surprisingly asinine comment today has put an abrupt and lasting end to that thought for sure.

Shame on you, Ben! And shame on your editors at the Spectator for not correcting your fallacious comment(s) and ignorance but actually allowing you to publish this claptrap. It should not have been a surprise to me that you based your comments on truthiness rather than on facts as so many people of your political persuasion often do, but I was. I will not make that mistake again.
-- Russ Greene
Waltham, Massachusetts

If the GOP wants to ensure defeat in November, what we need is more opinions like that from Mr. Stein. Do we really think Americans are completely braindead? Trotting out the Clinton story of consensual sex between adults and prehistoric stories about Democrats like 90-year-old Byrd, are not going to cut it, we must be mad. Even the most simple can figure out that if Hastert & Co. have known about the ''over friendly'' emails for months and didn't tell the Democrats on the committee responsible for pages about these self-evidently improper communications, that then there is a big cover up going on. If Stein and his like make it onto the mainstream media or cable stations, the Democrats are going to have a field day. And if his opinions represent where we are on this, perhaps they should.
-- John Harris

Is your Ben Stein column for real? Do you really want to support pedophile like the Florida congressman?
-- Brian Heffron

Fie, fie on you Ben, for pointing out the fact that Democrats do the same things but suffer not the same penalties!

Thomas Sowell so rightly pointed out that unlike Republicans, who do wrong but have a sense of shame and enough honor (or more likely common sense and a hope for leniency in both the real court and the court of public opinion), the Democrats have an old-fashioned Soviet-style "Nomenklatura." That is the thin veneer of those at the top that can do no wrong (or at least will not be prosecuted or upbraided by their fellows) as long as they vote the right way and stay loyal to the Party. (See Kennedy, E., Clinton, W.J., Jefferson, W., Clinton, H. R., Frank, B., Studds, G. et al. for cogent examples.)

But deviate from the Party and pay the ultimate price (see Lieberman, J. for an example.)

So much for the inviolate rule of safety of "live man, dead woman," as it only counts if you are not a member of the "Nomenklatura."
-- Cookie Sewell
Aberdeen, Maryland

Go Ben!!!
-- Jim Steel
Pensacola Beach, Florida

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