Blame All (And Only Those) Responsible for the Foley Scandal
Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936), American writer and humorist, was right:
"Politics ain't beanbag." The Mark Foley scandal demonstrates that yet again. Mr. Foley, a Republican Congressman who rejected some fundamental values shared by the bulk of Republicans, promptly resigned as a Congressman (thereby avoiding expulsion); took the rehabilitation clinic route Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, had followed (again) earlier this year; publicly announced that he is gay; and, in addition to claiming an alcohol problem, claimed that forty years ago he was molested for a couple of years by a clergyman he never saw fit to accuse before and whom he still has not named.
Congress will be better without Mr. Foley, but NOT with either House (much less both Houses) in Democrat control. Democrats are milking the timely (for them) Foley scandal furiously, ignoring the key fact--that Mr. Foley was not really a champion of traditional family values, but a hypocrite who did not practice what he preached and a Democrat whose conversion to Republican was opportunistic and partial instead of principled and complete.
Back in 1960, JFK successfully ran for President by campaigning against an imaginary missile gap that supposedly had arisen during the Eisenhower administration and trying to have it both ways on the religious issues (Catholics would vote for him to become America's first Catholic president and Protestants who vote for him too to demonstrate their fairness or be suspected of religious bigotry).
It worked. Barely.
This year Democrats are campaigning to take control of Congress by portraying Republicans as protectors of a gay man who switched from the Democrat to the Republican and apparently thought of House pages as opportunities.
But that gay man--former Representative Mark Foley of Florida--disdained the traditional values of Republicans and instead embraced the "values" of the Leftists who dominate the Democrat Party. He is pro-choice, not pro-life.
Make no mistake: when it comes to preserving traditional family values, protecting America, respecting the Constitution and promoting prosperity, Republicans generally remain the better choice. (HONORABLE Republicans, that is; not political opportunists like Mr. Foley who misused the Republican Party the way he wanted to misuse Pages.)
Once both the Republican and Democrat Parties were pro-life. The Democrat Party abandoned its support of the right to life of unborn babies. Mr. Foley found it convenient to become a Republican, but without really embracing the moral values respected by Republicans.
Ironically, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Senate's No. 3 Republican and up for re-election to a third term this year, having been pilloried by the secular extremists in 2003 for wisely warning against the United States Supreme Court heading down the slippery sloppy toward moral depravity, by depriving the people of their right to regulate sexual behavior, now is being buffeted by political winds blowing since Mr. Foley was outed as a Page stalker shortly before Election Day 2000.
Senator Santorum should not be a casualty of the righteous rage against Mr. Foley and reasonable suspicion that more should have been sooner to discovery his perverse predilection.
Manuel Miranda, Chairman of The Third Branch Conference, warned of the devastating effect on the judiciary that Democrat success in the upcoming Congressional elections would have:
"By the end of his eight years, President Clinton had confirmed over half of the federal judiciary. Nearing six years, this President Bush has not yet been allowed to fill even one-third of the federal bench.
"I remind you that if we lose the Senate we lose the fight for the courts, especially the Supreme Court. Losing two seats will mean that we will lose the threat of the nuclear option and have the full return of the filibuster. Losing the Senate leadership, will mean that, based on precedent, over 50 judicial nominees will never see the light of a hearing, others will never get a floor vote."
In addition, Mr. Miranda emphasized Senator Santorum's personal importance:
"And on the judge issue, we especially cannot lose Rick Santorum. In fact, I would rather lose the Senate leadership than Santorum. It was his leadership that made the judge issue come alive for Americans when Democrats controlled the Senate in 2002. Bob Casey would merely vote with his leadership on judges."
This term the Democrats cleverly put up a pro-life (for a Democrat) candidate to oppose Senator Santorum. As a first-term Senator, he would be insignificant in the battle to replace judicial activists with strict constructionists and thereby return to the kind of government the Constitution was designed to provide.
Christine McCarthy McMorris, in "Santorum v. Sodomy" (Religion in the News, Summer 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2) related that in an AP interview Senator Santorum. a Catholic, had "blamed his church’s sexual abuse scandal on 'the right to privacy lifestyle' and then proceeded to warn that the Supreme Court’s [then] pending decision on the constitutionality of Texas’ sodomy law could put the nation on a slippery slope to moral depravity."
Senator Santorum: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”
Senator Santorum was reiterating the slippery slope argument made by Justice Byron White (a JFK appointment to the United States Supreme Court).
Senator Santorum also opined that homosexuality is “antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.”
The AP story, by Lara Jakes Jordan, was well titled--“Family Values Drive Santorum’s Politics,” but it was not generally well received when it appeared on April 21, 2003.
There was a news lull after Baghdad fell and the mainstream media targeted Senator Santorum for daring to agree with Justice White.
Ms. McMorris succinctly summarized the firestorm:
"'Hear ye, hear ye,' cried the New York Times, 'Senator Rick Santorum feels obliged to offer gratuitous guidance to the Supreme Court in the form of an ad hoc, highly unlearned ruling that equates homosexuality with bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.' 'Rick Santorum has contracted serious cases of foot-in-mouth disease and intolerance,' opined the Greensboro, N.C. News and Record. 'Just apologize,' ordered the St. Louis Post-Dispatch."
“'[B]ecause it is still respectable to show distaste for gays in the name of moral behavior,' declared the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 'Sen. Santorum does not feel the need to step down from a leadership role or readily apologize for speaking like an oaf.' Concurring chastisement came from the Allentown Morning Call, Erie Times News, Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among others."
In an April 25 editorial, the Wall Street Journal, citing a seven-year old United States Supreme Court decision (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986), ridiculed the attacks on Senator Santorum: “Let’s see if we have this right. By expressing a legal view of privacy already enshrined in a Supreme Court decision, Rick Santorum is somehow unfit for U.S. Senate leadership?”
Regrettably, the White House did not give Senator Santorum the kind of support it is giving Speaker Dennis Hastert now: “The president thinks the senator is an inclusive man,” spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters April 25, “And that is what he thinks.”
As the AP interview showed, Senator Santorum is an orthodox Catholic who does not abandon the tenets of his faith for the same of political expediency:
"SANTORUM: I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships.
"AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?
"SANTORUM: …In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."
Senator Santorum supports traditional marriage, not mocking it.
Adam Nagourney and Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times reported that Senator Santorum is “a Roman Catholic who attends Mass every day” and whose “religious views inform a philosophy that many of his colleagues describe as unwavering and as conservative as anyone’s in the Senate.”
Translation: He's not like Senator Ted Kennedy or any of the other immoral exemplars of either major political party who pretend that supporting a civil right to abort is compatible with the Catholc religion.
IF any Republicans covered up for former Congressman Foley (and it is not established that any did, but it certainly warrants thorough investigation), or any Democrats sat on evidence that Mr. Foley was a danger to Pages, waiting for a propitious political moment for disclosure (and that too has not been established and certainly warrants through investigation), those individuals should be punished, by the voters and in accordance with law.
BUT, bona fide champions of traditional family values, like Senator Santorum and the bulk of Republican candidates, should not be blamed for not knowing what they had no reason to know (and no one has a reason to know that a gay Congressperson necessarily is a threat to Congressional Pages).
Ms. McMorris's article made it absolutely clear that Senator Santorum was not one to set aside his values for political advantage:
"On April 25, the Washington Post’s Alan Cooperman, looking more deeply into the theological issues, turned to Chester Gillis, chairman of the theology department at Georgetown University. 'e’s been listening to the bishops or maybe the pope,'Gillis said, noting that this set Santorum apart from the many Catholics who 'disagree with Church teachings on sexuality.'
"Cooperman pointed out that on January 16 the Vatican had issued a directive instructing Catholics in public office not to 'put aside the church’s teachings when making public decisions on such matters as abortion, euthanasia and same sex marriage.' Santorum, however, required no such directive."
Senatorum Santorum on then presidential candidate JFK's famous 1960 speech to Southern Baptist ministers in Houston, vowing not to take orders from the Vatican: It "has caused much harm in America. All of us have heard people say, ‘I privately am against abortion, homosexual marriage, stem cell research, cloning. But who am I to decide that it’s not right for somebody else? It sounds good, but it is the corruption of freedom of conscience.’”
Ms. McMorris noted that Senator Santorum's poll results remained constant: "For all the commotion, the controversy seemed to have little impact, one way or another, on the stolid citizens of the Keystone State. A Quinnipiac University poll released May 22 found Santorum enjoying exactly the same fifty-five percent approval rating that he had when Jordan’s story appeared a month earlier."
On June 26, the United States Supreme Court overturned sodomy laws in 13 states and Puerto Rico.
Senator Santorum issued a press release declaring that the Court “has determined to slide down the ‘slippery slope.’”
The judicial activists on the Court who effected that result may have facilitated the Foley scandal and the current political impact of it.
NOT Senator Santorum or any of the bona fide champions of traditional values.
As the Judicial Confirmation Network (www. judicialnetwork.com) states, "the proper role of a judge or justice is to interpret the law and the Constitution – not make up the law and deprive the people of the right to govern ourselves" and "a judge or a justice should not use the power of the court to impose his or her personal or political agenda on the people."
If you want activists like Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer (Clinton appointees) on the bench, vote Democrat. But if you want judges who follow the law instead of make it, like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., vote Republican.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.