James Dobson Shrugs It Off

The news about Mark Foley is over a week old now. And unless you’ve been up on Mars wandering around with the rover, you know that Foley was the Congressman from Florida who recently resigned after news broke that he had been sexually harrassing 16-year old boys. It’s a fact of life that sexual predators have always been with us. Sadly, Foley’s particular case, while pathetic, isn’t exactly shocking. But what is shocking, and the reason this story has caught on and refuses to die, is the allegation that the House leadership knew about Foley’s behavior and looked the other way. According to Foley’s chief of staff, senior GOP members of Congress knew about Foley since at least 2003 after an episode when Foley got drunk and paid a visit to the House page dormitory after hours. (See TPM’s excellent chronology of events.)

Like many other infidels who have watched the religious right hypocrisy over the years, I waited to hear what James Dobson would say. After all, he is the point man for family values among evangelicals. (As an aside let’s be absolutely clear about one point: “family values” is a code word for a creepy sort of male white superiority — a hearkening back to a so-called golden age when white suburban nuclear families ruled the world, minorities knew to keep their place, and non-traditional gays, atheists, artists, musicians, poets, philosophers and liberals tred lightly at the margins of society.) I wasn’t the only one waiting for Dobson to say something. Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote:

“It will be interesting, by the way, to see how Dr. Dobson, who declared of Bill Clinton that ‘no man has ever done more to debase the presidency,’ responds to the Foley scandal. Does the failure of Republican leaders to do anything about a sexual predator in their midst outrage him as much as a Democratic president’s consensual affair?” [link]

An honest question. After several days of silence the Great Man finally responded to Krugman’s question:

“In fact, it does outrage me, Mr. Krugman,” Dobson said. “We condemn the Foley affair categorically. And we also believe that what Mr. Clinton did was one of the most embarrassing and wicked things ever done by a president in power.” [link]

Dobson goes on to say that news of Foley’s indiscretions were “released by liberals” just before Congress went into recess. Never mind that there is absolutely no evidence for it. The creepy amoral thing about it is Dobson’s attempt to smooth over growing evidence that Foley’s colleagues covered for a pedophile. Notice how Dobson ignores Krugman’s main point and instead focuses on his condemnation of Foley’s behavior. Dobson was foaming at the mouth to call Clinton “wicked” for having an affair — something that probably millions of married men and women do every year. But he is surprisingly calm and cool when several Congressmen look the other way and permit several years of sexual harrassment of teenage boys.

The rest of Dobson’s public press releases have focused on a strange conspiracy involving liberals and the media who are trying to prevent “values voters” from voting for Dobson’s party of choice. Elsewhere he suggested strangely that those darned boys were making the whole thing up. Once again Dobson proves that he is little more than a political animal, a shameless charlatan who cares more about power and influence than the poor and helpess. What would Jesus do?

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    It’s probably not accurate to refer to Foley as a pedophile, which is an attraction to prepubescent or peripubescent children. Ephebophiles have an attraction to adolescents under the age of consent–but there’s no evidence that Foley interacted with any pages under the District of Columbia’s age of consent (16). From a legal perspective, he would have been free and clear if he hadn’t written and supported the passage into law of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which prohibits sexual conversations over the Internet with minors (those under 18), rather than those under the local age of consent.

    This is not a defense of the morality of Foley’s actions–he’s clearly abused a position of power–but it should be put in perspective.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07847594654627240241 Seven Star Hand

    Hello James and all,

    Here’s some red hot ink for your pen. Now help me vanquish the sword!

    Proof that pretending to serve the Creator for wealth and power always leads to calamity

    Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes “blindness”…

    As recent events and millennia of history have shown us, those who bedevil others with holier-than-thou pretenses, as they support and/or perform blatant evil eventually suffer dire consequences. The prime example is the Vatican, which has caused great disasters for itself and its followers throughout history as the direct result of its great deceptions, hypocrisy, and injustices. One of the most recent are the actions of the Christian Right, Bush administration, and Republican Party, all close allies of the Vatican. While scoffing at the existence of Karma, “blind and deaf” hypocrites consistently provide proof that evil deeds regularly lead to the “curse,” mostly commonly known as bad karma.

    If Christians leaders are going to go around attacking others for not living up to their professed values, it’s a damn good idea to be truthful and actually walk the walk. Logs and motes in the eye, camels through the eye of a needle, glass houses, kettle’s and pots, and what goes around comes around, et al. Karma’s a bitch when She finally decides enough is enough! This wouldn’t have been so bad on Republicans if they hadn’t been such arrogant hypocrites in order to corner the so-called values voters! Now the “Two Candlesticks” and “Two Witnesses” (Truth and Justice) are “breathing fire” and “raining hailstones!”

    Pretending to serve the Creator while deceiving, exploiting, and oppressing others is a great abomination. Such great levels of blatant evil scream for Truth and Justice to “breath fire” and “burn” those who think they are somehow above the laws of this universe and basic human values. The recent horrendous luck and disastrous results caused by the Bush crew and cohorts shows us that Truth and Justice never remain defeated forever. Now comes the long-awaited time of “fire and brimstone” to punish those who have used deceptive values and great hypocrisy to unjustly subjugate their fellow souls, while pretending to be “God’s Servants.” The arrogance of the powerful is again reaping the promised rewards for evil deeds and results. Now we see the unfolding of the true meaning and purpose of “Armageddon,” which the Vatican and its cohorts have long confounded because they were the intended targets of these prophecies. Most Christians have long been deceived and deluded into failing to understand that the great deceivers, which ancient prophecies predict the fall of, are the rich and powerful nations, the three faiths of Abraham, and the “three foul spirits” of money, religion and politics.

    Now consider how money, religion, and politics are inseparable because of the inescapable trap (bottomless pit) they form. The symbolism of the bottomless pit refers both to an ancient trap (pit) and to its associated deceptions, hence the inability to “get to the bottom of it.” We are all trapped in a web of deception woven with money, religion, and politics. The great evils that bedevil us all will never cease until humanity finally awakens, shakes off these strong delusions, and forges a new path to the future.

    It’s no wonder the Vatican and its many cohorts fear the truth more than anything else. Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of “faith” but to keep good people from seeking to understand truth and wisdom?

    Here is Wisdom !!