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Party Time!

Rob Port, my sometime colleague and head honcho of Say Anything, points out that ABC News has put out a slide show of political sex scandals, with Eliot Spitzer leading a bakers' dozen of bigwigs caught with their pants down. And as Rob notes, it's a wonderful opportunity to play "Name That Party!"

Here's a rundown of the disgraced pols, with party affiliations as ABC notes:

  1. Governor of New York State Eliot Spitzer(party unknown)
  2. Former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL)
  3. Former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA)
  4. Senator David Vitter (R-LA)
  5. Former Bush Administration Secretary of State Randall Tobias (party unknown)
  6. President Bill Clinton (party unknown)
  7. Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (party unknown)
  8. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
  9. Spokane, WA Mayor James West (party unknown)
  10. Representative Bob Livingston (R-LA)
  11. Representative Dan Crane (R-IL)
  12. Representative Gerry Studds (D-MA)
  13. Representative Wilbur Mills of Arkansas (party unknown)

(Note: I used the term "former" to denote those who resigned from office over the scandal.)

So, let's look at the numbers:

Identified Democrats: 1
Identified Republicans: 6
Unidentified Democrats: 4 (Spitzer, Clinton, McGreevey, Mills)
Unidentified Republicans: 1 (West)
Unclear: 1 (Tobias is probably a Republican, but not definitively)

Try as I might, I can't come up with a consistent, impartial rationale for why certain people got their affiliation listed, while others did not. Prominence -- i.e., "everyone knows what party they are with" -- doesn't fit, as I'd never heard of James West and had to double-check on Wilbur Mills, who's been out of the public spotlight far longer than Gerry Studds.

If I put on my cynical hat for a moment, though, it makes sense: "we'll identify all but the most obscure Republican by party, but we'll skip all the Democrats except one. And we'll make that one Studds, since his scandal is kinda sorta tied in with Dan Crane's, and we identify him, so if we say Studds was a Democrat, it'll look nice and balanced."

I also question the listing of Cunningham as a "sex scandal." Cunningham's corruption was all about the money; even the hookers were paid for by a defense contractor. The sex part was incidental, and it was his wallet -- and not anything else in his pants -- that put him so deservedly in prison. I'd have tossed in Mel Reynolds -- the former Representative (D-IL) who was convicted of sleeping with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer, went to prison, had his sentence commuted by President Bill Clinton (party unknown) (who had an affair with an unpaid intern) and then went to work for Jesse Jackson (who fathered a child on one of his charity's staff, and had his charity pay her handsomely).

But that would have made the partisan split almost balanced, and we can't have that, can we?


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Comments (28)

Well I'm expecting to see a... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Well I'm expecting to see a list about how vile the Republicans are. You know one of those cut and paste lists that starts off with national level politicians but then starts padding the list with a switch to state level senators, then county executives and ends up with a plumber that worked at the town dogcatcher's one time.

One of those lists with so much local politics, you could never compile a competing one from the interweb and can only be put together at partyhack central.

The democrats embrace devia... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The democrats embrace deviant behavior. ww

Doesn't that list usually c... (Below threshold)
SteveC:

Doesn't that list usually come from barney or larkin or one of the donkey cockroaches?

jpm100, SteveC, I dunno if ... (Below threshold)

jpm100, SteveC, I dunno if it's a competition between them or they take turns, but it is fairly predictable...

The goal, I think, is to bury the most recent scandal that makes Democrats look bad in a pile of irrelevant bullshit. And, shame on us, we often let them get away with it.

Nice move, though -- pre-empting them.

J.

Ah yes, Mr" Independent"t s... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Ah yes, Mr" Independent"t sees a 'vast left wing media conspiracy' in the works. Too funny.


But if the issue is who is naughtier then the answer is clearly neither side. Human nature with its attendant weaknesses happens to folks from all walks of lives and all political party.

I think this asinine debate about which side is morally superior is, well, asinine - and that's an understatement.

Ah yes, Mr" Independent"t s... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Ah yes, Mr" Independent"t sees a 'vast left wing media conspiracy' in the works. Too funny.


But if the issue is who is naughtier then the answer is clearly neither side. Human nature with its attendant weaknesses happens to folks from all walks of life and all political parties.

I think this asinine debate about which side is morally superior is, well, asinine - and that's an understatement.

Shorter version of JFO : 'E... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Shorter version of JFO : 'Everyone does it, so let's not pay attention when a Dem gets caught.'

Longer version of JFO Nessm... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Longer version of JFO Nessman since you assume you know what I really think.

I hope Spitzer resigns. I want all the facts out. If he did anything criminal he should be prosecuted.

Jay..I noticed straight awa... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay..I noticed straight away the news reports didn't have Spitzer's party affiliation.( a fair point). Moreover nor did the original Wixbang/ Jempty post, based mainly on the AP wire from yesterday. Was that an oversight? Most of those cited are better known Governors, the Republicans are lesser know congressmen..Hey but this is big, big story about Spitzer- run with it..

Hillary who sought Spitzer's endorsement has no comment about the scandal and said she will wait and see how this plays out in the nest couple of days.."Only dead fish swim with the stream".

Don't forget Gary Condit.</... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Don't forget Gary Condit.

It's almost CUTE how JFO ma... (Below threshold)

It's almost CUTE how JFO makes everything about me. Notice how he doesn't offer any kind of an explanation for the phenomenon. He doesn't even dispute it. He just wants to mock me.

JFO reminds me of a chihuahua frantically humping away at a leg. It's cute and funny as hell -- unless it's your leg.

Anything to say about the facts I noted, JFO? Or do you just want to keep frantically humping away?

J.

I'd hate to think that whoe... (Below threshold)
David MacKinnon:

I'd hate to think that whoever put this list together at ABC was this forward thinking, but the missing party affiliations would also skew any studies of sex scandals based on that criteria, should anyone use rather superficial internet searches to back up their arguments in the future.

Actually, JFO's post is com... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Actually, JFO's post is completely tangential. It's not about "who's naughter".

The topic is whether party affiliations are listed in some negative news reports and not in others - which is 'yes'. It's obvious that the there is a lack of consistency. So, is there some tendency that correlates with the subject's party affiliation ? My anecdotal experience says 'yes'.

It's almost sad that JFO is so Pavlovian partisan he not able to read and comprehend. I fully expect him to follow up with another completely tangential and pointless post.

FYI - Wilbur Mills of Arkan... (Below threshold)
sshiell:

FYI - Wilbur Mills of Arkansas was of the Democrat variety.

Try as I might, I can't ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Try as I might, I can't come up with a consistent, impartial rationale for why certain people got their affiliation listed, while others did not.

Seems pretty obvious.

With the exception of Mills, Congresspeople had their affiliation listed, and others did not.

It's assumed to be common k... (Below threshold)
Roy:

It's assumed to be common knowledge that perverts are from the Democrat party, hence no label needed. It's only news when they're Republicans.

Brian, you said it yourself... (Below threshold)

Brian, you said it yourself: "with the exception of Mills."

If there's an exception, then it ain't a valid explanation. Especially when there's such a small sampling.

J.

Speaking of whores. Did yo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Speaking of whores. Did you see that Bob Novak and Ann Coulter went out on a date? I wonder who paid whom?

And for those that asked here is the extensive list of republican sex scandals.

http://dkosopedia.com/wiki/Republican_Sex_Scandals
depp=true
notiz=you are reprehensible

Right, Jay. It's a guy from... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Right, Jay. It's a guy from 34 years ago that no one has heard of, but it makes for such a delicious VLWC!

I assume you'll now retract all of your previous posts with analyses that were based on "with the exception of", especially those with an even smaller sampling of events.

...and BarneyG wins the boo... (Below threshold)

...and BarneyG wins the booby prize!

Brian, "obscurity" simply doesn't wash as an explanation. I'd never heard of Jim West (outside of The Wild Wild West), and I had to double-check the spelling of "McGreevey." And I STILL think to call Cunningham's disgrace a "sex scandal," and he was only tossed in there to put another Republican in -- especially when Mel Reynolds is available.

But then, it turns out that ABC has a long history of disinterest in Mr. Reynolds' bad points, so his omission is understandable. Inexcusable, but understandable.

J.

Jay, you hit the nail on th... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jay, you hit the nail on the head with the chihuahua label. That's exactly what JFO reminds me of.

Being horny is apparently a... (Below threshold)

Being horny is apparently a bipartisan thing.

JayI'm so hurt tha... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Jay

I'm so hurt that you think i mock you. It's not true, not true, not true.

I'm just mocking the post. What do I have to offer re the point in your post? The same thing I said before - you obviously see some vast left wing media conspiracy. Otherwise why would you write what you did?

Who the hell knows why they left off some of the party affiliations? Here's a guess. Usually when a congressman/senator is named in an article , their party affiliation is tagged next to their name. Maybe the author was too lazy to look up the rest.

WHO KNOWS? WHO CARES? Only those of you who believe in the vast left wing media conspiracy - usually right wingers but occasionally an alleged "independent."

Who the hell knows why they... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Who the hell knows why they left off some of the party affiliations? Here's a guess. Usually when a congressman/senator is named in an article , their party affiliation is tagged next to their name. Maybe the author was too lazy to look up the rest.
-------------------------------------
Just another dishonest post from a well-known dishonest liberal who was not honest enough to admit who he is. He is too dishonest to admit the obvious. He dare not question the obvious liberal dishonesty, which he freely drinks from.


I think it is easier to lis... (Below threshold)
Oleg:

I think it is easier to list Republicans because Democrats are not claiming moral superiority. Except for Spitzer, of course, which is a disgrace.

Democrats do not claim mora... (Below threshold)

Democrats do not claim moral superiority, so, um ... yeah - that makes it really hard to add the (D) next to their name.

Democrat: But I never claimed to be moral.

Media: Oh, now see? You've gone and made it hard for me to add the (D)!

So, Oleg, you're saying tha... (Below threshold)

So, Oleg, you're saying that we should EXPECT the Democrats to be scumbags? Because they don't pretend to be anything else?

Thanks for clearing that up.

J.

"Right, Jay. It's a guy fro... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

"Right, Jay. It's a guy from 34 years ago that no one has heard of, but it makes for such a delicious VLWC!"

Perhaps its an "age thing", but the Mills scandal was by no means obscure when it happened as it was front page news while the scandal ran its course. The events also forever altered what pops into the minds of people old enough to remember when they now hear the words "tidal basin".




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