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Election Hell & Gossip Galore

Janet Kuypers, 11/06/06

Okay, so when the midterm elections were coming around, bizarre stories were springing out like mad (people wanting to cause trouble were winding those Jack-in-the-Boxes so tight that the stores just had to come out right before election day). Let’s think about it for a moment...
It was released that Mark Foley was sending hot text messages to a former male Congressional page (okay, he’s not married, but really, do we need to know this?). But Newsweek reported in its October 5 edition that Foley’s homosexuality was an open secret in Washington, and Foley was even in a long-term relationship. The thing I find funny is that although this is just one Republican Congressman, people were being polled and questioning the “Republicanability” of other people Republicans would normally vote for. (Really, if one political person in your party is gay and sends IMs back and forth with a Congressional page, is that grounds to shake you decision to vote for anyone in your party?)
But wait, as the election date grew closer, a Democrat running had Michael J. Fox speak in an ad to help support the Democrat and stem-cell research. The problem was that Michael J. Fox’s symptoms of his Parkinsin’s disease were very evident in the ad, and everyone wondered if Fox had decided to stop taking his medication for this ad (I mean, Fox did say he stopped taking his meds to talk to Congress to make people realize the effects of Parkinson’s...). Rush Limbaugh even went on his radio show to say that he though Fox was exaggerating his symptoms for effect (the only reason I saw it was because The Daily Show talked about it, and The Colbert Report went to great lengths to make fun of Rush Limbaugh’s web broadcast of his mimicking Fox’s motions). Now, I won’t get into whether Rush Limbaugh is a fool for thinking that, if Michael J. Fox is fair game to be picked on because he threw his hat in the political arena by being in an ad supporting a Democrat, but I can say that after seeing Fox in a later interview with Anderson Cooper, it was evident that his Parkinson’s is at the point that he can’t just stop taking his meds to show the effects of Parkinson’s. About 20% of people taking these meds have this reaction, where instead of getting stiff in later stages of Parkinson’s by not taking their meds, they get very limber in their reaction and have uncontrollable physical responses.
But I can question some of the comments Fox made in his Anderson Cooper interview... Now, people questioned the notion of “killing a life” by using embryonic stem cells, and Fox said that these samples are actually just being thrown away. His numbers were too high for what is just “thrown away,” but he otherwise has a good point.
But the thing is, I don’t even get that much time to consider what Michael J. Fox said, because other bizarre news gets thrown at people at the same time... The only main thing I can think of (other than people having an issue with so many existing Republican cogs in President Bush’s well-oiled machine) is Ted Haggard, a Colorado Evangelical reverend. You see, just weeks before the midterm elections, a gay prostitute (Mike Jones) made allegations that Haggard paid him for sex for three years.
Now, I know this is about some religious guy and not a political icon, but (A) Rev. Ted Haggard was a leader, by being the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (sounding like political leaders...?), but more importantly (B) the revelation that an evangelical leader paid for sex and bought drugs from a male escort was one of the first steps to put Republicans more “on the ropes” for this election. Even The Age reported that “Mr Haggard, 50, resigned late last week as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a lobby organization in Washington that put him in regular contact with the White House and George Bush” — which is hopefully enough to make anyone consider that someone is linking these things to politics.
And the thing is (this one really gets me) is that although a gay male prostitute had “revealed” to the world that he had a three-year paid affair with Rev. Ted Haggard, the married reverend with five kids later made the statement that he did pay for a massage from this gay male prostitute, and that he also bought methamphetamine from him... And that he actually never even used the meth.
Yeah, that makes sense. That’s a good story to explain why this Evangelical reverend didn’t have sex with the gay male prostitute. He only paid him for a massage, and paid for meth — which, by the way, he didn’t even take. I believe that. I know, I know, they later gave Mike Jones a lie detector test and saw that he probably wasn’t telling the truth, but I have to admit that it doesn’t matter if Haggard’s explanation was true or not, it’s still a good story. “I didn’t have sex with a gay prostitute, I just paid him for a massage and paid for meth, which I inconveniently never even took.”
You think a lot of crap doesn’t come out right around election time? I won’t even begin to mention the Hell the Bush Administration has gone through near election time (I’ll save all of that for another editorial, trust me), but let’s summarize some of the points Ron Gunzburger brought up at a blog archive at politics1.com:
“Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH)admitted accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars of unlawful gifts and trips from convicted felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for official actions... It’s been over a year since the FBI search warrant uncovered nearly $100,000 of cash hidden in the Louisiana Democrat Congressman Bill Jefferson’s home freezer... Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) or Congressman John Doolittle (R-CA)... Even consider that the criminal charges against resigned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) remain pending...”
The point? Well, I guess the point is that the dirty laundry comes out toward election time... I even heard news broadcasters report that Rudy Giuliani still had the highest voting percentages if he ran for President, and Rudy Giuliani hasn’t even said he’s running for President. But those same newscasters even speculated that Rudy Giuliani may be holding off on starting his campaigning for the Presidency because everyone knows that the more you’re out there, the more you’re exposed to having every aspect of your life scrutinized, so people can out your most bizarre secrets out there and put every part of your life through the ringer. You know, like how we’ve seen all of this mess come out right around election time.




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