Nostra Maxima Culpa (It's All Our Fault)

In requiring Republicans to have principles, we forced them to violate their most fundamental nature. We forced them to live "in the closet," conducting a life of empty pretense and hollow gestures.
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With the current lamentable (albeit hot 'n' spicy) sex scandal concerning Republican homosexual pedophilia, the official cover-up thereof, and the inevitable after-party of breast-beating, hand-wringing, and finger-pointing, we now have no choice. The truth is manifestly clear and all Americans should be man enough, woman enough, and child enough, to admit it.

This is our fault.

By "our" I mean, all persons in the U.S. who are not Republicans serving in government: Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Anarchists, Socialists, Whigs, Tories, Monarchists, Mugwumps, Hobbits, Romulans, Berserkers, Big Scientists, Epsilon Semi-Morons, Eloi, Ewoks, and Ents. It's our fault that the Republicans now have to endure such embarrassment and shame and we've just got to do better to help these people.

The Foley scandal--both the naughty e-mails and the naughty IM's about the naughty masturbation, and the naughty cover-up, the metastasizing of which will probably overwhelm and out-strip this article, and the too-lurid-to-be-true fact that the distinguished (if naughty) gentleman was chair of the House Caucus on Missing (pity, yes, but ho-hum) and Exploited (Yeah, baby!) Children. The lies of Condi Rice. The lies of George Bush. The lies of Donald Rumsfeld. The lies of Dick Cheney. Incalculable financial corruption in Iraq. The "shock" at Abu Ghraib followed, three years later, by retroactive and future legalization of torture. Torture-by-proxy via "rendition." The elimination of habeas corpus for whomever the President decides he doesn't like. Illegal wiretapping (and who among us isn't nostalgic for when that seemed the most outrageous thing they could ever do?). Patronage hacks and nitwit think-tank interns as far as the eye can see, from New Orleans to Baghdad. "Signing statements" written like I.O.U.'s promising not to obey the laws being enacted. The parade of influence peddling and corporate malfeasance led by drum-major Jack Abramoff and followed by the flag-waving, close-order drill team of Safavian, Lay, Skilling, DeLay, Brent Wilkes, Ney, Dusty Foggo and, of course, the Dukester.

Have I forgotten anything? Of course I have. I forgot Bill "Virtue Czar" Bennett's gambling and Ralph "Christian" Reed's exploitation of Indian casino owners. But who can keep up? Add your own favorite examples to the list, and then ask yourself, What do they all have in common?

They all represent, not only the usual boring violations of law or "ethics," but of principle--and not of my principle or yours, but of theirs, the principle and standards the Republican Party has gone to such lengths to brag about and inform us of and advertise for itself.

I refer, of course, to the principle of having principle, of valuing honesty, integrity (stop laughing), clean living, responsibility, accountability (no, seriously; stop), and honor.

All this time Republicans have been laboring under the impression that the American people have wanted them to have principles. And they're right. We have. And they've done their best to accommodate us--but at a terrible cost.

In requiring Republicans to have principles (let alone to act in accordance with them), we forced them to violate their most fundamental nature. We forced them to live "in the closet," conducting a life of empty pretense and hollow gestures. And, really, you can only do that for so long under the narrowest, most constrained of circumstances. Add to that the possession, or the assumed possession, of near-absolute power, and feigning virtue and maintaining the façade are all but impossible.

Like money burning a hole in your pocket, the power burns a hole in your soul. The pressure to be what you really are builds. You become like Basil Fawlty, trying with all his might not to mention World War II to his German guests and becoming obsessed with nothing but, until the dam bursts and the truth explodes.

And now we are faced with the latest result of all that Republican denial-of-self--the latest example of acting out. They act out and they act out until, suddenly, they get caught. So of course they're panicking. Of course they're peering anxiously up the street in hopeful anticipation of the next bus they can throw each other under. Of course one of them...

(Takes deep breath; tries again...) Of course one of them (Cong. Tom Reynolds, R-NY) just held a press conference surrounded by moms, schoolchildren and, literally, babes in arms (whom he refused to dismiss from the room while, ostensibly, fielding questions about homosexual pedophilia), like a vile "terrorist" despicably using civilian populations as human shields because they hate our freedom.

It's not that they're "hypocrites." It's far deeper than that. To have principles violates their innermost nature. When the scorpion (who promised he wouldn't) stings the frog and dooms both of them to drowning, the scorpion isn't being a hypocrite. He's reverting to type.

In the case of the Republican Party--and no one is sorrier than I for realizing this too late--all they care about is power and money. Period. I know that sounds sulky and teen-ager-y and everything, but I mean it to sound dispassionate and intelligent and totally grown-up. Doesn't that explain literally everything they say and do? Who else would join that party, who else would voluntarily work with and for those people, except those whose sole desire is for power and money? What? Oh, all right: Power, money, and sex of one kind or another. But that's it.

The Republican Party has selected for greedy, mendacious, corrupt "unitary executive"-enabling corporatists, and against...well, anything and everything else. Want proof? Just look at it.

Now they're cracking up before our eyes. And I blame us.

We've led them on for years, encouraging them to pretend to care about higher, better, less-nauseating qualities, because they thought it would please us. And now they can't take it any more. The Foley scandal is neither an aberration nor the indiscreet behavior of a single bad apple. It's a cry for help--from one naughty man, yes, but on behalf of the entire Party.

That's why it's time--it's past time--for all decent Americans to proclaim: Come out of the closet, Republicans. Embrace your true selves. Admit--to us, yes, but just as importantly, to each other--to your essential qualities. Have the courage to be in public what you really are in private.

Use this mid-term recess to stand before your constituents and say, without shame or fear, "I'm a Republican. I don't give a damn about truth, morality, the poor, the world, national security, the Shia, the Sunni, the Kurds, CAFÉ standards, health care, the Constitution, global warming, gay marriage, Tour de France doping, Christian values, Islamofascism, flag-burning, poison spinach, Janet Jackson's tit, or what's 'right.' I don't care about principle, or the principle of having principle, and I don't care about you. And that's who I am."

You might as well. Your secret's been completely blown by now anyway.

And then we'll see what we can do to put you out of your misery.

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