As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Worst October Surprise EVER

So, Republicans are trying desperately to fight fire with fire by finding some sort of equivalent, no matter how shaky, to the Mark Foley scandal, only on the left.

This one, linked to by the Grand Poobah himself, Instapundit, takes the cake.

Democrat congressional candidate Mike Arcuri, while serving as district attorney of Oneida County, N.Y., has billed taxpayers for several questionable expenses, including a call to a phone-sex hotline, according to records obtained by [...]

A close examination of those expense reports reveals that Arcuri billed taxpayers in 2004 for a call to a phone-sex number. (Audio is available here. Some may be offended by its contents.) The phone number appears on Arcuri’s hotel bill. He was attending the New York State District Attorneys Association conference in New York City at the time.

Sounds juicy! A Democrat calling phone sex lines! And then charging the taxpayers for it to boot! This is going to blow the whole Foleygate thing out of the water! The Republicans will rise ag... hm? What's this now?

(This afternoon, after this story was posted, I was informed that the number in question, 800-457-8462, was accidentally dialed instead of 518-457-8462. The latter number is for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.)

So the big "gotcha" moment, the big Democratic sex scandal of the 2006 election, concerns a WRONG NUMBER. The lurid "audio" that they link to is of the greeting to the phone sex line which Arcuri ACCIDENTALLY CALLED IN THE MIDST OF DOING HIS JOB.

Watch Robert B. Bluey (no shit, his name is Bluey) try to salvage this one by spin-spinning away:

(However, this new information raises questions about why Arcuri dialed his calling card, 800-255-2255, just one minute after hanging up on the phone sex hotline, as his hotel bill indicates. The campaign has still not returned my calls seeking an explanation.)

He dialed his calling card AFTER! That calling card call could have been to ANYONE! Arcuri DEMANDS an explanation about why he would use his calling card after dialing a wrong number!

As October Surprises go, this one ranks just below the Great Pumpkin not showing up at Linus' favorite pumpkin patch again. Amazingly enough, Human Events did not have the shame to simply take down the story once its most explosive element was revealed to be a wrong number. But then, what Republicans have the capability for shame?

There also is some ugliness regarding the Wingnutosphere's reaction to the Foley case, according to David Neiwert, with various bloggers revealing the names of the kids involved (which would be in violation of the law if there were an indictment at this point):

In their desperation push back on the Predatorgate Scandal, conservatives are now even publishing the identities of some of the pages involved; the ever-execrable Drudge Report and Little Green Footballs have been leading the charge, but of course there has been a whole phalanx of little pilers-on.

It's all part of a "blame the victims" routine (currently favored by Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage), as if that might actually convince anyone beyond the Kool-Aid addicts who lap up their every syllable. Problem is, this kind of behavior actually just further exposes their morality for the fetid cloaca it is [...]

If I recall correctly, "red-blooded American men" were often described as comprising lynch mobs during their heyday. You've got to wonder if we're creating a whole new generation of them.

The Internet certainly does create a mob mentality on both sides. But there's no excuse for outing the name of a young person who did not ask for anyone to harrass them and hit on them. And by the way, it looks increasingly like the initial source to the news media of the Foley emails was not a Democratic operative, or even Mike Rogers of BlogActive, but a longtime Republican congressional staffer. So take it out on him, not the kids.