You know, for a guy who's trying to be on hiatus, I'm not staying away from this blog all that much.
I did say I would pop back in from time to time, if the news be worthy enough of comment, and while YES there is something else I need to blog on that's a serious matter, the schadenfreude of commenting on stuff like this is too easy to pass up:
Such as yet another hypocritical Republican elected official getting investigated for sexual misconduct of a VERY scandalous nature. Per the New York Times, but I have to quote it through Yahoo! News because I'm a cheap bastard:
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is under investigation by the Department of Justice for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The investigation was started in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William Barr, the Times reported. The agency is looking into whether Gaetz, a close ally of the former president, violated federal sex trafficking laws by paying for the young woman to travel with him outside of Florida.
Gaetz has yet to be charged with a crime.
Earlier Tuesday, Axios reported that Gaetz, who is 38, had told associates he was considering not seeking reelection so that he could pursue a job opportunity with the staunchly conservative network Newsmax...
I dunno if jumping from Congress to a media job is going to save him, because what Gaetz did at the time - apparently two years ago when he met the young woman - violated Florida Statutes 794.05:
794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.—
(1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084...
To be serving in the House of Representatives, you HAVE to be over 25 (Gaetz was 36 at the time this allegedly happened). The girl in question was 17 when this allegedly happened. The girl's ability to give consent doesn't apply: Statutory is statutory. Gaetz is facing a serious felony charge that would involve jail time (up to 15 years), and no media outlet is going to let him broadcast from Cell Block Six.
And somebody like Gaetz who is SUPPOSED to know the laws - federal and state and otherwise - should have known better.
But no, he did not (allegedly). He didn't even care (allegedly). Gaetz, a big bullying blowhard for the Far Right talk shows, likely thought the laws never apply to HIM (considering his history of getting out of legal jams...).
Back to the Times report (this link may end up behind a paywall):
The three people said that the examination of Mr. Gaetz, 38, is part of a broader investigation into a political ally of his, a local official in Florida named Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl...
So there seems to be (allegedly) a Republican-led sex trafficking ring operating in Florida, of which Gaetz became a target of investigation involving the charges against Greenberg. There is a likelihood of other Florida-based officials being caught in the same orbit.
And that's the thing, isn't it. The hypocrisy of a Republican Party that parades around as God's chosen, screaming at everyone else for our heathen ways, even as they themselves commit sins both sacrilegious and secular. Yes, we catch Democrats in the act of treating young women in abusive and degrading ways, but they don't go around throwing stones at other glass houses, planting the Ten Commandments in our front yards while violating at least six of those Commandments behind closed doors.
The schadenfreude of watching another holier-than-thou Republican confront their sins (allegedly) would be fun to enjoy, except for the fact these Republicans are abusing their powers in office to make the rest of us suffer for their own sick amusement.
Gods help us.
(Note: And yes, I *do* watch Letterkenny for the memes.)
Update 4/2: As all sex-and-money scandals unfold, so too is this one, ensnaring a number of other Republicans and revealing just how deep the rot goes. As Betty Cracker puts it over at Balloon-Juice:
Man, this Gaetz-Greenberg scandal has everything. Snot-nosed rich boys who use their daddies’ money and connections to buy office – check. Arrogant Trump-humping douchebags who think their power enables them to act with impunity – check. Abject morons who leave a trail of literal receipts behind to incriminate themselves – check...
It's even getting worse than what Betty Cracker covers. TPM is reporting how Gaetz was constantly showing off nude photos of his sexual conquests on the floor of the U.S. House. That even then-Speaker Paul Ryan had to call Gaetz to his office to remind him about decorum and behavior in Congress.
This is something from last year in the Orlando Weekly, for God's sake, reported in 2020 but overshadowed by the pandemic: Gaetz may be part of a gang of Florida elected officials as far back as 2013 who were "scoring points" going after women employees or co-workers at the state legislature. Jesus. The last time I heard about this type of behavior it involved a rape-gang of high schoolers.
The bad behavior has always been there. It's been his family's wealth, his political ambitions, and his white male Frat Boy (tm) Privilege that's allowed him to be this bad for so long.
And now think about all the other white male Frat Boys (tm) we know out there in their 30s and 40s who never grew up and still act like this, running around in the halls of power between Wall Street and K Street.
It's always been this bad. The same entitled assholes running around shilling fear and rage on the talking head shows while raping and pillaging behind the curtains because nobody will stop them until it's too late. When the hell are we really going to clean this shit out of the top floors?