Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Over at Pam’s House Blend, Pam Spaulding writes about the predictable story of yet another moralist – this time the abstinence-only State Department official in charge of global AIDS policy – caught with his pants down. Quoting an ABC story:

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.

..On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the “Pamela Martin and Associates” escort service “to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage.” Tobias, who is married, said there had been “no sex,” and that recently he had been using another service “with Central Americans” to provide massages.

Right. Let’s call this the Ted Haggard excuse. Think his wife buys it? Not bloody likely. This ranks up there with “I didn’t inhale”, “I am not a crook” and “I don’t recall” as the great lies in political history. And this is just the beginning. ABC’s Brian Ross, who has seen the phone records, says:

“There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers,” Ross said. “And there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers — a long, long list.”

So stay tuned for much more. Pam then quotes herself from an earlier post during the Foley scandal, where she wrote:

[I]t’s becoming clear to me that there are two Washington DCs — the first is the one we read about in the MSM’s coverage of government — full of stuffed shirts, major egos and jockeying for power, with a lot of waste, fraud and abuse of the taxpayers’ money.

Then there is the other DC that appears when the sun sets — an over-sexed, bacchanalian, orgiastic hotbed of god-knows-what that we hear about in rumors and whispers (in blogs or in private emails). It occasionally peeps into public view when a major scandal erupts, and then the wagons eventually circle and the latter DC quickly “disappears” from public view.

All I can say is: you have no idea. Most Americans have absolutely no idea just how dark the dark side of Washington DC is. It goes far beyond a whole bunch of married and publicly anti-gay Republicans who are secretly bisexual and very promiscuous (David Dreier, Mark Foley and Ed Schrock are only the tip of the iceberg; there are many more who haven’t been outed yet). And it goes far beyond lobbyists hosting hotel suites full of hookers and blow while wooing Congressmen and Senators.

I’m talking about prostitution rings that provide underage girls and boys for VIPs in town, whichever they prefer (this is not hypothetical; one of my best friends actually rescued a 14 year old boy who worked for one of these rings and got him away from that life). We’re talking prominent legislators, most of them public and outspoken advocates of “family values”, showing up at parties with escorts on their arm and goblets full of cocaine (again, not a hypothetical; this actually happened and happens regularly).

If Americans really had any idea what really went on beneath the surface in the nation’s capitol, they would be shocked. As cynical as most people think they are about politics, they’re actually overly naive. The real Washington DC makes Sodom and Gommorah look like Mayberry.


  1. #1 Jason I.
    April 30, 2007

    The real Washington DC makes Sodom and Gommorah look like Mayberry.

    Now I’ve got this bizarre image in my head of Mayberry overlaying DC. Bush as a hick Sheriff with a yen for hookers and blow, Cheney as his devious, gun-crazy deputy who runs an underaged prostitution ring on the side, Condi as a manic Aunt Bee who controls all the organized crime and has a dominatrix training center, and Gonzales as a dim-witted Opie with a serious meth habit that is fed by Deputy Cheney.

  2. #2 xebecs
    April 30, 2007

    I’ve heard these rumors before and I’ve always thought “where there’s smoke there might be fire”, but hearing it from you makes me take it more seriously. (Yes, Ed, I trust you — please don’t laugh.)

    Can you recommend a credible resource for more information?

  3. #3 xebecs
    April 30, 2007

    Just to clarify:

    I consider Pam Spaulding to be credible. The credible resource I requested would be one that relates to your own accusations.

  4. #4 Stuart Coleman
    April 30, 2007

    Do you think it’s any worse than any other collection of rich white men with power? Call me cynical, but I think this kind of corruption (moral and political) is pretty much inevitable anywhere there’s lots of money and power.

    PS, I know your new comment policy is in their for a reason, but it’s very annoying for someone who wants to comment on more than one of your posts. Especially since the Scienceblogs commenting system frequently screws up and just sits there loading for five minutes, then I can’t comment for another few, then I have to wait more to comment on another one. I don’t know if it’s been a hassle to anyone else, but I’d suggest reevaluating its efficacy at preventing trolling versus the inconvenience to normal people.

  5. #5 SLC
    April 30, 2007

    The sad part of this is that Washington D.C. is probably no worse then the Big Apple and Tinseltown, the cocaine capitols of the world.

  6. #6 GH
    April 30, 2007

    I am not suprised. Nor should anyone else be. People are people. People like sex. Despite the public wailing(which I have mostly thought was people simply pandering for votes) who doesn’t think alot of sex/drugs is going on, well, everywhere?

    It seems to me we have created for ourselves a very dishonest society. A society that applauds and evens rewards people for maintaining a fascade when everyone knows the reality is different. Now the question is why?

  7. #7 khan
    April 30, 2007

    I’m still waiting for some fundie pundit to actually condemn these pigs.

    Any bets as to whether Tobias’ Central American women were in the country legally and willingly?

    Clinton at least seemed to prefer consenting adults.

  8. #8 CPT_Doom
    April 30, 2007

    Just one other point to add – the “real” Washington DC has nothing to do with any member of the Administration, Congress, or any of their self-congratulating minions scurrying about trying to gain political favors. The Real Washington is a city like any other, with families and citizens going about our daily lives – we try to ignore the politicians as much as they manage to ignore us.

  9. #9 SharonB
    April 30, 2007

    My question, is why those “in the know” who are not part of the take do not come forward.

    I wish someone would do an expose on the leadership at the far right [some] family organizations while they were at it.

    “How the Mighty are fallen,” indeed!

  10. #10 Perry Willis
    April 30, 2007

    When I lived and worked inside the beltway the things I saw along these lines were truly jaw dropping. One Congressional staffer I knew had regular cocaine parties in his office. Claimed it was the safest place to do it.

    I also had dinner with another staffer one night, and his boss showed up, with his call-girl “girlfriend.” Amazingly, everyone was quite open about who she was and what she was.

    I’ve never experienced anything remotely similar with the business leaders I’ve worked with. Wealth tends to be accumulated through sobriety and rectitude, while political wealth (power) is another matter altogether. There is something inherently corrupting about spending other people’s money, and controlling other people’s lives.

  11. #11 Brandon
    April 30, 2007

    Jason I: To avoid spoiling too much, you need to go see the movie Hot Fuzz, like, right now.

    Why is everybody assuming this is solely a Republican issue? Are there any statistics on this? Out of the politicians caught in this kind of behavior, how many of them were on the right?

  12. #12 fusilier
    April 30, 2007

    Anybody remember Rep. Wayne Hayes (D. OH), Fannie Foxxe, and the Tidal Basin Pool?

    What is most embarassing to me (well, not really, I grew up in Ohio) is that Tobias has actually acomplished stuff on support for AIDS victims in Africa, by arm-twisting his (former) colleagues at Eli Lilly and Company and other pharmaceutical companies.

  13. #13 Kate
    April 30, 2007


    I think that the reason you see more comments about the political right in this is that the political left hasn’t made hay out of the sanctity of “family” and “home life” and nostalgia for the imagined 50’s. Those who want to be the Cleavers in public and bring underaged pages to parties in private should not be the ones getting up on their high horses and defending sodomy laws (which punish consenting adults for what they do behind closed doors) and the like.

    That’s not to say there aren’t skeezy men (and likely women) on both sides, it’s just saying that only one side is constantly preaching that they are on the sides of the angels while behaving like devils.

  14. #14 Brandon
    April 30, 2007

    If it was just prostitution and drugs, I really wouldn’t care. But soliciting underage sex is more than just a “family values” issue. It’s a horrific sin by anybody’s standards, and it’s a felony.

    Let me rephrase my question. Of the politicians caught committing serious crimes that actually hurt people (think Foley, not Haggard), how many of them were Republican?

  15. #15 Perry Willis
    April 30, 2007

    Drug use on Capitol Hill is equally problematic. We have two million Americans in prison, and many millions more suffering from poorly treated pain, because of a drug prohibition regime primarily issuing from Congress.

  16. #16 pough
    April 30, 2007

    Do you think it’s any worse than any other collection of rich white men with power?

    “White”? Why place restrictions on it? The rich and powerful everywhere have been buying (or simply taking) sex and drugs for as long as there have been sex and drugs and money and power. What makes it particularly annoying this time is that it’s the folks who claim some kind of moral high ground. Actually, scrap that; it’s the folks who specifically claim that the sex and drugs are the moral low ground and they’re so above that. They’re either a part of the problem they claim to be fighting or else what they’re doing isn’t a problem and they’re destroying the lives of others just like themselves (but with less money and power).

  17. #17 Michael E
    April 30, 2007

    And these are the same people we should rely on for passing prescription drug safety legislation and the same people who are going to save us all by taxing those evil rich folk?

  18. #18 khan
    April 30, 2007

    I’ve never experienced anything remotely similar with the business leaders I’ve worked with. Wealth tends to be accumulated through sobriety and rectitude, while political wealth (power) is another matter altogether.

    Do you mean Enron and the stripper parties?

    Or the guy that had the million dollar birthday party with the ice statue pissing vodka?

    Or the lobbyists (employed by the businesses) who supply drugs and sex to the politicians?

  19. #19 Perry Willis
    April 30, 2007

    The Enron guys went bankrupt. The million dollar birthday guy is in jail. As for the lobbyists, amen brother. Looting and pillaging via Congress is big business, and the only form of theft that’s legal.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Add up the merits and demerits of the private sector vs. the merits and demerits of the state sector, and the private sector comes out way ahead. And where does the private sector go most badly astray? Where it intersects with government.

    We need to wake up and smell the evidence. State solutions are a stupid bet.

  20. #20 gwangung
    May 1, 2007

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Add up the merits and demerits of the private sector vs. the merits and demerits of the state sector, and the private sector comes out way ahead. And where does the private sector go most badly astray? Where it intersects with government.

    We need to wake up and smell the evidence. State solutions are a stupid bet.

    Uh, huh. That’s what this particular administration said. Why should we believe that message now?

  21. #21 James
    May 1, 2007

    gwangung – Because they were kind enough to provide an object lesson on the failings of government. Considerate of them really.

    Besides which, its not like they were the first to say so. Adam Smith, for example pointed out the foolishness of much government activity over 230 years ago.

  22. #22 Perry Willis
    May 1, 2007

    gwangung — What this, or any other administration says, and what it does, are quite often two different things. For instance, “we don’t do nation building” vs. attempting to do just that in Iraq.

    And failing.

    As usual.

    The list could go on. And on. And on.

    Can we point to some good stuff? Sure. But first you have to dig through the mountain of crap to find it.

  23. #23 Fastlane
    May 1, 2007

    Are congresscritters ever subjected to random drug testing?

    I will have to find the statutes, but I think all government employees are subject to randomized drug testing. It would be a good start.

    Frankly, I’m for legalizing and controlling most drugs, and maybe that might prompt some response from out otherwise un-representative congress.


  24. #24 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    May 1, 2007


    I don’t think it’s fair to treat the current administration as a representative example of government failings.

    This is a group of people who entered office believing that government programs are corrupt and incompetent – and therefore put virtually every government program into the hands of corrupt and incompetent people. They wanted to show that government couldn’t do anything right, and they created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Compare FEMA under Clinton to FEMA under Bush. Clinton put competent skilled professions in charge of FEMA; and as a result, under Clinton, FEMA was an extremely effective agency that did its job well. In contrast, Bush put FEMA under the control of an incompetent, corrupt jackass; as a result, FEMA under Bush is an incompetent, corrupt disaster. That’s not because FEMA can’t do it’s job well – Clinton showed that it could. It’s a disaster because they chose to make it a disaster by putting it under control of an incompetent crony.

    For another example, compare government insurance programs to private insurance programs, and tell me again how the government programs are inevitably more wasteful and ineffective than the all-powerful free market?

  25. #25 Nick Anthis
    May 1, 2007

    Y’all are missing the best part: Randall Tobias was the White House’s main promoter of foreign abstinence-only sex education programs! Hello!

  26. #26 Perry Willis
    May 1, 2007


    There’s no question that the current Bush administration is one of the most incompetent in the history of the republic. And if I could choose between Bush and Clinton, I’d love to have Bill back in the saddle. Bill was much better. Even so, it does not follow that better is good. Even competent presidents and administrators must struggle, and struggle in vain, to overcome the inherent contradictions of state action.

    The following long quote from an article by James Bovard about the Clinton era FEMA is to the point . . .

    “A FEMA Inspector General report last year concluded: ‘Disaster Relief Fund financial data are often unreliable…. Financial audits of the Fund have not been performed because the systems records, and lack of controls made the Fund unauditable.’

    One symbol of the total chaos: ‘Many accountants and analysts did not know what their jobs entailed, and questioned their own value to the operation.’

    As Witt also told the Senate, ‘As we are all aware, disasters are very political events as well.’

    The Clinton team has stretched the concept of ‘major disaster’ to cover routine mishaps. Snow, for example, accounts for a large share of the skyrocketing number of federal emergency proclamations.

    Last year, Clinton sent federal aid to at least 16 states hit by snow. In many, FEMA reimbursed local governments for the cost of snow plowing. This implicitly assumes that any local or state government is automatically incapable of plowing the snow on any main highway after a big’ storm. The effects can be perverse.

    Consider Vernon, Conn. Last June, this town of 30,000 received a FEMA emergency relief grant of $40,023 to help cover the cost of the preceding winter’s storms.

    Now look at the town’s budget. Its total costs for snow removal last winter were $258,000. That’s just $8.60. per person–less than a 12-year-old charges to shovel out a driveway after a good snowfall.

    So why the need for disaster relief? The town had only budgeted $104,516 for snow removal–and thus claimed to be overwhelmed by the heavy costs.

    What lesson did the town managers draw? As the Hartford Courant reported, an ‘optimistic town council has already set the proposed 1996-97 snow-removal budget at $69,383, the lowest level in 15 years.’

    Why set aside money for a snowy day when you know Washington is glad to help?

    Clinton treats FEMA as one of his top good-government achievements. He has even honored Witt, its director, with cabinet rank.

    But, as the actions of the Vernon town council show, FEMA’s growth may not really be good government at all. Instead, it may be one more cause of the decline of individual responsibility–or even a semblance of respect for such responsibility — in our political culture.”

    It bears repeating: The state may do some good, but how does the good that it does balance out against all of the costs involved in using such a blunt intrument that has so many incentives to waste resources and under-perform? Do a REAL accounting of all the costs and viable alternatives and state solutions will flunk, more often than not. Bush or no Bush.

  27. #27 Perry Willis
    May 1, 2007

    Oops. I meant to address my last comment to Mark, not James.

  28. #28 xebecs
    May 1, 2007

    I automatically assume that 100% of the Republicans are corrupt, and 80% of the Democrats. Why the higher number for the Rs? Because the Republican philosophy says you should always look out for number one, and the Democratic philosophy says you take care of each other.

    As for the moral degeneracy, I figure it helps explain why the Democrats let the Republicans go unrestrained for the past six years — widespread blackmail.

New comments have been disabled.