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Commentary Last Updated: Oct 11th, 2006 - 01:09:00

Foleys Berg�re: Political entertainment al�Americain
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 11, 2006, 01:06

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Yes . . . come to Washington�s Capitol Cabaret. Whether your preference is for a morality play or a musical, that�s where its at; running the entire gamut in popular taste from stupidity to prudishness. And now the cabaret is running this pre-election play, a well-choreographed Foleys Berg�re, with the entire Republican chorus line in drag.

Although all the reviews are not yet in, this musical parody turned into a morality play may influence the outcome of the upcoming election more than any substantive issue dealing with political sanity -- and the bottom line need for a foreign policy capable of diffusing an entire region of the globe: the Middle East -- one that will choose life over death.

It�s one of those Anglo-Saxon traits we have inherited; one that we honor with probably more fervor than our cousins across the pond. Apparently three centuries ago those Brits took biblical passages that dealt with death (�the way of the earth�) and quickly reinterpreted them as �the way of the flesh.� Our obsession of enmeshing morality with sex has made American society gyrate to sexual impulses in a mentally unhealthy, prudish way. And that�s what many of us are, puritanical quacks . . . sporting moral values that condone breaking �mortally� some commandments, such as �You Shall Not Murder,� while being totally intransigent to the �veniality� in some side issues, such as the implication of lust in �You Shall Not Commit Adultery.�

Not that ex-Congressman Mark Foley deserves support or pity for the persecution that has befallen him. He should have known better, and not allowed his sexual impulses walk hand-in-hand with risk; for that�s the price you pay in this prudish society. So he is now being verbally stoned and, ignorantly, called a pedophile. No, you are not going to find many people going to his corner, even in the veniality of any crime that might yet be uncovered. In America you are free to do most anything you desire, but promiscuous behavior, or any sexual desires, must always be kept in check. It�s the way American politicians are expected to behave . . . sexually-restrained, even if criminally-loose.

So now we have congressmen and senators, of both parties, wearing their inquisitorial duds in defense of the great chaste virtue exhibited by our over-16 youth. Wow! These are the same people -- most of them, regardless of party -- who for years have been giving Bush the go-ahead to go and kill; or who continuously promote socio-economic inequality to benefit the powerfully rich; or who have sold out the entire middle class of this nation to a program of globalization without first finding a prescription to alleviate the enormous transitional pain. These are the same puritanical folks that will not allow the �love thy neighbor� theme to take hold . . . for it may have some sexual connotation. Who knows, the neighbor may be under age or, suspiciously, of the same gender.

Americans want the world to know that they honor virtue and virginity, and that even the mere idea of possible sexual transgression, whether or not it breaks the law, is strictly frown upon. In our model society, innocence (real or imaginary) of the young, or the not-so-young, must be defended at all costs. That�s why our prisons have two to three times the recluses of prisons around the world; or why the capital crime rate is also three to four times that in the world; or why we are so constitutionally eager to arm our people with guns. Chastity, not unlike property, must be defended at the point of a gun.

Democrats are salivating over this play at the Capitol Cabaret. Not just as a form of payback for what the Republicans did to their poor Clinton, and his adventures with the well-traveled 23-year-old intern, but with the prospect that this salacious move by an indiscreet gay congressman may have provided the Democratic Party a checkmate in the midterm election, allowing the retaking of the House, and maybe even the Senate. This powerful potion of sex-acidity may even melt down both the extensive Republican gerrymandering and any possible Diebold-ical vote count.

Amazing! All those �Iraq Fiasco� books couldn�t drown that constant pounding by the Energizer-in-Chief on the issue of phony security . . . but this morality play, now on its second week, may do the entire Grand Old Party in. Of course, there are still four weeks to go; so, much can still happen to Tweedledee, which will allow Tweedledum to remain in charge of the legislative branch.

� 2006 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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