Monday, April 30, 2007

Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "Washington Insider"

Attorneys for Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called "D.C. Madam," accused of running a high stakes prostitution ring for more than a dozen years, in the nation's capital, insist that her escorts "performed fantasies, not sex." (Bloomberg News) But, how does one "perform" fantasies? What is an "adult fantasy service," and can this be likened to what Jimmy Carter once called lusting in one's heart? Is lusting on the World Wide Web like lusting in one's heart, or performing fantasy? Does sex involve the laying on of hands, and isn't that when we're out of the fantasy domain? Just who does Ms. Palfrey think she's kidding when she says that her escorts performed "fantasy?"

The D.C. Madam, who will have her day in court in Washington today, now threatens to unleash her little black book to prove that her ladies didn't break any laws as if any of her clientele will appear in court. Can you just see Karl Rove standing in federal court, one hand on the Bible, proclaiming, "but your honor, I did not have sex with that woman;" talk about poetic justice!

Not that I'm suggesting, even for a minute, that Republicans, and conservative ones, at that, are the only ones whose names will surface, but Democrats never claimed to be the party of "family values" whose "Contract for America," and byzantine agenda, consistently confuses the right to life with the right to live. ABC News has already obtained Palfrey's high octane client list and Newt Gingrich's name may indeed be on it, but one thing you can count on, the fallout if, and when, the names start pouring out will amount to nothing short of a political Chernobyl.

There has already been one major resignation, that of Randall Tobias, an aide for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who also heads the U.S. Agency for International Development, and was responsible for implementing the President's initiatives overseas including US Aid, an agency that works with nearly 100 countries worldwide requiring that they make efforts to stop prostitution, as well as combat the spread of AIDS by promoting abstinence as the best prophylactic. How interesting that Mr. Tobias is the first upper echelon administration casualty of this scandal. What a heaping pot of hard boiled hypocrisy that Tobias, the former head of Eli Lilly and leader of an agency promulgating abstinence, would use Palfrey's service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage," as he reportedly conceded. (Bloomberg News)

If, as we're told, the medium is the massage those like Rep. Mark Foley,who was considered by many a great crusader against child abuse, and sexual exploitation of children, are forced to resign after embarrassing, and personal disclosures such as the sending of sexually explicit instant messages to teenage pages, one has to wonder not so much at human frailty, but at the holier-than-thou attitude that seems to be pervasive among these born again hypocrites. How can anyone head a team that professes to advocate for safe sex, and promote abstinence (or celibacy) while, at the same time, making use of a prostitution service?

The Washington Madam, like the Hollywood Madam before her, is engaging in the world's oldest profession. What's more, making use of the services of "escorts" is nothing new. You can be sure that Jesse James had his share of fantasy helpers in his heyday back in Cook County, Missouri, but Jesse James never claimed to be a minister; his father did. There is nothing unique or outrageous about the serv ice Ms. Palfrey is providing nor is there anything unique or outrageous about her customers. What is egregious here is the transparent, and absurd arguments made by her counsel which insult the intelligence not merely of federal court, but of the average person, and which one might expect more from a snake oil salesman than one who passed the Washington bar. Equally disturbing is that those who speak out for family values, purity, censorship, and against the exploitation of children more often than not appear to be the first to get caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

One can only hope that if, and when this notorious prostitution ring owner is forced to hand over her records, the federal judge hearing her case will "perform justice," and not make her the scapegoat, creating the illusion that all will be well after the witch is divested of her assets, as well as made to do time, but hold her high powered customers responsible for a breach of ethics and, no doubt, a waste of taxpayer dollars.