December 07, 2007
Sex scandal from hypo to reality
Posted by: Chris
Coincidentally the very same week that an aide for a Democratic senator was busted for allegedly arranging a three-way with a 13-year-old male, a former aide to a Republican senator pleaded guilty to charges he met a 14-year-old on a gay hookup site and had sex with him, and on separate occasions a 12-year-old.
The liberal O.C. Weekly, which has doggedly reported Nielson's now longer alleged sexploits, has the details:
In open court, a somber Nielsen, who has extensive personal ties to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Orange County Republican Party boss Scott Baugh, gave Superior Court Judge David Thompson signed guilty pleas acknowledging two felonies: committing lewd acts on a 12-year-old Virginia boy and 14-year-old Orange County boy. In exchange, Nielsen, 37, received a three-year prison sentence.
Rohrabacher is a classic Orange County Republican, very conservative on social issues like Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who is now serving time for bribery and about whom gay rumors have surfaced. Rohrabacher's gay rights record is atrocious, including two votes for a federal marriage amendment and consistent scores in the teens or 0 on Human Rights Campaign report cards.
But Nielsen's nefarious dealings with the two teens occured after his employment with Rohrabacher, who is not alleged to know anything at all about it when they worked together. He did write a law school recommendation for Nielsen, though that was also before the molestation charges were first filed.
There are all sorts of parallels here to the arrest this week on child exploitation charges of Mike McHaney, a scheduler for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and a former scheduler for Joe Solmonese at the Human Rights Campaign. I suggested that:
[Leftie] bloggers traffic in a double standard that says sexual misconduct is blogworthy only if it suggests hypocrisy; that is, only if it's committed by conservatives or those who work for them. Or, in the case of those bloggers who attempt to out conservatives and their staffers, no mis-conduct is required at all -- simply alleged gay sexual conduct, or even gay affiliation, such as showing up at gay parties or bars.
Of course I understand that hypocrisy is newsworthy and blogworthy, but if sexual misconduct says something about the credibility of conservatives, why doesn't it say anything about the credibility of liberals when it happens to one of their own? If McHaney worked for Trent Lott, for example, we'd be told that the scandal reflects on the legitimacy of Lott's position on gay rights and moral values.
So let's see how the leftie blogosphere has reacted to his story. For the most part, the gay blogs only started in on Nielsen after the plea agreement, but every indication that is only because the California case hadn't made it to their east coast radar. And with the obvious parallels to McHaney they could be expecgted to soft-pedal their glee over Nielsen. For example, Pam's House Blend reported on McHaney and Nielsen both this week, and thankfully resists the urge to visit the sexual sins of either staffer on his political boss.
But back in California…
The Liberal O.C. blog said this in November 2006, when Nielsen was on trial for the first time:
"Rohrabacher recommends a child molester": Nielsen worked for Rohrabacher, and met the first child (that we know of) that he raped while working in Rohrabacher’s D.C. office. That ties Rohrabacher to Nielsen. Rohrabacher also wrote a letter of recommendation in 1997 that helped Nielsen get into USC Law School. That also ties Rohrabacher to Nielsen. No matter how you cut it.
Similarly, the blog Republican of the Week chimed in just this week:
Republican activist and former aide to Orange County, Calif. congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, pleaded guilty to child molestation and in a plea deal will go to prison for three years. … Nielsen's defense included accusing "the liberal media" of being out to get him. When he was first arrested in 2003, he claimed he didn't know the boy was 14 years old. Rohrabacher claims he doesn't remember Nielsen but he wrote a recommendation for the child molester in his office to get into law school.
Raw Story, the liberal online newspaper with ties to gay outing activist-blogger Mike Rogers, also reported Nielsen's plea, and only in the last graph of the story informed its readers for the first time about Mike McHaney, the Maria Cantwell aide arrested last week. Rogers, who has outed low-level staffers on Capitol Hill and in the White House for being gay, despite a complete absence of sexual misconduct, has said nothing about McHaney on his blog.
And the aforementioned O.C. Weekly reported on the Nielsen story no fewer than eight times, even bringing to light the Virginia teen whose account eventually forced Nielsen to cop a plea. Kudos for that, although my point here is that there's no question in my mind that those sort of resources would never have been thrown after Nielsen if his ties were to liberal Democrats.
Of course the conduct here -- alleged as to McHaney and admitted to by Nielsen -- is perverted, immoral, exploitative and criminal. The evidence does not suggest either is strictly a pedophile, but instead it appears they are both gay men who betrayed the trust of teenagers in ways that are unconscionable to the vast majority of us.
Their political connections, liberal and conservative, aren't particularly relevant to their sexual misconduct. But the point is that's true for both of them, even though McHaney's boss has a good gay rights record and Nielsen's ex-boss has an atrocious gay rights record. The big "H" of hypocrisy does not trump all.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
The comments to this entry are closed.