Recently there have been two stories that really caught my eye. One was the Josh Duggar molestation story (you can Google, Yahoo!, or Bing it if you’re unfamiliar) and the Denny Hastert story.
These two stories are rightly attributed to the perpetrators’ rather than the victims’ names. I think an important point, though, is that each one’s crimes occurred more than a decade ago and even appears to have been dealt with. In the Duggar case, Josh received counseling and came to repentance (at least according to his admittedly biased parents, though a police report would demand action). In the Hastert case, he payed nearly a million dollars to someone to deal with the molestation charges. Yet only now is all this coming up.
Are the two cases tied together? I am confident in saying it’s only by two coincidences: one is that the allegations are brought to light within the same month and that it has to do with sex crimes. What seems particularly strange about both is that neither appears to advance a coherent agenda. Sure, the Duggars’ reputation as a family has been tarnished (to say it lightly) and Josh Duggar has lost his job. Sure, the GOP is embarrassed by yet another prominent “family values” congressman being imputed in a sex crime, but…
Neither one’s embarrassment advances a larger agenda. At least in the Hastert case someone got nearly a million dollars, but the feds aren’t even charging anyone with blackmail; they’re charging Denny Hastert with evading reporting requirements and lying to a federal official (he said he was withdrawing the money because he didn’t trust banks)!
All this just seems like petty things that degrade half-way prominent social conservatives in the same vein as Dan Savage’s “Santorum” redefinition. It’s just… pathetic and petty. Why ruin someone’s life like this? I don’t get it, but apparently nobody in the prosecution business cares to check it out.