Several weeks ago, when it was first reported that Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting molested five of his sisters when they were children and he was a teenager, it wasn’t the kind of thing that usually merits my attention, here. After all, as a friend of mine more or less noted, the Duggar family are (or at least, were) longtime residents of TLC, cable television’s answer to the circus-freak sideshow; tabloid “news” subjects of the lowest order who illustrate what happens when a pack of Arkansas hillbillies have enough money to live in an actual house instead of a mobile home surrounded by numerous, partially-disassembled vehicles on cinder blocks, beer cans, and piles of dog manure atop yellowing, undead zombie grass which hasn’t been touched by a lawn mower since Hee-Haw was still in production.
Oh sure, there were certainly some legitimate issues on the surface that I could address, chiefly the family’s views on women being something akin to dairy cattle, but what’s the point? The dad calls himself “Jim Bob,” for God’s sake. It would be like trying to suss deep socio-political commentary from one of those Jeff Foxworthy You Might Be a Redneck books.
But then “Serious” Republican Presidential Candidate and Kevin Spacey in a fat-suit Mike Huckabee decided to use one of those rare moments his greasy fingers weren’t either shoving something deep-fried into his gravy-caked face-hole, or strumming his bass during a jam-session with racist, pants-shitting coward Ted Nugent to express his full-throated support for Duggar on Facebook.
And then, about a week later, Megyn Kelly of Fox News chose to make her show a safe-space for such “Family Values” Conservative sex offenders and their enablers, first by giving the latter an opportunity to personally defend their lousy parenting and borderline-criminal child negligence, then by having a couple of the victims explain how they were at least partially to blame for their victimization, and public criticism of their victimizer(s) was, like, totally worse than being literally molested, y’know?
At that point, the issue was clearly bigger than just one child predator or one
cult family of Christian weirdos, and I wanted to make a cartoon about how the loudest – one might even say, the most flamboyant – opponents of marriage equality on the Right seemingly always turn out to be either closeted homosexuals themselves, or even guilty of the more exaggerated perversions they’re so fond of pinning on others.
We’ve all heard the idiotic “slippery slope” argument, of course: “If two men or two women can get married, why not two men AND two women, or a man and a child, or a woman and a horse,
or a woman half my age, a cheap bottle of gin, and my fist?”
But it still didn’t feel like Duggar was the ideal representative of what I was driving at, at least not by himself. Even though his and his parents’ failure to practice what they preach fit the argument pretty closely, some of the finer details – such as Duggar having technically been a minor himself back when we know he was preying on other, unconsenting minors as young as 2 – didn’t perfectly align with it. And as I’ve implied above, he and his family aren’t really serious, important people. They are freaks, who should probably be ignored and forgotten or, at most, studied in a carefully-controlled environment by scientists.
Enter Dennis Hastert (ew), who replaced serial divorcé and Leader (possibly) of the Civilizing Forces Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House in 1999, after the GOP’s first choice for the role, Bob Livingston, was (much like Newt) publicly outed for engaging in several extramarital affairs – the exact same thing over which they were aggressively pursuing impeachment against President Clinton. Hastert was, ironically, perceived to be much “cleaner” than either Gingrich or Livingston, and it was thought this would help Republicans in Congress better-contrast themselves with Clinton during the impeachment, as well as retain their claim to the “Moral Majority” in general.
Upon assuming the Speakership, but especially after the election of some new, major-league assholes to the White House, Hastert proceeded to fuck up Congress like a pedophiliac high-school wrestling coach setting upon the team’s naive, teenaged equipment manager, introducing the so-called “Hastert Rule,” which made an already-dysfunctional body even less-able to ever get anything remotely useful done.
Yet that didn’t stop him from shepherding some of the Bush Administration’s worst policies through Congress, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the USA PATRIOT Act, and various tax cuts for the wealthy which exacerbated (if not outright caused) the Great Recession! Nor did it prevent an explosion of earmarks and “pork-barrel” spending in Congress, especially from Hastert’s cohorts in the “Party of fiscal discipline.”
Speaking of those cohorts, his list of Congressional allies and connections reads like a Who’s Who of recently-infamous Republican criminals (Tom Delay), gay homophobes (Larry Craig), and – surprise, surprise – homosexual pedophiles (Mark Foley), so in the grand tradition of those allies, and Hastert’s own public opposition to same-sex marriage and laws preventing discrimination against LGBT individuals, it really comes as little surprise that he was apparently paying bribes all along to keep the floodgates sealed on allegations that he
may have probably almost definitely sexually abused at least three teenaged male students back when he was a schoolteacher in Illinois.
And as if all that weren’t enough of him being hoisted on his own petard (ew), provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act designed to monitor suspicious bank transactions were what ultimately ensnared him!
So, I guess that means the PATRIOT Act was “remotely useful” after all, though not in a way its authors and supporters ever intended, of course.