A Failing For Me, But A Mortal Sin For Thee!

Joe Herring Joe Herring is an author/speaker based in Omaha, Nebraska. His work has been featured by Rush Limbaugh & Mark Levin, among numerous other names and publications of conservative note.
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Poor behavior that’s barely noticed among members of the Left is invariably grounds for crucifixion among those on the Right.

“We hold each other to a higher standard,” is the shopworn refrain whenever our party drags someone to the rail of the ship.  “We must set an example,” is the companion phrase to the former, but rarely is that expanded to include for whom this example is being set.

For the Democrats?  Hardly.  If that’s the reason, we should’ve given up decades ago, it isn’t working.

For future generations?  Again, nice idea, but useless in the face of an undeniably tilted media and an opposition party that routinely lies, knowing the media has their back.

We’re in a knife fight, yet we insist on following the Marquis of Queensbury rules.

In Nebraska, we have a single-house legislature known as a Unicameral.  49 representatives (who call themselves senators) meet in two separate sessions each legislative year.  This arrangement was the brainchild of the late Senator George Norris, who envisioned this one-house system relying on the citizens of the state to act as the second house, but, like many well-intentioned plans of government, the practice bears no resemblance to the vision.

Instead of fostering more vibrant citizen engagement, the Unicameral system has created a remarkably streamlined taxing, regulating and spending juggernaut.  Venezuela would be jealous.

Last year, one of these senators, arguably one of the most conservative, engaged in a little sexual tête-à-tête via Skype with a woman who solicited him through Facebook.

The senator fell to temptation, and was rewarded for his sin by a post-orgasmic demand for $4,500 dollars, else the digital vixen would send a video of the talk between them to his colleague and the press.

Fully aware of the inevitable consequences, the senator nonetheless contacted the Nebraska State Patrol and self-reported both the extortion attempt and the behavior that precipitated it.

Distasteful?  Yes, but where’s the crime?  He was using his state-issued laptop, making him guilty of misusing government property.

Eventually, the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission (NADC) assessed a $1000 fine and closed the case.

However, with moral hay to be baled, plenty of folks stepped up to drive the tractor.  Governor Pete Ricketts (R), wasted no time in declaring the once-aroused senator ought to resign.

A similar call came from the Democrat party of Nebraska, the Democrats in the officially non-partisan unicameral legislature (cough, cough) which was echoed dutifully by a multitude of senators who apparently only “identify” as Republicans at election time.

The reaction to the episode (now locally known as “Mastur-gate) has been much dirtier than the episode itself.  While the investigation into the extortion plot (ultimately traced to an overseas operation) was in full swing, someone (or several someones) were leaking information from the investigation to the Senator’s detractors, who subsequently released them to the press.

Salient facts of the case were used to embarrass the Senator, attempting to chill his effectiveness on the legislative floor.  Whisper campaigns, often the preferred currency of the left-wing in Nebraska, were given legitimacy by the participation of the senator’s fellow Republican officeholders; one of whom reportedly notified the press before notifying law enforcement when he was approached with an offer to buy the blackmail video.

Bear in mind, the offense happened a year ago. In the interim, the senator in question had already confessed to his wife, family and close associates, seeking forgiveness and rehabilitation in their eyes.  It should be noted that the miscreant senator’s wife also continued her job for that full year in the Governor’s office, working with him daily – a position she holds to this day.

The Unicameral famously has no specific “code of conduct.”  To characterize much of that legislative body as a moral and ethical cesspool is not inaccurate.

There are many instances of moral turpitude and distressed character among current and former senators (and their staff) including some that make this particular incident look quaint in comparison.

Sexual relations between senators and staffers is a common occurrence, including affairs between senators themselves, both married and single.  Alcoholism, drug use, drunken driving incidents, one of which featured a crash with a snowplow!  Even a senator gambling away tens of thousands of campaign dollars at local casinos.

Senators are human and so are their frailties.  The difference of course is that frailties are only such among the Left.  When discovered in someone on the Right, they are examples of drooling, perverted hypocrisy.

Nebraska is beset by a gaggle of politicians who vociferously claimed to worship at the altar of limited government during their campaigns, then subsequently voted in a reversal of loyalties that would make Benedict Arnold blush.  Their faux-conservatism stands in stark relief to the real conservatism of the “senator-who-must-be-hated.”  Simply, he makes them look bad.

The senator facing removal has nothing left to hide, his secret is out.  However, the rest of these wannabe Ciceros are still trying to protect theirs, and the threat of a forensic audit of both the senator’s and staffer’s computers and emails as part of a broader investigation of cyber-security in the Unicameral has teeth chattering like a high school drum line.

The leaders of this political lynch mob are seeking to call a hideously expensive Special Session of the Unicameral for the sole purpose of removing the senator in question.

Perhaps they should postpone that until the results of a Freedom of Information Act request for communications between senators, their staff, the State Patrol and the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission relating to this entire episode is fulfilled.

Someone leaked privileged information from an ongoing investigation of an international extortion ring to the media, and the leadership of the Democrat party in Nebraska.  I’m certain the people of Nebraska would want to include those folks when the discussion finally turns to who ought to face expulsion from office.

Joe Herring writes from Omaha, Nebraska and welcomes visitors to his website readmorejoe.com