Cases before the House ethics committee are stacking up like planes at Washington's National Airport, and so are the embarrassments for Congress. After the committee investigates Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich for a questionable book deal, it must consider Ohio Republican Donald Lukens, convicted in May of having sex with a 16-year-old girl. Then it will weigh the case of Illinois Democrat Gus Savage, accused of fondling an unwilling Peace Corps volunteer during a March trip to Zaire. Last week the committee agreed to investigate Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, who has admitted that he had an affair with a male prostitute.
On a scale of 1 to HUD, Frank's transgression is a low single digit: there is no suggestion that he used his public office for personal gain. In the eyes of some, however, private failings are far more serious: they go to a leader's judgment and character, as Gary Hart and John Tower learned. For many people, the fact that the scandal involves gay sex makes Frank's behavior more offensive; among others, tolerance of homosexuality has shielded Frank from sharper criticism.
At the least, Frank's judgment was appallingly naive. After an initial encounter in which he paid Steve Gobie $80 for sex, the Congressman says he tried to lift the younger man out of drugs and prostitution by hiring him to run errands. He wrote letters to Gobie's probation officer and paid his psychiatric bills. He allowed Gobie the use of a car and sometimes his apartment when he was out of town.
By MARGARET CARLSON
This is the kind of MAN we have representing America?
He's a pig and a pervert. He hires prostitutes. He hires AID ridden prostitutes.
He houses gay males and allows these perverts to operate prostitution businesses out of his home? Isn't it bad enough this gay man is spreading his perversion, by flaunting his illness while out in society?
His perversion is part of the overall collapse of American culture.
A country of loose whores and flaunting gays?
21st Century Point of View