Schocking!
March 18, 2015 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has announced that he will resign from Congress. He has been recently been in the news for alleged ethics violations including a Downton Abbey office redecoration he didn't pay for, sketchy real estate deals, claiming 170,000 miles in reimbursement on a personal vehicle that he later sold with 80,000 miles on the odometer, and much much more!

Wait, and one more than that...

Oh, and he once had an internet belt incident!
posted by Blue Jello Elf (83 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
TIL not only that there exists "a firm that makes custom furniture for public speaking," but also presidential podium taxonomy is actually a thing.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm just relieved that he doesn't have an actual falcon.
posted by rtha at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


For those (like me) who were getting ready to hit the "double" flag -- the last post was deleted.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why he resigned. David Vitter was caught cheating on his wife with prostitutes and he's still a senator. Mark Sanford got elected as a representative after he hiked the Appalachian trail to his mistress in Argentina. And in a Republican controlled congress, the ethics probes would go nowhere.

The point is - conservatives don't care what you do, and nobody cares what liberals think. So long as he hates the libtards and loves punching hippies, he could keep riding that gravy train as long as he wanted. Mr. Schock lacks fortitude.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:40 PM on March 18, 2015 [36 favorites]


THANK YOU for posting this, I have many THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and OPINIONS.

The best Illinois politics coverage is at Capitol Fax; try Schock's father says Schock will be in prison in 2 years; possible successors for Schock (I think LaHood is the clear frontrunner); yesterday's CapFax post on the breaking news of the resignation; and an amusing single-word description thread of the Schock situation in which you may not use "shocking." This story has a lot of local traction because there are a lot of big-name Peoria families name-checked and possibly being embarrassed by it.

Capitol Fax is like the MetaFilter of Illinois politics so you SHOULD read the comments; the comments section is fairly tightly moderated and has a lot of really smart observers, insiders, and journalists who comment (either as themselves or anonymously). Some of it is joking around but you'll also get a variety of interesting opinions from across the spectrum.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2015 [46 favorites]


I think he's resigned now that his monetary expenses are being evaluated due to the fact the handsome company he has had on trips may have been compensated, possibly by taxpayers.
posted by mikeh at 2:43 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


(from the deleted post) so who gets his office?

(from a comment somewhere else I can't remember) The tea partiers proclaim all sorts of things about no interference from government and rah rah libertarianism, when in fact they're just entitled thugs like everyone else.
posted by Melismata at 2:45 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


> David Vitter was caught cheating on his wife with prostitutes and he's still a senator. Mark Sanford got elected as a representative after he hiked the Appalachian trail to his mistress in Argentina.

Those are personal failings that you can ask Jebus for forgiveness! But if you start messing too obviously with the finances, you better get out before the indictments start.
posted by rtha at 2:46 PM on March 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


But his wife only has a good old-fashioned Republican cloth coat. (I'm not that old. I've just lived in multiple eras.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:49 PM on March 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


Those are personal failings that you can ask Jebus for forgiveness! But if you start messing too obviously with the finances, you better get out before the indictments start.

That's because it's victimless if you're a godless commie sex freak that drinks cow urine. You fuck with someone else's dollar it's fraud and that generally is a crime.
posted by Talez at 2:49 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe he drove a lot of it backwards...
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:49 PM on March 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


If he ends up as Rod Blagojevich's cellmate in federal prison that would be a fantastic sitcom premise.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 2:52 PM on March 18, 2015 [30 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Please skip the ironic racist stuff/"here's what someone who isn't me might say if they were a jerk" type comments. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:53 PM on March 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "I don't understand why he resigned. "

1) The mileage reimbursement is at least $45,000 of federal fraud and likely prison time.

2) A LOT of big-name central Illinois donors have already been linked to this through the drip-drip-drip of stories over the past six weeks. (There is one large local family that I won't name, but there's a ton of cousins and siblings and amongst them they own probably a dozen separate local businesses; one branch of the family is involved in the scandal and now basically ALL of the family's companies are reaping the ugly publicity, even though they're not particularly tight-knit.) At least two Caterpillar execs have also been named as participating in some of the probably-legal-but-shady dealings. Local speculation suggests he resigned because of pressure from other wealthy and influential Illinois donors who would rather not be dragged into this. EVERYONE thinks there is or was more to come and he is resigning to prevent that from coming out (see 3). I guess we'll know more about why he resigned as we find out whether there will be prosecution, whether he made a deal, and whether the leaks keep coming.

3) Everyone in central Illinois is aware of the speculation that he is gay and closeted. This has been gossiped about since he was in high school. In his 14ish years in public office he has never had a romantic relationship that anyone has known about (it is hard to keep secrets in this town) and has never, to my knowledge, spoken publicly about his sexuality. While Politico cares a lot about the "closeted" angle, it's not a very big deal in his home district; it's old, old gossip, the speculation is universally known, and it hasn't hurt him up until now.

4) Most state politics observers think this is almost certainly a very well-executed, well-researched "oppo hit" from an insider or political opponent who has been pointing the press in the right direction. I mean, he dug his own grave, but someone who knew where the bodies were buried probably tipped the press in what everyone here agrees is a very well-orchestrated scandal.

5) The word for the feeling you're having is "Schockenfreude." All the local democrats have come down with it. My phone and social media were BLOWING. UP. all day yesterday with it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:53 PM on March 18, 2015 [109 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt, the politicians you mention weren't caught trying to grift money from public funds. (As rtha points out.) Dan Rostenkowski, who had the sort of power that the likes of an Aaron Schock can literally only dream of, got sent to jail for selling stamps, basically.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:54 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thank you for posting this because I was actually very curious about Eyebrows McGee's thoughts on this. (Yes, I could ask over MeMail but this is more fun.)

If he ends up as Rod Blagojevich's cellmate in federal prison that would be a fantastic sitcom premise.


Okay, this is basically the only thing I want to watch on television forever now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:55 PM on March 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't understand why he resigned. David Vitter... Mark Sanford...

Vitter and Sanford had peaked. If Schock resigns now and lays low, gathering his allies and finding out who his enemies really are, he'll be ready to take a run at Dick Durbin's Senate seat by 2020, or maybe even the Governor's mansion by 2018. He probably thinks this is just going to be a Nixon-losing-California blip in his resume.

Plus, if he doesn't resign, he just hangs around in Congress for two more years, knowing he's under a death sentence and will either get primaried out by Ray LaHood's kid or just have to put up with an election cycle full of people making snide remarks. Fuck that noise.
posted by Etrigan at 2:58 PM on March 18, 2015


Thank God he will be out of office and can't do any more legislative damage to the civil rights of his fellow gay Americans.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:59 PM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Melismata: "so who gets his office?"

It's a special election, which will almost certainly require a primary and a general; the timelines mean it won't be able to be called with the upcoming municipal primaries and elections; and it's an EXTREMELY safe Republican district. It will cost about $150,000 in total and about $80,000 of that will come from my county THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR TAX SAVINGS DUDE.

The action will be in the Republican primary. Darin LaHood, son of former Obama transportation secretary and long-time GOP representative Ray LaHood, is the presumed front-runner with massively more name recognition than anybody else (except Bill Brady, who isn't going to run). Speculation is that other candidates will "run to the right" and try to tar LaHood with the Obama brush and cast him as a RINO. I know Darin a tiny little bit (small local bar, small local political community), I think he's a good guy and a diligent public servant and, in the last couple of elections he's run in, he's been a Republican for whom I could conceivably vote (depending on his positions and who his opponent is). I haven't heard any REALISTIC speculation on what Democrats might run -- it'll almost certainly be a sacrificial and pro-forma candidate whoever it is.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:03 PM on March 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm sure this will stop Republicans from using the "Illinois politics" dogwhistle in the future.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:05 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


How surprised do I need to pretend to be that this guy is a Republican?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:06 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


the speculation that he is gay and closeted

"Speculation"? That's something of an understatement. The writer Dan O'Sullivan on Twitter said recently he "learned how the Beltway *really* worked" when he "couldn't get anyone on the record to describe [Schock] making out with a man in a DC nightclub"; it seems like it's been an open secret for quite a while.
posted by RogerB at 3:20 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Schlocky Schock Takes a Knock; Mocked, Defrocked, Put in Dock.

What a cock.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:21 PM on March 18, 2015 [28 favorites]


I used to live in an apartment building on the same block as Schock's office. He was a decent neighbor, but compared to the El Presidente burrito joint which formerly resided there, he was a marked downgrade.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 3:22 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


I would check his basement for missing bodies.
posted by Brian B. at 3:23 PM on March 18, 2015


I'm sure this will stop Republicans from using the "Illinois politics" dogwhistle in the future.

They tend to phrase it as "Chicago-style politics," so that whistle should still blow.
posted by Iridic at 3:25 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


the speculation that he is gay and closeted

He needs to come out so he can get some friends who will tell him never to wear a fedora again.

My generation is such a disappointment.
posted by dis_integration at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


He has left to spend more time with his beloved abs, thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


Just to be clear are his beloved abs on his body or some other dudes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:28 PM on March 18, 2015 [21 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight had an interesting bit on this, which made the point that, politically, he was significantly more moderate than his district and had basically zero influence or ideas, which made it easier for the Republicans to ditch him. His main draw was an impressive ability to fundraise, but that's just not enough by itself when you also have the liability of major ethics violations.

I do wonder how he was so great at fundraising given how much he seems like a handsome but empty suit. It's not like anyone was desperate for his power and influence given that he had precious little of either.
posted by Copronymus at 3:29 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


How long before the governor just pardons him?

I've always wondered how it is that when politicians get caught doing illegal things, almost all just resign the office and walk....
posted by CrowGoat at 3:36 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]




Thanks for the analysis, Eyebrows McGee, but I think the "so who gets his office?" question means more "so who gets his [physical] office?" Personally, my first step would be to put up some properly framed pictures, but that's just my style.

As a Peoria native who lives not-all-that-far-away (but not in IL-18) all of this has been highly amusing to watch from the sidelines. My read on why he resigned is that although Peorians don't care much about what bed he keeps or private corruption, they do very much care about all the public corruption scandals and the lavish/extravagant lifestyle. Peoria has always felt to me to have a very mid western, salt-of-the-earth, folksy vibe. I think the revelations about his partying hurt him more with the electorate than anything else.

Also, I love the term schockenfreude... that's some A-level portmanteau work.
posted by sbutler at 3:48 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am just surprised a Republican congressperson was able to get anything done at all even though it was stealing.
posted by srboisvert at 3:53 PM on March 18, 2015 [15 favorites]


In the age of SuperPACs and completely unaccountable dark money 501(c)(4)s, how incompetent and/or blatantly greedy do you have to be to actually get caught violating what's left of campaign finance law and Congressional ethics rules? All he had to do was file the right paperwork and direct donors to the black accounts like every other Kochpublican congress cretin and he would've been untouchable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:53 PM on March 18, 2015 [27 favorites]


My theory on Illinois scandals is that the state and Chicago are so openly and nakedly corrupt that it fools the politicians of Illinois into fucking up under a tighter Federal regulatory regime.
posted by srboisvert at 3:55 PM on March 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


via Twitter user @shundle: "Luckily for Illinois, we have a backup white attractive republican male congressman @RepKinzinger #schocked"

I laughed out loud when the page loaded up, because damned if the dude doesn't look exactly like he's been freshly wheeled out of some sort of attractive white Republican processing plant.
posted by threeants at 4:00 PM on March 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


How long before the governor just pardons him?

Given that he's going to be pulled up in federal court the govenor won't have a say.
posted by Talez at 4:03 PM on March 18, 2015


Nobody cares if you seem pretty obviously gay if you toe the line and aren't a embarrassment and don't actually say it. That song has been a classic tune in downstate Illinois since I was closeted down there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:03 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "how incompetent and/or blatantly greedy do you have to be to actually get caught violating what's left of campaign finance law and Congressional ethics rules?"

Lot of chatter about how his staff was all even younger and more inexperienced than he was; there wasn't really a grown-up in the room with long experience of politics/staffing.

Talez: "Given that he's going to be pulled up in federal court the govenor won't have a say."

Also this governor (apparently) strenuously dislikes Schock and reportedly thought he was bad for the party. A few people even think his people may have done the oppo research.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:07 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


My recollection from a short stint on the hill is that whoever is elected to replace Schock will inherit his office space on Capitol Hill through the end of this term, at which point the office will be up for grabs to anyone senior to the replacement member. Normally the House of Reps offers to repaint an office before a new member enters it (I think the choices are off-white, gray, pale yellow, and blue), but I'm not sure if that applies to mid-term replacement members. Probably Schock signed two-year leases beginning in January 2015 for any office space that is in the district, so the replacement will inherit those too - I haven't heard how those offices look.
posted by burden at 4:07 PM on March 18, 2015


"people even think his people may have done the oppo research."

Meddling Footman!
posted by clavdivs at 4:19 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fuck Aaron Schock. Classic entitled closet case getting his while fucking everyone else over. I cannot describe how much I hope this asshole does real prison time.
posted by mediareport at 4:29 PM on March 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


USA Today has a nice op/ed about this today: Voices: Schock case a reminder of why reporting matters. The initial story that broke this wide-open is really so petty, it's hard to imagine this kind of gossip blows up so quickly. But when you're a crooked crook stealing money in your government job, well, it comes out. Now if Schock would just come out as gay and apologize for all his anti-gay politicking.
posted by Nelson at 4:34 PM on March 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


> an amusing single-word description thread of the Schock situation in which you may not use "shocking."

"SCHOCK SHOCKER SHOCKS SHOCKED SUCKERS! SACKED, SEEKS SUCCOR"
posted by ardgedee at 5:22 PM on March 18, 2015 [38 favorites]


A closeted gay Republican who took bribes and recklessly spent public funds. There's literally something for everybody to hate here. It's a veritable smorgasbord of schadenfreude.
posted by schmod at 5:27 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


*Helen Sharp voice : And he had a lousy decorator*
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 PM on March 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Speculation"? That's something of an understatement. The writer Dan O'Sullivan on Twitter said recently he "learned how the Beltway *really* worked" when he "couldn't get anyone on the record to describe [Schock] making out with a man in a DC nightclub"; it seems like it's been an open secret for quite a while.

Um. What?

DC leans further to the left and has a larger LGBT population than almost any other jurisdiction in the country, and the modern gay community has zero tolerance for closeted homophobic politicians. Congress has a ton of out gay staffers on both sides of the aisle.

If the writer couldn't get anybody to go on the record about Schock making out at a gay club, that's because it didn't happen. Even in light of recent events, I doubt that Schock is that stupid.

If Schock showed up at a gay bar, there's no way that it would remain a secret. I seriously have no clue what that author is talking about.
posted by schmod at 5:41 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The mileage reimbursement is at least $45,000 of federal fraud and likely prison time.

Wow. Because in the grand scheme of political misconduct, getting busted for faking your mileage reimbursement just seems so... unimpressive.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:03 PM on March 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


Nobody cares if you seem pretty obviously gay if you toe the line and aren't a embarrassment and don't actually say it. That song has been a classic tune in downstate Illinois since I was closeted down there.

My grandmother lived in rural Wisconsin and was represented by a quietly gay Republican congressman and nobody gave a rats ass. Well, he was quietly gay until Bob Dornan outed him on the House floor...
posted by MikeMc at 6:03 PM on March 18, 2015


If Schock showed up at a gay bar, there's no way that it would remain a secret. I seriously have no clue what that author is talking about.

I'm dubious. It seems like the history of gender in DC (all power? I'm not an expert in power or gay history) involves a contorted relationship with outing the powerful. The documentary Outrage covers a number of closeted gay conservatives. All could probably be considered in glass closets (e.g. Shepard Smith) but are hardly being forced to acknowledge the contradiction. Sure as hell no one outed Ken Mehlman during the Bush administration.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:09 PM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


If Schock showed up at a gay bar, there's no way that it would remain a secret.

There's a difference between "secret" and "I couldn't get anyone on the record". There's enough such things floating all around the Hill that staffers know not to start the MAD countdown.
posted by Etrigan at 6:23 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


If Schock showed up at a gay bar, there's no way that it would remain a secret. I seriously have no clue what that author is talking about.

Power speaks volumes. The elite protect their own, hypocrites or not (up to a point, anyhow). I doubt the "modern gay community" is so monolithic that "it" (as opposed to some activists within it) can be said to give a crap one way or another whether politicians are closeted and homophobic.

You say that Schock is not that stupid. Um -- he just resigned because of a raft full of many multi-hued levels of his own self-induced, laughable stupidity.
posted by blucevalo at 6:29 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, but Ken Mehlman wasn't making out with dudes in public.

Also, the people of "DC" are not at all representative of Congress or Presidential appointees.

If you're saying that Schock and Mehlman weren't outed by their personal staff and close circle of congressmen and cabinet appointees, yeah, I can buy that. Beyond that, it's very hard for me to believe that any LGBT person with knowledge of the issue wouldn't be willing to go on record and out the guy.

If either of them showed up at Nellie's, it would be in the papers. There are 658,000 people in DC, approximately 60,000 of whom identify somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. Most of that 60,000 care a lot more about their civil rights than the career of some federal politician.

Claiming that the people of DC are collectively conspiring to protect an elected federal official is an excruciatingly bad generalization. If you haven't heard, we're not a big of Congress...

Also don't forget that DC has a very long history of unabashedly fighting for the rights of LGBT people -- the District passed a law (via a normal legislative process) granting same-sex partnership benefits all the way back in 1992.
posted by schmod at 6:35 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Claiming that the people of DC are collectively conspiring to protect an elected federal official is an excruciatingly bad generalization. If you haven't heard, we're not a big of Congress...

I wouldn't claim that; I guess I read your comment in the general ("If no one was talking about Schock, he must have been being celibate!") rather than the very specific instance you were discussing. My bad, then. I suspect that there are folks out there who could testify to Schock's orientation but they don't want to go on record. And the press seems unfortunately loathe to take on politicians who are hypocrites on this issue.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:42 PM on March 18, 2015


Most of that 60,000 care a lot more about their civil rights than the career of some federal politician.

If you can recognize the Distinguished Gentleman from Peoria in a nightclub, there's a better than 90 percent chance that you care about some federal politician and don't want to be the one who starts the slime war.
posted by Etrigan at 6:44 PM on March 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


an amusing single-word description thread of the Schock situation in which you may not use "shocking."
Schlock?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:55 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Schock didn't need to go to clubs - he has an inseparable and *extremely* conventionally attractive personal photographer whose paid accompaniment on a trip to India is part of the Federal financial malfeasance case against Schock. The photographer's overly-extensive Instagram documentation of Schock's various travels is also part of the evidence for Federal charges.
posted by Dreidl at 6:57 PM on March 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


"I cannot describe how much I hope this asshole does real prison time."

Danbury, the gaol of it all.
posted by clavdivs at 6:57 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about DC, and I know there are several elements at play there that don't apply to what I'm about to talk about, but as someone who works in Hollywood I'm very familiar with the "open closet" idea. As in male actors who are out in their day-to-day life but closeted in their public persona. I worked with one very well known, very openly gay actor (I mean discussions of his boyfriend around the craft-service table style-open) who is still straight in the eyes of the press and public. And if asked I would refuse to out him. Of course, I understand schmod's point and I'm certainly not saying it's apples-to-apples due to the political angle. But it is interesting to witness how open someone can be and still keep it a "secret."
posted by Bookhouse at 7:11 PM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Closetpublicans in DC don't flaunt it on U Street with the queer riff-raff, they hide it behind Rentboy.com, C Street house, Craigslist casual encounters, attractive "personal assistants", CPAC trysts and similarly closeted young staffers straight off the bus from Idaho. The kinds of openly LBGT people who would go on record are exactly the type that Schock and Lindsey Graham are desperate to avoid.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:17 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Schock didn't need to go to clubs - he has an inseparable and *extremely* conventionally attractive personal photographer

I'll admit this did make me a little curious. And Dreidl, my friend, that's an understatement if there ever was one. Schock's photographer buddy is like a fucking 1111 on the extremely extremely ridiculously good-looking scale, if you like white boys who look like cute adorable sexy little bunnies. I did the research for y'all.
posted by amorphatist at 7:18 PM on March 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


I love that they titled the article A Massage to India.

Yes. Yes, yes.
posted by sio42 at 7:41 PM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


As a daily Wonkette reader, I'll miss reading their stories chronicling the adventures of the dashing young congressman. He's been such a reliable source of content for them, I'm sure that they're upset that he's leaving.
posted by octothorpe at 7:48 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


they hide it behind Rentboy.com, C Street house, Craigslist casual encounters, attractive "personal assistants"

And bearing in mind with all of those--and grindr--there's a significant culture of guys in the closet and/or married, and a sort of complicit silence.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:54 PM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


yeeeah DC, Like Hollywood has an open glass closet situation. You don't say anything cause it right ruin your job.

I will this say this the first year that I've gone to DC and not been creeped on by married Lobbyists and politicos, so I think I've finally aged out of their bracket, thank god.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 PM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I could give a shit about his outfits and his crazy-ass colour sense, but this house sale to a donor/exec at local big business Caterpillar is a classic money-laundering move, and I'm surprised more people are not talking about it.

Shock sells home above market value to donor
posted by C.A.S. at 4:57 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]






This is a classic live boy dead girl situation. While there isn't any explicit proof of Schock's homosexuality, it's one of those open secrets that makes me think that no one feels like it's worth trying to help him. It's especially worse when combined with the idea that he committed fraud in order to bring his boyfriend with him on trips. That doesn't play well in the GOP, closet cases or no. He'll likely be replaced by a Republican, he doesn't have anything in the way of seniority or power, and there's enough hard evidence against him. But honestly, it feels to me like the gay thing is the real nail in the coffin for him.
posted by X-Himy at 7:00 AM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm a bit bummed about the undercurrent of homophobia in all the Schock discussion. Like all the tut-tutting that he looks too attractive to be straight, it's like the whole "metrosexual" meme never happened. And that Barney Frank pull quote from the headline, "too much time in the gym for a straight man". Fuck that; straight men work out too. (Historically the stereotype was the opposite way!) The better quote from Frank is 'Schock had no "right to privacy" because of his record on gay issues.' That's a much more principled statement.

I dunno; Schock's clearly a scoundrel, stealing money and speaking out against gay marriage. Fuck the guy. OTOH the press is in full pile-on mode and I hate how they confound teasing gay-baiting comments about fancy offices decorations and his abs substantive stuff about the fraud. Then it all gets mixed up together since his paying for his presumed secret photographer boyfriend is one malfeasance that got called out in the press.
posted by Nelson at 7:30 AM on March 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


So he's running for President right? Sounds like he fits the Republican bill.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2015


He walks away with 3 million dollars and a bunch of connections. He's going to be one hell of a lobbyist. The trick is to get him to fight for the right things now that he is truly beholden to nobody.
posted by Renoroc at 8:04 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


*lobbyist for more urban rock climbing faculties aimed at the busy man in the go*
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm a bit bummed about the undercurrent of homophobia in all the Schock discussion.

What's worse (or at least more disappointing) is how unapologetically it's being described as "gay-baiting," as if having a hate-crush (ugh) on the guy makes it more valid. Evan, you can do better.

*lobbyist for more urban rock climbing faculties aimed at the busy man in the go*

but seriously though I lived in DC and loved climbing and holy hell are the gyms there inconvenient

posted by psoas at 9:42 AM on March 19, 2015


As others above have observed, there is still a strong closet code in many professions, especially ones with access to prestige and power, and that's got to be especially true in DC (given its history and its particular relationship to the higher echelons of power). It's easy to forget in the day and age of yay gay marriage, especially since the media doesn't pay it any attention, but it's still legal in 29 states to fire you if you're openly gay and there is still, after all this time, no federal law prohibiting that, and no prospect of one getting through Congress -- which is something that Aaron Schock could have been pushing for if he weren't a closeted GOP weasel too busy trying to show that he wasn't another "crusty old white guy."
posted by blucevalo at 10:16 AM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm torn about this news - yes, he's pretty much the definition of a "GOP weasel" but he was a little more moderate than that phrase suggests. He's the kind of moderate who I could see as president someday, even after this.

Maybe I'm biased - We were in the same Kindergarten and first grade class way back when, and his father was the doctor who delivered my little brother and sister. His resignation is making waves in his Minnesota hometown, as well.
posted by Coffeemate at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


This all seems like such bush league bullshit.

You have to go to #334 to get to a Congresscritter whose net worth is under a million dollars, per Opensecrets.org. It is so easy to accumulate wealth while in Congress, and to parlay a Congressional stint into well-paying gigs in the private sector... it's so petty, almost nihilistic to steal under those circumstances. $45,000 in odometer fraud? Did he steal towels from the hotels he stayed in too?
posted by mrbigmuscles at 11:26 AM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is another opportunity for me to say how much I adore Barney Frank.

During the 2000 elections, I was working the front row of a college rally in which he and Jesse Jackson were being shouted down for being too right-wing. (Fuckin' Nader, man...) Anyway, Barney Frank is the only politician I've ever seen who not only didn't give a canned speech but bantered with his hecklers and slid smoothly back into his message, zinging all the while.

Love him.
posted by St. Hubbins at 11:33 AM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


The trick is to get him to fight for the right things now that he is truly beholden to nobody.

That'd be a hell of a trick alright
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:16 AM on March 20, 2015


OTOH the press is in full pile-on mode and I hate how they confound teasing gay-baiting comments about fancy offices decorations and his abs

Huh. I've been pointing out to people how none of the articles I've seen in the mainstream press even mention the photographer pal part of the scandal. Instead of gay-baiting, what I'm seeing is the standard "we're uncomfortable talking about gay sex the way we talk about straight sex" that we usually get from the non-queer press.
posted by mediareport at 3:41 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shame on Wash Post for defending Schock, attacking LGBT media: from the Washington Blade, the LGBT paper in DC. In response to Civilities: Please stop pink-baiting Aaron Schock.
posted by Nelson at 7:47 AM on March 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


That pink-baiting Wapo article is disingenuous even by the dubious standards of that paper. Schock's sexuality isn't the issue, it's his use of taxpayer funds to finance his very visible and over the top lifestyle, gay or not. Nor are people drawing the connection because of he wore a pink shirt on Instagram, rather than took his boyfriend to India on the taxpayer's dime and didn't even both to try and hide it. The fact that he's gay adds a salacious element because of his own public record of vehemently anti-gay rhetoric and voting record, but Mikey "Suits" Grimm is going down for the same basic scandal, without a sexuality component. He's crook, and a stupid one at that, whether he's gay or not.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:24 AM on March 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


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