The Republican Scandal Walk

Tours have become fashionable the past few years. In Charleston, SC, you can take a “ghost tour” of  sites where spectres are supposed to hang out. In Chicago, you can tour the places most closely associated with Prohibition and Al Capone. And in Roswell, NM, some enterprising soul is no doubt making a packet running UFO tours to the crash site.

But the WaPo’s Dana Milbank has discovered a tour nobody’s exploiting – a walk through a single neighborhood which houses the locations of nearly every important Republican scandal of the Bush Years.

Let’s start at 110 D St., the drab Hill House apartment complex; police were summoned here, to Apartment 215, when a woman complained that her lover, then-Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.), a married man, tried to strangle her.

Walk a few doors down and you arrive at a townhouse with a birdbath in front: 132 D St., the “Safe House” where, under artwork provided by clients of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and his colleagues made fundraising calls and set up a lobbying business.

Across the street at No. 137, a charming stucco house under a shade tree, is where then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was reportedly visited by teenagers; from there he also sent lewd instant messages to boys.

And that’s just the beginning. He even put together a video.

Not that there haven’t been “scandal tours” before in Washington – or aren’t now, for that matter. But, as Milbank points out, they’re not exactly, you know, fresh.

Not that there has ever been a bad time for the scandal industry here. The comedy group Gross National Product has long conducted Scandal Tours for the prurient. But a check of the group’s Web site indicates that the tour’s itinerary is in need of updating. It still includes Ollie North’s shredding (1986), the Watergate break-in (1972), Gary Hart and Donna Rice (1987), Rita and John Jenrette (1981) and Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill (1991). The tour still features the Tidal Basin, where Wilbur Mills and a stripper were caught — in 1974. Mills, once chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been dead for 15 years.

Milbank contends we can do better and then proves it. A Must-Read before your next trip to Washington.

2 Responses to “The Republican Scandal Walk”

  1. xranger says:

    Wilbur Mills and Fan Foxxe? Rita and John Jenrette? Man, what a walk down memory lane.

    Idiotic bit of trifle, yet a nice walk.


  2. mick says:

    Well, it was the weekend and CFLF prefers to be light on weekends. I don’t do “light” as a general rule. Even my satire is a tad heavy-handed – or so I’ve been told. This seemed like the kind of politically-oriented fluff that would be perfect weekend material. Besides, I thought it was funny. Glad you liked it.

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