Poor Claude Allen!
Everyone wondered why he suddenly resigned last month as the White House Domestic Policy Adviser. Since he was one of the Christian Right point men inside the Bush Administration, a fanatic about abstinence-only sex education, and had been a famous gay-baiter as an aide to Jesse Helms — his remarks about “queers” (which he testified under oath meant “odd people,” not gays) kept him from being confirmed for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals when Bush nominated him — some Blue Bloggers jumped to the obvious but wrong conclusion.
No, it turns out Allen’s problem was financial, not sexual. He made a practice of “refund fraud,” a fancy form of shoplifting in which the thief buys an item, takes it out of the store, returns to the store with the receipt, picks up an identical item from the shelf, and takes it to the return counter with the original receipt. Presto! He still has the item, but gets a full refund of whatever he paid for it. Allen’s score over several months amounted to more than $5000, and the cops had been on to him since the fall.
Of course, it’s easy to see how Allen could have been confused. When his colleagues in the White House explained to him the basic BushCo operating procedure — lie, cheat, and steal — he interpreted “steal” literally, like a good fundamentalist.
Hat tip: Ghost in the Machine.
Footnote Yes, Allen was one of the upstanding Bush judicial nominees denied an up-or-down vote by Democratic Senators influenced by “left-wing interest groups,” according to professional whiners like Boyden Gray.