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Foley Folly

2006-10-10 16:27:10.936048+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

I feel like I should weigh in on the Mark Foley situation. Honestly, I'm having trouble getting worked up. A lot of people are raising the "pedophile" cry, but I'm sure that there are sixteen year olds claiming to be eighteen hustling in every city in this country (and most towns), and sixteen is plenty old enough to understand that members of Congress are going to try to fuck you, although most attempts will be metaphorically.

I'm sure that asking around will reveal that the pages talked about this stuff to each other, but I'll also be surprised if it lifts any other rocks; teens live in a world that's incredibly well insulated from "adults", and none of them have anything to gain by talking.

The one thing that does bug me is that assorted other Congressweasels covered for this guy while Foley was doing his "for the childruuuun" spiels, but I expect that sort of hypocrisy from politicians. And the whole "Republicans are victims" line that Hastert et al are throwing up and trying to make stick sickens me, but at this point I'm so beyond outrage that it just doesn't matter.

Mostly I see this as a smokescreen from the real issues facing the country these days, although I stand with Jay in my support of Dennis Hastert for Speaker of the House.

[ related topics: Politics Sexual Culture Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-10 21:35:42.463605+00 by: petronius

Remember when sex scandals had some actual sex involved? The page was of legal age in DC and Foley never touched him, nor was he the page's employer. The Democrats are demanding Foley's prosecution, if only they could figure out a charge other than being a damn fool.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-11 00:06:16.174658+00 by: mvandewettering

I'm not certain that any crime was actually committed in this case (that's probably for a state or federal prosecutor to decide) but it's certainly an appalling display of blatant hypocrisy, and demonstrates the degree of twisted doublethink that the Republican leadership piles onto anyone who runs under their banner. The party that runs on a platform of "personal responsibility" and "family values" has a 52 year old man who spent his off hours sending sexually explicit messages to kids who were under the age of 18, all the while maintaining a public facade that included lecturing the nation upon how the Internet needed regulation to protect our children from sexual predators.

Now, the Republican spin machines are working full tilt, trying to save themselves from further embarrassment by doing what politicians always do: blaming everyone and everything else. We now hear that:

  1. He's gay, with the strong implication that all gay men are pedophiles.
  2. He's an alcoholic. "It was just the booze talking."
  3. He was abused by a member of the clergy. "I'm a victim!"
  4. Rep. LaHood suggested that the page program itself was part of the problem, calling it "antiquated", and somehow suggesting that it was the normal outcome whenever fifteen and sixteen year olds interact with 50+ year old Congressmen. "How could anyone possibly resist?"
  5. That he as baited into it. "They tricked me! Those sixteen year olds were too clever for your elected representative!"

The Republican leadership knew this guy was acting, if not illegally, then certainly at least had the strong possibility of escalating into illegal acts, and even more certainly producing a serious scandal, and yet they did nothing. When he was finally caught with his hand in the cookie jar, then it was everyone elses fault.

One thing stands undisputed in all this: that Foley did send sexually explicit messages to young pages. Most people (myself included) think that's pretty creepy. Nobody held a gun to his head. No amount of enticement really is an excuse. No attempt by Democrats to exploit this news to their own ends means that he is any LESS culpable for his actions.

Perhaps now that his political career is over, he can stop pretending to be something he is not, to seek counseling, and to get treatment for his alcholism. Perhaps when he's finally stopped believing denial is a river in Egypt, he'll be able to control his actions, and behave in a way consistent with the legislation he sought for his constituency.