Monday, October 02, 2006


Well .. .I guess it was anything but a slow news weekend. In case, though, you have been on a camping trip for the last few days, here's the news. Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned from the congress Friday afternoon. It would seem that Mr. Foley is what we can fairly call a sexual predator .. and he seems to like teenaged boys.

The gist of the story is that Mark Foley has been sending rather suggestive emails and text messages to former Congressional pages. There's no need to detail the content of those messages here. Suffice it to say that mark Foley asked these teenage boys for pictures of themselves. In one conversation he asked the young boy if his messaging was making him horny. He asked another young boy who wrote that he and his girlfriend has broken up "..did you spank it this weekend yourself?" Foley then went into a lengthy discussion with this boy about masturbation.

In the Foley case you have a sexual predator preying on young, under-aged teenage boys. Not only that, but the Republican leadership knew it! There have been many news accounts that the House Republican leadership knew of Foley's actions for perhaps a year or more ... and did NOTHING! Well, "nothing" may not be the best choice of words there. Perhaps telling Foley to knock it off and lay low may be counted on as taking action ... but it simply is not enough. These people are lawmakers. As soon as they discovered Foley's actions they should have turned the information over to the FBI or some other agency for a full investigation of Mark Foley and his actions. For al they knew this email interaction with one page from Louisiana might have been the tip of the iceberg. Surely there were conversations among House leadership as to whether or not there were other young men involved, and whether or not any had been physically violated by Foley.

This is disgusting beyond words. We're talking about a 52 year old man having sexually explicit discussions with 16-year-old boys over whom he exercised some degree of authority. This is not a situation that calls for covering your party's political rear end. This is a situation that calls for the involvement of law enforcement ... not, not later.

Some people are going to make the excuse that the Republican House leadership didn't really know that Foley's emails had a sexual content ... that they were just, as is being said, "over-friendly." Perhaps so. But there are congressional staff members who are saying that Foley's conduct and language with young aides was well known on Capitol Hill ... and to the House leadership.

I may be wrong ... often am ... but my hunch here is that the House leadership knew something was going on here, and decided to lay low and try to exercise some control over Foley. Better to keep the house than to turn in a sexual predator.

What isn't really being reported over the weekend or today is that Democrats probably knew about it also. The Republicans kept quite in the hopes that the scandal would just go away. But if the Democrats knew why didn't they expose Foley months ago ... maybe last year? Perhaps the Democrats decided to wait to expose Foley until it was effectively too late for the Republicans to salvage that House seat with a replacement candidate. The election is five weeks from tomorrow.

Let's not hear any nonsense about moral equivalency here.

Over the weekend I received emails about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and some reminders of the alleged homosexual prostitution ring that was run out of Barney Frank's Washington DC home. Sorry .. there is no comparison here. Foley actions with these teenage boys were far, far worse than the Clinton - Lewinsky mess or whatever was going on in Barney Frank's home. In those cases the participants were willing adults. Sure, Clinton's actions brought shame on him and defiled the Whit House; and yes, he did lie about what he had done. But just the same they were both adults.

Now Foley's actions would have a moral equivalence with Bill Clinton's rape of Juanita Broaderrick, but the Democrats don't seem to be worried about that, the Republicans have enough sense not to pursue it. Clinton, by the way, has never personally denied it.

I think that the truth here is that somewhere along the line a decision was made that holding that seat in Congress was more important than going the extra mile to protect these young men who come to Washington to serve as Pages.

Would the Democrats have done the same? You bet. I do wonder, however, if this had been a Democrat congressman if the Democrats would have cranked up the machine that attacked the reputations of Broaderrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willy and Monica Lewinsky. Could the Democrats have brought themselves to attack the credibility and character of teenage boys to protect their own? I guess we'll never know, but that's really not the point here. The point here is the Republican leadership knew of this man and his actions, and did nothing.


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