Often implicit in the chats is an exchange of professional advancement in exchange for sex that plays on the allure of power that Foley used to entice one of the teenagers. Foley at one point promised to help him become the “stylish elite type” person the teenager said he wanted to be.”We will make you successful,” Foley promised, “as long as you don’t mind me grabbing your [deleted] once in a while.”
Oh, this bothers me more than the messages, than the political denial, than the calls for heads to roll that are nothing more than symbolic distractions intended to appease an angry, clamoring crowd, because these words reveal the true motivation for Foley’s Follies. Forget childhood sexual abuse, forget alcoholism. The real motivation was Foley’s obsession with power and with molding and mentoring those boys into men molded in his own image. If he had done that in the corporate world today, it’s likely that there would’ve been a nice fat sexual harassment claim or two for him to defend.
Look past all of the posturing on this. I can’t stomach the silly little excuses that are being thrown against the wall by his spokespeople in the hopes that one will stick. The evil that Foley was doing was far worse than some frivolous IM sex conversations. The true evil was holding out the carrot of advancement to an ambitious kid in exchange for sexual favors.
From the bowels of Republican revisionism, we find this gem from Mary Mostert:
The charge here is not that Mark Foley actually DID anything inappropriate to a minor. He, and supposedly the entire Republican Party are said to be in big trouble because, we are told, he sent “inappropriate e-mails to a minor?” So, what was it that he said that was so awful that his party should have immediately taken action to kick him out of the House of Representatives and perhaps out of the party? I assumed from the media and the Democrats reaction that those e-mail would be X-rated at least.
Can this be real? Do people really think there’s nothing criminal about the author and champion of laws against child predators sending instant messages like this one.
Um, Mary. The crime is “soliciting for sex with a minor” on the Internet and it’s a Federal crime. Now you know.
So, apparently Foley has gone to a detox center in Clearwater, Fl. What’s in Clearwater? Scientologists! So, I followed my intuition and did a little Googling, thinking perhaps Foley is drying out with the Sea Org there. This is what I uncovered:
“FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN ACCEPTS SCIENTOLOGY AWARD
On May 24, 2003, the “Clearwater Business Association” hosted a brunch in the Fort Harrison’s Ballroom, for Florida Congressman Mark Foley (R).
If Scientology were to accept Foley into their fold, he would emerge even more conflicted than he went in — they don’t like gays any more than they like addicts.
When one is a public figure who has behaved badly and been caught, the standard strategy seems to be to check into rehab after making a tearful confession about alcohol or drug addiction. Mark Foley is no exception. Just like Mel Gibson, the predictable cry of “I’m an addict and am going to rehab” splashed across the news this morning.
If he has a problem with alcohol, good for him for getting help. But let’s not confuse issues here. There are lots of alcoholics who don’t overtly make efforts to seduce teenagers, and there are lots of pedophiles who are not addicts. One is not an excuse for the other.
Foley is clearly a conflicted man. He served a party of homophobes, yet
was is homosexual. He championed the cause of child abuse and predatory practices, yet engaged in the same behavior. He is so morally bereft that at this point he sees rehab and public confession as the easy out to outrageous behavior.
Personally, I think Foley is the tip of the iceberg. And it’s not a partisan problem, either. I’m sure there are some Democrats who would make similar juicy headlines if they were outed. But for now, the outed one is Foley, who should not be treated any different than any other adult who trolled the Internet for teen sex and thrills.
Plausible deniability on Hastert’s part? I think so, since Foley was warned to behave appropriately with pages. Of course, Ann Coulter is convinced it’s all a big political ploy timed deliberately to make the Republicans look bad just before the election.
The Republicans look bad because they consistently chose to overlook the problem that Foley posed and hoped it would just go away.
Evil Matt Drudge blames the kids, calling them 16 and 17 year old beasts. Yeah, Matt, and I suppose you also see rape victims as the cause of their rape, too. Of course, if you really wanted to dig back into Drudge’s old stuff, you could find all sorts of judgmental claptrap about how Clinton took advantage of poor Monica. The double standard has reached new heights.
Interesting to watch damage control efforts unfold, with most moderate Republicans denouncing Foley (as they should) and the shrill voices of the hard-core-do-nothing wrong sorts crying conspiracy.
Isn’t there something sick about defending a person who engaged in the very acts he was lauded for legislating against?
The political blame-tossing between Tom Reynolds and Dennis Hastert over Mark Foley’s foolishness is becoming a partisan political morass.
While these guys toss blame back and forth at each other over not doing something sooner, the real issues are being buried under a rock.
Let’s be clear here: The author and champion of legislation intended to protect children from predators is a predator himself. Hastert was notified that there was a problem but swept it under the rug, probably in the name of protecting the Republican chokehold over the House of Representatives.
The party that claims the high moral ground is as immoral as they get. Hypocrites.