Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Foley's Follies

I haven’t stopped laughing, moaning, and shaking my head for past week. By now, I’m sure that you’ve heard about the sex scandal involving former Representative Mark Foley of Florida. But just in case you’ve been living under a rock or have been more concerned about Paris Hilton’s new CD, let me give you the scoop:

Former Rep. Foley abruptly resigned from his position last week immediately after ABC News grilled him with evidence that he was engaged in sexually explicit conversations with teenage congressional pages. Making the controversy more interesting is the fact that Foley served as a co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, the fact that senior GOP members, including Speaker Dennis Hastert actually knew about his engagements and didn’t say anything (and still allowed Foley to serve in his capacity), the thought of Foley going to rehab for alcoholism (instead of that going to prison for being a statutory rapist), and the sob story he’s now using about being molested as a child. This story is priceless!

I have no idea where to begin with this one. Most of the blog world has already been set ablaze with commentary about this nonsense, so I don’t think that I can add much more to it. But, here are the interesting bits that I've gathered from this story:

1. This story unequivocally confirms that the GOP is not -- I repeat NOT the party of morals and family values that they claim to be. Granted, Democrats aren’t exactly the paradigm for virtue either, but Republicans certainly aren’t. For any people who would say that I shouldn't judge an entire party by the actions of one man, I say let’s examine Rep. Alexander, R-LA. The page who Foley hit on (*snicker*) was from Alexander's district. Though the incident was reported earlier in the year, Alexander failed to act on it. If ABC News hadn’t outed Foley, he’d still be in his position and would likely be running for re-election. What about Rep. Reynolds from NY? He received a report from Alexander which described the incident. What about Rep. Hastert, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives?! He received the same report from Reynolds. Of course that was after he claimed that he didn’t remember getting it and then – all of a sudden – remembered getting it. The ever-so-virtuous GOP knew about this debacle and still looked the other way. Pretty moral, don’t you think?

It's funny. I didn’t think that the GOP could get any worse than when they ignored when Tom Delay and Bill Frist broke ethics laws or when Bush ate the Constitution for breakfast by going above the law. But this story amazes even me. Was Foley’s position so important that the GOP was willing to look the other way? Or is the GOP actually just morally deficient? I’ll let that one marinate.

2. What annoys me (but is still pretty entertaining nonetheless) is the commentary from many of the GOP faithful. They deflect this scandal back to Clinton (who committed his act almost a decade ago and with a grown woman. Funny how the GOP isn’t as critical for Bush and his costly, violent “mistake” in Iraq. But I digress…). They blame the media (especially ABC), they try to use a gay-bashing spin to justify the cover up. But few of them actually blame Foley. Even less of them go after the senior officials who allowed this mess to go on for as long as it has.

I’m just waiting for the GOP to start blaming the pages for being too young and too sexy.

3. It’s also pretty funny to me that those faithful to Foley supported him as long as he stayed in the closet. But the minute he came out (more like the minute that ABC pulled him out) the party cashed in their chips on him and turned him into a (insert homophobic slur here). This bothers me because many of those dangerous religious folks out there are the ones creating an America where people are so afraid of revealing their sexual identities that they cover it up, to the detriment of themselves and others. For instance, while I think that the Men on the Down Low phenomenon is highly sensationalized, it DOES exist. It exists because men are afraid to come out and – as a result – live heterosexual lives; passing on diseases on to unsuspecting women. Simply put: The GOP has created and is perpetuating this ongoing problem. Instead of allowing homosexuals the same rights we heterosexuals enjoy everyday, the GOP commits itself to denying equal rights to all people.

4. I think it’s really funny that White House press secretary Tony Snow downplayed the scandal indicating that this is all simply the product of “naughty” emails. Oh yeah? Well, I invite you all to read the conversation and tell me how “naughty” you think it is. “Naughty” is the innocent cyber-flirting that I do with my green-eyed friend. Down right and explicit inappropriateness is what these conversations were. I need to warn you in advance: the content is pretty graphic.

5. Apparently, past molestation from his priest is now being used as a justification for Foley’s behavior. The priest, who interestingly remains unnamed, allegedly engaged in inappropriate acts with Foley when he was child, which somehow triggered his interest in young boys. How convenient! The fact is: I know people who have been abused and molested who have never done so themselves. To suggest that this is why Foley is a pervert is unacceptable. To allow him exemption using this claim is not only irresponsible, but is a slap in the face to the children that we allegedly try to “protect”. Nonsensical stories like this will allow for any rapist, murderer, or criminal to beat the system as long as they can prove that some deep dark demons from their past made them do it.

As much as I’d like to think that this brewing scandal will affect the election outcomes next month, I’m almost certain that it won’t. People (both Democrats and Republicans) stick to their guns and support their parties for good or for bad. Iraq was sliding downhill, the economy sucked, social programs were drastically cut, and health care was unbearably expensive but Bush still won reelection, while Congress grew stronger for Republicans. I highly doubt that scandals; as evidence supported as they are, will do much to swing the pendulum. The GOP are masters at making noise, creating distractions, and luring their base. Democrats aren’t.

That said, thanks for nothing, Foley.


15 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

KC said...

What better way is there for a pedophile than to sit on the exploited children committee?! That was BRILLIANT! Who would've thunk it?

I got through about a third of the "naughty" emails before I wanted to toss my computer out the window. From the looks of it, I'd say it was pretty standard chatroom cybersex talk. But I'm most angry by the fact that nothing has really happened to Foley yet. If grown men are supposed to be arrested for soliciting teens on the internet, why hasn't Foley been hauled away?

Man! What a crazy week. Amish kids being killed, Bush defianing the Constitution, and Congressmen predatoring teenagers. I'm close to moving to Canada.

Cynthia said...

I thought it was especially funny when Newt Gingrich tried to confuse the issue by claiming that Republicans didn't want to be seen as "gay-bashers" for doing anything Foley and his perversion. Suuuure!

So let's get down to the heart of what he was saying: that all gays are child molestors, right? LOL! Gimme a break!

Nice new design, by the way. The black -- forgive me for saying -- was getting boring. :)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ My Greeneyed Handsome man ,

Wow ,sickos in power ,seems people don't care much or shall I say most people and the people watching over them ,are probably doing something so seedy they cannot expose their partners in SLIME without detection of their perversion or illegal actions .

I'snt strange that when we put a suit on a man/woman and place them in power of whatever position of authority ,it sometimes removes the human element,fact is ,there is likely more perve's in political office or places of power than your average city,it is just hidden better .

If they want to have a relationship , raunchy or otherwise ,same sex or not ,kinky or straight , have it with an ADULT (willing)with whom you ARE NOT IN postion to cause them ,jobs or funding or help etc .

Great ,informative and well done post Andre , My Handsome silver tongued sweetIE ,,,,,,NOW ,,,GO TO MSN MESSENGER . AND TELL ME WHAT YOUR WEARING OR YOUR FIRED !!!!!!!,,,,,,,SORRY COULDNT RESIST , BAD BAD GREENEYES '''''''''''UHHHMMMMM NO I WONT GO THERE (really evil grin)!!!, I WILL BE GOOD NOW ,

Greeneyes :AKA 'Naughty' your Flirting Friend!;)lol

Diane said...

So by Foley's premise that he's a molester because he was molested....that means that since my Daddy was an alcoholic and I was raised in the usual abusive alcoholic household until he quit drinking when I was 9 years old, I should therefore be an alcoholic??? How handy, a built-in excuse for anything wrong I've ever done. I can just blame any sinful behavior on the fact that my Daddy was an alcoholic and I was subjected to an abusive childhood. Neato!!

Well, sorry, Mr. Foley. I well remember what my early childhood was like and I went to the other extreme. I vowed that any children I ever had would NEVER have to go through what I did as a child. No matter what a person goes through as a child, or for that matter as an adult, it is NO EXCUSE to perpetuate the same abuse on other children. Perversion is perversion, no matter the perceived "reasons" for inflicting the same abuse on other children.

Okay, tirade concluded for now. Whew! It felt good to get that off my chest. Thanks for the forum, Andre.

I like your new template. I see you've switched to Blogger Beta. I'm interested to see how it works out for you. I know of a few bugs they're still trying to work out, so I'm going to wait a while longer before switching over. Hope it works out well for you.

And by the way, I'm kind of upset that that old heifer Green Eyes got a mention and I didn't. Hmph...I can see how the wind is blowing here. Green Eyes this and Green Eyes that...Phooey! Just for that...The engagement is OFF! LOL

Hope you're doing better, Andre, and please don't give up on church. There's one out there that needs you, and you need to be a part of it, too. Listen to the Spirit, my friend. He won't lead you astray. :-)

thehc said...

I have to say Andre,
As you've accused me of stepping to the Dark Side of the GOP, this piece could easily have been written by any one of the New York Time's most Liberal writers. How you can make comments crucifying the entire GOP based on the actions of a few, shows a bit of hypocrisy I wouldn't expect from you. Foley? seed him to prison. Hassert? If he knew and covered it up? Send him back to his district unemployed, to prison if he committed any crime. Any other GOP's involved? Spare them no sympathy. Condemn a whole group of people based on the actions of a few? I would expect better from you.

thehc said...

I like the new format of your site. I'm thinking of moving out of #%&*@% iblogs.

Andre said...

@ KC: I'm not as concerned about what's going to happen to Foley. The GOP will definitely make an example of him so that they can secure their base. But this action is only going to happen now that the deeds are OUT. That's what bothers me.

@ Cyn: I saw that interview. I got a huge chuckle out of that. Rather than admit their wrong, they try to dance around the issues by creating scenarios that aren't there. I mean, would we REALLY go after Foley as (fill in your homophobic slur) for messing with boys? How many people called former Gov. McGreevey out for being gay? They called him out for messing around on his wife. If Foley came out as ONLY being gay (not a pedophile) the backlash would've came from the same Republican folks whom he supports.

Ironic, isn't it.

@ Greeny: Great points! As it relates to people's choice in partnerships and mates, I'm about as Liberal as they come (while sticking close to my beliefs of how sinful I think it is. Operative word there: what "I THINK") If I don't agree with what they do, I just don't agree. But we're not in a position to try and legally legislate what they do. Unless, of course, it involves underaged children (even if those children DO consent). That's another story...

@ Diane: Wow! I seem to recall somebody telling me that they don't respond to my political commentary because they're not interested. :) But, I'm not buying it: especially after such spirited and in depth voice you have! I might turn you and greeny into a revoultionaries after all!

You hit on the head by identifying the element of personal responsibility that has to be considered in this equation. While I've never been in Foley's position of being molested and being gay (and therefore can't fully understand or appreciate where he's coming from), I simply don't see that as being a legitimate excuse for his decisions. The things that were done to him did not AUTOMATICALLY destine him to be the same way. Personal responsiblity is key.

Thanks for the compliment on the new design. Since some haters out there thought my page was "boring", I thought I'd play with the new templates a bit. I'm a bit nervous too about Beta, but I've been pretty pleased with it so far. But, with your sweet design (which I'm sure cost you a pretty penny), I wouldn't be so quick to changeover if I were you. I like yours as it is.

@ HC: Hey! Don't blame because you can't find a single Republican in the continental United States who is willing to stand up to this nonsense without fear of losing their support base.

I beat on the Dems the same way for defending Clinton when he embarrassed the office of the President. Except (1) there wasn't an expensive and violent war that started because of it (Clinton's war mishaps came before Lewinski) and (2) it was with a grown woman (immoral indeed, but legal).

Your move.

Andre said...

@ HC: warning: to some, may be the "dark side". You might wanna stay away...

thehc said...

Hey Dre,
Rats! If I hadn't written that piece against the Reps. I could have claimed to be that one Republican. But I can name one. BIll O'Reilly said on his show yesterday Foley belongs in prison and Hassert should be fired if he covered anything up. By the way, I didn't say you weren't giving equal time to the Dems. I was just saying there are some decent Republicans, so it's not fair to paint them all out as hypocritical pedophiles.

thehc said...

I'm giving Will your site so you guys can argue twice as much. Am I going to have to separate you two? The funny part is, knowing both of you, how much your alike. Intelligent, firm and unwavering in your core beliefs.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ My Greeneyed deliciously handsome man ,
I came here to have a peaceful read and see your beautiful face, bright new blog and am slammed by DIANES words , heifer , who the H... is a Heifer! you couldnt see me eat all those chocolate turtles from there ,and just because when I haul ass I may have to make two trips (LMAO),,,,heifer !!!!!!!!!!!!,,,,, Now miss Goody two shoes , we see the horns poppin out , check your butt for the tail !

So sorry Andre ~ for the Rant , I know this is not a place for a CAT fight ,but just think it is about you !
and how come she got more lines than me in your response ????
hope you dont mind ,taking up your space , have a fun day !

Andre said...

@ HC: The comparisons between one of the points I make in this piece and one the issues raised in your post are interesting. (*note to the other readers, you should REALLY stop by Hippie Conservative's blog some time. I've got it linked)

I'm certainly not trying to imply that all Republicans are dirty (though my tone may have suggested it). But I am calling into question if -- as a party -- they're really about morals and values; especially since they let the act go on for so long.

Of all people I know, I hate stereotypes most of all; especially when it comes to race. So if I see a black person doing stereotypical things, I call them out on it. Even if I don't change their behavior, at least I've challenged them on it. The holier-than-thou GOP did neither. That makes them hypocrites...or should I say "some" of them. Satisfied?! :)

Andre said...

*nursing the black eye received from trying separate Diane and Greeny*

@ Diane and Greeny: *Shaking my head*

Name calling and line counting. What has this world come to?! :)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ MY GEM
I know,,,, I am soo sorry, it will not happen again . I will try to be a good girl ,even hold my tongue if possible and curb my jealousy over the GREAT ANDRE~


thehc said...

*giving you one more comment to pay back the 20 you gave me*