If the Foley Congressional scandal doesn’t wake up the “Faith & Values” Republican base, then probably nothing will. It is bad enough that Foley exchanged sexually suggestive emails and IMs with underage pages all by itself. Not to mention the compounding fact that last year, Foley said in his capacity as chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus that “we need to completely change the way we treat sex offenders.” (We assumed he was advocating harsher treatment, but in retrospect, maybe not.) But this (and the subsequent actions of other Republicans) need to be viewed in light of the party platform.
This is the party that howled about Clinton’s moral fiber and declared him unfit for office based on Monicagate. Where is that moral outrage now? Foley’s office has been emphasizing that he’s single. Okay, he didn’t cheat on his wife, but frankly I’d rather know a guy was cheating on his wife instead of trying to lure my teenage son into sex. Foley’s office has also been insisting he’s not a pedophile as nothing physically happened between him and the boys. Ummm… dictionary please? A pedophile is an adult who is sexually attracted to children. Foley’s a slam dunk anyway you look at it. He should have to have the word tattooed on his forehead. And these are the people who agonized over the definition of “is”!!
Further, aren’t the Republicans the ones who find man-on-man sex to be morally debased?? Not that I find the idea of Congressmen preying on my daughters any more appealing, but this does seem hyper-hypocritical.
Moreover, why are some congressional leaders calling for a stop to the Congressional page program altogether? Should we assume this means Congress is admitting it cannot control it’s overwhelming lust for minors? What’s in the water there? We’re talking about children here!
And finally, what’s with Tom Reynolds (who allegedly knew months ago that Foley was doing this) holding a press conference which he packed with children? He was clearly using the children as a human shield of sorts to keep reporters from asking any indelicate questions. When reporters asked him to remove the children he refused. When asked why they were there, he simply asserted they were from the community. As if young children frequently drop in on press conferences. How cowardly is it to hide behind children? Isn’t this the party who would have you believe that Democrats are the cowards? That only Republicans are tough and courageous enough to fight terrorism? They don’t look too courageous right now.
Every day the evidence is mounting that Foley’s page-philia was a pretty well known phenomenon, and many (probably not just Republicans)looked the other way. Real men take responsibility for their actions and inactions. Those who would position themselves as our leaders, who would ask us to entrust that they have our interests at heart, that they will protect us, and by implication, our children, need to stand and be accountable. All of them. And if these guys are not willing to fall on their swords, I think it’s up to us to give them a little push.