Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Foley

It really does appear as though House Republican leadership hoped Foley’s indiscretions could be covered up until after the election, though they may not have known the worst of the matter and believed Foley’s explanation that his merely "creepy" e-mails were the worst of it. Even so, John Miller over at The Corner rightly argues that the Foley affair is political "dynamite," adding that "Foley could become the new Jack Abramoff. Except that whereas the details of Abramoff’s were always a bit complicated for the public to follow closely, the accusations now leveled at Foley are much simpler and more appalling. Foley is on the verge of becoming the poster child of a party that is concerned about little more than preserving its power."

Discussions - 27 Comments

I agree. This is big.

I’m not sure such scandels influence the flavor of national elections, particularly when they don’t concern the executive. Nonetheless, it sounds like some State GOP parties need to vet their candidates a helluva lot better. Running pervs for office just ain’t good politics when your base is traditional/religious. Really stoopid.

"Foley could become the new Jack Abramoff."

Paraphrasing Joni Mitchell when it was suggested that Shawn Colvin was the new Joni Mitchell: "But, I am still alive!"

Thus it is with Jack Abramoff. Foley can’t take Jack’s place, but he can add to the density of the GOP’s Gallery of Scoundrels! (Not that I take any pleasure in this. I don’t. It’s just a darned shame.)

It’s big if we make it big. We shouldn’t.

Rationally, this should have zero impact on the voters’ choice about who will control the House. Why in God’s name would any sane person who reads the newspaper or watches even the Democratic media think the Democratic leadership would have behaved more honorably -- if the allegation that Hastert covered up is even true? And even if Hastert covered up this disgusting little scandal, how does this stack up against the need to maintain sane leadership on national security and all the other important issues.

I recognize that we must take account of the soccer-mom mentality, which can reject Newt Gingrich because he doesn’t smile enough and was once portrayed as the Grinch on the cover of Time or Newsweek. I recognize that this alleged irresponsibility by Hastert could affect the election. But we should be arguing for putting this in context. This is a molehill and doesn’t deserve to be a mountain. If we talk it up and openly worry about it, instead of keeping focused on real issues, we are inviting Soccer Mom to do the same. No good can come of this navel-gazing, even if we call it soul-searching. There’s plenty of time for this after the election.

This piece offers some food for thought, in part about the Republican leadership’s role, but also about the various sources of information on Foley, who surely did the right thing in resigning after having done the wrong thing.

It seems to me we shouldn’t automatically ascribe the worst possible motives to Hastert. Yes, he said Friday night he didn’t know about Foley’s email. And the next day he corrected himself.

You know, maybe he just forgot. This seems like the Center of the Universe now, but at the time, it was a just a mention that one of his 435 members had written a non-sexual if pesky e-mail and it was being dealt with. That was a year ago. Can you remember exactly what you wrote one year ago?--I can’t.

Maybe he is covering his butt. Or maybe he’s just the Speaker of the House of Representatives during wartime and has one or two other things on his mind besides an annoying e-mail.

This is now being spun as "Hastert Knew!", when the exact opposite is true. It was Democrats and Democrats alone who knew of the salacious IMs, and deliberately sat on them until this election. They set up a web-site months ago for this very purpose.

But, hey; I’m glad that at long, long last, Democrats have finally found one pervert they don’t support.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this basically what Barney Frank did in the early 1980s?

Barney Frank was much worse than Foley, but he’s a Democrat so it’s okay. And Gerry Studds stayed on in Congress for another decade after having sex with a teenage male page. But he said it was "consensual," so that made it okay, too. Apparently the feminist theory that it’s not about sex, but "power relationships," only applies to Clarence Thomas and other Republicans, not to Studds.

I take it back. Hastert didn’t forget anything. His spokesman was right: "His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged online exchanges between Foley and the boy."

Only the Soros crowd at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) knew about the "sexually-charged online exchanges", not Hastert. They were perfectly willing to allow him to continue soliciting young teen-agers.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics--? Is it "ethical and responsible" to aid and a abet a chickenhawk (finally--a real chickenhawk!) by one’s silence?

Just how many boys were these Democrats willing to see molested in order to win an election? You really have to wonder if these Democrats would have let Foley molest their own children if that’s what it took.

This whole thing stinks. It’s rotten. It’s perverse. And it’s got DEMOCRAT OCTOBER SURPRISE written all over it.

These scum are every bit as perverted as Foley.

Come to think of it, I take that back, too. They’re worse. Foley was just thinking of his crotch--they’d have other people’s children assaulted to gain political power. Bastards, true bastards.

re comment 7

John , What Barney Franks did was a transgressive exploration of masculinities and desire within a context of a thriving gay culture; it should have been celebrated as a teaching moment on identity. What Foley did was sexual harassment and all about domination and power, which should provoke a teaching moment on boundaries and respect for personhood. C’mon, dude - NPR is free, they are on the air like twice a day plus the lunch show, and its free! Keep your teaching moments straight...

John Moser sez: " Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this basically what Barney Frank did in the early 1980s?"

Correction granted: Stephen Gobie was an adult at the time he was involved with Barney Frank(he was 28 years old).

Steve Hayward: why was Barney Frank "much worse than Foley?"

Here’s something from one of Joseph Knippenberg’s favorite sources. http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20060927-054303-9103r.htm

Time to show some courage. Don’t cut and run from the culture war!

This will not hurt the Republicans much, if at all.

Just my opinion.

The Palm Beach Crowd might get angry about the dims attacks on men and boy relationships and vote GOP!

Tom Pain:

In Barney Franks’s case, his paramour was running a male prostitution ring out of his house. That doesn’t strike you as being a bit beyond sending some randy e-mails, which is all that has so far been alleged in Foley’s case (though I suspect much worse will come to light)? Right now there seems to be uncertainty as to whether Foley has committed a crime, though it certainly falls under Talleyrand’s dictum that "it was worse than a crime--it was a blunder!"

Steven: From the same people who brought you "Some election confusion in Florida: you can read "some randy e-mails" at:

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/BrianRoss/story?id=2509586&page=1

I think Noel is right, and Hastert is "covering his butt". I have only read a couple of pages, and I am covering mine!

But, again, I don’t want to give the impression that I am enjoying any of Foley’s discomfort. It is simply outrageous that the Democrats are trying to turn these events to their political advantage. If they had any decency at all, they would first fabricate a scandal (cowardice in Vietnam, a Black child, collusion with the enemy), and then use it to bring their opponents down.

Noel said: Is it "ethical and responsible" to aid and a abet a chickenhawk (finally--a real chickenhawk!) by one’s silence? Just how many boys were these Democrats willing to see molested in order to win an election? You really have to wonder if these Democrats would have let Foley molest their own children if that’s what it took. This whole thing stinks. It’s rotten. It’s perverse. And it’s got DEMOCRAT OCTOBER SURPRISE written all over it.
These scum are every bit as perverted as Foley.
=====================================
Isn’t that kind of like blaming Kenneth Starr for Bill Clinton’s intern dalliance? He could have released the findings a year earlier, and protected other interns. Let’s focus our wrath on the perp here.
It’s obviously unfair to judge the whole party on the creepiness of one of its members, and the American people surely recognize that. Nobody is going to vote against McCain based on the actions of Foley. To people outside of Foley’s district, this story is sick entertainment, nothing more.

Why in God’s name would any sane person who reads the newspaper or watches even the Democratic media think the Democratic leadership would have behaved more honorably

Because when we had a Dem president who just had an affair, with an adult, of the opposite sex, the Dems, his own party, condemed him.

But here we have a man who preys on minors, young boys, and the Republicans defend him to remain in power.

Why in God’s name did the Republicans think they needed to run a cover-up operation? When Hastert found out who did he contact? The FBI? The Ethics Committee? No, the RNC. The people who manage the elections.

"It is simply outrageous that the Democrats are trying to turn these events to their political advantage."


How true! Imagine, using someone’s own actions as a way of describing their character to the electorate. As opposed to making things up.

Talk about fighting dirty.

Let’s remember...

1) This is more than "randy emails". His IM log was pretty bad. (ie. "Are you hard? I’m hard"... These are MINORS.


2) Foley met with these kids. He took (one at least) out to a restaurant (dates?).


3) The larger issue the Right is facing is that the Republicans tried to cover this up, at least until after the election, and from all appearances, forever.

The right isn’t doing itself any favors with their spokespeople. Tony Snow called the emails "naughty" and implied they were harmless; Drudge apparently blamed those saucy teenage boys for leading Foley on. I can’t WAIT for Coulter and Malkin to weigh in. Weren’t you guys outraged by pedophelia once?

As if this needed explanation: no, it’s not "basically" the same thing to kick someone out of your house when you find out that they’ve been having sex for cash with other people, and to try to seduce underage pages. Unbelievable.

Big Lizards details two distinctly different sets of emails and text messages, the first of which was not sexual but "over-friendly. The second set was a darker, more sinister thread, consisting of much more explicit text messages that Foley sent to other pages; for example, one session was all about masturbation....

Apparently many individuals, some of whom have posted here, have been taken in, consciously or subconsciously, by the Associated Press and others, who have suggested that Republicans were aware of the latter set of emails and text messages, when, in fact, they were aware of the first set exclusively. Big Lizard’s time-line shows how the Associated Press printed an article describing innocent conduct by Republicans, then altered the article... twice... thereby changing it into a deeply disturbing, completely fabricated, conspiracy. The Dems’ and MSM’s desired result of fooling some of the people all of the time has been achieved, but none of them were going to vote for Pubbies anyway.

All politics are local. I defy anyone to name a single individual, outside Foley’s district, who is going to change his/her vote from Pubbie to Dem as a result of this. I defy anyone to name a single Pubbie who is now going to stay home or a single Dem who was going to stay home who is now not going to stay home, as a result of this.

no, it’s not "basically" the same thing to kick someone out of your house when you find out that they’ve been having sex for cash with other people

I heard that it was not just sex for cash, but sex with under aged boys for cash and that the madam...er...queen...er pimp was, himself 17 years old when the offenses were committed, but that they weren’t made public until after he turned 18. Did I hear wrong?

Daniel K says he "can’t wait" to see how Michelle Malkin will ostensibly defend Foley. Your wait is over: see here. Care to retract, Daniel K?

So which is it, Steve: "randy e-mails" and moral equivalence with something else that happened in the 1980s, or something that Republicans should stop defending with such tactics? Your comments say one thing, your links say another.

Steven H.:

I tried clicking on your link and it didn’t come up. Here is another try at it.

All this moral equivalence is just b*ll Sh*t (and I regret post #23). Was Foley’s conduct worse than Aaron Burr’s? Ted Kennedy’s? Carter’s? (remember his Playboy interview?) WJC’s? William Jefferson’s? Barney’s? Fred Flintstone’s? Wilma’s? Who cares? It was bad, he’s gone and we’re better off without him.

But this thread really isn’t about Foley, it’s about Hastert, et al. It’s about damage, if any, Foley did to the Republican party. It’s about what Hastert knew and didn’t know. It’s about whether Hastert knew how lurid Foley’s messages were. It’s about spin and false information coming from the Associated Press and other "news" media about what Hastert knew and whether he had a duty to do something about it. It is NOT about Foley having sex with under aged boys, nor is it about the MSM making such claims. Neither is it about Hastert, or any other Republican, being aware of Foley having sex with under aged boys, nor the MSM making any such claim. The MSM will probably get around to such inuendo, but it hasn’t...yet....And yes, inuendo is meant to be a pun here.

I do retract. Malkin smartly waited a few days to respond to the situation, and commented only once the full horror of it had emerged. Snow and Drudge apparently didn’t have that luxury.

Or as an alternate explanation, the males are more willing to excuse sexual indescretion, even something extrememly creepy; Malkin, for all her seething hostility, still has a maternal instinct. Anybody seen a remark by Coulter then? She kind of straddles the male/female divider and therefore may give the least biased results.

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