After reading and seeing WAY too much about it over the past week, here is what I strongly believe about the Mark Foley Scandal:
That Foley does not belong in Congress or in a position of power with underage men.
That he never actually had sex with anyone underage and that it is quite possible nothing illegal actually happened.
That he absolutely should have resigned as soon as the sexually explicit IMs were known by others in power to have taken place, which I think he did.
That the key to understanding this story is getting the difference between e-mails and Instant Messages and that distinction is apparently beyond the mental grasp of most media members and probably far too many voters.
That there is no hard evidence that anyone in the House Leadership knew about those IMs.
That because Foley was known to be a closeted homsexual his actions were interpreted very differently than if he were a straight man being overly friendly to hot teenage girls and that he was probably given more latitude for fear of appearing to be discriminating against him because of his sexuality.
That Republicans are completely capable of acting in the totally corrupt way that is being alleged but that there is almost no evidence that this happened and their self-interest was clearly NOT to act in this way.
That if the leaders had known exactly how bad Foley’s problem was they would have had neither a problem nor any reason to avoid getting rid of him. His district is heavily Republican and he was easily replaceable with one of their guys, especially since the Governor of Florida is a Republican.
That the pages with whom Foley engaged in these IMs, whether because they were also gay, or because they knew that saving these IMs could help them career-wise, liked and encouraged what they were taking part in (in now appears that at least some of them could have been part of a prank).
That the way the story broke smells very much like a concerted, planned, carefully timed political plot intended for the sole purpose of creating the maximum political damage, not just to Foley but to Republican hopes in the fall elections.
That if the exact same facts happened with a Democrat that there is no chance the story would be given nearly as much time/emphasis by the news media and that there is an excellent chance that he may not even have been forced to resign.
That the hypocrisy of the Democrats on this is only exceeded by that of the news media, for instance Ken Starr got totally vilified for exposing sexual details of sitting President in an attempt to prove perjury, while the news media continues to obsess about the sexual aspects of a case of a former congressman who has already resigned.
That the Democratic leadership doesn’t give a damn about the “children” involved in this, are thrilled it happened, and probably had a hand it in becoming a story when it did, and they are purposefully lying about what their opponents knew and when they knew it.
That it is remarkably hypocritical for Democrats to jump all over this when their recent history shows that they have far more tolerance for bad and even highly illegal behavior than we know for sure that Foley ever exhibited.
That it is a damning indictment of our political system and our broken national dialogue that, while in the middle of a war with two parties having starkly different views of how to proceed in the conflict, the largest issue currently impacting who will control congress is whether Republicans knew or should have known that one of their members was masturbating himself while typing messages to someone under the age of 18 who was clearly not upset with what Foley was writing.
That Republicans do not deserve to be retained as the majority party, and Democrats do not deserve to be rewarded for their obscene behavior over the past couple of years.
That Democrats will indeed be rewarded by winning at least one house of congress this November.
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