Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Partisan Irresponsibility

There’s a well deserved Republican leadership meltdown ongoing over the scandal involving Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley & congressional pages. Foley ‘resigned immediately’ on 29 September, 2006 following disclosure of his inappropriate e-mails to male pages. It is widely speculated that Foley is in fear of further disclosures.

Ironically, Foley is a high profile opponent of chid pornography and served as cochairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. He was sponsor of child protection legislation, but his e-mails to boy pages show a definite pederast slant of his own. Maybe all Foley’s ‘protesting too much’ is akin to his being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The biblically inclined like to point to Matthew 7:15:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits.”

Foley may be subject to criminal prosecution under the very laws he helped write and pass. If so, his would be a classically apt example of being ‘hoist by his own petard’. This cliché was made famous by William Shakespeare in Hamlet:

“There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,

They bear the mandate;
they must sweep my way

And marshal me to knavery.
Let it work;

For 'tis the sport to have the engineer

Hoist with his own petar:
and 't shall go hard

But I will delve one yard below their mines

And blow them at the moon:
O, 'tis most sweet,

When in one line two crafts directly meet.”

As Shakespeare meant it, “hoist” means “blown up” as in bomb. A petar(d) is literally a buried bomb (mine). Being hoist by your own petard means being caught by your own booby trap! How fitting in this instance.

But the real story isn’t about Mark Foley. We will always have pederasts, perverts and child molesters among us. It’s the responsibility of other adults to protect the children against them. The real story is the partisan cover-up of Foley’s antics by the GOP leadership for well over a full year. Like the Catholic church covering up and hiding the predatory abuse of children by the priesthood, the Republican leadership made a cynical choice to protect their Republican turf instead of the children.

Astoundingly, Foley's excusers have gone so far as to blame the teenage pages themselves. Matt Drudge calls them ‘little beasts’. You can listen to his ranting for yourself here: MATT DRUDGE

It is unbelievably ridiculous, except that it is also a serious failure of responsibility. That the Republican leadership would choose to cover things up and leave the teenagers exposed to Foley’s overtures is criminal in many people's opinions. To their credit some Republican leadership are calling for a full investigation and censuring some of those whose responsibility it was to have taken action. This story is far from over.

And for Alaskans, what response do you think we have had from our lone congressman, Republican Don Young? Unsuprisingly, U.S. Rep. Don Young is not joining the call for House Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation over a former Florida congressman's online messages to underage boys.

Meredith Kenny, the Alaska Republican's spokeswoman, said "It's not in his character to comment on someone else's personal problems. Well, not problems, someone's personal matters," "He's not going to get involved in this."

I thought it very apropos that the web site for ex-Congressman Foley's 16th Florida District now terms the position as "The Honorable Vacant" and the "Leadership" as "None":

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