THE ANGRY LIBERAL
I’ve thought over the predicament that former Florida Rep. Mark Foley finds himself in and I can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t a bit hasty with his resignation, which was based on a cheap liberal smear. I mean, what did he do that his constituents would find so terrible?
Don’t get me wrong, congressman. Decent Americans who read the ABC News expose on your little email hobby, which included exchanging sexually explicit messages with underage boys, are pretty sure you’re a scumbag. But decent Americans didn’t really support you to begin with, did we? So why on earth would the Republicans in congress or your district have a problem with what we know about you so far? Let’s examine what the ABC News piece alleges and why these allegations should prove irrelevant to Republicans throughout America.
Allegation #1: Rep. Foley may have committed a crime.
No problem here. Remember, this sort of thing is only a crime if some law says it is. And those darn laws can contain some pretty ambiguous language. If we can’t define torture, what chance do we have of defining a veiled sexual advance? With a minimum of planning, I’m sure one of the congressman’s aides could have snuck a bit of “clarifying language” into some omnibus bill that “hereby renders harmless and free from all criminal and civil liability congressional representatives who electronically express unrequited and inappropriate overtures to members of the same sex who haven’t reached the age of majority,” or something to that effect. It’s not like your friends in Congress read these bills before they vote on them, anyway.
As for criminal activity turning off Foley’s constituents, forget about it. Hell, Tom DeLay won his party’s nomination for reelection and he was under indictment at the time. Foley hasn’t even been charged with anything. Yet.
Allegation #2: Rep. Foley appears to have a “flexible sexual preference."
I’m not sure that an adult male who has the hots for teenage boys would qualify as a pedophile or just a homosexual with an aversion to pubic hair, but let’s assume that it’s the latter for this discussion. We’ll cover the former possibility later.
Republicans have no problem with gay people in government. Sure, conservatives would rather die than see a gay couple get married, but that has nothing to do with the sexual preference of the gay couple. Republicans are just defending traditional marriage. If they really had a problem with gay people in government, wouldn’t some Republican somewhere have seemed a bit uncomfortable when the White House routinely allowed in the press room and even called upon during a press conference a gay prostitute posing as a journalist? That’s right. Remember Jeff Gannon (a.k.a. James Guckert) of Talon News? In a post-9/11 world, do you think that there was even the slightest possibility that the White House was unaware that this guy was “have boner, will travel” while he was routinely visiting? Yeah, right.
So why would the White House want to allow a gay escort to join the press corps? If they were just looking for a friendly face, there were hundreds of real journalists who would have been happy to shill for the Bush administration at the press dailies, right? Case-in-point: Tony Snow. So why run the risk of giving the job to a non-journalist and risk having his cover blown? In the Angry Liberal’s latest Incredibly Obvious Hypothesis that Everybody in the Mainstream Media Missed, the answer is simple. It makes no sense at all. It makes perfect sense, however, if the real goal of allowing a gay prostitute to pose as a journalist was to give said gay prostitute an alibi for making regular visits to the White House. It would be a lot easier to explain a couple of hundred of visits to the White House by a call boy posing as a journalist than to explain visits by a call boy with no alter ego (“Gay prostitute? Shucks, he was just pumping the staff for information during all of those visits!”). So when the whole arrangement fell apart, the subterfuge worked perfectly. Everybody focused on a fake reporter in the White House and nobody pursued the most obvious reason a gay prostitute would be there.
Even so, did a single Republican express dismay of a pee-pee-for-hire dangling around the White House? Was a single member of Pat Robertson’s Kooks for God even curious about whether a Bushie was receiving a regular exit pole from Mr. Gannon? I think not!
It’s clear from the Gannon/Guckert incident that neither the White House nor Republicans have a problem with gay people (or prostitutes, for that matter). I think it’s pretty big of America’s conservatives to be so open-minded. I’m sure they believe that it’s nobody’s business who is getting bent over in the war room and how much it’s costing him, as long as the happy couple doesn’t try to get married. Measured against this level of sleaze, Foley’s "correspondences" seems almost wholesome.
Allegation #3: Rep. Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus of Missing and Exploited Children, appears to be a hypocrite of biblical proportions.
Get real. You don’t really think that just because Foley may have broken the very laws he helped write, some Republican would have a problem with him, do you? That’s pretty naive. I mean, look at the facts. Republicans have a long and glorious tradition of allowing people who have problems with a particular law write laws in that area. Polluters write pollution laws and are appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency. Folks who don’t know anything about science and don’t believe in global warming get to edit scientific reports about global warming. Oil companies get to write energy bills. Credit card companies get to write bankruptcy legislation. John Bolton, who hates the United Nations, is our U.N. ambassador. And finally there’s the ultimate hypocrisy: Republicans, who traditionally hate government in general, run the government. Why shouldn’t a guy who apparently has an interest in exploiting children chair the House Caucus of Missing and Exploited Children? This practice, which has always seemed like an unbearable conflict-of-interest to decent Americans, is just a day at the office for Republicans (and for the record, that’s why decent Americans don’t vote for them). The only thing Foley really did out of the ordinary as far as Republicans are concerned was he forgot to establish a pro-underage gay sex political action committee (perhaps YoungFudgePAC) to make campaign contributions to his fellow Republican congressmen. With some support purchased in the right circles, Foley could have had the email messages in question quietly classified. Then the Justice Department could have charged all of Foley’s “pen-pals” with leaking classified information to ABC News and America could have debated how despicable it is that these young men would choose to betray their nation and endanger our national security by leaking top secret messages about, well, the subject is never really the point in these discussions, is it?
Allegation #4: Rep. Foley appears to have an interest in sex with a young Washington volunteer.
Don’t misinterpret the fact that Republicans impeached Bill Clinton to mean that they somehow have a problem with knocking off a low-level volunteer once in a while. Check the record. Not one of the charges brought against Clinton had anything to do with sex with an intern. The impeachment was all about perjury under oath. Read the articles for yourself. (Actually, they’re kind of fun to read. In the days of starting wars under false pretences, torture, illegal wiretapping, kidnapping, and indefinite imprisonment without charge, how nostalgic it seems to read about a time when nearly lying under oath about consentual hetrosexual sex could get you impeached.)
Allegation #5: Rep. Foley has preyed upon and endangered the well-being of teenaged boys.
This is an easy one. George W. Bush has killed thousands of teenaged boys in Iraq (hundreds of ours and likely thousands of theirs), and after three and a half years, he has yet to provide a single reason for the invasion that didn’t turn out to be pure horseshit. Despite this, most Republicans are still cheering Bush’s action and aren't even curious as to why all of these kids had to die. Compared to that, sending a few dirty emails doesn’t even register on the outrage-o-meter. But just in case some conservative starts to show concern for the fate of our teenagers in the future, Foley might want to have this phrase warming up in the sound bite bullpen: “If Americans don’t have the freedom to send hot messages to minors, the terrorists win.” Don’t worry that it makes no sense. That’s never been a problem in the past.
There you have it. After a review of the facts surrounding former Rep. Foley’s resignation, I think he was far too hasty in blowing the canopy and punching out. A methodical examination of his actions and his constituency’s reaction to similar actions indicates that even if every allegation is true, Foley should have had it made in the shade. Republicans are too tolerant and too deliberate in their judgments to jump to hasty conclusions over allegations leveled in the liberal media. And if they should decide to show an interest in this issue, there’s always raw fear. Mention chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and terrorists in the same breath and conservatives will be too busy wetting themselves to worry about some legislator with a subscription to Tiger Beat.
The good news for Foley: He’s still on the November ballot in his district. I hear that for the first time this election, Florida Republicans will be allowed to choose their margins of victory. Call me sentimental, but I hope Foley would choose 537 votes.
THE ANGRY LIBERAL