"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's All the Brouhaha?

So Congressman Mark Foley, a never-married 52-year-old Republican from Florida, has resigned amidst the revelation that he exchanged instant messages with a 16-year-old boy who had worked as a page in the House of Representatives. As the actual messages and emails slowly leak out, it becomes clear that they were far more than "inappropriate."

Now comes the charge that House leaders may have known something about Foley's escapades and reacted less forcefully than they might. Of course, in the tornado of partisan charges and counter-charges, it will be difficult to know who knew exactly what, when they knew it, and what they did or should have done.

Foley should do more than resign from Congress, he should do serious jail time. And if the Republican leadership actually knew what had gone on, there should be some more resignations.

All of this, however, is obvious. What is less obvious is why there is a problem here in the first place. Foley isn't married, gay sex is just as good as the other kind, and this "kid" was 16, after all, hardly some little tyke. Sixteen is the age of consent in most civilized countries, as well as in most states, and the District of Columbia.

Does anyone, for example, remember the unfortunately named Congressman Gerry Studds? In 1983, having admitted to sex with a 17-year-old page (more than Foley appears to have done), he not only refused to resign, but was reelected several times. Of course, Studds was a Democrat, from Massachusetts, and a self-proclaimed homosexual. That trifecta made him a gay activist rather than a sex criminal.

What's really troubling is that within 10 or 15 years, some future criminal pervert in Congressman Foley's shoes will, instead of resigning, be marrying his 16-year-old toy boy, and inviting his proud mother to the ceremony.

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