Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Mr. Pathetic
It strikes me that Mark Foley probably isn't a pedophile (in the clinical sense of the word). He apparently lived a rather blatantly gay lifestyle, complete with a long term boyfriend (though Radar sure didn't give credit for the scoop where credit is due...) The only people he hid his homosexuality from were his constituents -- significant, given the general conservatism of his district, but hell, they didn't seem to care enough to spot the obvioius, now did they? But given the fact that he apparently didn't want for a relationship, Foley's hot and heavy, relentless pursuit of barely legal (or illegal) males seems more reminiscent of a rather desperate, pathetic old perv who liked 'em young (even if not pre-pubescent) and who repeatedly tried -- and failed -- to score with a teen. It must have been his special little fantasy to turn out some poor young, confused kid. Apparently, he saw the page service as a personal dating pool of sorts, where he could find, groom, and hopefully land himself a young'un, whom I sure he hoped would consider him to be a cool older guy who'd buy the beer, link to his MySpace page, and teach him how to do things his girlfriend never thought of (okay, I'm nauseous now.) ...

Instead, Mark Foley became the creepy teacher in school (or the creepy wrestling coach if you prefer... ahem...)

In other words, he became desperate, overeager and pathetic. No wonder he's in hiding ... I mean "rehab." Whatever happens next, and I personally am rooting for jail-time, Foley is finished. He will eventually skulk back into some sort of job, I suppose ... maybe as a camp counselor at that nudist camp he was so riled up about a year or so ago... but he is permanent persona non grata among the Republican Party, where he was apparently as desperate a social climber as he was a teeniebopper chaser -- after all, when the GOP looks back at the November election, if they lose big, they're not going to blame Iraq or the middle class squeeze or gas prices or their own corruption, profligate spending, and failure to enact a single meaningful piece of legislation in years. They're going to blame him.

And that's a shame, because there's so much blame to go around. Mr. Hastert, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Shimkus, Mr. Boehner and their staffs all knew that this guy was creepy, overly friendly with the pages, and thus, presented a danger to the teens' well being on Capitol Hill. They saw their responsibility as to the party, and to their own power, not to these teens and their families, who had entrusted their children to them. Mark Foley is responsible for his own actions (the "sex abuse victim, alcoholic with mental problems" gambit isn't getting him off the hook). But the leadership was in a position to stop him from insinuating himself into the lives of the teens on Capitol Hill. They failed to do so, and so they're just as much to blame for what he has wrought.

After all, who would you hold responsible if the creepy teacher in school started going after students? You'd blame the principal and the administration. Creepy priests molesting alter boys? You blame the diocese that moved him from parish to parish. Creepy congressman? You get the idea.

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posted by JReid @ 10:52 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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