Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It not the crime

in politics it's the cover-up that kills you. Being a conservative doesn't help much either.

So the cliff notes version of the Mark Foley saga thus far is this:

  • Republican Congressman is confronted about "overly friendly" emails to a former page.
  • He agrees to stop and the incident is deemed settled by all parties involved.
  • Fast forward one year later, IM chat logs surface that, unlike the previous emails, are sexually explicit in nature and can in no way be considered just "friendly" in any way.
  • Congressman, rightfully resigns seat and Monday morning quarterbacks come out of the woodwork.
I have seen absolutely no, even partially, substantiated claims that any Republican leaders had any knowledge of the level of Foley's contact with the former pages. If such evidence arises then without question those involved have to follow Foley's lead and resign their seat. That being said, the part of the story that seems to be completely left out by most of the MSM outlets is that it appears the Democratic leadership was also made aware of the emails at about the same time and also accepted the outcome. Like the Republican leaders, it appears that is all they were aware of until very recently when the story starts to get a little greyer.

While no one has come forward to show that the Republicans were made aware of the more graphic communications, there is growing indirect evidence that at least some Democrats were made aware of these IM logs by far left supporters prior to the news story breaking last week. If this turns out to be true, the tide may actually change from what is now essentially a witch hunt to find some Republican outside of just Foley to hang this scandal on, to a damming example of just how far partisan politics have sunk. The very idea of a group holding on to this type of information just so that they could schedule the timing of the release for the greatest political benefit would most likely sour a great number of moderates against their side.

What really amazes me about this story though has less to do with Foley's actions than the response from people on both sides of the isle. There seems to be a odd sort of agreement that just because Congressman Foley was homosexual (though not publicly out) that any contact he had with underage boys was to be suspect. That this argument is being put forward by some hard right spokespeople, while still wrong, is to be expected, but that exactly the same case is being put forward by the far left smacks so much of opportunistic hypocrisy that I can feel my blood pressure rising whenever I hear it. Prior to last week, there was little evidence that his contact with the pages was anything more than in the nature of a teacher enquiring about former students and if the story had ended there, which it did until recently, any reference to his sexual orientation would have been condemned by these very same liberals now calling for Republican heads. In fact, when a similar instance occurred with Congressman Gerry Studds, whose actions went well beyond electronic communications and actually involved a sexual affair with a 17 year old male page, while 'censured' by the Democratic congress at the time, he also received a standing ovation from his caucus after his condemnation of those who outed his affair as violating his privacy. Instead of resigning his seat he actually ran and continued to get re-elected until he retired in 1996 with his full parties support.

While Foley's actions are gross violations of the trust put into him by both his constituents and all those involved in the Congressional Page system, regardless of the sexes of those involved, and he deserves whatever he gets from this fallout, from a purely blogger viewpoint this is looking more and more like another example of selective outrage based more on liberals targeting conservatives who they disagree with. It was really no surprise to see John Aravosis's name attached to this story. Aravosis and his ilk seem to dedicated to the idea of outing any homosexual that doesn't fit perfectly into their mould of what gay should be (remember when Jeff Gannon dared write for a conservative online magazine).

Gateway Pundit is staying on top of the who knew what/when questions and has several interesting links.

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