Shock and Confuse
By: J.J. Jackson
Mark Foley is a name on the lips of many these days; mine included. Itâ€™s amazing actually. Conservative, Republicans, Liberals and Democrats are all appalled. This is the sort of unity that does not happen all that often on Capitol Hill and from sea to shining sea across the fruited plain. The problem is that while all sides are outraged and united in their outrage, they are outraged for different reasons.
Conservatives are outraged because there is simply certain behavior that is unbecoming of our elected officials. Using their position of power as a dating service regardless of the age of their targets or the sexual orientation of the official is reprehensible. Youâ€™re in Washington to do a job, not get some action. Targeting minors and people under their tutelage just makes it all the worse.
Republicans are outraged because Mark Foley is a black eye to their party and they still have enough conservative bones in their bodies (for the most part) to at least take offense as your average conservative would. Plus they know who their â€œbaseâ€ is.
Democrats are â€œoutragedâ€ over the Mark Foley affair because Republicans have shown that they can clean up their own house while Democrats like William Jefferson (caught red handed taking bribes), Cynthia McKinney (caught red handed battering a cop), Barney Frank (who allowed a prostitution ring to be run out of his office) and John Murtha (who took bribes in ABSCAM) always seem to be allowed to continue on with their service and stay in good standing with the party. Liberals are likewise â€œoutragedâ€ because every time something happens that they can use to avoid talking about what they believe (i.e. raising taxes, wage fixing, impeaching Bush, socialized medicine, etc) it is a good thing for them. But at least weâ€™re all â€œoutragedâ€. Thatâ€™s a start.
Liberals have fired both barrels at the Republicans this past week. Perhaps it was done prematurely â€“ time will tell. And as the left are scrambling to find more ammunition they have resorted to running around wildly and waving their hands in the air screaming like an irate Howard Dean. Now that the â€œshockâ€ is dying down and there is no â€œaweâ€ to be had, let the â€œconfusionâ€ begin!
Weâ€™ve progressed passed the facts of the case which were that the parents of a Congressional page asked that Foley stop contacting their son because of â€œoverly friendlyâ€ emails. That was promptly done. Even the family has admitted that saying â€œwe asked (Alexander) to see that Congressman Foley stop emailing or contacting our son and to otherwise drop the matter in order to avoid a media frenzy. He did so.â€ and â€œIf we had had any other knowledge or evidence of potential impropriety, we would have asked for the matter to be treated differently.â€
But since being â€œoverly friendlyâ€ is not a crime no other action was taken at the time.
Then more lurid instant messages mysteriously popped into existence. And before Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi or Howard Dean could even rush to the microphones to make a statement and grandstand, Foley was gone quicker than a bottle of Chivas Regal at the Kennedy Compound.
No evidence to show that anyone of consequence knew of or had seen these instant messages has been presented. Although there certainly are a lot of accusations being hurled to that extent. And some have even been shown to be between Foley and an 18-year-old; not a minor. At least at the time.
Whatâ€™s more, despite the attempt by journalists and the media to keep Mark Foley on the front page and provide cover fire for the left, it seems that the claims of â€œwarningsâ€ about Mark Foley from Congressional pages may be overplayed. Especially when Bryce Chitwood who was president of the 2002 class of pages said â€œHe was just a very friendly man and was always willing to befriend a page. It was something we appreciated. You find yourself very low on the totem pole of the congressional power scale. For a congressman to act like he was interested in a person and cared about us was something pretty special and pretty important.” (emphasis mine)
What? I thought that this was some huge scandal here? I thought it was something that EVERYONE knew about! I thought from the sound of things Congressional pages were running for their lives like young women from a drunken Ted Kennedy with car keys!
In fact the San Francisco Chronicle went looking for more cases and even admitted in their article House pages were warning each other about Foley in ’95 â€œNone of those interviewed said they had received a sexual or suggestive overture from him during their time on Capitol Hill.â€ (emphasis mine). Huh? So much for the rampant warnings about Foley and his sexual preference! While I am certain there were incidents, I am seriously beginning to doubt the size and scope of them.
Well, I guess when you cannot â€œaweâ€ them, you might as well try to â€œconfuseâ€ them with as much babble as you can spout in as short of a time as possible
Foleyâ€™s gone (as he should be), Bush is not on the ballot and liberals are still trying to figure out what to talk about this election year. Oh, theyâ€™ll gain seats in both the House and Senate. They may even win the House. But not because of their own ideas, plans and visions.
I am glad however to see the left has finally found sexual behavior that they find abhorrent. Itâ€™s been a long time coming but at least we know what it takes â€“ a gay man with an alcohol problem (so he claims) chasing young boys. Just watch out for the gay mafia you guys. Oh, and donâ€™t drop the soap.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.