I’m about overwhelmed with the hyperbole coming from one side of the aisle and the cowering from the other. Let’s get some facts straight.
First, what in the world happened? Mark Foley was a representative in congress, one who was a homosexual but denied it publically. He solicited, as far as I can tell, in a creepy way congressional pages. Apparently he was involved in more than creepy solicitations, but waw probably responsible for a number of terrible instant messages. Bottom line: he resigned. He is being investigated and may face charges for the crimes he may have committed. We are not certain at this time if he did break any laws. As far as we can tell, everything he did was perfectly legal.
That Mark Foley is creepy and that he is probably a criminal is not the subject of debate. Everyone agrees with that. That’s why he is no longer a representative and his Republican career is over.
The other part of the story is the supposed cover-up. Democrats are claiming that the house leadership knew about this problem and failed to do anything about it. House leaders said they knew about the problem but didn’t know about how severe it was. That is, they saw creepy emails, saw that they were creepy but not a serious breech, and reprimanded Foley appropriately. There is a possibility that someone is lying. There is a possibility that someone in the house leadership saw the stuff that goes over the line and kept it hidden from other house leaders.
If it is true that house leaders tried to cover up the extent of Foley’s problems then they should be held responsible. Republicans demand no less. However, we must be certain that the appropriate people are punished, and that we don’t punish those who did the right thing. For instance, if a certain member concealed certain information from others, then that member should be punished, not the ones who never saw the information.
Should anyone go to jail? Most likely not, unless crimes were committed and they didn’t report it to the police. In this case, no one is completely sure that crimes were committed.
Now, let’s talk about other “facts”, or things Democrats are trying to pass off as facts.
The evidence we see before us does not implicate Foley of committing any crimes. The person to whom he was sending terrible emails was 18 at the time. That is certainly over the age of consent in Washington D.C., which is 16. To accuse Foley of being a pedophile, based on what the public has seen, is incorrect.
The evidence we have does not implicate the house leadership for covering up his sins. In fact, it points to them reprimanding him and asking him to resign when the full extent was made known. They did exactly what we should expect them to do. In a tight election year, they sacrificed their ability to maintain control because doing the right thing is more important than winning elections.
There is a charge that “all” republicans are guilty of such crimes. They try to incriminate republicans by association. Since a large number of republicans have had problems with their sex-life, and since a fair number have been found guilty of crimes relating to sex, this implies that all republicans are similiarly handicapped. This is a terrible charge to make and incorrect. Guilt by association doesn’t work that way. If we really must consider it, we must consider the total population of republicans, the total population of sexual offenders, and then the ratio of the two. Does it compare favorably or unfavorably to the national average? By and large I believe that you will see republicans as a whole more sexually moral than the population. However, this is avoiding the real problem. No one knows what is going on in real life. Politicians have a way of avoiding accountability. All we can say for certainty is that republicans who are discovered are not covered. They are usually ousted from their positions. The same is not true for democrats.
I want to emphasize one final point. The timing, the method of reporting, the false furor over this issue points to the obvious fact: This is a scandal that isn’t what it seems to be. The democrats are blatantly trying to make this into something it can never be. They see the echo of their own voices and think that it means they are getting to us, depressing our vote, or seeing a shift of power. They want desperately for all conservatives to stay home on November 7th because Foley is a sick individual.
Don’t let them get to you. Think logically about the issue, evaluate objectively the evidence, and make your own decision on how you would like to vote.
And remember, while Foley is accused of having virtual sex through instant messages, President Clinton did far worse in the oval office with a real teenager. I guess if you’re a democrat it’s okay?