Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Mark Foley, a Congressman from Florida, resigned his House of Representatives' seat this past week. He had held the elected position for six terms. You are probably aware that he resigned within hours after his explicit e-mails or instant messages to male Capital Hill pages came to light by ABC. Foley is alleged to have sent the inappropriate messages to 16 and 17 year old boys.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the story is the hypocrisy of Foley. Foley was Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and some of its responsibility included protecting children from predators.

The other disturbing aspect of the story is Congress' blind eye to Foley's exploits. A story I read recently indicated that other pages had warned incoming page classes to watch out for Foley. This information appeared to be passed along as casually as how a certain Congressman likes his coffee or what time a certain Congressman wants a copy of the Washington Post. If pages knew of Foley's inappropriate behavior, you can bet that members of Congress did as well. The messages in question were alleged to have taken place in 2005 and yet now the public finally hears about them? And the public first heard about Foley's inappropriate interactions with the pages through the media and not through a whistle-blower in Congress.

There are now calls for House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign over the scandal. The supervisor of the page program reports directly to the Speaker of the House. Hastert has reported that he will not resign and published reports indicate that Hastert claims he did not know of the more scandalous messages until the story broke last week.

Members of Congress may not have known about the specific content of the messages but I find it hard to believe that they would not have found the supposed rumors about Foley so concerning to not at least conduct an independent investigation before it became a media issue.

At times the law places an affirmative duty on an individual to act. Only as Foley's past actions come to light and the extent to other Congressman's knowledge of such will it become clearer whether that is the case here. Notwithstanding that, any member of Congress that heard whispers of Foley's behavior and did nothing clearly failed his or her constituents from a moral standpoint.


Blogger indygirl said...

Whadda creep.

October 04, 2006  
Blogger lemming said...

Am I the only one who has a hard time reconciling "16 year old" and "child" as meaning the same thing?

Yes, what Foley did was wrong and sick and he should be punnished. At the same time, if we authorize R rated moves as "PG-13" and video games, etc etc is this all that surprising?

October 04, 2006  
Blogger Marie said...

Lemming that's what Foley thought to but when one become's parentis locus of a minor it makes them responsible for their care. Foley broke that trust. And although 16 year olds have adult size bodies they do not have adult size brains.

October 04, 2006  
Blogger Butchieboy said...

Yeah. That guy is like three times creepier than me.

October 05, 2006  
Blogger indymtgpro77 said...

its all the Democrats fault! pbfft!

October 05, 2006  
Anonymous Celeste said...

Fact that the public is been aware that politicians by and large are not paragons of virtue; not surprising. The public expecting that elected officials would refrain from abusing their position of authority; not unreasonable. Foley engaging in this behavior while supposedly being concerned with the exploitation of children; repugnant. And the fact that members of Congress knew and did nothing...priceless. And we wonder why there is voter apathy?

October 06, 2006  

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