Mark Foley's Crimes

FACT: Republicans had fits, FITS, when it was discovered that Bill Clinton (adult) got a blow job from Monica Lewinsky (adult) - yet Mark Foley (Republican adult) only described getting blowjobs from congressional pages (Republican NON-ADULTS) so it's ok to just sweep it under the rug, move on as quickly as possible, and try to get a new Republican to replace him in congress.

I'm not condemning Foley for wanting to have sex with men. I think there should be more LGTB representatives in congress. I'm condemning Foley for wanting to have sex with boys. He's preying on kids working as pages, a position where Foley is essentially their boss. The fact that Foley is a member of the virulently anti-gay Republican Party does make the hypocrisy hard to ignore...

That's right, friends. The 'Family Values' party covered up for the scariest of all bogey-men, the online predator.

While that may shock some, the fact that the Republican Party has ignored all aspects of this travesty except the one that they think is most important - making sure Republicans don't lose a seat in congress - shouldn't shock anybody. From the Sarasota Harold Tribune:

[Charlotte County Republican Party Chairman Bob] Starr said Republicans will have to convince people to vote for the disgraced Foley with the idea that the vote will count toward a candidate not on the ballot.

"It's going to be very difficult to do," Starr said.

Although state party officials are leaning toward naming state Rep. Joe Negron as the replacement candidate, Starr said he would lobby for state Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda.

Regardless of who the replacement is, Sabato said the party will have a hard time convincing people to vote for Foley to keep the seat in Republicans hands.

"I'd say it's near impossible," Sabato said. "Who's going to want to do that?" [Emphasis mine]
Indeed. Who would want to do that?

The FBI is now beginning an investigation into Foley's emails.
The FBI announced last night that it is looking into whether former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) broke federal law by sending inappropriate e-mails and instant messages to teenage House pages.

The announcement came hours after House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert asked for a Justice Department investigation into not only Foley's actions but also Congress's handling of the matter once it learned of the contacts.

In his letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Hastert (R-Ill.) acknowledged that some of Foley's most sexually explicit instant messages were sent to former House pages in 2003. That was two years before lawmakers say they learned of a more ambiguous 2005 e-mail that led only to a quiet warning to Foley to leave pages alone.
It seems that Foley, co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, broke a law that he sponsored.
[I]n-person, actual sex between Foley and a 16-year-old page would be perfectly legal in D.C. and in most places in the U.S., but it seems that it is a criminal act for Foley to discuss or solicit sexual acts with the same page over the Internet.

[U]nder the so-called "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (of which Foley was a co-sponsor), along with 18 U.S.C. 2251, discussion or solicitation of sexual acts between Foley and any "minor" under the age of 18 would appear to be a criminal offense…
Read Mr. Greenwald's post for details on the 'age of consent' issues. All I'll say on that is that a 54 year old soliciting sex with a 16 year old is icky and also illegal, though a 54 year old having sex with a 16 year old is infinitely more icky, though legal.

Though I'm rambling, the central issue with this scandal is that Republican leadership knew about Foley's actions yet made no effort to stop them. THAT'S the scandal. The MSM may try to deflect this away from the GOP leadership. We'll see.

I'll promise you one thing, though. Despite the fact that an actual crime was committed here, you won't see a congressional commission looking into this, a la the Clinton impeachment. This doesn't hinge on what the definition of 'is' is but it doesn't matter. Republicans will always protect their own, no matter the law, no matter the crime.

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