There are so many sick ironies and disturbing factoids relating to the Mark Foley page boy scandal that I don't know where to start. First and foremost, if anything good can come of this revelation, aside from keeping Foley a safe distance from the page boy circuit, it will be to underscore the idea that those who become obsessed with keeping children "safe" often have their own complicated reasons for being so fixated. Keep that in mind the next time your fire-breathing minister ramps up the rhetoric against gay adoption. Andrew Sullivan teases out the psychological aspects of being powerful and closeted.
Next, there's the prickly matter of the gay liberal response to all of this. Robbie does a good job over at The Malcontent of exposing some of the logical contortions and damaging hypocrisy on the gay left over this matter. Jack Malebranche makes a convincing case in the comments as to why we should be very careful tossing the word "pedophile" around. As tempting as it is to paint Foley with as brutal a brush as possible, the ages of the boys he was talking to don't technically make him a pedophile in DC, and it is our game to lose if the definition of the word becomes too malleable, considering the specious association that is already made between gays and pedophilia.
Has anyone pondered the disturbing fact that so many page boys seemingly had no problem with his advances? Again: ew. Having grown up in the DC area, it's no secret that the most beautiful boys in the District get jobs on Capitol Hill. Were they all hired by Mark Foley and Barney Frank? Doubtful. DC is, in it's own way, just as cutthroat and competetive as New York, and I have no doubt that many of these boys do whatever it takes to make friends in high places. I would compare it to prostitution, except that it would cheapen the actual thriving gay escort industry in the District - much of which services...you guessed it: Capitol Hill.
Stories like this are bound to bring out the crazy in some people, and Ben Stein certainly doesn't disappoint. Because this sex scandal is obviously all about...that's right: gay Democrats.
We have a Republican man in Congress who sent e-mails to teenage boys asking them what they were wearing, and an entire party, the Democrats, whose primary constituency, besides the teachers' unions, is homosexual men and lesbian women. I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys.
Does this tortured, insane logic ever wake you up in the middle of the night screaming, Ben? Bueller?
I'll leave you with an even more interesting piece of insanity, from an organization devoted to peace and understanding that makes even the UN look effective by comparison. The Human Rights Campaign.
The largest gay organization in America and all its members can't see a single reason to weigh in on anything related to Foley, showing HRC has all the backbone of one of the dead, boneless chickens served at their dinners.
I have a piece of unsolicited advice for HRC, if it wants to change course and factor in somehow to this major upheaval in the House, weeks before the midterm election.
Ask Foley to return the $27,000 HRC has donated to him since 2000, especially the $2,000 for this election.
The HRC would pick this Republican to fund, wouldn't they? Ben Stein's delusions have plenty of fertile area to flower in. It took a lame sex scandal to tarnish Clinton, despite his many flaws, and it looks like karma is coming to bite the GOP in the ass hard finally. Good. There is an undeniable schadenfreude to watching the GOP hoisted by the petard of its own "family values" campaign. There are too many other real dangers that we face as a country right now to fiddle with reactionary social issues. The religious right needs to take a long, soul-searching look at who they have lobbied and paid for on Capitol Hill. Here's a hint for the retarded: they're all scumbags.
I'll leave with this bit of putrescence, courtesy of Wonkette:
Maf54: I want to see you
Teen: Like I said not til feb…then we will go to dinner
Maf54: and then what happens
Teen: we eat…we drink…who knows…hang out…late into the night
UPDATE: Blog P.I. offers a refreshingly sober analysis of this mess, and sums up how I feel about blaming the Democrats for using it to their advantage:
...it’s hard to see the percentage in fretting over the fact that Democrats are getting as much electoral mileage as they can out of the erstwhile Maf54’s astonishing lack of discretion or propriety. Why shouldn’t they? Politics is full of lemons, but on those rare occasions when you’re handed a glass of lemonade, the thing is to enjoy drinking it.
Also, don't miss the brilliant cover of Time this week: