I've been purposely maintaining silence on the Mark Foley debacle until it started to die down a little. To be blunt, I'm sick of hearing about it, and I'm sure everyone else is too. As a result, I'm not going to link to any outside material, and this post is the last I'll have to say about it.
I think the entire situation is a perfect example of how a lot of people in this country do not have a sense of personal responsibility. What Mark Foley did is immoral and disgusting. I'm glad he's gone. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what he did was a crime...but it ought to be.
Even though he immediately resigned, which some on the right are "giving him a little credit for", these IM messages have been around for a few years now. He's already been spoken to by Hastert once, but now his reaction when the shit hit the fan was to resign and immediately go into an alcohol rehab facility. Classy. Now he can sit in mild "cover" until his rehab is over, but the FBI will be waiting. Unfortunately, he's now blaming his behavior on his claim that he was abused by a priest, so says his attorney. We'll see if he goes into details about that. That ought to be interesting. Also, he is attempting to distract from the situation by having his attorney announce in that same press conference that he's, in fact, gay. Well...DUH!
He's sorry he got caught and that it became a major news story, and he's sorry he had to resign in disgrace. I don't believe he's sorry for his actions. Not. One. Minute.
I've also about had my fill with both sides of the aisle on this issue, as they're both trying to spin it in an advantageous way during this election cycle. Now that is exactly why I get so disgusted and burnt-out with politics at times. This is the perfect example.
I have to say I just don't understand the crowd demanding that Dennis Hastert resign his post as majority leader. To me, this is a lot like trying to impose gun laws on the public because criminals choose to commit murder with them. Dennis Hastert did not behave inappropriately, Mark Foley did. Dennis Hastert will never be able to prevent anyone from breaking the law, or be able to force anyone to comply with them. Additionally, suppose he is forced to resign (he won't, he's already indicated so), who's next? He says he spoke to Foley and thought he took care of the issue. I take him at his word, as he asked Foley to resign. Personal responsibility, folks.
I don't know what to do about the page problem to make it safer. I'd be very hesitant for one of my kids to serve as a page now, but I'm not sure what can be done, other than encouraging parents to be diligent in finding out what goes on (yes, be a pain in the ass!) in their day, as they should be doing. More personal responsibility.
Update 10/5 @ 8:23pm: Welcome La Shawn Barber readers. Feel free to leave a comment telling me if you're sick (in more ways than one) of hearing about this story as well.
Update 10/5 @ 10:54pm: I mistakenly referred to Dennis Hastert as majority leader. He's the Speaker of the House. John Boehner is the House Majority Leader.