Updated Update: Upon further investigation and sober reflection, it's obvious that the Democrats sat on this scandal for almost a year, waiting until just before the elections to spring an "October surprise." As this article shows, the Democrats are true hypocrites on many levels.
First there is their feigned outrage; this from the party of Gerry Studds, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton.
Second, their calls for investigations of Republican leadership, when their leadership sat on the story for a year and didn't call for any investigations themselves.
Finally, there is the matter of equating Foley's inappropriate phone sex banter with the physical acts performed by and on Gerry Studds and Bill Clinton, and the involvement with and the promotion of prostitution by Barney Frank.
Did I mention the Democrats are hypocrites? And is it going to be noticed that Democrats are complicit in Foley's transgressions? If they acted on the information they had a year ago, Foley would not have committed many of the dastardly deeds of the past year, and the Democrats would have accomplished what they say is driving them now, preventing young boys from inappropriate sexual attention.
UPDATE: The disgust I express below is tempered by the greater disgust I have for the hypocritical Democratic leadership. Foley sent suggestive e-mails and text messages to a page. Gerry Studds, former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, admitted to "consensual" sexual relations with a 17-year old page. For Democrats, who have a way of glossing over essential points, Gerry Studds admitted to having sex with a 17-year old, not to sending him suggestive messages, although he probably did that too.
To spell things out a bit more, Gerry Studds used a superior to subordinate relationship to get to have sex with a young government employee. Gerry Studds did not resign in disgrace. He had a press conference featuring the young page agreeing with him that the sex was consensual, and that it was nobody's business but their own. Gerry Studds turned his back and ignored the House when his censure was read, then proceeded to be reelected five more terms after the censure.
I think even a Democrat is smart enough to understand this. Today's Democratic House leaders are making a big issue of the fact that Republican leaders didn't cashier Foley for making suggestive remarks, yet Democratic leaders continued to work with and accept Gerry Studds in their caucus after they found he had sexual relations with an underage government employee - do you understand the difference between a sex act and a suggestion? - I typed this slow to help Democrats understand - and Gerry Studds was unrepentant. He never admitted he had done anything wrong.
In typical Democratic fashion, he claimed victim status for himself. He said that it was really tough to be both an elected official and gay. Obviously he felt that it was unreasonable to give up being a pedophile just because he was an elected official. It seems that if he was a pedophile in a private rather than a public position, his pedophilia would be OK. Democratic leaders soon agreed that it was OK in a public position too, as long as you are a Democrat.
So I take back a lot of what I wrote below. I really don't know how much the Republican leaders knew, and I judged them hastily. But the test of time has rendered a verdict on the Democratic leaders, and history has rightly concluded that they are congenital hypocrites.
I just did a post based on the saying, “those who don’t know history are bound to repeat its mistakes.” Then tonight Alice and I discussed our disgust with Republican congressional leadership because they covered up the Foley mess until it blew up in their faces a month before the biggest congressional election since 1994. There it was, history repeating itself.
A lesson we thought had been learned once and for all time when President Nixon resigned because he tried to cover up a “third-rate” burglary seems never to have sunken in. I though the Republican leadership would surely be taking notes when the Catholic Church in America suffered almost terminal embarrassment and financial ruin when it tried to finesse priests’ sexual exploitation of boys and young men.
Why does “if I ignore it, it will go away,” still have such a strong following among our so-called leaders? Don’t they realize that if they ignore it, it will come out at the worst possible time and cause the most damage imaginable?
Two thousand years ago the Greeks knew of the human failings that caused great men to pretend away the inevitable. Greek tragedies are still cautionary lessons for us today. The actors we watch could be Republican leaders, thinking that if they just tell the guy to get his act together, he’ll see the light and they won’t have to deal with a bunch of unpleasantries. At the time they are thinking, “We have to protect our majority at all costs.”
Maybe Republican leaders think they can be like the Democrats. Ted Kennedy, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barney Frank, Robert Byrd, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Marion Barry, Sandy Berger, Thomas Dodd, Hazel O’Leary, Gerry Studds, Maxine Waters, and many other Democrats have been caught in significant ethical and even criminal violations, and have survived politically.
Unfortunately those Republican leaders have forgotten the lessons of Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and other Republicans who were disgraced and dumped for doing things that would be a ho-hum if done by a Democrat.
As an example, Trent Lott said words of praise for Strom Thurmond, a colleague celebrating his 100th birthday, about an event in 1948, which were deemed racially insensitive and caused Lott to resign his Senate Majority Leader position.
In 2001 Robert Byrd, former “Kleagle” and “Exalted Cyclops” of the Klu Klux Klan, and opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, remarked about “white niggers” twice on Fox News Sunday.
Robert Byrd is still an exalted leader of the Democratic Party; Trent Lott is no longer a leader of the Republican Party.
Of course there’s a double standard, but Republican leaders like Dennis Hastert are too dumb to deal with it. If what I have read is true, that Speaker of the House Hastert was told about Foley a year ago and didn’t do anything about it, Hastert should resign immediately.
Alice and I feel like we have been kicked in the stomach, that our ideals and trust in Republican leadership have been betrayed.
Now we know how American Catholics feel.