CommunityPam's House Blend

Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley


“Recent news stories remind us that there are predators using the Internet to target children,” Hastert said. “And just as we warn our children about ‘stranger danger’ when they are at the park or answering the door or telephone, we need to be aware of potential dangers in Cyberspace.”
— from a press release on House Speaker Denny Hastert’s web site today, touting his “Effort To ‘Keep Kids Safe In Cyberspace”

Jesus. Too bad the Tyrannosaurus of Turpitude didn’t give a damn that House pages were being preyed upon in IMs and emails by Rep. Mark Foley. Hastert knew about Foley’s “problem” over a year ago, yet he didn’t do anything about the Florida congressman, who was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen’s parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, “We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem,” a reference to the House’s Republican leaders.

But Hastert now claims he had no idea:

“I was surprised,” Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said after being informed of Foley’s decision. “I didn’t know what the situation was.”

So who’s lying? Heck, if didn’t know, that’s a bigger problem to explain — no one thought he needed to know?

The bottom line is that Hastert didn’t follow his own cyberspace advice — and do something about the predator in his midst. He should resign.

We know all too well that in the GOP the buck never stops at the top.

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More nasty Mark “totally stiff wood” Foley IM chats with a teen page have emerged (boy, no wonder he resigned so fast; he knew what was coming out), courtesy of ABC (PDF). Here is a snapshot of some of the exchange.

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UPDATE: There is an interesting piece up at ABC, in the Reporter’s Notebook by J. Jennings Moss, who outed Foley in The Advocate. He bolsters my case that Foley was drunk with power, deep in the closet and thought he could keep it padlocked while his pathological behavior went unchecked.

He also makes the point that the MSM simply won’t hold politically closeted gay lawmakers accountable for hypocritical voting.

Ten years ago, I outed Foley as a gay man for The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine. But aside from one story in the St. Petersburg Times, no other Florida or national publications would touch the tale, either because Foley and his camp did a great job of shooting the messenger or because of the inherent fear the media have to delve honestly and without judgment into a person’s sexual background.

…I remember that former GOP Rep. Bob Barr, the congressman who was the chief sponsor of DOMA, got asked once which of his three previous marriages he was defending, and no one raised a stink.

But asking a lawmaker if he was gay and how his sexuality affected his vote was just not acceptable. It wasn’t in 1996, and I doubt many reporters would do it today. It’s not homophobia per se. It’s really more like homo-aversion.

Foley was a master of aversion. For The Advocate story, as I recall, Foley didn’t grant a face-to-face interview but instead answered written questions. “Frankly, I don’t think what kind of personal relationships I have in my private life is of any relevance to anyone else,” he said.

…By staying so deep in the closet and browbeating others to keep his secret for him, Foley probably thought he was invincible. But secrets have a way of bringing down the powerful.

As we can see, the kinds of “relationships” Foley had were quite relevant — his ghastly behavior involves preying on young pages — and no one in the House leadership stopped him.

When do you think we’ll hear from Daddy Dobson, Concerned Women for America or any of the other “pro-family” organizations about this government’s coverup of a predator serving on the Hill?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding