CommunityPam's House Blend

There should not be silence

I actually agree with a portion of wingnut Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy on Media’s post on Foleygate (may the lightning bolt strike me down now):

In Foley’s case, however, the hypocrisy is stupefying. He sponsored the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and testified in favor of it, saying, “Sex offenders are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals and will continue to do it unless stopped… We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our kids from these animals.”

Of course most of Kincaid’s rant is complete BS, attempting to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia (yes, HRC, you should be stepping up to counter this, but no one is willing to comment).

For Log Cabinettes, the reaction of the fringe (influential) Right should be a wake-up call. These folks have been waiting for an opportunity like this to declare that it’s time for a gay purge in the party.

But knee-jerk references to Democratic misconduct won’t get Republicans off the hook on this one. This is the time for conservative media outlets, including the blogs, to insist that the Republican Party and the conservative movement stop protecting homosexuals in its ranks. The pro-homosexual groups in the Republican Party which shielded Foley from legitimate questions about his closeted life should be exposed and discredited.

Groups like the LCR (and HRC for that matter), have not believed in outing anti-gay, self-loathing gay politicians as a matter of principle. It was deemed too bottom-feeder to endorse the practice. Look at what that has reaped. But outing saved us from the voting record of the sick Ed Schrock. What the silence on Foley has done has emboldened the fringe Republicans to continue to fill the vacuum of information and ignorance regarding Foley’s acts with disinformation and gay-bashing.

What Foley did was disgusting, and reflects a sick man who led a double life. The fact that his record on gay issues improved is one matter, but this incident is a clear example of when you have to cut the cord publicly and explain why. Otherwise, you will see more of essays like Kincaid’s that stab at the entire gay community — and take root. It should not be countered with cricket chirping. Kincaid:

Jake Tapper, then a writer for Salon.com, noted in a 2003 article about Foley that his refusal to discuss his “sexual orientation” was being defended by Charles Francis, the co-chair of the “influential” Republican Unity Coalition. Francis called the matter a “non-issue.” The group’s advisory board includes such figures as former President Gerald R. Ford, David Rockefeller, and former Rep. Susan Molinari.

One of the financial patrons of the Log Cabin Republicans, multimillionaire former Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, is the ex-husband of liberal activist Arianna Huffington. Foley appeared at the group’s 2003 convention. But other top Republicans who have been associated with the Log Cabin organization include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Senator John Sununu, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Gordon Smith, Senator Lincoln Chafee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Rob Simmons, Rep. Darrell Issa, former Senator John Danforth, and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Some of the “Washington insiders” who have participated in Log Cabin events include Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, David Boaz of the Cato Institute, and writer Andrew Sullivan.

Now all gay Republicans and allies — never mind Dems (who are already seen as depraved by this bunch) — are going to be conveniently tarred with the Foley brush, yet who in the above group, or the LCRs or HR Cwill call out the fringe lunatics like Kincaid, or Peter LaBarbera (see below) and the rest of the professional gay bashers? Orientation truly is a non-issue — criminal behavior is a line in the sand that no organization should have trouble drawing. Anything that can be perceived as moral relativism going on in a clear case like this is disastrous for establishment gay advocacy groups of either party.

Are our advocacy organizations going to let this tripe go unchallenged?

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I wonder, picking up on my friend Cliff Kincaid’s theme below here: why did senior GOP leaders protect Foley’s homosexual secret? How many knew about his predatory behavior towards teenaged boys; when did they find out and why didn’t they do anything about it? Were they going to keep protecting the dirty secret as he announced a run for U.S. Senate?

Is “winning” as a Republican now more important than protecting children? Is it more important than letting a representative’s constituents know about his immoral behaviors, which of course influence his votes (Foley was pro-”gay”)? We need answers from House Speaker Denny Hastert and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois), who chairs the House Page Board.

And isn’t it telling most of the tiny number of homosexual male U.S. Congressmen have been caught in sex scandals–remember Barney Frank, who let his male lover, a hustler, run a prostitution ring out of his D.C. apartment? And Massachusetts Rep. Gerry Studds, who had sex with a 17-year-old boy and then turned his back on fellow House Members during the censure vote against him? And Bob Bauman (R-Md.), who in 1980 was charged with soliciting a 16-year-old boy for sex?

Let’s see. Three homosexual Congressmen, involved in sexual seductions of minor boys–ages 16, 17, and 17 (Foley). And yet homosexual activists ridicule anyone who suggests there is a predatory or pedophilic component to male homosexuality….

It’s time to speak out.

Listen to Stirling Newsberry at TPMCafe, he gets the framing:

The Republicans, before these revelations, were trying to make this a gay sex scandal, and talk about Jim. McGreevey, Barney Frank and Gerry Studs. However, it isn’t, it is about pedophila, predatory behavior by Foley – and a Catholic hierarchy like cover up by those above him who knew – since last year – what was going on. The Republicans don’t seem to know the difference between stupid sexual relationships, and predatory behavior – even though Foley wrote the law that he was breaking, and was the Chairman of the house caucus to protect children.

…What is amazing is not that Foley has the predisposition, there are other well known people who do. They are generally watched very closely, and prevented from being in situations which could be compromising. Stories circulate, adults are warned. Generally the assumption is that those in positions of power will not act in a way that endangers everything.

However, Foley clearly could not control himself or his impulses. It seems a common failing among the Republican leaders – the inability to control impulses or act on proper judgment. The scandal strikes at the heart of Republican sanctimoniousness, and at the heart of their long courtship of the suburban soccer mom – convincing married women to put aside their youthful attachment to equal rights, access to contraception, work place treatment, access to health care – and vote fear for their children.

When the great Gay Marriage explosion was happening, I to
ld people that it would blow up in the Republican’s faces. Whenever one uses that kind of hateful bigotry, the skeletons rattle in the closet. Foley isn’t even the first skeleton to fall out of the closet, but it he is so radioactive that even other Republicans don’t want to be anywhere near where it lands. As an older scandal went follow the money.

Also:
* GOP leadership: spinning for the election home stretch, but nowhere to run on Foley
* More Foleygate
* Foley blasted ‘vile’ Clinton in 1998 for his ‘sad sexual addiction’
* Resolution for ethics probe over Foley passes 410-0
* Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley
* Foley drops out of re-election campaign
* What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding