Welcome to Another Round of “How Low Can They Go?”
Rush Limbaugh re-victimized Mark Foley's teenage victim today by using his name publicly, as did Matt Drudge. (Both Roger Simon and InstaCracker made sure the identity was widely disseminated by linking to the no-name wingnut blogger to whom the original dirty work was tasked.) Because it's not enough that their leaders are beating off online during national security votes, or that the GOP spent years covering the whole thing up — no, no they must do their part to harass, bully and intimidate anyone who threatens their authoritarian cult, even the young victims of sexual predators. Especially if there might be other kids thinking of stepping forward with similar stories (as three more now have). It's the manly thing to do, after all.
Take it away, Rush (via Crooks & Liars):
Maybe…Maybe the page…my original theory, maybe the page is out there engaged in some kind of chicanery…maybe the, maybe the, maybe the, maybe the pa…you know, you know kids play pranks too. Maybe the page…maybe they were…uh…uh…maybe they were laughing at Foley in the page room. Maybe Foley's making advances and maybe you know, "let's egg this guy on." I've…you know, I've done my share of pranks. So it's for that reason that I ask "why in the wor…how in world did these instant messages find their way into the public domain after such a long time.
Right. Says the man who took an illicit bottle of Viagra to a vacation spot with a thriving child sex industry. Maybe Rush knows a thing or two about ungrateful kids himself. Eh, Rush?
But this "blame the kids" storyline is not just limited to pervy, pill-gobbling Rush. There's reliable Republican mouthpiece Michael Savage:
But the kid was leading him on. I mean, this kid was leading him on. You know what I'm saying? You read these things. Who is the kid? Maybe he's a Democrat. Maybe it's a — I don't know who it is. Is there a real kid? I could argue that the age of consent is 16 in Washington, he really didn't have sex, that it's not illegal to actually have sex with a 16 year-old, but it's illegal to write an email suggesting sex, to show you how crazy America is.
And who could forget Matt Drudge (headline today: "Filthy Foley Messages Were A Page Prank Gone Awry"), who sounds like he's bringing a few of his own issues to the table in defense of the GOP hierarchy:
And if anything, these kids are less innocent — these 16 and 17 year-old beasts…and I've seen what they're doing on YouTube and I've seen what they're doing all over the internet — oh yeah — you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the Congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him. We haven't got the whole story on this.
And then there is Joe Lieberman, who blames any Democrat for wanting to "politicize" this (I guess Rush, Drudge and Savage are just some sort of well-organized truth tellers, or maybe they all just spontaneously came to the same conclusion: kids are scum).
Fortunately, a few Democrats are not being intimidated by Lieberman's collaborationist antics in defense of the GOP elite.
It is not enough for House Republican leaders to work to ensure this disgrace is not repeated in the future. Every parent in America expects them to fully investigate why it was permitted in the first place. The problem today isn't the page program, which has been in existence since the time of Daniel Webster. The problem today is that House Republican leaders had evidence of a sexual predator in their ranks and chose to cover it up instead of choosing to protect these children. What is needed is for Republican leaders to testify under oath about what they knew, when they knew it, and why they didn't properly act.
I can hardly believe my eyes and ears as I watch excuse after excuse over a set of e-mails that any parent would immediately know is not only inappropriate but a prelude to a predator's first steps — winning the trust of a young person before taking full advantage of that trust.
Parents — who would you choose to guard the welfare of your children in the same situation?