Nicely Put

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nicely Put

I've been scouring the web for quotes from LGBT groups on the Foley scandal. This is a moment where we and our allies need to take a strong stance as well as defend ourselves before the GOP's argument gay = pedophile/sexual predators (the very argument that Foley himself seems to be asserting) transforms into a satisfactory or reasonable explanation to the American public.
Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force agrees that the issue is not sexuality.

"Given the fact that the current Republican leadership in the House has never hesitated to attack gay people, it’s even more absurd for people like Newt Gingrich to say the reason they didn't take prompt action was because they didn’t want to be accused of ‘gay bashing.’ Cut me a break," said Foreman.

“What’s clear is that the House leadership elevated holding onto a seat above the interests of young people in the page system. And they want to talk about ‘moral values’? Please.”
The National Youth Advocacy Coalition said that it is "shocked" by the "lurid email exchanges" and if Foley is guilty of a crime "he should be prosecuted under the very laws he helped to enact."

"Gay or straight, Congressman Mark Foleys behavior is like that of a predator who should be arrested and prosecuted for his criminal behavior; and those around him who knew, and did not act to stop him, are just as guilty" said NYACs Executive Director, Craig Bowman.

"We are talking about a sixteen-year-old who was exploited by a person in power - someone he should have been able to trust," said Bowman in a statement.
"The possibility that the leadership of the House of Representatives had knowledge of the congressman's behavior, but did not act to stop what can only be characterized as child sexual abuse, is outrageous," said Bowman. " Instead, he was allowed to remain as the powerful co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children."

"The American public needs to know what the House leadership knew, and when they knew it."
More of this please. The issue is not Foley's sexuality, it is his actions as well as the possibility that GOP leadership turned a blind eye towards what was going on under their very noses. Mostly it means-- surprise, surpise-- that they spend far more time talking about "moral values" than they do putting them into practice.

Frankly, I think the most obvious answer about why the GOP did nothing over the past few years (as much as 11?) makes the most sense-- they didn't want to do anything that might bring attention to Foley or his "problem." Addressing it in a real or meaningful way means that they also risked someone else finding out about it.

As always in Washington, it's almost always about the cover-up, not the crime. Although in this case it should clearly be about both.

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