Some people noted in 2006 that the reason that Democrats did so well in Congressional elections was due to Mark Foley. Now, Foley was not alone; there is strong evidence that other high ranking Republicans such as Dennis Hastert turned a blind eye to what Foley was doing, even when interns complained.
And IMHO, THAT was the big thing that stuck in a lot of the craws of voters that fall.
On the other side, two years later, it certainly seems as if delusional thinking and behavior is still wide-ranging among Republicans(and Foley’s Democratic replacement seems to have caught the disease as well) and Foley seems to communicate that, even given what happened to him as a result…
“Foley insists he did nothing illegal and never had sexual contact with teens, just inappropriate Internet conversations. Investigations by the FBI and Florida authorities ended without criminal charges.
And while he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," he remains somewhat unwilling to accept full public scorn.
These were 17-year-olds, just months from being men, he insists.
"There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, ‘Stop,’ or ‘I’m not enjoying this,’ or ‘This is inappropriate…”
Excuse me, Mark – but even if these guys had been 22 years old or 25 years old – when someone is in a position of authority or in a position to harm someone’s employment(even if it is unpaid), then sending those sorts of emails or having those sorts of conversations is sexual harassment. How could you think that a 17 year old, far away from home, in a position where you are the adult, the responsible person, someone who can get a kid sent home and possibly harm their futures…possibly think that these kids are in any sort of position to say to YOU, a Congressman, “Stop” or “This is inappropriate”?
Or, is it, as usual with Republicans…”I do because I can..and I can get away with it.”
No excuses, Mark – you tried to take advantage of someone not in a position to argue or walk away. At the best, it was sexual harassment – at the worst, you obviously have no clue where the line is – would you have made a difference for a 16 year old or a 15 year old..or a mature looking 14 year old? I doubt it – and we all know what someone who would do that is called. So, stop indulging yourself in wishful thinking.
If anyone else had been caught in an internet dragnet doing this sort of stuff, they would have been hauled out by the FBI and local law enforcement, charged with whatever was appropriate and would have gone to trial. I wonder if Foley ever thinks to himself what a lucky guy he is. And I also wonder if any Republican currently or formerly in Congress ever says to him or herself, "How could I have missed that – how could I have allowed that to happen?"