Check out this article on Foley's disclosure that he was sexually abused - by, you guessed it, a priest.
I'm not saying it didn't happen. But it's potential excuse number 2. Reason - perhaps. Excuse - absolutely not.
Same with the rehab trip. Is he an alcoholic? Maybe - but there's an undercurrent of implication out there that rehab is a PR bandaid meant to make him look like he's proactively addressing his demons. Foley's lawyer says Foley was never under the influence of alcohol while conducting business on the Hill, but "couldn't explain his previous statement that Foley was intoxicated when he sent the messages."
Wait, the lawyer's previous statements, or Foley's? If it was the lawyer's statement, was the lawyer just trying to save his client's ass, truth be damned?
But there's a larger problem here. Much, much larger:
Attorney David Roth said Foley was molested between ages 13 and 15. He declined to identify the clergyman or the church, but Foley is Roman Catholic.So let's get this, uh, straight. Once again, we have a story linking homosexuality with pedophilia. (Oh, the lawyer also says "Any suggestion that Mark Foley is a pedophile is false." Apparently, talky-no-touchy is A-Okay!) But there are more popular, dangerous narratives imbeded in this story.
He also acknowledged for the first time that the former congressman is gay, saying the disclosure was part of his client's "recovery."
"Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man," Roth told reporters as Republicans struggled with fallout from Foley's resignation.
Foley "does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate e-mails" and instant messages, Roth said. "He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct."
Repressed sexuality makes you want to fondle kids. Homosexuals are pedophiles. Priests who are celibate have no choice but to fondle children. Catholics and homosexuals are sexualy repressed and would you just LOOK at the consequences. Excuse the free-association, but this article may make me vomit any second.
How does Foley not become an excuse for GOP bashing? Make him gay! Make him come out as gay! Then he isn't really one of them anyway. Was he gay all along, sure, yeah, everyone seems to wink-nod-wink know Foley is gay. Now, he "wants [us] to know he is a gay man."
So someone here is genius or slime. Or genius slime. Or a slimey genius. Either Foley is hoping - in the grand, ostrichy, but-I'm-an-elected-official tradition - to salvage his clearly ended public career OR GOP leaders need to make this guy such a horrible, defective other, that he can't possibly be connected to another human. Ever.
The numerous ways in which this highlights the existance of true immorality in our government is awesome. Not amorality. IMmorality. Not only do we have his actions to consider, but now we have this nuanced, elegantly sinister dance of irresponsibility. Make sure you're listening to what's really being said here. It should make you sick.