For starters, we all surely know now that Foley claims to be (1) an alcoholic; (2) a survivor of child sex abuse; and (3) gay. What he doesn’t admit to being is (4) a cheap sleazy excuse for a human being.
But here’s something just stupid from his camp.
Lawyer David Roth said … 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.”
Except, of course, for the excuses that he is allegedly (1) an alcoholic; (2) a survivor of child sex abuse; and (3) gay.
(We also learn in the article that he’s Catholic, which I publicly wondered about when this story first broke.)
Here’s another good one.
Roth insisted Foley had no physical sexual contact with a page: “Any suggestion that Mark Foley is a pedophile is false.”
That’s probably true. He’s not a textbook pedophile; he’s more likely an ephebophile, a person sexually attracted to postpubescent youths. For those of us who don’t speak lgalese, this is equivalent to Clinton saying he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky. It’s technically true, but it’s a disingenuous thing to say.
As for “physical sexual contact” … does that mean the cybersex he had with them is okay?
And revisiting the point I made yesterday about the subtle coercions that can lead to rape with any inequity in power — and which, I think, means that any claim of “consenting” sex between an adult and a youth is bogus, we have this statement.
In an interview with USA TODAY, a former page said he was always surprised that Foley would pay so much attention to the pages, especially the males. Tim Ford, a freshman at Stanford University who worked as a page in 2004-05, said Foley would routinely pat them on the back or place his hand on their legs. “I would always give him the benefit of the doubt because you just like it when a member of Congress notices your work,” Ford said.
This tends to bolster my argument that, even if Foley had legally-acceptable sex with someone of age, an argument could be made that it was coerced. And that’s why we have the laws that we do — and why we should enforce them uniformly.
As an aside, the Repubs are bleating about the Dem scandals of two-plus decades ago. They seem to think that pointing the finger and saying, “But they got to!” somehow exonerates them.
Finally, Pat Buchanan (grr) has been spouting the nonsense that a “disproportionate” number (30%, according to his figures) of man-boy child molesterrs are gay, which (to him) suggests there’s something innately wrong with the “homosexual lifestyle”.
In light of this, Pat, have you stopped to consider what it means that virtually all man-girl child molesters are heterosexual?
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