Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured.Actually, it pretty much would be assured. Two words -- Gerry Studds. The Massachusetts Democrat was censured by Congress for an actual affair (not simply dirty talk) with an at-the-time-of-the-affair current House page (not an ex-page). Those brackets aren't great distinctions, but they're not nothing. And Studds defended it. But when you're a Democrat who commits sexual immorality, you will survive and can count on the support of your party, as it basically stands for sexual immorality. And when voters from the bluest-of-the-blue-states had a chance to vote on Studds, they kept sending him back. As the Wikipedia link notes, Studds acted with contempt toward the censure, and claimed that his acts were morally peachy.
Studds's case [involved] a 1973 relationship with a 17-year-old male congressional page. The relationship was consensual, but violated age of consent laws and presented ethical concerns relating to working relationships with subordinates. ... As the House read their censure of him, Studds turned his back and ignored them. Later, at a press conference with the former page standing beside him, the two stated that what had happened between them was nobody's business but their own.The non-sequitur in the first part of the quote is remarkable -- it violated "age of consent" laws but was "consensual." What a steaming piece of bovine scatology. The whole point of "age of consent" laws is to take the possibility of consent "off the table." To say that someobody under that age, as this page was, cannot "consent." But hey ... when you're a Democrat, I guess even statutory rape gets a pass if there's consent or you tell her to put a piece of ice on it afterward. And why not? From JFK and Chappaquiddick to gay "marriage" and the Boston-founded NAMBLA, Massachusetts is sexual immorality Ground Zero — Mecca, Rome and Jerusalem for amoral libertines all rolled into one.
Also, there is a very simple reason Hastert et al sat on the first set of e-mails, which were questionable in their forwardness and friendliness, but not smoking guns or anything dirty. No talk of fellatio under the table or using cigars as sex toys. The two sets of IMs are much more problematic, but they weren't in GOP leaders' hands. But take those IMs out of the picture, and what do you have? And then imagine how Democrats and the pro-gay MSM would react to an attempt to discipline or expel Foley. Since it was widely "known" (word deliberately in quotes) in Washington that Foley was a homosexual, and since that round of e-mails at most shows Foley expressing excessive but nonsexual interest in someone of the same sex ... all we'd be hearing about is Republican "homophobia." How Foley was just trying to be a mentor. And how straight congressmen always take an interest in helping the pages' careers. And gay people love like anyone else, and aren't defined by their sex drives, and have families and apprentice relationships too. And it's demeaning to infer sexual interest and on and on. We'd get the petulant "youreallyhateusyoubigot" tantrums. We know the script by heart. As the Wall Street Journal put it:
But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?The other group I have absolute contempt for is the gay-activist crowd. At Beliefnet, Rod Dreher called Foley "a scumbag gay congressman." The whinnying started:
Don't turn this into an anti-gay thing! Most gay men are gay men because they want to be with OTHER ADULT MEN. I NEVER seen a creep who goes after teen girls called a "scumbag straight pedophile." How casually insulting and rude!Quickly, the MSM reaction story came to remind us "never confuse homosexuality with pedophilia. it is Badthink."
Gays activists cautioned Tuesday - as they have since the scandal broke surrounding sexually explicit Internet communications with teens - that Foley's sexual orientation, in or out of the closet, has nothing to do with improper involvement with minors.I'm willing to accept that homosexuality has nothing to do with pedophilia, if that term is understood clinically, meaning "sex with someone pre-puberty." But by that definition, Foley was not a pedophile. His interest was in post-pubescent teenagers. In other words, males who, speaking biologically in the matters of sex and the secondary sexual characteristics, are adults. Not children.
"His sexuality was never a question. Everybody knew. (But) being gay and being interested in teenagers are two different things," said Eric Johnson, who was assistant manager of a Foley campaign for the Florida Legislature in 1991 and 1992. ...
Johnson's view is backed up by science,² said Melodie Moorehead, a psychologist who counsels patients and their families at several South Florida hospitals, including Kindred Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
"Molestation has nothing to do with homosexuality," she said.
None of what follows is meant to say that Foley's conduct wasn't immoral or that the legal fictions surrounding "age of consent" matters are unjust. But speaking strictly and clinically about Foley's desires, they were not pedophilic, but homosexual. The fact that he had a taste for youth (rather than, say, a taste for bears or jocks, or being a "leg man" or a "breast man") does not make it different in "sexual orientation," any more than the dirty old man lusting after high-school cheerleaders thereby isn't "straight." This isn't complicated. If attraction for the same sex over the opposite one defines sexual orientation, then a desire for males and not females makes a man a homosexual. Is there any evidence or even whispers Foley was hitting on female pages? After all, if "pedophilia" is a separate orientation having nothing to do with same-sex or opposite-sex attraction, then Foley The Non-homosexual Pedophile should have been doing that too. Where's the evidence of his interest in female pages? Where?
But it's the dirty little secret, that the gay activist crowd will never permit the MSM to note, that gay-male culture has a sexualized fascination with youth. First, it's clear that many men of every sexual persuasion find youth attractive (hence all the lusting after Britney Spears and Anna Kournikova). But the problem with the homosexual culture is that "It's men, without women" -- i.e., there is no natural restraint on the male impulse to sex-as-conquest. Second, the cult of the Beautiful Boy has been part of male homosexuality from the very beginning. No reader of Plato or Kenneth Dover can have any doubt that for the Greeks, homosexuality MEANT a man and a teenage boy. The Renaissance and the Victorian/Edwardian aesthetes, up to Oscar Wilde, took their cues from that, as Camille Paglia has shown. Or consider even any number of "growing up in an English boarding school" novels or films. As for today ... well, "barely legal" "baby-face" "boi" and "twink" are practically genres in gay-porn and personal ads, right alongside and in the same forums as desires for "military," "daddy" and "frat boy" types (i.e., the frankly-stated desire for young males is not marginalized in "mainstream" gay outlets as NAMBLA the self-conscious organization generally is). That a significant, more-than-random (and way more than enough to rule out the "bigotry" card) number of homosexuals express a sexual desire for teenagers, or for adults who are baby-faced enough to pretend they are teens or allow for the fantasy that they are teens, just seems to be the case.
Indeed, when the subject is sex ed, liberals (and gay activists) never seem to forget to patronizingly remind us old-fogies that even pre-pubescent children are sexual beings in some senses and that teenagers are so fully sexual that they need free condoms, with demonstrations on use. Whenever GLSEN wants to set up a high-school chapter, we'll hear all the pious talk about "gay teens." In other words, boys the same age as those Foley was pursuing. But now Nancy Pelosi et al want to get all moral on us? While pretending Foley is not a homosexual? Gimme a break.
¹ And not even that politically-incorrect. Foley was not the most-conservative Republican and had a pretty pro-gay voting record; very much, by GOP standards. Even the Daily Kos noted that, before this blowup.
² Insert Magnus Pike blurting out "Science!" in a Thomas Dolby video.