I read a complete transcript of the e-mails, and they are very disturbing. Foley is deservedly in serious trouble, and his defence that he is an alcoholic and was abused by a clergyman as a teenager is pathetic. In addition to his abuse of his position of authority over children and the damage he may have done to his victims, he has reinforced the misconception that gay men are all pedophiles and are unsuited to public office or professions which will put them in contact with children. The fact that a large majority of pedophiles are heterosexual men preying on young girls will be lost on most people. His behaviour also makes it more difficult for gay Republicans to come out the closet.
Some people are wondering, though, if Foley was targeted by Democrats who knew of his problematic behaviour and then set him up. Here's a sample e-mail that makes me wonder:
Foley: "To be honest, I am a little too interested in you. So that's why I need to back off a little."This doesn't sound like a teenager talking - it sounds like someone trying to get it in writing that Foley was harassing an underage boy. What teenager would say "Don't want to do anything illegal - I'm not 18"? This doesn't excuse Foley's behaviour, but it raises some questions:
Page: "Ya, slow things down a little I'm still young - like under 18. Don't want to do anything illegal - I'm not 18."
Who leaked the e-mails to ABC news? How did they come into that person's posession? When did that person become aware of Foley's e-mail exchange, and how long did they sit on the story before it was released, coincidentally just weeks before a crucial election that will determine which party controls Congress?
House Speaker Dennis Hastert is taking serious heat over allegations that he was informed about the Foley problem as early as 2003 and did nothing about it. Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are baying for Republican blood. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that Democrats also had early knowledge of the problem and waited to do something about it until it had its maximum political effect. If this is true, then it is equally despicable.
I'll leave the last word to Andrew Tobias, a gay American writer (and treasurer of the Democratic National Committee):
“As somebody who has met Mark Foley personally and has mutual friends, I am sad for Mark and I hope he doesn’t go to jail. The last time I saw Mark, he was 19
years into a relationship. That was sad that it had to be hidden.
“I hope the Republican Party continues to evolve so it’s not so difficult to be an openly gay Republican.”
For more on this issue, check out GayPatriot, Gateway Pundit, and the Right Side of the Rainbow