It's just so darn hard to figure out what is the most disgusting and offensive aspect of the Mark Foley/Congressional page scandal. But what the heck, I'll give it a try.
- Congressman sends icky, sexual emails and IMs to underage kids working as Congressional pages.
- Congressman claims he was drunk during all the email and IMs sent. I was curious about this and checked the time stamps (some were blacked out, some were not): one message was sent in the middle of the day, and another shortly after a war appropriations vote that Foley participated in. This suggests to me that either he's lying or he's pretty much spent the last five years in a constant state of intoxication. Guess which one I think it is?
- Congressman also happens to be head of committee in charge of missing and exploited children. (I guess it's a great way to score free child porn. "Honestly, Officer, it's research!")
- Republican pundits repeatedly invoking Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, when Lewinsky was 22 years old, well over the age of consent.
- Republican pundits equating homosexuality with pedophilia. In fact, statistics show that most pedophiles are heterosexual.
- Republican leaders and at least one newspaper were made aware of these messages but did nothing.
- Republican pundits blame Democrats for timing and "orchestration" of the scandal, when ABC News, which broke the story, has said Republican sources disclosed the emails.
- Dennis Hastert refuses to resign, and continues to deny his role in overlooking the scandal, even though evidence is rapidly mounting that he was, in fact, told of it and did nothing.
- President Bush defends Hastert.
- Repeated characterization of emails as merely "friendly," despite explicit talk of orgasm, etc.
- Right-wing pundits blame the victim, saying the page "wasn't coerced" and "egged" Foley on (e.g., Matt Drudge, Michael Savage).
- Republican pundits blame "tolerance and diversity" for fostering pedophilia (See CNN Situation Room broadcast) and claim that if they had disclosed the emails and taken action against Foley, they'd be accused of "gay-bashing." (See No. 5 above)
- UPDATE: After reading today's paper, I had to add Dennis Hastert's comments Tuesday, that forcing his resignation would aid Islamist terrorists. ("We are the insulation to protect this country, and if they get to me it looks like they could affect our election as well.")
It's an embarassment of riches, it is.