Home > Politics > Voter cynicism: ask a page boy

Voter cynicism: ask a page boy

September 30, 2006

Stories about hypocrites in Washington are hardly news, but this one rises above the slime average a bit. Apparently 52-year-old Mark Foley, the congressman from Florida’s 16th district, wrote sexually predatory email messages to a 17-year-old page boy, whose parents found out and turned over to the House ethics committee.  Foley resigned after the predatory emails were made public.

In itself that doesn’t strike me as unusual – public virtue often masks private corruption.  There is even an old joke about the reason Congressmen don’t use bookmarks, because they like to bend the pages.  But it also transpires that the GOP leaders knew of Foley’s messages for several months and failed to do anything about it.

Keeping a hold on legislative power is apparently so important to the GOP that they failed to do the obvious thing, rather than risk losing a seat.  There was not even any need to make it public – the boy’s parents had asked them not to make a big deal.  All they had to do was get Mark Foley in a room and say; “You’re done.  Resign now.  Say it’s for your health, or to spend more time with your family, whatever, but go.” 

Of course, that would be the “B” answer.  The “A” answer would be: handing all the evidence over to the police immediately.  Because – you know if you or I did something like that, there’d be hell to pay.  This wasn’t exactly an office affair between consenting adults.

Failure to act wasn’t even good strategy.  Now Dennis Hastert and the whole ethics committee are on the hook. They let a sexual predator go on as chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. 

And some people have the nerve to blame voter cynicism on The Daily Show…  as if it were possible to parody the likes of Mark Foley.

Categories: Politics
  1. October 1, 2006 at 08:50 | #1

    There is no depth to which they could sink that would surprise me. As a political party, the Republicans have long been the party of “the ends justify the means”. One only has to look at the organizations to whom they pander in order to cobble together their “majority” to see that they will say anything if it gets them elected.

  2. October 1, 2006 at 11:25 | #2

    I wouldn’t be surprised if low voter turnout wasn’t more a result of disgust for the whole mess than simple cynicism.  There is often a fine line between voter cynicism and voter disgust.  Obviously it has been crossed; for me, well before this event.

  3. Ed
    October 1, 2006 at 19:44 | #3

    I guess I’ve been cynical about the whole political process for the last 30 years I’ve voted.  But I still do vote.  And this time it is time to evict every last one of the incumbents who have gone along with this administration’s willfull disregard of our nation’s freedoms under the guise of “safety”. Maybe voting them out won’t change anything, but then again maybe it will.  Cynicism plus a little hope.

  4. October 2, 2006 at 12:15 | #4

    If I was a betting man I would say that some democrat’s knew about it also. Neither party is a shining light for anything.

  5. October 2, 2006 at 19:52 | #5

    If I was a betting man I would say that some democrat’s knew about it also. Neither party is a shining light for anything.

    Gotta love the argument.  Every time a Republican gets in trouble, the Democrats are somehow made out to be the bad guy as well, “Well no one is truly clean.”  Every time the Democrat is in trouble you hear some rendition of, “See, that is why I vote Republican.”

    Wow great partisan politics.  How about instead you say, “Hey, that guy who solicited cyber sex to the minor, he is an a**hole.  What ever happened to that?  Why can’t someone just be an a**hole?  When the story first broke out, I really didn’t pay much attention, and thought Foley was a Democrat, but I was still pissed at the guy because he is a bad person.  His party affiliation made no difference to me.

    But the part I definitely like is how the Right-wing media try to blame anyone they can for the problem, but the cause.  Like the Daily Show.  Give me a break.  Ever since I started watching the Daily Show, back when Crag Killborn started it, I started to get to that ripe age where you start critically thinking about things you didn’t care about before. 

    Politics was something that grew on me.  I am very cynical about politics, but it has yet to keep me from voting.  If I didn’t vote though, I wouldn’t be so ignorant to claim a TV show was at fault.  I take responsibility for my own actions.

  6. October 3, 2006 at 07:24 | #6

    The man is a scumbag, his choice of policital parties has nothing to do with his moral choices. What I am saying about both parties is that neither one of them can afford to throw rocks.

  7. October 3, 2006 at 13:40 | #7

    “What I am saying about both parties is that neither one of them can afford to throw rocks.”

    What does that even mean? If we are talking about everyone doing their part to screw things up, then you are correct. Otherwise, unless they are also “bending pages,” then they (regardless of party) have every right to throw rocks—big ones.

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