Thursday, October 05, 2006
"Taking people out for ice cream" vs "showing up drunk at the residence hall:" My final Foley post, I hope.
The "showing up drunk at the Residence hall" story, if true, does change things, IMHO. I'm reserving judgement until more on this comes out, but it may make me change my mind.
Part of the issue I had with running Hastert out of town on a rail was that when people talked about "inappropriate behavior" that the House leadership should have seen as a problem, the examples they kept giving were indistinguishable from behaviors of a somewhat lonely guy with non-vile intentions. (e.g Offering to take people out for ice-cream, auctioning off a dinner with Foley to the highest-bidding page to benefit a charity.)
Let's say the Republican party HAD made a fuss about some of that earlier stuff. If the headlines had been "Hastert to Gay Congressman: Stop taking pages out for ice cream" whose side would most UUs have been on? The "drunk at the residence hall" story is finally something Hastert COULD HAVE punished Foley for without looking like he was on a Witch Hunt to get the gay guy.
Now I'm pretty sure some Republicans on the Hill feel that for a gay man to even EXIST is inappropriate behavior, actually I know that. I've met some of them. And if we pretend we're talking about a straight male congressman asking female pages out for ice cream, the "talk to him about it and tell him to cut it out" approach seems about what one would expect.
And if Kirk Fordham was such a stand-up guy and thought Foley was such a predator, why did he keep working for Foley for another two years? If you thought your boss was a sexual predator and you couldn't do anything about it, wouldn't you at least change jobs? (Which Fordham did eventually, but not until two years after he said he first made complaints.)
But again, if Foley was showing up drunk at the residence hall, this is FINALLY something that is so far outside the realm of normal behavior that we can blame the R's for not looking into it more fully.