Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Plutokrat Manner

I find the Representative Foley mess disturbing on so many levels. Of course, another weirdo from Florida. Surprise, surprise. What he did and was doing—appalling. The acts of thinking about and, worse, writing to minors in the ways that he did are totally disgusting. I hated it when his team kept saying he never had a sexual liasion with a minor. His acts were sexual. Those sexualized contacts are damaging. Then, there is the whole added layer of the imbalance of power. Member of Congress coming on to a Congressional page. Hmmmm, the last time something like this happened the politician was impeached and, in that case, the recipient of the attentions was not even a minor! Foley presenting himself for years as a defender of the young and abused? Well, the best response to that is the one that one of the young men made about a Foley approach: sick, sick, sick, sick.

As disturbing as this whole business is, though, it is a sadly typical tale of a pedophile. Often, they were abused themselves as children (not any sort of excuse in my book since there are millions of sexually abused children who do not become abusers). And, very often, they elect to work with children and families, the better to be closer to their victims. Shudder.

Where this story has diverged from other stories of pedophiles, is an attempt by conservatives to drag out once again that mythological supposed connection between homosexuality and pedophilia and/or child molestation. How convenient to make gay men, those ever-so-popular whipping boys, once again the boogeymen. The facts are these: adult sexual orientation has not much, if any, relationship to pedophilia. Most pedophiles who even have an adult sexual orientation are either heterosexual or bisexual (with no preference for male partners) according to one of the few studies that has any scientific rigor. Further, it is erroneous to assume that male on male acts of child molestation are perpetrated by homosexuals. Canadian researchers have also shown that homosexual men are no more likely to respond sexually to sexual images of young boys than heterosexual men are to sexual images of young girls. All of this information and more can be found on a UC Davis Web page titled “Facts About Homosexuality and Molestation.” I have placed the link in the sidebar and recommend it.

Everybody in this mess is kicking sand just as fast and furiously as the Whiskers clan in Meerkat Manor, if for different purpose. Instead of trying to unearth a juicy morsel, these Congressional ’kats are covering up, or attempting to cover up, everything in sight. Congressman Foley himself uses the celebrity Southwest Airlines Maneuver, “Wanna Get Away?” and heads, like other famous people caught doing no nos (recent examples being Mel Gibson and Congressman Patrick Kennedy), to the Rehab Ranch, a convenient way of diving out of public sight for a protracted period. Then, using the “he did it first” whine and the answer to the riddle “What is the only thing more disgusting to the public than a pedophile Congressman?” (Answer: A pedophile man of the cloth.) Foley’s attorney announces that from his self-imposed exile the Congressman has told him that he wants us to know that he was molested by a clergyman as a child. Sigh.

But there are a lot of other sand kickers working side by side with Mr. Foley. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has employed the old Sergeant Schultz defense: “I know nuttink, nuttink!” But, on the theory that multiple jabs are better than one (must be that wrestling background) Speaker Hastert also kicks some sand on the media, repeatedly making the point that they had the same emails Congress did and did less. Hmmmm, scratching of head. Isn’t it Congress’ sacred pre-rogative (thank you, Pogo) to police their own? Doesn’t Speaker Hastert usually condemn the media for spending a lot of ink on allegations Congress has not yet officially investigated? But this time, it is a failure of the media to do so that is bad? ’Tis a puzzlement. (Wonder how many pop culture references I can cram into this post?) Then there is the chorus of far-right conservatives trotting out the Congressional staffers homosexual cabal cover-up theory, and even (this is my personal favorite) attempting to link Foley’s behavior to the Democrats.

All of this would be extremely funny if it weren’t for the very sad reality that these people are scrambling to keep all of us from asking them, the people in control of both legislative houses and the executive branch, how they could have failed to protect our most precious possession, our nation’s children, from themselves.


Blogger chumly said...

Well written.

9:24 PM  

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