I can't get worked up about that. First of all it's not particularly surprising. Pillars of society are at least as likely to have these kinds of skeletons in their closets as anybody else. That's part of why thinking people get so sick of political rhetoric. Talk righteousness, do wrong. It's the American way.
Secondly, the boys were mostly in their mid to late teens. That's past the age of consent in many, many states. I think a lot of the fallout over this is because these are BOYS instead of GIRLS. And that's a homophobic reaction. I think a lot of closet homophobes are enjoying their opportunity to attack someone for being homosexual while couching it in the language of protecting children, and to me that's pretty damned hypocritical.
And that's what this should REALLY be about. Hypocrisy. Because Foley was one of the moralizing grandstanders who attacked Clinton for having an Oval Office BJ, and because he claimed to be a "Protector of Children." Also because the Republican house leadership KNEW what was going on and did nothing. We're quick to jump down the throats of Catholic priests because they protected their boy touching colleagues, but here we have proof that our great "Moral" leadership did the same damned thing. Don't people GET IT? It's not about a few bad institutions it's about the NATURE of institutionalized power. Those who have power will, with few exceptions, do all they can to keep it. If that means a few boys or girls get molested, well, that's not too high a price to pay for fancy golf trips on Jack Abramhoff's dime. By allowing the charade of moralizing sanctimony and pretending that there are people out there who conform to all of society's standards (arbitrary or otherwise) we just set ourselves up for corruption and betrayal.
In the upcoming congressional election John Boehner will receive votes from church-going people based on his "Values." The people voting on this basis will be borderline retarded. They will have to be to believe, in the face of all the scandal and all the PROOF we have of what Boehner is like, that he is the sort of person who can uphold "virtue." John Boehner stood by as a colleague of his, one charged with protecting children, hit on young boys. He knew it was going on and he said NOTHING. The fact that he's willing to stand up and denounce homosexuals, the vast majority of whom are guilty of nothing more than choosing a partner others don't approve of, doesn't make him a moral leader. It makes him a coward and a joke. Voting for John Boehner as a moral leader is like voting for George Bush as a copy-editor. It makes no sense.
I wish we lived in an America where people weren't afraid to admit their feelings and desires. If one person likes making love to people of the same sex, and another likes tying up his or her spouse and spanking them, and another fantasizes about anal sex with cheerleaders...well...who cares? Why is this our business? Yes, some protections must be encoded into law, for the sake of those who CAN'T meaningfully consent. And yes, some behaviors can be justifiably outlawed between consenting partners (cannibalism, for example) but forcing people into the darkness doesn't stop bad behavior. It only makes it worse.
Who would you rather vote for? A sanctimonious blowhard who projects a "Clean traditional image" or someone who admits they like trying to arrange threesomes and enjoy the occasional puff of ganja? Who would be harder to blackmail?
Wake up America. Time has shown that those on the side of freedom, equality, and diversity are almost always proved right over the course of time. Much of America's history is a history of social conservatives slowly being forced to acknowledge that most of their beliefs are evil bullshit. Slavery, apartheid, the oppression of women. Liberals are proved right again and again and again, and still there's resistance. Make no mistake, in 50 years the idea that homosexuality is inherently worse than heterosexuality will be as ridiculed as the idea that blacks are inferiors to whites is now.
So why is it taking so long? Because some people are very stupid and afraid of change and freedom. These people claim they have values, but the only value they have is fear. Fear of other people. Fear of themselves and their own urges.
True morality is viewing how a particular action will impact other people and changing or not changing it accordingly. False morality is adhering to a set of arbitrary guidelines without making any attempt to think them through or analyze the logic or illogic contained within.
One guess as to which is more popular. One guess as to which Mark Foley represents.