Catchy headline, eh? The point of it is that the netnuts are either implying as much in their criticisms or are actually saying so.
Taylor Marsh: “MARK FOLEY: Just Another Republican Pervert”
John Aravosis: “GOP House page board chair may have helped cover-up Foley scandal.”
Oliver Willis: “Republican Pedophile Scandal: They Knew”
The Democratic Daily: “Got Values? Republican House Leadership Cover Up for Suspected Pervert in Congress”
Facts you say? You want facts? Why in God’s name do you want to ruin a perfectly good scandal 40 days before the election by muddying the waters with a bunch of facts?
Well, maybe we can start with the statement issued by the Chairman of the House Page Board, Representative Shimkus:
â€œAs chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.
â€œIn that email exchange, Congressman Foley asked about the former Pageâ€™s well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph. When asked about the email exchange, Congressman Foley said he expressed concern about the Pageâ€™s well-being and wanted a photo to see that the former Page was alright.< [> â€œCongressman Foley told the Clerk and me that he was simply acting as a mentor to this former House Page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact with this former House Page to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We also advised him to be especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House Pages, and he assured us he would do so. I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional emails.
â€œIt has become clear to me today, based on information I only now have learned, that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct.
â€œAs Chairman of the House Page Board, I am working with the Clerk to fully review this incident and determine what actions need to be taken.
The “jumping to conclusions” crowd has ignored this statement and the facts contained therein to accuse the Republican House leadership of covering up the actions of a known pervert. While by any stretch the contact with the page was inappropriate, it hardly rises to the level of “perversion” as it was reported to the Page Board last year and trying to make it seem so is the dirtiest kind of politics.
It disturbs me that the parents of the page did not want to pursue the matter at that time. There are many reasons for that but one that leaps out and begs to be investigated further is if there was pressure put on the parents by Republican members of Congress to drop the matter. Another perfectly logical explanation is that the emails were, in fact, innocent sounding attempts to inquire as to the youth’s well being and the parents were satisfied with the Congressman’s explanation.
But why let common sense or common decency for that matter spoil a good smear campaign? The muddy hoofprints left by Democrats over the last few years as they have dirtied the reputations of several Republicans who have later turned out to be innocent (Karl Rove in Plamegate for one) reveals a party so totally bereft of ideas that their only hope to take advantage of the monumentally stupid and disastrous Republican leadership is to pray for more Americans to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, hope that gas prices go higher, and wish for an economic downturn. Even with Republicans as weak and vulnerable as they have been in a generation or more, the Democrats still could lose thanks to a party so intellectually bankrupt and morally ambivalent that they can’t bring themselves to tell the American people the truth about their cut and run strategy in Iraq or that they fully intend to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States at the earliest possible moment after they achieve power in the House.
It is clear from the polls that the American people are so fed up with Republicans that this summer, they turned toward the Democrats to see what they had to offer in the way of new ideas and new leadership. What they got was a blend of deranged Bush bashing, conspiracy mongering, and outright lies about their intentions. This latest Republican scandal will probably not amount to much (despite the efforts of the netnuts to make it into something larger than it is as they tried to do with the Gannon/Guckert affair) which means that as the American people continue to implore the Democrats to give them something that they can vote for, all they do is remind the country why they have lost so many previous elections in the first place.
As is usual when TBogg links here, the knuckledraggers with IQ’s smaller than their penis length swarm my site and spit vulgarity in the comments section with a regularity that makes me think they are either under 10 years of age or have the same familiarity with the English language than they do with the ideas of Proust or Kierkegaard – or Donald Duck for that matter.
I will brook no vulgarity (save mine) in the comments. If that doesn’t sit well with you, eat me.
Secondly, here is the sum total of what is known about GOP leadership knowledge of Foley’s perversion:
Shimkus recalled that when he initially questioned Foley about the e-mails, the congressman assured him that he was “simply acting as a mentor” and that “nothing inappropriate had occurred.”
Foley said he was e-mailing to find out if the teenager was OK after Hurricane Katrina and “wanted a photo to see that the former page was all right,” Shimkus said.
Foley was ordered to have no further contact with the former page and advised “to be especially mindful of his conduct,” Shimkus said.
“And he assured us he would do so,” Shimkus’ statement added. “I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional e-mails.”
In his e-mails, Foley purportedly asked the page to send a picture of himself to the congressman, asked the teen what he wanted for his birthday and made comments about another former page in which Foley allegedly said he acted “much older than his age” and was “in really great shape.” (More details)
Some GOP leaders knew of contact
An aide to Rep. Tom Reynolds, the New York congressman who heads the National Republican Campaign Committee, said he knew about the matter a year ago.
The GOP panel coordinates election efforts for House Republicans, who now must find a candidate to replace Foley in Florida’s 16th District, six weeks before the election.
Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, learned about the contacts from Louisiana Rep. Alexander in the spring, said Boehner’s spokesman, Kevin Madden.
“It was Congressman Alexander’s opinion that the contact was not of a professional nature,” Madden said.
Now I realize how eager many of you are to connect all these dots and start accusing people of all sorts of conpsiracies to keep this thing quiet. And I will happily join you in hanging by their toes the entire Republican leadership if it turns out that they knew more than what is reported here and failed to do anything.
But people – there is no “there” there. All you have to ponder at the moment is the very good question of what did they know and when did they know it. Nowhere in my post do I say that we shouldn’t get to the bottom of this (as one idiotic mouthbreather suggested breathlessly in the comments – so pleased with himself that he could string more than 4 words together and make a sentence) and in fact, I open a whole other line of questioning that even you netnuts have failed to highlight – the possibility of obstruction of justice by GOP members who worked to keep the parents of the boy whose case came before the Page board quiet.
But the fact of the matter is all you are doing at the moment is engaged in a gigantic smear campaign. Period. There is no argument there because the facts are, at the moment, unknown. You have jumped the gun making the wildest of charges without any knowledge whatsoever of the facts and all it does is expose you for the brutish louts you truly are.
Keep it clean or begone.
My good friend and fellow American Thinker contributor Clarice Feldman left a comment that deserves to be elevated for greater readability. It is, something of an eye popper:
Reportedly the St Pete Times had the same information in August 2005 and wrote nothing about it either, apparently because the emails do not constitute illegal conduct, they are just creepy, and the boy’s parents did not wish to pursue this.
The far more damaging IM messages were released by CREW , the same “public interest” group which is representing the Wilson/Plames in their laughable suit against Cheney, et al.
When did they get the IMâ€™s? Why did they wait until now to release them? Is there any indication the Republicans who looked into THIS MATTER had any knowledge of their(the IM’s) existence.
Pardon an old lady’s suspicions. I’ve seen this dance too many times before.
I read this morning that a Monroe, LA newspaper also had the story and didn’t run with it because there appeared to be no impropriety.
And one more point that our dimwitted lefty friends can’t seem to wrap their miniscule brains around; the incident that was brought to the attention of the Page Board is unconnected to any of the raunchy, sick emails ABC news got from, as Clarice informs us, CREW.
Why the release of the emails and IM’s now is a question that answers itself 40 days before an election. And if it turns out that the GOP leadership is blameless in this – if Foley carried on his perversions in secret with only the terrified children knowing of his activities – then the question rightly arises why a Democrat connected organization allowed someone they knew as a pervert to continue to stalk children in the House of Representatives, failing to release the information until maximum political damage could be done to the opposition.