Art Vandelay wrote:I am so sick of this whole "scandal". The youngest of these guys who he flirted with was, what, 16? A 16 year-old is biologically and, often enough, emotionally mature enough to handle a sexual relationship. When I was sixteen, I treasured my sexual autonomy and I would've despised anyone who tried to infantilize me for the sake of politics.
If you take away the homophobia, the infantilization of the young men, and the political expediency of labeling the guy a pedophile (and blasting others for "not doing anything about it"), all you have is a workplace sexual harassment story. Maybe. We have no indication that the contact was non-consensual and, in fact, there's much evidence to the contrary. I mean, you can block people on AIM quite easily without them even being wise to it.
And if it is workplace sexual harassment, or inappropriate sexual contact between a worker and his superior, funny how nobody really cares about these charges unless it's coming from the other side. Thomas and Hill, Clinton and Lewinsky, partisans only give a crap about this stuff as far as it can be politically useful.
Not to mention that the only person who has claimed to have any actual sexual contact with Foley was 21 at the time, and no longer in the page program. Also, and this seems to be very important in this case, the age of consent in Washington DC is 16, which is the younest age that I've heard being tossed around for any of the pages involved.
All good points Art, and I agree for the most part... but if Foley were a democrat, things would be even wilder. It's more political than anything and I wish it wasn't, but the Republicans are the party of moral values and yada, yada, yada. I don't care about moral values to be honest. I don't care if Foley solicited male prostitutes for his own enjoyment.
But, there's a lot irony here. For one, Foley was the chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children committee. He often spoke publicly about the dangers teens face online by sexual predators. He personally, and his committee, and the law, do not draw the same distinction for 16 year olds as you do.
This is all piled up on the media's interpretation of republicans condemning democrats as being evil, immoral and "godless." Now we're into the whole hypocrit argument and it certainly holds true. Now AA made the point that very outspoken Christian conservatives are biting their tongues or making excuses for Foley simply because he's "one of them." There has been a huge case made by Christian conservatives against liberals and their perceived immorality and all of that in danger of crumbling based on this single incident... not just a guy sending "naughty emails" (to quote Tony Snow) but rather a congressman who is in charge of the exploited children committee and is a recognizable critic of the dangers teens, including 16 year olds, face online.
If you're a battery, you're either working or you're dead....