Minding Ps, Qs.

As tempting as it is to say, today, that GOP stands for “gang of pedophiles,” precision requires that I point out former Rep. Mark Foley isn’t, technically, a pedophile. Pedophiles are sexually attracted to children, and it seems Foley was jonesin’ for post-pubescent boyflesh in the form of teenage congressional pages. The correct term for this attraction is “ephebophilia,” which is, unfortunately, a word practically nobody knows.

Now you do. I didn’t know it myself until a few years ago, when a bunch of Catholic priests introduced it to the world.

Foley’s still a creep — I couldn’t get through the IM record of his shenanigans without gagging — but you know, I think we ought to be precise in our language.

So maybe Gaggle of Perverts works better, eh?

But as many have pointed out, and many more will point out in the future, it’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up.

Posted at 8:57 pm in Current events |

21 responses to “Minding Ps, Qs.”

  1. brian stouder said on October 1, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    If Hastert knew anything specific, then he should lose his leadership post, at minimum; same for Thomas Reynolds, who heads up the Republican re-election efforts in the House – and who possibly heard of this and THEN was actually paid off!! – with a $100,000 donation to his warchest from the Foley campaign committee.

    One cautionary word though, is that DC is said to thrive on gossip; ‘everyone’ (who is anyone) knows everything….and the question might arise as to just what the Democrats knew, and when they knew it, too. Afterall, if the timing of this story was October 2005, it would be a blip; but October 2006 makes it a train wreck for the Republican party.

    It will be interesting to know precisely what Hastert knew, and specifically how (or in what form) the information came to him.

    I recall a fair amount of indignation and self-righteousness regarding Gerry Studds, not so many years ago. Here is an excerpt from a recent ABC article –


    Studds, who was openly gay, said the relationship [with a 17 year old] was consensual and charged that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy. He won re-election the following year

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  2. John said on October 2, 2006 at 7:55 am

    “gram the one eyed snake”…wasn’t he on Kukla, Fran and Ollie?

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  3. Joe Kobiela said on October 2, 2006 at 8:40 am

    what’s worse? This guy wanting to get his pee pee played with or Teddy Kennedy killing a girl?? The guy is a perv no doubt and needs to have his sack slit.

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  4. Andrea said on October 2, 2006 at 8:48 am

    The crime, the cover-up and now the excust/apology. I woke up this morning to the news that Foley is checking himself into rehab for alcoholism and “emotional problems.”

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  5. Danny said on October 2, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    John, that was funny.

    And Nance, though it is not your fault, that is definitely a word that I did not need in my personal lexicon.

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  6. alex said on October 2, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    So why is anyone surprised the GOP forgives it in their own?

    Reminds me of the mother of a friend who used to frequent a certain hellfire and brimstone congregation.”You’re going to burn in hell if you don’t start going to my church,” she’d tell him, never mind that a succession of clergy had been arrested for doing all kinds of nasty in that particular institution.

    “How can you still go there?” my friend would reply.

    “This is how God tests your faith,” she’d say.

    So maybe Foley could re-invent himself if he’d just Save himself. It wouldn’t be the most perverted thing to have ever happened in politics.

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  7. Danny said on October 2, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    So why is anyone surprised the GOP forgives it in their own?

    Alex, other than reading enough to be thoroughly disgusted with this pervert, I have not followed the story. Is anyone actually forgiving and circling the wagons on this? If so, that is even more infuriating.

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  8. brian stouder said on October 2, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    So why is anyone surprised the GOP forgives it in their own?


    The guy resigned as soon as the story was out. Dan Crane didn’t resign when his relationship with a 17 year old female intern got out – and his district fired him at the next election.

    The GOP doesn’t “forgive” this stuff; they try and bury it in the kitty box – which (as nance points out) is always worse

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  9. Bob said on October 2, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    True, Alex. We’ve seen from the experiences of Falwell and others that the born-again folks love those who have fallen and then found their way back to Jesus, more than they love those who never fell.

    Quite entertaining that Foley has checked himself into rehab. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “Man, was I drunk! I don’t remember anything from last night!”

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  10. nancy said on October 2, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    I don’t know whether he’s being forgiven as much as the story’s being spun in a particularly offensive way. The first salvo: Bill Clinton was just as bad.

    Uh, no.

    What Bill Clinton did was just as wrong, certainly, but not just as bad. Consensual sex with an adult female, even as squalid as that between Monica and Bill, is NOT as bad as creepy IM come-ons to teenage boys who’ve been entrusted to you by their PARENTS.

    And Joe, thanks for ringing in, but at some point you’re going to have to give up Teddy Kennedy. Because while I’m sure no Republican has ever driven drunk and hurt or killed an innocent passenger, it did happen 37 years ago.

    Roy Edroso has a short roundup of spin. Scalzi lays it out, too.

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  11. ashley said on October 2, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    Just as wrong? Nance, what are you on? Pedophaelia is definitely worse than philandering. Plus, the hypocrisy of his station on the committees.

    Me, I blame Bush. It happened on his watch.

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  12. brian stouder said on October 2, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Roy Edroso is oh so…. facile

    Or, if they’re impatient or illiterate, they can have this explanation: when you work for, and identify yourself with, a bunch of homo-hatin’, sex-averse moral scolds, it’s freaking hilarious when you’re caught stroking it to male teeny talk. That’s why the “B-b-b-b-but Gerry Studds” rejoinder doesn’t work. We’re Democrats — we have to get laid constantly, by whomever or whatever is available. It’s in our DNA, like treason.
    The narrative of our current politics is admittedly all fucked up, and stacked absurdly against the Party of Jefferson. But it does have little compensations like these.

    Oh. Uh huh.

    By the way, as for “the party of Jefferson” – the more I read of Jefferson, the less admirable he is. He is all ‘pretty words’ and then ugly deeds

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  13. Danny said on October 2, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    I disagree. According to Wikipedia, Foley was elected to Congress in 1994. the year that the GOP took back the House after 40 years of minority party status. This was the election that was attributed to Clinton’s “coat tails.” Except with the negative affect for the Democrats.

    So, clearly, the blame lies with Clinton because it was his fualt Foley was elected. And presumably, like OBL, Foley was up to his perversions first inder Clinton’s watch. If only Clinton had not been distracted by Lewinsky-gate, he probably would have gottne OBL and Foley. Tsk, tsk. 😉

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  14. nancy said on October 2, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    Now see, I thought that part about it being in our DNA was the funniest part.

    As for the thin line between “bad” and “wrong,” maybe it’s all in my head. My point is this: No matter how they spin it, what Clinton did was wrong, but what Foley did, or tried to do, or implied he wanted to do, was simply worse in every possible degree.

    And lusting after a teenager is not pedophilia. You can go anywhere you want, sexually, in your head, and I guarantee you every man here has gone there in his head. But when you start acting on it, even from behind a keyboard, you’ve left your head.

    Also, when are the REpublicans going to grasp this: They have postured and positioned themselves as The Party of Morals ™. It doesn’t matter that we’re all fallible and human and all the rest of it, when you say, directly or indirectly, “we’re good and you’re bad,” when you fall it’s going to be twice as hard. (P.S. I also don’t think Rush Limbaugh even had back surgery.) One reason i don’t get upset over Gerry Studds is because he didn’t shake his finger in my face and polish his halo on television.

    But what can I say? Perversion, like treason, must be in my DNA.

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  15. mary said on October 2, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    The party that advertises itself as bringing morality back to government should be ready to take it in the teeth when the Foleys and Neys and Cunninghams surface.
    What Foley did wasn’t creepy because it was gay, it was creepy because they were kids he was doing that to. Not 25 year olds. I have a 16 year old son, and I would be very upset if someone in a position of power over him had an instant messenger relationship with him. I would be just as upset if I had a daughter.

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  16. Danny said on October 2, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Mary, agreed. Cunningham was my district. After he was led away to prison, they had an election for his successor. I did not vote for the republican. Hopefully others in the conservative base can be honest enough with themselves to vote in opposition or at least abstain. I think it is time that the GOP become the minority party again, even if I believe it will be worse for the country in the short term.

    Well, given Iraq, I think it will be worse for the country for a very long term (meaning I think the Dems will royally screw that up even worse than we can imagine), but c’est la vie.

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  17. ashley said on October 2, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    I only lust after teenagers if they’ve hit their 18th birthday. Absolutely. When watching movies of Scarlett Johannsen, I always check the date to make sure she was 18 when they were filmed. Same with Tracy Lords. None of this Carter-style “lust in my heart” crap. Honest.

    And I was thinking yesterday about the draft, and how the Republicans guaranteed during the 2004 elections that there would not be one. Foolish Dems: they were thinking that the WH would try to WIN a conflict, rather than simply prolong the fear of it, as a propaganda tool.

    Still, I think that Jon Stewart was right when telling Howard Dean: “Your are so not going to win back Congress”. What’s that old expression about a wet dream?

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  18. ashley said on October 2, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Oh, and Hastert knew about this for over a year, and did nothing. He’s also the fuckmook that said New Orleans shouldn’t be rebuilt. I so hope he gets put in a federal “pound me in the ass” prison for this.

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  19. brian stouder said on October 2, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    sounds a little homophobic there, ash

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  20. ashley said on October 3, 2006 at 8:52 am

    Sorry, Bri. More of an “Office Space” reference than anything else.

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  21. brian stouder said on October 3, 2006 at 9:47 am

    No problemo –

    frankly I’d be enjoying this political scandal a whole lot more if it nuked MY empty-suited rote right wing goofball out of the House; and if this fantasy came true, a pleasant bonus would be that we’d get a genuinely accomplished fellow – Dr Tom Hayhurst, elected in his place. (a pleasant fantasy, indeed)

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