It’s one of the worst congressional scandals ever. A top House Republican who denounced sex predators as “animals” stands accused of acting like one. Mark Foley had served as a Deputy Majority Whip in the House and co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. His forced resignation, after being exposed as a homosexual pervert who talked dirty to young boys, has done more damage to the GOP than George Soros could ever think of doing. But it remains to be seen whether the liberal media and the Democrats can successfully exploit this scandal.
Brian Ross of ABC News broke the story and publicized the “sexually explicit” messages Foley sent to former congressional pages. Curiously, Ross never once used the word “homosexual” in referring to Foley’s conduct. But if Foley acted out his Internet fantasies in real life, he will be exposed as not only a homosexual pedophile but a predator. The messages indicate Foley is extremely sick and demented.
The failure to use the word “homosexual” in describing Foley’s dirty talk is likely due to fear over being labeled “homophobic” or biased by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which exists to make sure that only positive portrayals of homosexuality are permitted in the media. Plus, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association previously warned the media, in connection with sexual abuse by Catholic Priests, to avoid linking homosexuality to pedophilia.
The questionable line we already see emerging in the media is that Foley is guilty of inappropriate behavior toward young people but that it has nothing to do with his “sexual orientation.”
In fact, the entire scandal might have been avoided if Foley’s homosexuality had been exposed and confronted, rather than protected, over the last several years. Top Republicans and the media were part of this cover-up.
Peter LaBarbera, who began his writing career at Accuracy in Media, raised questions about Foley’s secret life back in 2003, after alternative newspapers and columnists began running stories about Foley’s homosexuality, even reporting that he had a “boyfriend.” LaBarbera gave credit to Bob Norman of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times newspaper for exposing Foley. However, LaBarbera found that most non-homosexual newspapers did not pursue the matter and that homosexual Republican groups were protecting him. For example, LaBarbera quoted Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual activist group, as saying, “I could care less about [Foley’s] sexual orientation.” Guerriero insisted that the congressman had no obligation to discuss it.
At the time, as Foley was said to be considering running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, LaBarbera noted that “Many homosexual activists assert matter-of-factly that Rep. Foley is ‘gay’ and resent that he is not running for Senate as an open homosexual. Many social conservatives, on the other hand, argue that Florida’s voters have a right to know what lies behind his pro-homosexual voting record in Congress.”
Jake Tapper, then a writer for Salon.com, noted in a 2003 article about Foley that his refusal to discuss his “sexual orientation” was being defended by Charles Francis, the co-chair of the “influential” Republican Unity Coalition. Francis called the matter a “non-issue.” The group’s advisory board includes such figures as former President Gerald R. Ford, David Rockefeller, and former Rep. Susan Molinari.
One of the financial patrons of the Log Cabin Republicans, multimillionaire former Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, is the ex-husband of liberal activist Arianna Huffington. Foley appeared at the group’s 2003 convention. But other top Republicans who have been associated with the Log Cabin organization include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Senator John Sununu, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Gordon Smith, Senator Lincoln Chafee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Rob Simmons, Rep. Darrell Issa, former Senator John Danforth, and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Some of the “Washington insiders” who have participated in Log Cabin events include Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, David Boaz of the Cato Institute, and writer Andrew Sullivan.
Clearly, Foley had friends in high places in Washington.
While Foley quickly resigned after ABC news confronted him with the filthy Internet messages, this should not be the end of it. The investigation already ordered by House Speaker Dennis Hastert should examine whether the perverted comments he made in email exchanges with former pages, all male, reflected a life as an active homosexual pedophile and predator.
We also don’t know what other top Republicans knew about Foley’s homosexuality and his misbehavior. ABC’s Ross indicated that knowledge about Foley’s interest in young boys was common among those involved with the congressional page service and that the pages were warned to stay away from Foley.
Associated Press reports that Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander, the sponsor of one of the pages approached by Foley, came across information about Foley’s sexual misconduct and passed it on to the chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, Rep. Thomas Reynolds.
Foley, of course, wasn’t the only homosexual Republican member of the House. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona came out of the homosexual closet, has appeared at functions sponsored by the Log Cabin Republicans and the Republican Unity Coalition, and has remained a member in good standing of the House GOP. He is retiring at the end of this term.
In Foley’s case, however, the hypocrisy is stupefying. He sponsored the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and testified in favor of it, saying, “Sex offenders are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals and will continue to do it unless stopped? We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our kids from these animals.”
It goes without saying that the Democrats don’t have a much better record on this subject. Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds sexually abused a 17-year-old male congressional page but never expressed any regret. Rep. Barney Frank had a homosexual lover, selected from a “hot bottom” ad that ran in the Washington (Gay) Blade newspaper, who operated a prostitution ring out of the congressman’s apartment. Though he was reprimanded by the House, Frank is still a prominent member of Congress and held in high regard by fellow Democrats.
But knee-jerk references to Democratic misconduct won’t get Republicans off the hook on this one. This is the time for conservative media outlets, including the blogs, to insist that the Republican Party and the conservative movement stop protecting homosexuals in its ranks. The pro-homosexual groups in the Republican Party which shielded Foley from legitimate questions about his closeted life should be exposed and discredited.