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Saturday, September 30, 2006


It's clearly a good thing that Foley has resigned. Pages can now walk the halls of Congress without having to sidle along with their backs to the wall, for one thing. Well, maybe that's unfair. Foley appears to have been a seducer rather than a grabber, although I'd hardly call him smooth.

ABC's blog publishes an excerpt (pdf) from an internet conversation with a 17 year-old who is not gay and is a virgin according to the second excerpt (here, also pdf). This is confusing on several counts. What follows is unusually explicit for this blog, so leave now if you don't want to read it.

I found myself wondering what was in it for the kid (Maf54 is the esteemed Foley):
Maf54 (7:46:33 PM): did any girl give you a haand job this weekend
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:38 PM): lol no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:40 PM): im single right now
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:57 PM): my last gf and i broke up a few weeks agi
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): are you
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): good so your getting horny
Xxxxxxxxx (7:47:29 PM): lol...a bit
Maf54 (7:48:00 PM): did you spank it this weekend yourself
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:04 PM): no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:16 PM): been too tired and too busy
Maf54 (7:48:33 PM): wow...
Maf54 (7:48:34 PM): i am never to busy haha
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:51 PM): haha
Maf54 (7:50:02 PM): or tired..helps me sleep
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:15 PM): thats true
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:36 PM): havent been having a problem with sleep though.. i just walk in the door and collapse well at least this weekend
Maf54 (7:50:56 PM): i am sure
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:57 PM): i dont do it very often normally though
Maf54 (7:51:11 PM): why not
Maf54 (7:51:22 PM): at your age seems like it would be daily
It gets better. Foley asks for the kid's measurement, and gets it. Comments about stiffies and masturbation techniques are exchanged, and Foley says he'd like to grab the kid's penis. The kid discloses that he likes the Catholic school-girl look, preferably with a cast on. (No, I'm not joking.) There's at least an implication that this is not just an IM conversation, because the kid says "not tonight, don't get too excited" in response to Foley's comment that he'd like to grab it. Given the "outercourse" meme in sex-ed today, the kid could well be saying that he's a virgin even if they had fooled around.

Anyway, one question is whether this is illegal under Florida law. If they never made contact, it probably isn't. Florida's lewd and lascivious statute only holds for persons under 16. I think this should be actionable; will this case cause a change in Florida law?

Aside from the joy over Foley being a Republican, there is an obvious reluctance on the left to approach the question of the conduct itself. DU has deleted at least one thread that gays found offensive already. A bit of a shouting match breaks out on Althouse's blog over the definition of pedophilia. SC&A notes an element of hypocrisy on the left. The truth is that a lot of gays do go after 17 year olds. A lot don't, and do find it offensive. There are plenty of hets who like to chase the young too. The average individual is not likely to read this IM exchange and feel much of a sense of comfort with this type of behavior between a 17 year old and a man in his 50s, and wouldn't if it were between a woman in her 50s and a 17 year old boy.

This is perverse conduct in the average parent's mind. Yet this conduct is not reprehensible to the "let teenagers be teenagers" crowd. Lately we've been reading a lot about female and male teachers going after teenagers, and I think the average person finds that deeply reprehensible as well. I suppose the probable loss of a Republican seat serves the short term interests of the left, but does the story itself? I think not.

So I cannot see this as being an issue which favors the left in general. The disclosure of the IM conversation sure makes the private email exchange with a different boy look like Foley had a habit of grooming and seducing teenaged boys, and I'm sure we're going to learn more about this. There must be more going on behind the scenes than we know, because apparently rumors have been circulating for a while.

I would like to make a few comments about SC&A's remarks about hypocrisy. First, I think the gay lobby owes a huge apology to the country for its jihad against the boy scouts. The reality is that adults who like to go after kids or teenagers are always going to be attracted to professions like teaching and the ministry or activities like scouting or mentoring youth, because these activities provide them a rich hunting ground. They do pursue relationships with young people, and they do engage in behavior such as Foley's. As we have seen in the news lately, there are plenty of women who go after teenage boys. Yet women are not out on camping trips in the Boy Scouts, so this angle is rarely discussed.

The dilemma of such organizations is that if they allow those with a sexual orientation toward the youth in their care to participate, they create an opportunity for sexually perverse adults. The liberal jihad conducted against the Boy Scouts refuses to take into account this pragmatic reality, and clearly cares little about the actual kids involved in scouting.

I'm sure I'll be flamed for writing what anyone with a grain of common sense already knows, so let me say in advance "To hell with you". Chasing seventeen year olds is not pedophilia, but it is perverse and very damaging to the kids involved. They should be learning to develop stable relationships with potential mates, rather than serving as the focus of an adult's perverse desires. Those who think this type of conduct isn't damaging are perverse themselves, and our very sexualized society has a huge blind spot about protecting the young from such conduct.

Well the frequently overlooked obvious fact is if you're attracted to a certain type of person the simplest way to meet them is to go where they are. That applies for both acceptable and unacceptable behavior. I've got a cousin in his 50's that has been counter help at Der Weinerschnizel for 20 some odd years because it's right across the street from campus and well...

Foley's behavior is disturbing on several levels. There's the obvious age issues, but there is also an exploiting authority problem as well. I find it hard to believe and very unlikely that he was able to walk a fine line of never doing anything unacceptable. I think his behavior will probably be found to be pretty disturbing.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
I think you are showing your normal good sense. It seems unlikely that we know the worst of it right now.

The nation has been looking at Congress with total disgust, and this hardly burnishes their image. But thankfully, there are only a few of them, and I strongly suspect that not more than 20% are taking bribes, chasing kids or driving drunk.
I strongly suspect that not more than 20% are taking bribes, chasing kids or driving drunk.

You lose points for an incomplete statement, it should read...

I strongly suspect that not more than 20% are taking bribes, chasing kids or driving drunk on any given day.
This is sickening. What ever happened to leaders who were not merely not guilty of a crime on the books but were role models in the fullest sense? Sad. Very sad. Politics doesn't even enter into it as far as I'm concerned.
Tommy - point well taken. I'm just waiting for McCain to lead a bipartisan group of Congress Critters defending the sanctity of the privacy of Congressional email....

KM - I agree. This transcends politics. Ironically, the morally challenged Foley has managed to unite the country on at least one point. 95% of Americans do agree that we ought to keep our legislators away from minors!
Does he keep his pension ?

That's a good question. I have no idea!
It is a weird bookend. Normal people don't understand why these people do these things.
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