Was just trying to save as draft and accidentally posted, so if you momentarily saw a fragmentary post, my apologies. Anyway, the Oops goes once for me, and once for the Washington Post, which reported with an unintentionally colorful (or, who knows, maybe intentional) choice of words that that Mark Foley had until recently been a "respected House member cruising toward a seventh term"...

Cruising, indeed! Faugh! I didn't want to be gleeful about this, since my first thought on reading the originally released emails was that a female page came forward with the same set of messages, it would be an absolute non-story. Just kindly avuncular interest, what's the problem? Move along, nothing to see here.

Then I saw the much more explicit instant messages, and I said, well, OK, if this kid was sixteen, the best thing that could be said about Foley was that he was really, really, stupid, and a lot of worse things could potentially be said, depending on the situation.

And now I see that the House Republican leadership may have covered it up. So those hypocritical bastards DID say "move along, nothing to see here." And I say, Yippee. I'm sorry. I think consent at age 16 is a complicated question and I don't think it's right that age-of-consent standards are unevenly applied in discriminatory ways when actually a good case can be made that same-sex contact across (but close to) the age 18 threshold is less likely to be damaging to the kid than the "male over 18, female under 18" variety.

But, dammit, I can't help hoping that this gets plastered over so many mainstream media outlets that even the most isolated rightwing Christian can't avoid knowing that Denis Hastert and Co. were protecting a man who wrote these things to a sixteen-year-old boy.


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