Thursday, October 05, 2006

Foley's resignation does not reflect badly on gays

The LA Times has an interesting story today on the Mark Foley scandal. The story focuses on Foley's long-time friend and ten year chief-of-staff, Kirk Fordham.

Kirk fordham shared a mutual interest with his friend and employer, Foley. Both find that they are attracted to men as sex objects - though not each other. This was not a deep, dark secret. Fordham had managed Foley's original campaign for Congress in 1994, and Foley won even though his opponent brought up his sexual orientation. Apparently his voters were able to deal with his sexual orientation.

However, when Foley learned that the Senate seat would become open in 2004 and he tried to campaign for it, the White House rejected him and instead recruited Mel Martinez who won the Senate seat. While the voters of Florida might have accepted Foley, the Republican Party leadership would not.

I have read and heard in the news that a number of Republicans speak of "the Problem" as being Mark Foley's homosexuality. One Republican I heard yesterday stated that "Homosexuals have an excessive focus on sexuality." and when asked by the reporter how he knew this, he waffled and said that it was well-known by many experts, but named none. Since it is also well known that heterosexual males have an excessive interest in sex, merely with a different gender of sex object, I wonder what kind of delusion the Republican I was listening to lives under. In short, the Republicans are bigots.

Remember that Kirk Fordham is also homosexual. Yet he is the person who informed Dennis Hastert in 2003 that Mark Foley was sending inappropriate messages to pages. This is an indicator that homosexuality is not the problem. Some form of stress reaction was causing him to treat teenage boys inappropriately. This was the problem, but it is no different from a heterosexual male reacting to similar stress problems by treating teenage girls -'jailbait' - inappropriately.

The problem faced by the Republican leadership is first that when informed of the problem with Mark Foley, they were so blinded by their anti-homosexual bigotry that they did not know how to deal with him. Since he is one of the most prolific fund-raisers in the Republican Party they did not want to lose him. So they did nothing about Mark Foley's problem. They didn't know what to do, so that sat and did nothing. (Not a great example of leadership, is it?)

No that the fecal matter has descended into the whirling blades of the fan and hence spattered all over the mainstream media, the Republican leadership is heading for the hills. Although several people, Fordham included, have reported informing Hastert's staff about the problem, Hastert himself says he never heard about it.

Either Dennis Hastert is lying or he is unable to lead and manage his own staff. The latter is implausible for one who has been the Speaker of the House for nearly eight years, so he is lying.

But lying hasn't worked, so now he has dropped back to a fall-back position - Blame the Democrats and Clinton's aides.
When asked about a groundswell of discontent among the GOP's conservative base over his handling of the issue, Hastert said in the phone interview: "I think the base has to realize after a while, who knew about it? Who knew what, when? When the base finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be happy. The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by [liberal activist] George Soros."

He went on to suggest that operatives aligned with former President Bill Clinton knew about the allegations and were perhaps behind the disclosures in the closing weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, but he offered no hard proof.

"All I know is what I hear and what I see," the speaker said. "I saw Bill Clinton's adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along. If somebody had this info, when they had it, we could have dealt with it then."
Once again, he refuses to take responsibility for his own actions - or in this has, his own non-actions.

Which really goes to prove that the basis of the discont with his leadership is quite accurate. Hastert refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. He didn't know how to deal with Foley, so he did nothing. Now he lies or blames Democrats for his own failure.

The problem the Republican leadership faced was with the misbehavior of a homosexual collegue who was too valuable to lose. The problem was the kind of stress thing anyone could have after years of pressure and frustration, but because Republicans demonize homosexuals they could not see him as an individual who needed help. Now they don't know who to blame so Hastert blames Democrats, Clinton aides, Dick Morris, and George Soros. He would do as well to blame were-wolves or bad spirits. The problem is still Republican anti-hosexual bigotry. The Republicans whould have had similar problems if Mark Foley were Black. They would not be able to get past their bigotry to see him as a person.

I feel sorry for Mark Foley. As a homosexual male trying to make a political career in the anti-homosexual Republican Party he chose a difficult life, and it may have caught up to him.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a Democrat and if this causes his Congressional seat to go over to the Democrats and causes the kinds of bad publicity for Republicans in general, especially right before the election, I enjoy the heck out of that. It exposes the Republicnas for the generally rotten people their leadership consists of.

But my sympathies still go out to Mark Foley and his family. I really hope that now they can get the assistance they all need, and that Mark gets his life back together.

I get the impression that Kirk Fordham pretty much has his shit together. At least based on this LA Times story, he seems to have done things right. It looks like he will be looking for a new career now, but I'm willing to bet he finds his way reasonably well. Mark Foley is lucky to have a friend like him. [Damned shame he's a Republican, but there are good Republicans.]

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