It's been interesting reading the fallout from the Mark Foley mess. For the past few days, the denunciations of Foley and the House leadership have come from right, left and center. I almost fell off my chair when I heard that the Washington Times was actually calling for Dennis Hastert's resignation for not removing Foley as Chair of the House committee on missing and exploited children.
But today, while scanning the comments on an ABC News blog, it happened: Somehow, someone has decided to bring the "C" word into even this. Yes, that's right: Bill Clinton. The posters want to know why this is such a big deal to ABC when they didn't really have a problem with Bill having an affair with a 19 year old intern. First: Monica was either 22 or 23 at the time and not an intern, but a White House employee. So while stupid, the affair does not come close to the alleged actions of Mark Foley. Second: IT HEADLINED THE NEWS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!!
Another frequent question/criticism was why ABC had held the story until five weeks before the election. I suppose it's a valid question and I can think of several valid answers. But for me, the bigger question would be why the House leadership decided that it was ok to leave him as Chair of this particular House committee? Even the slightest suspicion of inappropriate contact with an underage kid should have been grounds for removal. But because they decided to sweep it under the rug, we are left with the indelible impression that the House leadership cared more about the security of their grip on Congress than the safety of the pages who go there to learn about the legislative process. Not exactly the lesson they signed up for.
I've also been disgusted and bemused by the left-wing wackos (yes, yes--we have them too) who are using this opportunity to tar the entire Republican party as the "Gang of Pedophiles." Where is the moderation? Where is the sanity? This is about one sick man and the few creeps whose first thought was for their own hides. But, as we've become so polarized over the past five years, politicians on the right and left are constantly looking for the slightest incident that could tip the balance of power. This is taking it too far.