October 06, 2006

Schadenfreude Friday: Foley Moly!

Today's slice of schadenfreude is both obvious and sad. You've probably heard the story, ad nauseum. I'm not sure who I loathe more in this situation - the congressman who hit on underage boys or the people who covered it up. Actually, there are several layers of bad. You decide for yourselves but don't limit yourself to this little snippet.

The House ethics committee approved nearly four dozen subpoenas Thursday, opening an investigation of a page sex scandal that has ensnared the GOP-led Congress. Speaker Dennis Hastert took responsibility but refused to step down.

"Ultimately ... the buck stops here," the Republican speaker said, using the phrase of a Democratic president, Harry Truman.

Hastert held to his assertion that he did not know about ex-Rep. Mark Foley's e-mails and sexually explicit computer messages to former pages until the scandal broke last week.

The ethics committee promised to finish its investigation in weeks, not months, but it was unclear whether that would occur before the Nov. 7 election. Hastert's handling of the issue has brought harsh criticism from some fellow Republicans and conservative activists.

So, those layers of bad...

One. Foley himself, who somehow thought it appropriate to email and IM underage House pages. And from the transcripts it appears that he missed a few votes on the floor because he was too busy rubbing one out. Rarely does serving our country involve one's penis. Dumbass.

Two. Hastert and the political animals that covered it up for, it seems, a few years. These are the people we elect to make big decisions. We elect them to protect our country but they can't seem to insulate a handful of House pages from some sick bastard who somehow got elected. Even though they apparently knew all about it. Republican or democrat, if it's proved that any of these people knew in advance about this guy and he predilection for underage boys, they should resign.

Three. Hastert and his diversionary tactics. See, in a recent interview he gave, he blamed the Democrats for this. Yes. Democrats. As if we somehow got together, had a big meeting, and orchestrated this massive conspiracy against the Republicans. At least Hastert had the balls to later admit he was full of shit. Oh, and steering the conversations back to Monica and Clinton isn't going to alter the fabric of reality and magically erase Foley's come ons.

Four. Us. Why are we not storming the House? Why are we not demanding resignations or, at the very least, answers? Why do we allow Foley to get off the hook by admitting to a seemingly unrelated alcohol problem (alcoholics aren't suddenly sexual deviants, right?) and checking himself into rehab? Often, as a society, we're a little too vocal about the things that don't matter - Paris Hilton, Brangelina, etc - while we keep our mouths shut about the stuff that really is problematic.

Posted by Chris at October 6, 2006 07:00 AM

Preach it brotha'! :) Totally agree with your last comment...

Posted by: Corinne at October 6, 2006 07:22 AM

It's unreal to me that this is what passes for elected leadership in this country. If the Democrats can't at least win the House in November, then there's not a lot of hope for the party.

Posted by: Robin at October 6, 2006 07:25 AM

I can't beleive there isnt more outrage about this! It's completley unacceptable! Your last comment is so on target....if it was a celeb that had been doing this the media would be all over it for weeks, every talk show would be discussing it...it makes me sad for our country.

Posted by: Lisa at October 6, 2006 07:52 AM

How very sad. Our country is so twisted, it would take a whole lot of people on the same page to even begin to turn things around.

Posted by: Jenn at October 6, 2006 08:00 AM

It's a sad country/world we live in. Stop the world I want to get off.

Posted by: at October 6, 2006 08:04 AM

This kind of stuff makes me physically ill to read. I don't understand how anyone could do this kind of stuff, much less someone who is suppose to be an elected official to our country. Something really needs to be done to him, he needs to be punished some how.

Posted by: Kim at October 6, 2006 08:09 AM

While I absolutely agree with the last statement, this isn't about us as a society. Because if us as a society had known about this, if this guy was our neighbor and he was doing this to our children, he would have been strung up by his boys years ago.

This is about a bunch of over-priviledged, insulated, rich guys covering each other's asses through time in memorium.

Hell, they were probably diddled with back in the day by some nasty old congressman and think it's some sort of right of passage.

Posted by: Contrary at October 6, 2006 08:29 AM

*vurp* makes me sick.

The common denominator among politicians, rock stars, movie moguls, rich bitches (in my opinion) is the total number of people in this world who think they are above the law, above traditional rules, and above common courtesy.

While I complain about my mother's preoccupation with behaving "proper", plain and simple now days there is no shame.

Posted by: kristen at October 6, 2006 08:44 AM

Clap clap clap...stand and cheer...hear hear. I totally agree with what you are saying. I believe we need to clean house and get some new blood in there. How about when we go to the polls in November to cast our votes we do like they did in "Brewster's Millions" and vote "None of the above" I truly get sick of the sickos on Capital Hill and also the muckrackers and backstabbers as well. I do believe Foley needs to be disciplined hardline like anyone else would be if accused of the same thing!
Hey maybe you should run for Congress Chris, I'll vote for ya!

Posted by: Pat (Trish) at October 6, 2006 09:17 AM

Clap clap clap...stand and cheer...hear hear. I totally agree with what you are saying. I believe we need to clean house and get some new blood in there. How about when we go to the polls in November to cast our votes we do like they did in "Brewster's Millions" and vote "None of the above" I truly get sick of the sickos on Capital Hill and also the muckrackers and backstabbers as well. I do believe Foley needs to be disciplined hardline like anyone else would be if accused of the same thing!
Hey maybe you should run for Congress Chris, I'll vote for ya!

Posted by: Pat (Trish) at October 6, 2006 09:17 AM

You missed the very worst of a long list of unforgivable actions (and inactions).

The gay bashing. What, you didn't know that gay = pedophile? Just listen to them talk out of both sides of their mouths. They've been spinning this thing forty ways from Sunday.

I'm sending you a link but I'll have to do it in another comment.

Posted by: ann adams at October 6, 2006 09:28 AM

In case anyone thinks this was an isolated instance from the party of "family values"


Not that we Dems walk on water. We don't but we don't go around trumpeting how pure and holy we are either.

Posted by: ann adams at October 6, 2006 09:31 AM

Trying again with html

Delilah Boyd

Posted by: ann adams at October 6, 2006 09:32 AM

That one works. Click on Delilah.

Posted by: ann adams at October 6, 2006 09:33 AM

I try to stay away from commenting on politics in peoples blogs because usually the points get missed.
I do however enjoy your friday post's and I like to thank you for allowing the forum for people to comment.
From what I read the investigation is more about WHo knew what when? The blame game.

Are they investigating what can be done to prevent this in the futrue? Are they investigating what types of criminal charges can be brought against Foley?

As far as your point #4, Why does it take something like this to inspire people to storm the House. We spend too much time blaming the leaders and not enough time blaming the followers. I take blame for this and we all should for not being more involved.

Posted by: Bill at October 6, 2006 09:33 AM

I can't even discuss politics at more than a superficial level any more. For me voting day always comes down to who's going to continue fuck up the country the least.

Now I have to worry about who's going to fuck underage kids the least, too?

Posted by: Adam at October 6, 2006 09:36 AM

Did you see Wanda Sykes on one of the late-night shows? She was talking about this and said something like "I can understand alcohol making you sleep with a fatty, or something, but it sure doesn't make you a pedophile if you're not when you're sober".


Posted by: Jessie at October 6, 2006 09:42 AM

Five. Fox News, whose "fair and balanced" coverage has SEVERAL TIMES misidentified Foley as a Dem:

Posted by: Karen at October 6, 2006 09:52 AM

I completely agree with all your layers, as well as Ann's.

Also, did you see the screenshot from Fox News, where they identified Foley as "D--Florida"? Genuine accident? Mayyyybe. Attempt to make people who are already confused enough to think Fox News reports the truth think it's all those damn Democrats again? Hmmm... think so?

I'm so fed up with society right now. It's all "bread and circuses". Distract the public with gigantic cheeseburgers and reality television, and they won't revolt. It's something I usually try not to think much about, as it just makes me so angry and I can't think of a way to fix it.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at October 6, 2006 09:56 AM

This whole thing make me sick. I mean, who in the crap are these people that they think they can get away with this crap? It's alarming. And really, is checking yourself into rehab (somehow) making this better? Because basically, NO it isn't.

This world is so messed up right now. It frightens me.

Posted by: Isabel at October 6, 2006 11:16 AM

I don't know if you know THIS, but My Friend Foley at one point stormed the Page's Dorm loaded off his ass, demanding to be let in the wee hours of the morning. nice, huh? But I guess no one knew the problem was this bad.....


Posted by: andy at October 6, 2006 11:38 AM


Posted by: Jenny at October 6, 2006 11:44 AM

Remember a few years ago, when Kerry was caught on tape saying something to the effect of "these guys (the Republicans) are the most corrupt bunch of people...", and the media and everyone just laughed it off?

Doesn't really seem all that funny now.

Posted by: Jason at October 6, 2006 12:09 PM

Truly, this is a degenerate age :(

hopefully my generation can help alleviate all of this :)

Posted by: SAFFE at October 6, 2006 12:22 PM

To answer question 4 (or attempt to rather):

It seems that we, as a whole, have come to accept....err, expect.....this behavior from politicians as the norm rather than the exception. We very well know that MANY of these people are corrupt in some way shape or form but have been so inudated by it, I think we've just been numbed by it all.

Posted by: Kyle I at October 6, 2006 01:00 PM

Another layer: Fox News, who referred to Foley as a democrat? Not just once, but at least twice. And the second time, they accused the DEMS of ignoring the issue!

Such craziness.

Posted by: Jen at October 6, 2006 01:02 PM

All I can say is that as a parent, ANYONE that inappropriately contacts, touches or whatever with a child, needs to be castrated with a dull, rusty knife. I don't care who they are, politician, celebrity, Mr. AverageNeighbor. (And while I know that it's not just men that abuse children, the women that do, should also be castrated.) This whole thing sickens me. Someone knew before now. That person should also be castrated. All those poor kids that are permanently scarred.... Sickens me.

Thanks for letting me spew.

Posted by: Karen at October 6, 2006 01:42 PM

unfortunantly it is like that in most countrys, I myself thinks it has to do with all the nepotisem, and the favoring of friends in the "upperclasses"

Posted by: VVV at October 6, 2006 02:04 PM

So...here's my confusion. Hastert "takes full responsibility" but won't step down? What the hell kind of double-standard is *that*?

Posted by: candace at October 6, 2006 02:13 PM

i'm going to storm the house. over thanksgiving. when i am back east, closer to that washington. wanna meet me there?

Posted by: jodi at October 6, 2006 02:16 PM

Paris Hilton and Brangelina don't matter?


And, yeah, this whole thing is pathetic. And, pretty unbelievable. So much scandal in the White House....Scary to think about.

Posted by: haley-o at October 6, 2006 02:22 PM

High Five to the Post Above!

Foley, in my eyes, is one of the worst sex offenders out there. He had the intellect and resources that most will never see in a lifetime to stop him and get help.

On a similar note: - Denny Hasterdt’s office is right here next to mine. The sad thing is- this is the FIRST TIME EVER, (mark my words) since Sept 11th, that man has been around for any protest, rally or march. Why is it sad this time? Because this would be the one time he SHOULD be in D.C., but he's not. He's just never where he should be........ Sounds like he and Foley have a lot in common.

Last - if you are really passionate about stopping these creeps. Visit your states local sex offender registry often. Memorize their names and faces. Make sure they don't live within the new legal distance of a school, park, or park district facility. If they do report them right away. Hand out their flyer with your Halloween Candy if they are within blocks of your house and remember that just because we aren't in the senate or the house, doesn't mean we can't get savvy and put the heat on!

Posted by: Rach at October 6, 2006 03:02 PM

Apparently politics is where it's at, in terms of fucking up at work. You can't get away with shit like that at any other job. You can't get away with that shit working at McDonald's -- so why do these pervs get a free pass? Also -- also, don't we basically PAY these fucking people's salaries? And they're trying to hook up with teenagers on OUR dime? Something is seriously wrong with this country.

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 6, 2006 03:52 PM

Did you catch Newt Gingrich defending their "keep quiet" tactics because they thought they'd be accused of gay bashing? Yeah...I know...I was stunned by that one, too. Mainly because the Christofascists rarely miss an opportunity to gay bash. Also, because your garden-variety pedophile IS HETEROSEXUAL!!!

Posted by: wordgirl at October 6, 2006 03:55 PM


(nope, can't do it. Too angry.)

Posted by: L.A. Daddy at October 6, 2006 05:42 PM

All I can say is that "Monica and Clinton" was an act(s) between two CONSENTING ADULTS. This other crap? Just WRONG -- in the "wrongest" sense of wrong. I agree -- we should be calling for the resignation or whatever of these individuals who felt the need to cover it up or ignore it. Finally, the Republicans make us Dems look pretty damn good, huh?

Posted by: ironic1 at October 6, 2006 05:47 PM

This whole thing just sickens me. What Foley did, what the Republicans are doing to cover their asses, Fox News calling Foley a Democrat, all of it just pisses me off so much. Out of all of the reaction to what Foley did, however, I think what pisses me off the most is what Newt Gingrich said about the Republicans not wanting to be seen as "gay-bashing." Man I hope we can win back control of the Legislative branch this year.

Posted by: Beth in StL at October 6, 2006 07:41 PM

well put....this story is sickening.

Posted by: Mad Mom at October 6, 2006 08:25 PM

You made me look up Schadenfreude.
Wiki says "Usually, it is believed that Schadenfreude has no direct English equivalent. For example, Harper Collins Dictionary translates schadenfreude as "malicious glee or gloating. In Buddhism, the concept of mudita, "sympathetic joy" or "happiness in another's good fortune," is often explained as "the opposite of Schadenfreude."

Posted by: kimblahg at October 6, 2006 10:28 PM

You know, alcoholism is being used as a cover to divert the attention. making it seem like he is working on his "problems". I'm so sickened by this that I dont know what to say! People are so ok with how their elected rep has not only made a fool of himself but more so of them, because he obviously didnt care to think of the trust the people have placed in him. But post a salty headline of "Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn broke up" and you will have people jumping to grab the mag...screw it!

Posted by: Dee at October 7, 2006 02:55 AM

Pshaw and pffffft! A pox on both their houses. Sick to my stomach at the whole lot of them. Foley, Reed, Pelosi, Hastert, Frist, Rangel, DeLay ... Pshaw and PFFFT! I haven't missed a vote since 1980, but this shit makes me want to abdicate and form my own republic.

Posted by: Tommy at October 7, 2006 03:51 AM

Have we learned nothing from the Catholic Church scandals? I hope these kids all sue him in civil court and drag his sorry ass through the news for years to come. No one should ever get a pass on preying upon kids.

Posted by: Annie at October 7, 2006 01:06 PM

Excellent commentary. I've been appalled by the entire fiasco, and embarrassed on their behalf (and, therefore on behalf of all of us) at the same time.

Posted by: Caryn at October 7, 2006 09:09 PM

To the Republicans defending, spinning, distancing themselves from Hastert and Foley, I'd like to ask: If he had preyed upon YOUR child would you say "Aw, he's been though a lot, he's an alcoholic, he was abused as a child. I can totally understand why he was all over my teenager"

NO. You'd want his sac on a platter.

Posted by: Kara at October 8, 2006 08:43 AM

Hear hear!

Posted by: the weirdgirl at October 8, 2006 07:57 PM