Friday, October 06, 2006

The Foley follies

The Mark Foley imbroglio provides a much-needed reminder of the Chris Farley character, Matt Foley—the motivational speaker living in a van down by the river. Here's a clip with Christian Slater (though my favorite Matt Foley skit was the one with David Spade and Christina Applegate).

One disingenuous argument floated by the GOP mouthpieces a few days ago was that, gosh, they couldn't come down hard on Mark Foley for "over-friendly" e-mails because, gee whiz, they'd get accused of being anti-gay, and they're really not like that. That's total bull, of course—the party that pushes a constitutional amendment to forestall same-sex marriage is concerned about not coming off as anti-gay? Sorry, not buying it.

Another issue relating to this is that the problem wasn't that Foley is gay, it's that he made inappropriate advances to kids. For more on this distinction and the scapegoating of homosexuality in a case that's not about homosexuality, read Joe Solmonese's essay at the Huffington Post. Solmonese is the president of the Human Rights Campaign. He writes, in part (echoing my own thoughts):

The same GOP leaders who are trying to write gay people out of the Constitution chose not to investigate inappropriate sexual behavior because they were worried that they might be branded as homophobic? This has nothing to do with homophobia. This is about the sexual solicitation of teenagers. In fact, The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90 percent of pedophiles are men, and that 98 percent of those men are heterosexual.

There's plenty more to say about Foley, Hastert, and the GOP media machine, but it's all been said elsewhere. Just wanted to remind you that homosexuality and homophobia are not at issue here, and those who suggest they're pertinent are trying to create a smokescreen. Turn on the fan and blow that smoke away, will you?


DoctorMama said...

I totally agree with you, as usual, but this reminds me of another thing about this whole brouhaha that bugs me. Do you notice how the media that have a more conservative bent keep calling the pages "children," when the same sources, if a sixteen year old commits a crime, will say "youth" or even "man" and argue for him being tried as an adult and getting the death penalty?

I say, a child's a child. (Though if two pages want to get it on, more power to them.)

momo said...

Good point, doctormama.

Lynnea said...

I too was amazed at this line of argument on their part - though not surprised. How they try to be clever and slip in a fall guy. The saddest part is how many people fall for it and who cannot make a distinction between gay and pedophile. Hello? Get with the times and read. Thank you Orange, great post.