Though his defenders have used every pathetic excuse they can think of to explain Mark Foley's behavior -- "he's gay", "he's an alcoholic", "the e-mails weren't improper but the IMs were", the deadly Republican virus of the Congressional page scandal continues to spread, and will undoubtedly claim more conservative victims.
Foley's former top aide pushes back the history three years:
A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) approached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said yesterday.
The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday from his job with another senior lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert's staff reportedly became aware of Foley's questionable behavior concerning teenagers working on Capitol Hill.
That makes four people -- the other three are Majority Leader John Boehner, RCCC chair Tom Reynolds, and Page Board chair John Shimkus --that have thrown Dennis under the bus. Hastert chose the mouthpiece of another paragon of Republican virtue, Rush Limbaugh, to say that he won't resign.
The over/under on the Speaker being gone is Friday, October 6, at 5 pm.
The guy who just took Tom DeLay's place smells a political opportunity for himself. I'm thinking he's thinking that if his disgraced party can just hang on to a majority, then he will get to be Speaker. Fat chance in either case.
Reynolds -- he's the man responsible for getting Republicans elected to the House of Representatives -- is already sinking fast. No surprise: among his many errors of judgment and besides whatever role he played in concealing a sexual predator, that he took $100,000 from Foley shortly after the "naughty e-mails" were re-discovered marks him an accomplice to the crime.
Shimkus, the GOP House member from Illinois who heads the organization responsible for managing all the business of congressional pages, doesn't think he's done anything wrong either:
Amid mounting criticism from his own party, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, said he acted properly when confronted last year with a questionable email sent by disgraced former congressman Mark Foley to a former congressional page.
"I don't know of a single thing I would have done differently," Shimkus told The State Journal-Register editorial board during an hour-long Wednesday meeting.
These people have simply been in Washington too long. They have lost the ability -- if they ever had it in the beginning -- to understand the concerns of real people, such as parents who want their children to be able to go to Washington as an intern for a Congressman and be free of unwanted sexual advances.
Shielding a pedophile in order to maintain political power is about as sick, sad, and sorry as it gets. And they will all have to answer for it.Let's hope the voters in their respective House districts send them a message on November 7.