Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What do we really believe?

The Blotter notes that "After interviewing some 40 former congressional pages, FBI agents have yet to turn up any evidence of direct sexual contact between underage pages and former Congressman Mark Foley. Instead, according to law enforcement officials and several former pages, a pattern is emerging of seduction by Foley that began when the boys were 16 and 17. In cases where actual sex followed, it was not until the boys were at the legal age of 18."


Suppose it turns out to be true that Foley waited until the pages were 18 or over before doing the deed with them. Doesn't that somehow make him the exemplar of "responsible" gay behavior? Seeing as he waited and it was all consensual behavior between "adults"? And if so isn't it true then that either the revulsion that the Democrats have generated against Foley really constitutes a concealed form of gay-bashing or an assertion that gay behavior is itself disgusting? And if one still feels revolted by Foley's behavior what exactly is at the root of the disgust. ABC's The Blotter continues:

FBI agents are seeking to interview every male congressional page during the 12 years Foley served in Washington, according to officials and pages who have been interviewed. "Then we plan to start questioning the female pages," said one senior law enforcement official.

Personally I am still creeped out by Foley. The problem lies in articulating a reason for this distaste. And none of the reasons I can give are particularly satisfactory. Maybe we can't find a reason for everything. I was really struck over the past few days -- thinking over the problems of coercive interrogation, the use of force in international affairs and even the nature of knowledge -- how few of our beliefs are actually logically consistent. In practice we live in a world where we "just don't know"; worse, where we can't ever know. Yet we must try and make our way in this world despite the uncertainty. I've often wondered whether faith, understood in some form, is a necessary condition for living in this world. Certainly if logic were our only guide we would soon enough be confounded.


Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Wretchard, the revulsion doesn't come from some legal definition of the age of consent, after all, in New York for example marriagable age is 18 generally, 16 with parental consent, 14 for males and 13 for females with court permission. No, the revulsion comes from broken trust: Foley used his position of power to groom ambitious underage boys, taking advantage of their interest in politics to get in their pants. It is just as disgusting when a female schoolteacher like Mary Kay Latourneau takes advantage of a fourteen year old boy's hormones and sexual curiosity to scratch her itch. So the rule is, no shooting fish in a barrel.

10/18/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Please do not "f" the children. This includes indoctrinating them in adult lifestyles as they are growing up. If this is acceptable behavior I am going to start handing out business cards to highschool girls and offer them a free coing out party on their 18th birthdays.

10/18/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Call me old school, but discussing this publicly is like dissecting shit or me describing to my adult sons how I did their mother last night.

Some things we just don't need to know yet the "gay' (just burns me up they hijacked that word) pride folks and the man-boy love perverts keep throwing it in our face as if we have a “right to know”.

Terisita, I think our host's revulsion stems from the fact that it's just wrong, an abhorration of nature and generational suicide all rolled into one. Proponents keep cramming it down our throats as if we give a damn and never talk about the damage done.

Anyone who thinks homosexuality is innocent is living a lie. I've seen too many families torn apart by these and other forms of sexual depravity to believe them. This is just another example that illustrates the damage wrought.

There, I feel better now. Got a cigarette?

10/18/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger quantum said...

I think it's fair to say that the Dem "outing" campaign against gay Repubs trades on homophobia and, in the Foley case, the "link" between homosexuality and "pedophilia". I think it's kind of repulsive -- the Dem campaign that is -- but the Repubs have traded on homophobia for a long time, and it's the perfect "wedge issue". Turnabout is fair play, after all. You can see from the kind of derisive homophobia seen in the above comment that, like racism, there's a lot of life in this lil bugaboo.

10/18/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think we need to start referring to him as "Scooter" Foley. Another decent man charged with a nonexistant crime.

Either that, or lock up the entire cast, writers, directors and producers of "Will and Grace." They did more "indoctrinating" in a week than Scooter has in his whole life.

10/18/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


It's the last page in the "progressive" playbook. The one where someone makes a persuasive point and you have no adequate rebuttal. Quick, spout out some degrading label.

"Homophobe", "racist".

Ok, you got me. I give up.

10/18/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

You can see from the kind of derisive homophobia seen in the above comment that, like racism, there's a lot of life in this lil bugaboo.

It seems to me that the only kind of families that would be "torn apart" by a kid discovering they are gay or lesbian (11 year old kid in my case) are the kinds of families that would rip themselves apart on any other legalistic excuse...such as their kids converting to Catholicism or trying some pot or necking before they get married. In other words, they are families which prefer the love of Law to the law of Love.

10/18/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/18/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

Enscout and Annoy mouse stab at the heart of it:

It may be just and appropriate to interpret the age of consent as implying the adult responsibilities entailed in sexual freedom.

Either we accept that freedom or we do not and that seems to have already been decided. From my vantage point, it seems Americans do respect that freedom, if for no other reason than the implied reciprocity.

However, when one group - who chooses to exercise this sexual freedom in a certain way - advocates that they are wrongly thought about, and that thoughts derived from their choices in sexual behavior are off base, I'm beginning to think they are going out on a limb.

For example, whats to keep the S&M advocates from claiming THEIR political rights, accorded on the basis of whatever they deem to be the unfair consequences of their exercise of sexual freedom?

This was Senator Santorums point, more or less, when he made the equation with Bestiality etc. That is, they are equated as exercises of that sexual freedom. Preference given to one on an ambiguous basis opens up the likelihood of preference given to another on an equally ambiguous basis.

Homosexuality may be benign, but political advocacy derived from the practice of a sexual act is hilarious on its face. Hilarious AND perhaps harmful I might add.

10/18/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Yes, it's the grooming, Richard.
It's also the possibility in the back of your mind that the grooming was also directional-- that the pages might have spent their lives perfectly straight were it not for Foley's influence.

10/19/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"It's the grooming".

This goes to the question of how variant modes of sexual behavior propagate. Nature versus nurture. One theory is that homosexual behavior exists because it is inherent in a certain percentage of the population. The other is that is transmitted as learned behavior. Of course you can have a combination of both. Salman Rusdie famously accused the Taliban of buggering young boys and perhaps that is more prevalent in certain societies than in others. Human genetic composition being the same it would argue that the surplus buggery was learned buggery.

Foley himself ascribes, I believe, some of his behavior to molestation as a child and this is an argument for learned behavior. My own guess is that he was definitely "grooming" and he learned that the "seduction" of boys at ages 16 and 17 turned into a payoff at 18. Therefore he invested in it. Would he have had the payoff without the grooming?

10/19/2006 01:09:00 PM  

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