A kicked dog always yelps loudest, and at our house (where we do NOT kick dogs), the pooch with the guiltiest expression is often the one that puddled in the foyer or pooped on the porch.
Investors Business Daily ran this editorial about the current political dogfight that’s captivating Congress (where there are much, MUCH more important, worthwhile issues to address; but, then, that’s how Washington works—form over substance.) Foley’s Follies are the Topic de Jour, and I share with you this piece from IBD that nails it very nicely:
"Scandal: Right after Mark Foley was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know, and when did they know it?
"Yes, you read that right: the Democrats. It's of course clear that Foley, a Republican representative from Florida, resigned for good cause. We don't defend him or his inexcusable behavior -- good riddance.
"But it didn't take long at all after Foley's resignation for the Democrats to call for an investigation of the entire Republican leadership in the House, charging that GOP stalwarts knew early on that Foley, as they like to say in the rehab business, had a "problem."
"Democrats have begun losing their once-significant lead in the polls, and a mere five weeks remain until the midterm elections. Is this scandal the Democrats' own "October Surprise," meant to throw the GOP into a tailspin shortly before the vote?
"Recent polls show Democrats aren't doing very well on several key issues. What better way than a good, old-fashioned sex scandal to get people's minds off such things as the importance of winning the war in Iraq, our ongoing vulnerability to terrorist attack and the necessity of keeping the Bush economic boom going?
"As it is, Republicans deny knowing about the explicit text messages that Foley sent to a 16-year-old congressional page back in 2003. In repudiating Foley, House Speaker Dennis Hastert called the messages "vile and repulsive."
"Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.
"If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions.
Can the same be said for Democrats?
"Sadly, it doesn't seem so.
How else can you explain the following?
"In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.
"Did Studds express contrition?
Quite the contrary.
He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.
"In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank (news, bio, voting record), also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.
"What happened to Frank?
The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist.
Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."
[Brent Note: if this is the "conscience" that is guiding national leadership, we're in worse trouble than imaginable.]
"In 2001, President Clinton, who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)
"You get the idea.
Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.
"We have a lot more questions about this whole affair. The timing of the revelations, as we noted, couldn't be more propitious for the Democrats. Turns out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about Foley's problem as far back as November, according to research by several enterprising blogs.
"Why didn't they come forward then?
Who dredged up these e-mails -- and why did they hold them until now?
This reeks of political trickery.
"We're glad Foley's gone.
He betrayed Congress, his party and the trust of the 33 pages who serve in Congress, and their parents. He behaved immorally, and we won't be surprised at new revelations.
"That said, if this scandal is the Democrats' answer to their problems at the polls, it's pretty pathetic. It shows a base contempt for the voters."
Could not have said it better.