The Mark Foley Incident, The Vatican and The Republican National Committee

Nameplate Removed: Office of Former Rep. Mark Foley

U. S. Congressman Mark Foley Abruptly Resigned in Disgrace

This event has been given wide-spread, sensational and ongoing coverage by media all across the country. As reported by National Public Radio: United States Rep. Mark Foley resigned last week, effective immediately, in the face of questions about e-mails that he had written to a former male page. Before news of the emails surfaced, the Florida Republican had been predicted as an easy winner over his Democratic challenger. But now Foley’s run of six terms has ended amidst questions from the media and his challenger about why the congressman, 52, wrote several e-mails to the former page, who was just 16 years-old at the time of the unusually personal email exchange earlier this year. Coming only 39 days before the election, Foley’s resignation took the shape of just two sentences, in which he announced his decision and apologized to his constituents for “letting down [his] family and the people of Florida.”

Questions about Foley’s sexuality have not been new; when he considered running for the Senate in 2004, it became an issue. But Foley, who is single, cited his right to privacy. In Congress, Foley has been known as a reliable Republican vote, conservative but not dogmatic. He represented the wealthy South Central Florida district that includes Palm Beach. In a region frequently afflicted by hurricanes, Foley had been instrumental in getting money for the district. Quite ironically, he was also the Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus.

Further Comments about the Mark Foley Incident:

Today, Andrew Sullivan made these comments in his Time Magazine blog, The Daily Dish :

“If the Foley incident is not about pedophilia, it is also not, it seems to me, about homosexuality. It’s fundamentally about the closet. The closet is so psychologically destructive it often produces pathological behavior. When you compartmentalize your life, you sometimes act out in one compartment in ways that you would never condone in another one. Think Clinton-Lewinsky, in a heterosexual context. But closeted gay men are particularly vulnerable to this kind of thing. Your psyche is so split by decades of lies and deceptions and euphemisms that integrity and mental health suffer. No one should excuse Foley’s creepy interactions; they are inexcusable, as is the alleged cover-up (although we shouldn’t jump to conclusions yet about who knew what when). But there’s a reason gay men in homophobic institutions behave in self-destructive ways.

Or think of it another way: what do the Vatican and the RNC have in common? Here’s one potential list: entrenched homophobia, psychologically damaged closet cases, inappropriate behavior toward teens and minors … and cover-ups designed entirely to retain power. The parallels are looking a little creepy. And the source is the same.”

%d bloggers like this: