A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley’s inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed yesterday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley (R-Fla.) was taking their e-mail relationship. Last week, when the Foley matter erupted, a Kolbe staff member suggested to the former page that he take the matter to the clerk of the House, Karen Haas, said Kolbe’s press secretary, Korenna Cline.
… A source with direct knowledge of Kolbe’s involvement said the messages shared with Kolbe were sexually explicit, and he read the contents to The Washington Post under the condition that they not be reprinted. But Cline denied the source’s characterization, saying only that the messages had made the former page feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she said, “corrective action” was taken. Cline said she has not yet determined whether that action went beyond Kolbe’s confrontation with Foley.
How about the method to Foley’s madness, which that “corrective action” did nothing to stop, and proves that he was a very patient man, with a plan.
A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.
The former page, who agreed to discuss his relationship with Foley with the Los Angeles Times on the condition that he not be identified, said his electronic correspondence with Foley began after he finished the respected Capitol Hill page program for high school juniors. His sexual encounter was in the fall of 2000, he said. At the time, he was 21 and a graduate of a rural Northeastern college.
So basically, he bided his time until they weren’t teenagers anymore and then made his move. But the new stories about Kolbe and Foley only underscore what’s becoming clear about closeted gay Republicans.
Remember, a core strategy for Republicans has been to demonize gays to win elections, and to try to drive the base of their party into a frenzy with issues that exploit their dislike of gays.
The dirty big secret in Washington since the Reagan years is how many high level and highly placed Republican officials and also Republican operatives are in fact gay, even while they joined aloud the chorus of anti-gay exploitive partisanship aimed at mobilizing conservative Christian voters.
What the Foley case did, was rip open this wound within the Republican Party, even though the case had zero to do with Foley being gay, predatory behavior is predatory and neither gay nor straight. This ripping open of the Republican wound was a ripping open done by Republicans, against other Republicans, in a kind of sick poetic justice.
Which is why I tend to share Kip’s assessment of some of the same invisible pink elephants whining about how “There are just going to be some days when it’s hard to be a gay Republican.” You guys made your own bed, and chose your own bed fellows. So, lie in it, lie with them, and like it for all I care.
Brent (linked just above) also pointed out two of the gay factions involved in what’s unfolding in the Republican party.
First, the honorable gay Republicans, defining honorable as living their private lifestyle while leaving everyone else alone, and opposing the anti-gay demonization tactics of their Party.
Second, the dishonorable gay Republicans, defining dishonorable as living their private lifestyle while attacking and demonizing others who live the same lifestyle, for partisanship and power. This group is intensely disliked by the honorable gay Republicans and now in mortal danger of being outed by the honorable gay Republicans and also Christian Conservative leadership partisans.
The first group I don’t necessarily have a beef with, except to say that I have a lot more respect for those who are out because I’m not convinced you can change anything significantly while in the closet. And that’s where the second group comes in, living in the false safety of the closet while attacking or working for those who are attacking our families, in order to preserve either power, partisanship or a paycheck.
Now they find that the nasty element that makes up 30% to 40% of their party’s base is possibly looking to push them out, and their bosses — who cynically pandered to the wingnuts in order gain political power — will probably drag the gays out of the closet and throw them under the bus in order to save their own congressional asses. And they think those of us on the other side of the closet, who’ve been bearing the brunt of attacks from their party, while they cower behind the closet door, somehow owe them some kind of protection in all this.
Guys, you’re painted into a corner and you’re the one’s holding the cans and paint brushes on this one. If getting out out that spot is messy, it’s nobody’s fault but yours.