Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Foley Moley!

"Events that led to my resignation have crystalized recognition of my long-standing and significant alcoholism and emotional difficulties. I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems." former Congressman Mark Foley

Well. There it is. The booze-made-me-do-it defense. Gee willikers kids, where have we heard that before?

I'm beginning to wonder why the Catholic Church, Bill Clinton, Mary Kay Letournea or even Dubya and his evil posse haven't joined Mel Gibson in this handy-dandy excuse for bad behavior of every stripe. Especially since the guys can't claim post-partum depression.

Pundits, wonks, wags and rags are making plenty of hay from all the salacious details and political finger-pointing surrounding the Foley scandal. They can have at it. Powerful men using their power for sex and other trashy misdeeds is as old as the political process. So is covering up a colleague's crimes "for the good of the country" ... i.e., to protect the Party.

Sex between--or even among--consenting adults is none of our business, no matter the participants' pedigrees or political offices. I'm on record that Bill didn't sexually harass Monica.

But Foley's actions were beyond despicable. The Blech! factor is so high I don't even want to discuss it.

It's Foley's cynical bid for sympathy with a bogus alcohol defense that's the burr under my saddle at the moment.

Alcoholism is a disease, not a marketing tool. How dare Foley use it in a sickeningly transparent effort to justify his actions and deflect attention from his victims and misdeeds.

Maybe Foley is an alcoholic. If so, he needs treatment and the sooner the better. The last thing we need is more people with impaired judgement making critical decisions for the country.

And let's note that Foley's high minded colleagues, while pontificating, moralizing and scrambling for cover from his scandalous sexual behavior, never once mention concern over his alcohol abuse.

But alcoholism didn't make Foley a pedophile. Those are two separate conditions. Rehab isn't going to take Foley's sexual addictions away. One hopes resignation will at least cut down on his victim pool. That, and confiscation of his computer.

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