Thursday, October 05, 2006

Foleygate -- Blame It on the Gays

"Mark Foley wants you to know that he is a gay man." So said Mark Foley's attorney at that remarkably odd press conference yesterday.

Mark Foley was abused. Mark Foley has a drinking problem. But especially, Mark Foley wants you to know he is gay.

It's becoming pretty damn obvious that someone besides Mark Foley wants the world to know that Mark Foley is gay.

The more the focus is on the gay aspect of Foley's identity, the better the Republicans like it. If they can blame it on the gayness, maybe everyone will forget all about the fact that Mark Foley is a Republican. Maybe everyone will forget that Mark Foley's enablers are the testosterone-driven, hetero-parading, Republican leadership.

Some appear to have already forgotten.

Yeah, I'm going somewhere with this, but I'm too damn mad to write it myself. And if Josh Marshall and David Corn are correct, I'm going to be a hell of a lot madder.

Josh Marshall:

There have been a number of signals through the course of the day that the last gambit of the GOP House leadership will be to blame the Foley debacle on a cabal of gay staffers who hid and/or enabled Rep. Foley's behavior for years. The idea being that they are to blame rather than the leadership.

That may sound like a plot turn out of a bad novel. But with the times we're living in I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Fordham, the staffer who just turned on Hastert, is openly gay, as is at least one other central player in the drama. Fordham's word now threatens to take down the whole House leadership. So they're going to throw everything at him.

David Corn:

There's a list going around. Those disseminating it call it "The List." It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.

On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there's anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a "network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice." The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List--drawn up by gay politicos--is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.

I have a copy. . .

What's interesting about The List--which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications--is that (if it's accurate) it shows that some of the religious right's favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas. These include Representative Katherine Harris and Henry Hyde and Senators Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum. Should we salute these legislators for being open-minded enough to have such tolerant hiring practices? After all, Santorum in a 2003 AP interview compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and polygamy. It would be rather big of Santorum to employ a fellow who engages in activity akin to such horrors. That is, if Santorum knows about his orientation.

[I]f I have a copy of The List, there's a good chance it will be appearing soon on a website near everyone.

Read the whole thing -- highly recommended.

So the gays on the list are Republicans, and maybe they deserve a massive dose of hellish grief for the crime of working for a party that loathes them. But if they take the blame for enabling Foley's sicko behavior, the damage may be devastating for far more people than those few individuals.

Maybe there is no way for the Dark Side to win this one. After all, what will their bigoted base do when they discover that their beloved hypocritical Christian Congresscreeps actually employ gay people? Stay home.

Update: The plot has thickened. David Corn - of The Nation - reports that gay politicos have sent The List to a slew of social conservative groups with the mission of provoking a civil war within the gay-loathing and hypocrisy-lovin' GOP. Any way you slice this, the Dark Side is going to lose.