The most fascinating commentary on dirty old man Mark Foley is a warning from Slate’s John Dickerson to Democrats:
“This is about preying on a young person, not sexual orientation, say Democrats. They’re right. These pages are not just young; they are employed as part of a compact. Parents send their teenagers to Washington thinking they’re being looked after. One former page told me the power relationship was so skewed that she would have been thunderstruck if a member had talked to her at all. But what if the inappropriate relationship were between a congressman and a 16-year-old female page? Would GOP leaders face the same outrage for missing the warning signs? What if we were judging their actions toward a congresswoman who asked for a picture of a 16-year-old female page? For GOP leaders to pay a heavy political price requires either more evidence that they really knew what Foley was doing or for Democrats to form an alliance, at some level, with people who find homosexuality outrageous no matter what the age.”
Dickerson’s piece is sort of nasty-it says the GOP routinely indulges in gay-bashing. But reading between the lines, you have to come away with the conclusion that Democrats are not above gay-bashing if it helps them politically.