I don't know how many people have been paying attention to Mark Foley Gate, but suffice it to say the Republican Co-Chair of the House Caucus on "Missing and Exploited Children" was soliciting 16 and 17 year old Congressional Pages online. Furthermore, Republican Leadership tried to cover it up.
Yesterday, Foley claimed it was just the drink and enrolled in rehab. However, people obviously knew that was a bunch of B.S. Today, Foley reveals he was molested by a priest in his Roman Catholic upbringing. Should we believe him? These aren't exactly people who have earned our trust, but it would almost make sense. Children who were abused have a higher propensity to grow up and do exactly the same thing. Yet, this revelation comes one day after his alcoholism.
In truth, it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for what Mark Foley did. If he was abused as a child, he had a duty to get help - not seek out other adolescents that he had easy access to. However, there's another interesting similarity between Foley Gate and Cardinal Law's Catholic Church scandal. Just like Cardinal Law, Republicans protected the predator rather than protecting children.
Again, this government - the very heart of our government in D.C. - failed to protect children. They failed to protect Roman Catholics growing up, they failed to protect the 80 pages sent to Washington D.C. each summer. Instead of protecting children, they protect politicians. Instead of the church protecting children, they protected priests.
Republicans had an opportunity - years ago - to handle Foley Gate before it became a scandal. They could have seriously investigated the matter when the first emails popped up. Instead, it was more important to keep it hushed and keep the seat. When Republicans decided to handle the situation, they sent the matter to a Republican political committee - instead of the House Ethics Committee or the FBI. In fact, failure is a term Republicans seem to be getting used to - and our country is worse for it.