Friday, September 29, 2006

The Party of “Family Values” Is Full of Pious Hypocrites

As you have probably already heard, Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), suddenly announced this afternoon he is stepping down from Congress after his sex-laced e-mails to a former male page, who was 16, were published. Rep. Foley made headlines in May 2003 when he took the unusual step of calling a news conference to denounce a report in a South Florida alternative paper that he is gay.

And just when you think the story cannot get any worse, it does. Representative Foley is a member of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus. He is responsible for authoring legislation to overhaul our nation’s sex offender registration and notification laws.

I’m so upset and so tired tonight that I think I will just let the Inside Dope express my utter disgust for me:

In a party built on phony piety and hypocrisy, it's become almost routine when prominent members, almost always those that are most damning and intolerant of gays, are revealed to be gay, perverts, or both. Literally dozens of Republicans have been revealed to be sexual deviants and predators.

And to make things even more upsetting is how little time it takes for the brain-dead responses to start spilling from the mouths of those who would support Charles Manson if he proclaimed himself a good Christian, Gay-hatin, Family Values, Republican. The Carpetbagger has kindly gone where I just cannot make myself go and he has come back with the inevitable slime that spills from the mouths of some of these numbskulls:

The award for the most disturbing response to the Foley controversy comes by way of the fine folks at RedState, who had a post saying, "I will refrain from pointing out that Barney Frank is still in Congress and I will refrain from daring to suggest that this is just another example of why the policy against gay scoutmasters in the Boy Scouts is a good one." (The post has since been taken down.)

The sad fact is closeted gay Republican politicians are dangerous. They are pretty much forced to live a double life, deeply hidden in the closet by day while quietly slinking in the shadows by night. And this whole charade is carried on under the added burden of proving to everyone that they are someone they aren't with votes that reek of desparation for the approval of the most extreme in their base. So nothing about them is real and their priorities are completely out of line with what is best for their constituency. And in the end we have a hypocrite one scandal away from exposure. This is not good for anyone. This is not good for America. And as Pam points out constantly:

Yet another reason why homo politicians who vote anti-gay have no business holding office. When you live your life in the shadows of self-loathing trolling for sex, this is the end result -- poor judgment, outlandish arrogance that you won't get caught, and ultimately, in this day and age, public humiliation when it surfaces.

And as always, Andrew can speak eloquently from a perspective that I shall never be able to speak from:

I don't know Foley, although, like any other gay man in D.C., I was told he was gay, closeted, afraid and therefore also screwed up. What the closet does to people - the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds - is brutal. There are many still-closeted gay men in D.C., many of them working for a Republican party that has sadly deeply hostile to gay dignity. How they live with themselves I do not fully understand.


What I do know is that the closet corrupts. The lies it requires and the compartmentalization it demands can lead people to places they never truly wanted to go, and for which they have to take ultimate responsibility. From what I've read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty. While gays were fighting for thir basic equality, Foley voted for the "Defense of Marriage Act". If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all.


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