The only mildly interesting thing about Foley buggering congressional pages is the timing of the revelation. One can't help wondering whether the Democrats have known about this for a while and found a way to spring
it just now. Apparently the story originally broke on a very fishy-looking blog, written in a naif style that somehow doesn't ring quite true. Sheer speculation on my part, of course, and very unfair to the Democrats, no doubt: surely
if they had known something like was going on, they'd've been shocked, shocked! and
moved immediately to do something about it.
What's amazing is that Congress still has these ridiculous pages running around. A gaggle of 16-year old kids at the beck and call of a conclave of older men, whose professional qualifications include a lack of scruple and pleasure in exercising power over others -- that's a
recipe for institutionalized pedophilia.
Does anybody remember the page scandals of twenty years ago?
... Rep. Dan Crane (R-Ill.) and Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) had engaged in sexual relationships with ... 17-year-old congressional pages. In Crane's case, it was a 1980 relationship with a female page and in Studds's case, it was a 1973 relationship with a male page.
... Crane, who tearfully apologized for his transgression, lost his bid for reelection in 1984. Studds, however, refused to apologize... and he continued to be reelected until his retirement in 1996.
Oh, and they kept the pages around.
When I was a kid, one of my classmates, in the little town where I grew up, went off to be a page -- I can't recall whether it was the Senate or the House. He was a nice-looking, clean-cut, jocky kid, not the sharpest tack in the box, but likable enough -- a modest, unpretentious, aw-shucks kind of guy.
He came back from his time in Washington utterly changed. His modest, ingenuous demeanor had been replaced by an over-confident, over-familiar, glad-handing, bicep-kneading, look-you-in-the-eye man-of-the-world schtick. There was something very false and smug about it. He's wasn't crafty enough, at bottom, to conceal his precocious sense of initiation into an elite, esoteric craft of
influencing people -- if not necessarily winning friends.
The last I heard of him, he weighed three hundred pounds and ran a liquor store in a strip mall.