October 5, 2006

The Foley Bergere

Hatched by Dafydd

Most of us have been arguing in a vacuum. We -- or at least I -- have been accepting the charactization of the Mark Foley e-mails as "creepy," "sick," and so forth ever since this mini-scandal began.

Yesterday, Michael Medved actually read them over the air; and I was shocked at how innocuous they really were. (I got them from stopsexpredators.blogspot.com, but I'm not going to link it. Go through Wonkette and find it yourself... I don't want to give them any link traffic.)

I don't know what you think you've read, but having now read them all, I have to say that they're even less suggestive than they were described. Reading through them, my response was not that this was the writing of a "sexual predator;" it was more like a little kid trying to buy a friend by offering his football.

Just so we're on the same page, here they are. When you read them, try to forget that you have read the IMs (which are very explicit, and which I'm not going to post here); when Rep. Reynolds, et al (not including Speaker Denny Hastert, who never saw them at all) read them, there were no accompanying text messages... he had to make his decision solely on the basis of these (the typos and other mistakes are in the original):

E-mail 1:

Glad your home safe and sound...we don't go back into session until Sept 5...si it's a nice long break...I am back in Florida now...its nice here...been raining today...it shounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks...how old are you now?

E-mail 2:

I just emailed will...hes such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished fiding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym...whats school like for you this year?

E-mail 3:

I am in North Carolina...and it was 100in New Orleans...wow that's really hot...well do you miss DC...its raining here but 68 degrees so who can argue..did you have fun at your conference...what do you want for your birthday coming up...what stuff do you like to do

E-mail 4:

How are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me a pic of you as well...

(There was one more I heard about; but it just said something like "is this the right email," nothing substantive.)

And that's it. That is all that the GOP leadership had in 2005 when they made the decision to brief Hastert's staff (but not Hastert himself until later) and to counsel Foley rather than open an entire investigation over this garbage.

To me, this is more "pathetic" than "stalker." I would have thought, "I know DC isn't a friendly place -- if you want a friend in DC, buy a dog -- but couldn't this guy strike up a friendship with anyone?"

There is nothing in any of this, in and of itself, that would spell "sexual predator," unless one were predisposed to think that all gay males were incipient twink-hunters.

I'm not, so I wouldn't. But your mileage may vary.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 5, 2006, at the time of 5:37 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1310

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Foley Bergere:

» Tom Reynolds Poll Shows No "Foley Effect" from Big Lizards
Hat tip to Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics, who mentioned a poll "containing bad news for Tom Reynolds." I followed his link to this poll by 2 On Your Side (an NBC News affilliate, judging by the stupid peacock... [Read More]

Tracked on October 5, 2006 11:58 PM


The following hissed in response by: Big D

In whole, innocuous. Therefore clearly the work of a pre-vert

Hastert's current troubles stem from his defense of William Jefferson. That is why conservatives are all over him for this.

By the by Dafydd, how old are you...ack!

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 10:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: waxxman

Now, I admit what you've said jibes with what I've heard... but, the quotes you give have an extremely high amount of ellipsis.

That could mean one of three things:

1. That's simply how Foley writes emails, with a lot of ellipsis. Unusual, but I have the same habit.

2. The "..." indicates sections cut out for simple brevity, so the email can be summarized.

3. The "..." indicates sections that were cut out to make the emails sound more innocuous.

If it's 1, just say so. If it's 2 or 3, your humble readers need a linkback to some uncut version so they can decide for themselves weather it's 2 or 3.

The above hissed in response by: waxxman [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 10:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

Kind of sad really.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 11:01 AM

The following hissed in response by: nk

No. When I want the seventeen-year old neighbor to babysit my four-year old daughter, I talk to her mother. Then, when I understand that the mother approves, I talk to the babysitter. And I do not ask her for a picture so my daughter will remember her in years to come. And if I want to follow up on the babysitting session, I call the mother first as well. Forgive me Dafydd, but even at this level of "innocence" Foley was a creep.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 12:04 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

P.S. There is no parity, in any sense, in social intercourse between a 16-year old and a fifty-year old.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 12:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn

I think we need to get the left on record that if someone is gay, talking about the weather or exercise programs in an email with an underage person is cause for an employer to put a written warning that their are suspicions about the gay person being a pedophile, firing them if any more emails surface and publicizing the warning about being a pervert.

What Foley did was wrong, but does the left really want to live in a world where these emails rise to a level for potentially losing your job? For all the left's talk about invasion of privacy and a Bush dictatorship, their over the top response to these emails and the threats to ABC to lose their license over the 9/11 show tell me which party is really interested in destroying freedoms for their political gain.

Waxxman, The elipses were in the emails as published by ABC. That's what we got. Maybe there is something more in between the elipses, but I suspect it may exonerate more than condemn.

The above hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 1:56 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


No, Foley wrote the elipses himself. He used that instead of a normal period or semicolon (sometimes instead of a question mark).

I was copying from the pdf of the printout of the e-mails themselves; the elipses were typed by Mark Foley. They don't indicate anything left out.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 2:04 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


P.S. There is no parity, in any sense, in social intercourse between a 16-year old and a fifty-year old.

Depends upon the 16 year old and the 50 year old. I have known some 16 year old girls who were very socially mature and adept, while I've known many (too many!) 50 year old men who were childish, immature, arrested adolescents.

Similarly, I have know some 16 year old girls who were very sexually aggressive and who very much enjoyed getting middle-aged men into bed (a lot more women like older men than vice versa). The girls I mean are actually women, despite their chronological age, and they can handle adult relationships with aplomb.

One in particular, A.L., was much more socially mature than anyone would suspect from her age.

When A.L. was 16, I was 19, and I was very attracted to her (and she was very willing). I stopped short of actually doing anything about it -- something I now regret -- because I was too worried about the legalities: I was legally an adult, but she was not.

I needn't have worried: she slept with many adult men, most twice my age or more, and she never had a problem with it, nor did she ever cause a problem for anyone else.

Contrariwise, I knew another underaged teen girl who also slept around; but in her case, I don't believe she was really mature enough to do so, and she got herself and several men in a lot of trouble (in this case, I had no problem abjuring because I found her personality the opposite of attractive).

I passionately believe that individuals are individualized. There are very few hard and fast rules that apply to everyone. Some people remain immature and vulnerable their entire lives; Foley strikes me that way, as does, say, Michael Jackson.

Such people can be dangerous, because they don't have the normal control of their own behavior that an adult is expected to have.

But others are prematurely mature: at age 15 or 16, they really are ripe enough to handle adult relationships. It depends upon the individual. (Sometimes it's hard to tell; other times it's so obvious that everyone would get it.)

By the way, my first experience occurred when I was under 18 and the woman was legally an adult. It certainly never harmed me, and I know I never did (or would have done) anything to harm her.

I've often thought that the age of consent should be different for each person; but I've never been able to think of a workable way to implement this across society. It's similar to the question of what age a person should be before he can obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon: some people of 13 or 14 are mature enough to carry; others are not even into their 50s and 60s. How does society decide?

Until we have some "maturity meter," we must have legally defined ages of consent (and ages at which one can get a CCW license). But I believe the age of consent in Washington D.C. is 16 anyway, which further complicates the Mark Foley situation.

I'm glad he resigned; he is a creep. But there was no way to tell that from the e-mails alone, which was my point. The MSM has lied to us about how "suspicious" or "creepy" the e-mails were; there was nothing all that suggestive about them.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 2:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Based on this blog I've may a profound decision. I'm never voting for Foley again.

Huh? He's not from my district? And he's not running?

Er...then what's the point of all this ho-ha?

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 2:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

Thank you, Dafydd. I understand your point. (BTW: I was nineteen and she was twenty-seven. I was the one who behaved badly -- like the obnoxious little jerk who thought too highly of his looks, intellect and prospects that I was.)

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 6:31 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved