Mark Foley (R, Florida), a former chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, used the Internet to solicit sex from teenaged male Congressional pages.
In an irony no novelist would dare try, he recently sponsored the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act of 2006, with increased penalties for adults who use the Internet to discuss or solicit sexual acts with "minors" (defined as an "individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.")
Freud is vindicated! I firmly believe there are few instances in the history of humankind that screams "Projection Defense Mechanism" as much as this one does.
Projection. Attributing to others one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts and/or emotions.
And wait! There's more! The Instant Messaging in question was released to the public! Thus dynamiting, with extreme prejudice, any possible hope of spinning this as friendly interest or "my mentoring attempts were misconstrued."
It's clear that Foley understands he was wrong, and, now caught, he is remorseful. (Probably about being caught.)
But the Republican Congressional Leadership is where the deliberate cluelessness lies. At a minimum, they knew about the three emails that were brought to their attention last year. And did, basically, nothing.
And all the spin in the world can't conceal the facts.
Either they are so negligent that they didn't care Foley was preying on pages, and thus should not be trusted with the running of the goverment,
they are so stupid that they didn't know Foley was preying on pages, and thus should not be trusted with the running of the goverment.
I can't think of a third alternative.