- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2006

The political news from Washington has become an absolute epicurean delight. If I dine more sumptuously on the Foley Follies I shall be in danger of becoming crapulent. Of course, we need not dwell on the Hon. Mark Foley. Days ago this pathetico became only a peripheral figure in this delightful story.

Revolve this in your mind. The Democratic Party, that is to say the party of homosexual rights and homosexual marriage, is hounding the Republican Party, the party of family values, for extending due process to one of its own, Mr. Foley, a homosexual Republican congressman, once a Democrat and founder of south central Florida’s Lettuce Patch Restaurant. Parents, even vegetarian parents, will want to steer their young as far away as possible from that cutely named restaurant.

Precisely what were the Republicans to do about the Hon. Foley? On this, the Democrats are unclear once their indignant oaths fall silent. Apparently the dull House Speaker Dennis Hastert was supposed to have been monitoring his colleagues on the Hill and leap to action at the first sign one was sending dirty messages to pages — though it is only slowly becoming known even by us readers of the vigilant American press who those pages are, how old they were and whether they were baiting Mr. Foley for sport.

The Democrats have several other problems. They are the party that let the Hon. Gerry Studds remain in Congress for more than a decade after he seduced a male page with booze. About the time he was caught, a Republican congressman from the Midwest was accused of seducing a female page. The Republican was not renominated. Then there is the Hon. Barney Frank, a beacon of virtue and intelligence in the House to this day. It was discovered some years back that a homosexual friend of his ran a house of ill-repute out of Mr. Frank’s Washington apartment. What did the Democrats do about these indiscretions?

Or for that matter, what will they do about the discoveries of Jeffrey Lord? Writing in Spectator.org, Mr. Lord reports on California’s Rep. Nancy Pelosi marching in a 2001 gay pride parade in San Francisco. Today Mrs. Pelosi sounds like this: “Republican leaders admitted to knowing about Mr. Foley’s abhorrent behavior for six months to a year and failed to protect children in their trust.” However, according to Mr. Lord, in that 2001 gay pride parade who was striding a mere three spots away from Mrs. Pelosi but Harry Hay, founder of “The Mattachine Society,” and a strong advocate of man/boy love.

Upon Hay’s death in 2002, the North American Man/Boy Love Association ran on its Web site several of his marmoreal declarations, one being, “Because if the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they should know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world.” Frankly I would have suggested shooting hoops is important too, but silly old me.

Now I think we can all agree that sending dirty e-mails to pages whether 16, 18 or whatever ages is reprehensible and if done at taxpayers’ expense still more reprehensible. I have not seen the dirty e-mails but I am told some are as dirty as Bill Clinton’s phone sex, which, come to think of it, is another sex scandal our Democratic friends patiently indulged.

Yet if an election on national defense in time of war, homeland security, the prosecution of terrorists, and a healthy economy is to turn on the Republican leadership’s treating Mr. Foley the way the Democratic leadership treated Mr. Studds and Mr. Frank, I think we are all being a bit frivolous.

While on the subject of the Republican leadership, may I ask why the leadership has not yet made an issue of the abovementioned instances of Democratic hypocrisy regarding sexual misbehavior? They seem pretty obvious.

Speaker Hastert has been as slow to address the Democrats’ abysmal failure to maintain standards on Capitol Hill as he was in acting on Mr. Foley. Actually, he has been as slow to address this hypocrisy as Mrs. Pelosi has been to apologize for appearing with Hay in that gay pride parade.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator, a contributing editor to the New York Sun, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of “Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.”

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