Oct 16 2006
It is clear from reporting that Foley Chief of Staff Kirk Fordham and House Clerk Jeff Trandahl were covering for Foley’s bizarre behavior. We know they had opportunity and did keep a lid on Foley’s problems. But why would they do it? The answer is in the news today which is a combination of far right outrage at a gay person being involved with children and the tarring the gay community is getting because a gay person was involved with children (the theory and the example – but there is no way to create a broad conclusion other than a sexual predator of children can be gay or straight). These are the comments Fordham and Trandahl probably tried to avoid when the hid Foley’s problems from House Leadership and the media:
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, described the response to the Foley scandal as “shockingly homophobic.” He objected to what he characterized as anti-gay remarks about the scandal by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan and the Family Research Councilâ€™s Tony Perkins.
“The GOP leadership and their supporters are trying to deflect blame by making gay people scapegoats,” Foreman said.
Tony Smith, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Miami, said the tactic of pointing blame at gays “is not working” and is not likely to have a lasting effect on public attitudes.
“The pivot point for the story is the Republican leadership allegedly protecting a predator,” Smith said. “I think thatâ€™s overwhelming the sexual orientation aspect of it. I donâ€™t see any indication that thereâ€™s going to be an anti-gay backlash. Republicans have tried to make it that, but I donâ€™t think itâ€™s working.”
Foreman said he is most concerned about anti-gay activists claiming that gays are disproportionately involved in pedophilia, which he referred to as a false statement “that leads to violence and discrimination.”
Of course there is an anti-gay backlash! A gay man has been found hunting the halls of the Page program looking for partners once they get out of HS and are legal prey. This is the worse stereotype possible for gays. But this was not brought on by the House Leadership! The GOP is known for standing side-by-side with the Boy Scouts and their restrictions on openly gay Scout Masters. (Truth is, no adult should be disclosing any sexual context to a minor – gay or otherwise). It is the liberal ACLU standing with NAMBLA and their goal of making what Foley was doing LEGAL. That is why putting this scandal at the feet of the GOP is a joke and just not working.
What is absolutely clear here is conservative/republican gays were afraid Foley’s actions would create the kind of gay backlash the Foley news did create. And this is why they spent in one case a decade hiding the facts, before ‘breaking’ with Foley – supposedly to force him to stop. The Foley scandal is about a community of gays under fire from right and left who made terrible decisions to keep either side from skewering them. It is a story of revenge as possibly one of these two men, Kirk Fordham, may have leaked the LA Page emails to democrat operatives who shopped them around news organizations, used them to crack open donors wallets, fed them to Foley’s challenger who had them in the Spring, and used them to coordinate an October surprise. This scandal is about bad decisions to coverup the acts of one demented person, revenge and political dirty tricks by an idea-bankrupt party. Interestingly, it doesn’t involve the GOP one bit, except that the demented person and his blocking guards were from the GOP side of the Hill.