By God, Mark Foley really WAS molested as boy. Read about it here. Just weeks before the U.S. mid-term elections, a Catholic priest admitted that he took certain liberties with a young Mark Foley. The Catholic Church has appoloigized to Foley.
And so begins the redemption of Mark Foley, or more accurately, the Republican Party. No doubt that House leadership was aware of Foley's personal demons, and a loving, caring Hastert wanted to give Foley every opportunity to fight off the terrible demons of his childhood. How sad they were when he let them down.
The lesson we can gather from this announcement today is that a) if you were molested as a child, it provides you license to molest others in your old age, and b) if you were molested as a child, you can't be held responsible for your actions because society has let you down.
Make no mistake of my intentions. I am not making light of pedophiles or children that have been victimized. On the contrary, as the father of three children I strongly believe pedophiles should receive the most extreme (and painful) punishments that the Spanish inquisition can devise.
But we can't turn our back on the children (i/e the Capitol Hill pages) who were victimized by Foley, simply because he is a victim himself. While there certainly may be a cause-and-effect cycle of violence that is perpetuated by being victimized, pedophiles like Mark Foley must be held accountable.
The fact that Mark Foley was sadly a victim of molestation himself is regrettable and repugnant, but the fact in no way redeems Mark Foley, nor the Republican Party for covering up his disgusting behavior.