Here's Fort Lauderdale Congressman Clay Shaw's quote in the Jennifer Mooney Piedra's article in the Miami Herald today on the Mark Foley fallout:
''That was a sad day in Congress last Friday when we found out that the Mark Foley we know is not the Mark Foley he is. He's gonna pay the price.''
That sounds vindictive. One thing about this scandal that bugs me: The holier-than-thou attitude. Yes what Foley has done is despicable and he certainly deserves, at the very least, to be tossed out of politics. But if we were advised of the sordid sexual habits of everybody we "know" we'd probably all be
a little surprised, amused, and maybe even a little disgusted. And let's face it, what Foley did isn't akin to the worst kind of political corruption or, say, starting a criminal war overseas or anything like that.
Shaw is a long-time friend and neighbor of Foley's. I know he's running for office so he feels he has to eviscerate his old friend, but I still think it borders on the inhuman. He's judging the man there -- defining who Foley is. He's saying that years of knowing him as a friend have all been erased by the fact that Foley has terrible secret weaknesses. Somebody needs to tell him that's not the Christian thing to do to a friend. Then he infers with the vague "pay the price" chestnut that Foley will burn in hell. I'm sensing a new Republican slogan:
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"We're your friend ... until you get in trouble!"
I'm not saying that Shaw should excuse Foley; I'm saying his tone is vicious and uncalled for. I mean, what about the people who covered up for Foley, aka House leaders like Denny Hastert? What does Shaw say about them?
''Everyone is kind of getting a rush to judgment," he tells Piedra. "Let's find out all the facts.''
Oh, I forgot, they're still in power.