The ethics committee has spoken: It was craven political discretion that kept Congressional leadership from pursuing former Congressman Mark Foley's indiscretions with pages.
The committee's report said "Republican lawmakers and aides left male pages vulnerable to Rep. Mark Foley's improper sexual advances even though the first concerns surfaced more than a decade ago," the Associate Press tells us.
No Congressman was sanctioned in any way, but the committee found "a pattern of conduct on the part of many individuals 'to remain willfully ignorant of the potential consequences' of Foley's conduct."
Interesting passage from the report:
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"Some may have been concerned that raising the issue too aggressively might have risked exposing Rep. Foley's homosexuality.... There is some evidence that political considerations played
a role in decisions that were made by persons in both parties."
Talk about tiptoeing around a time bomb.
You know, I don't want to hear more about Foley. Ultimately, this is a sad and horrible story and, as big of news as it was, the national media still managed to overplay it. But this report points to something very important: Congressional failure to foil Foley sooner is just a symptom of a big disease spreading on Capitol Hill, a disease marked by letting political considerations completely trump the right thing to do. Take the Democratic response to the Iraq resolution back in 2003. Political calculus scared a lot of them -- including certain big-name senators with presidential ambitions -- to oppose the obvious disaster. Now look.