The GOP is still trying to figure out why Gerry Studds was a some kind of gay superhero for secretly having sex with underage Congressional pages, while Mark Foley seems to be the antichrist for having sex chat with them. But while Studds's actions were deplorable, and his refusal to acknowledge that was disgusting, at least he picked a useful time to shuffle off the mortal coil. Even some Democrats might be shamed into silence over Foley, when Studds's death proves a reminder of their moral bankruptcy on the whole issue.
Here's what Nancy Pelosi had to say about Foley:
"The children who work as Pages in the Congress are Members’ special trust...
The children, their parents, the public, and our colleagues must be assured that such abhorrent behavior is not tolerated and will never happen again."
So far no comment on Studds (at least that I have seen).
John Kerry remains the picture of shameless hypocrisy. With regard to the Foley scandal, he recently said:
"This issue is here because of a Republican cover-up," he said. "And those from the party that preach moral values that covered this up have no right to preach moral values any more."
Of Studds, Kerry had this to say:
Gerry was a stalwart champion of New England's fishing families as well as a committed environmentalist who worked hard to demonstrate that the cause of working people and the cause of the environment go hand in hand with the right leadership. When he retired from Congress, he did not retire from the cause, continuing to fight for the fishing industry and New England's environmental causes.
Kerry apparently thinks that Studds still had legitimacy on 'moral values' issues like supporting New England's fishing families. It'll be funny if someone corners him and forces him to explain the contradiction.
Ted Kennedy reportedly called for an investigation into who knew about Foley's behavior. But he too, seems to have been unfazed by the actions of Studds. His statement also focuses on fisheries:
"Gerry's leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we'll never forget him... His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea. . . . Gerry's work in Congress can still be seen in the towns and cities he fought for, in the constituents who became friends, and on the waters he worked tirelessly to protect."
I suppose maybe I'm being too harsh. Perhaps the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has committeed serial truncation of the Democrats' reaction quotes. Because if you look at this list, there's not a mention of behavior that Democrats seemed to think was so deplorable when we were talking about Mark Foley.
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