While I don’t wish to appear unsympathetic to the plight of former representative Mark Foley, who I hope receives all the counseling and care he needs, I can’t help but notice that Foley’s now-daily disclosures of terrible personal secrets, genuine as they may be, also look very much like the performance of a politician dramatically and publicly falling on his sword in order to provide his former (and now somewhat panicked) colleagues the evidence they need to suggest that he was so darn screwed up that people should focus on that, rather than, say, the moral poverty of a Congressional leadership that allowed a man IMing sexually-charged messages to teen pages to remain the co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.
As effective as these personal disclosures of Foley have been in drawing attention to his own screwed-uppedness, however, the media still seems to show an annoying tendency to ask the house leadership about its role in the mess. This is not optimal, particularly with the election so close at hand. Clearly, what needs to happen is a continual stream of poignant revelations from former representative Foley, on the pace of one a day or so, in order to keep the focus on him, not on Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds or any other prominent House Republican that one may care to name.
And as it just so happens, one of my sources on Capitol Hill has slipped me the following information: The next ten heart-rending personal disclosures from Mark Foley. This list of tragedies will keep the media busy through at least next week, which is more than enough time to
concoct some mass hysteria-causing fake crisis that can be fed to the public via Fox News allow congressional leaders to effectively address the public’s concerns.
Mark Foley’s Next Ten Heart-Rending Personal Disclosures
1. Functionally illiterate, which explains his IM grammar
2. Is a “transmelinaed” — a badger trapped in a human’s body
3. Previously undisclosed kleptomania caused him to steal IM transcripts from Denny Hastert’s desk
4. Psychologically scarred at the age of eight when his cat perished in a horrible bacon-taping incident
5. Bedwetter? Bedsaturater
6. Never got over not being related to Axel Foley
7. Naturally smells of jasmine and lilacs — not a good thing in gym class
8. Not only unable to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but also deeply flummoxed by the Pyraminx
9. Pathological fear of toast
10. Shameful addiction to New Wave of British Heavy Metal; has entire discography of Judas Priest, but oddly, nothing from Girlschool
There! Now you’re ahead of the news cycle.
Get well, Mark Foley. Privately, if you please.