Dennis Hastert | Mark Foley | News | Republican Party

Foley Scandal Continues to Stir Gay Republican Pot

Hastert_3According to a new Gallup poll, just over one-third of voters (34%) say the Foley scandal has made them less likely to vote Republican in the upcoming elections.

Said Gallup: "It's also possible that the Republican handling of the Foley situation has become a tipping point of sorts -- not terrible in and of itself -- but rather another indicator for some voters of a desire to shift the incumbent leadership of their Congress."

At the head of the Republicans handling (or mishandling) the Foley situation is Dennis Hastert, who thus far has decided to remain in his position as Speaker of the House, even though half of Americans (52% according to a CNN poll, 46% in a CBS-New York Times poll) think he should resign.

UPDATE: Today, Hastert gave a news conference (in front of a graveyard, no less!) in which he tried to shift blame to members of his staff.

Just how long can Hastert last and will his presence continue to erode support for Republicans, particularly when bloggers are fishing around for other evidence of anti-gay hypocrisy on Capitol Hill? Mike Rogers of BlogActive told Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor that he would announce the names of more closeted gay Republican members of Congress before Election Day. Rogers declines to give any hints who those lawmakers could be.

While certain names have been bandied about for years, the Foley scandal has put the spotlight on other members of Congress rumored to be gay, like Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who has been appearing on talking heads news shows in a bid to save House Speaker Hastert. His appearance on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show prompted one liberal blog to ask, "But what could be more "sick" than a closeted gay Republican who rails about the "sanctity of marriage" while defending those who cover up the crimes of a child predator?"

MchenryMcHenry continued to float the theory that the Foley scandal was a Democratic ploy to win the November elections, a theory that has been widely discredited. However, he was put into a corner by Wolf Blitzer, who asked McHenry five separate times to provide evidence of the Democratic plot. McHenry could only provide silence.

AmericaBlog's John Aravosis has been whispering about the presence of another top-level closeted Republican whose outing would prove explosive.

Wayne Madsen, a liberal blogger most likely to float the most out there theories, questions the living arrangement between Dennis Hastert and his staff:

"There is also much focus on the relationship between House Speaker Dennis Hastert and his chief of staff, 56-year old Scott Palmer. Hastert and Palmer, Hastert's longtime unmarried adviser, live together in a DC townhouse along with Hastert's Deputy Chief of Staff, Mike Stokke, while Hastert's wife Jean lives in Yorkville, Illinois and stays at a hotel when she visits Washington."

Could Dennis Hastert be gay? That's what many of the more prominent liberal blogs are beginning to ask.

Meanwhile, as lawmakers survey pages and the FBI interviews ex-page and now identified Foley accuser Jordan Edmund, the FBI is saying that Foley's email exchange didn't rise to the level of a crime and that their investigation was hampered "because the group that provided it the email on July 21 wouldn't name the page and edited the messages."

Melanie Sloan, the President of CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says the FBI is lying. (Clip via AmericaBlog)

You may have missed...
Mark Foley: The Early Years [tr]
Former Page Jim Kolbe Knew of Mark Foley's Emails in 2000 [tr]
Pat Buchanan on that "Flamer" Foley [tr]
Barney Frank: "Gay GOP Like Secret Jews" [tr]
Hastert Asked "To Intervene" on Foley Three Years Ago [tr]
Mark Foley's Indiscretions Began in '95, as did Cover-Up [tr]
Foley is Gay, Says Attorney; Was Molested by Clergyman as Teenager [tr]
The Talk: Foley, Jon Stewart, Hastert, Bay Buchanan [tr]
Mark Foley Scandal Updates [tr]
Investigations Begin into Cover-up Surrounding Mark Foley: Republican Leaders Knew of Misdeeds for Five Years, Did Nothing [tr]
Political Page Turner: Rep. Mark Foley Resigns Seat Over Inappropriate Emails [tr]
Male Page and Rep Mark Foley in Troubling Email Exchange [tr]

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  1. Andy- Excellent article and overview of the story thus far. The Republican witch hunt could have interesting results. Could we be seeing the end of closeted politicians?

    Posted by: Ladd | Oct 10, 2006 10:16:20 AM

  2. Gosh this is sounding more and more McCarthyish every day.

    This little witch-hunt that the party is going through seems to be gaining momentum. I won't deny feeling a little schadenfreude... I mean, it's one thing if GLBT folks are Repubs because they believe in limited government, fiscal conservatism, and a strong national defense. That's the old-school Repub with whom I often disagree but whom I can still respect. But this current (hopefully transient) incarnation of what it means to be Republican... evangelically theocratic, reactionary, unwilling to admit mistakes, etc... I just can't abide it and can't respect any closeted homo politician willing to push through that agenda. (I wouldn't abide it in Dems either, so calm down Log Cabin boys).

    And Denny Hastert? Gay? Eew.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 10, 2006 10:18:16 AM

  3. ...but to the middle-American, will it be more shocking to have living breathing gays in congress or that those same gays have been outright hypocrites? To us, it's the former, but to whom will it be the latter?

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 10, 2006 10:20:09 AM

  4. The Republicans are going down!!!!! And now it's come out that he had SEX with one of the pages....Foley is so fucked it's not even funny....It's all quite sad and sick.

    Posted by: Roy | Oct 10, 2006 10:42:42 AM

  5. Wow Andy - good job this morning!

    Hastert ain't gay, just cheap. If he lived with a women his wife would get jealous. A few Congressmen live in their offices to save money.

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 10, 2006 10:43:40 AM

  6. hmmmm... a certain SC Senator maybe?

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 10, 2006 10:48:05 AM

  7. I don't like having anything to do with Mike Rogers, He is one of the people that say they are trying to level the playing field but uses the lives of other gays to play his game. Robbie over at malcontent states the case perfectly. The weaponization of sexuality is a thing we should stop using, we shouldn't be fueling the flames with gasoline.

    Posted by: tim | Oct 10, 2006 11:07:15 AM

  8. I think that hypocrisy should be outed each and every time.

    If you have the tools to affect change in people's lives, and yet the change you chose to affect is negative, then you deserve to suffer the consequences for your actions.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 10, 2006 11:17:48 AM

  9. Tim,

    Mike Rogers isn't the one "weaponizing" sexuality. Closet cases--especially those in public life--weaponize their sexuality by denying it.

    The first time a congressional staffer (or a Senator or a Rep) shows up at an event with a beard or lies about his/her romantic life is when that sexuality becomes a weapon.

    And when some of these staffers or members of Congress use their authority to enshrine discrimination against their gay peers, they had better damn well expect that someone's going to reach for the weapon they've created and use it against them.

    Reject the closet and your sexuality cannot be used against you.

    Posted by: 24play | Oct 10, 2006 11:22:28 AM

  10. If I were Hastert's wife, I think I would PAY him to live with someone else, ANYONE else, male OR female.

    The man is disgusting.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 10, 2006 11:28:58 AM

  11. As a gay man, I have no problem with focusing attention on closeted politicians, who are public figures to begin with, especially those who vote for homophobic, discriminatory legislation. The minute you cast that vote, you are fair game.


    Posted by: Tad | Oct 10, 2006 11:31:07 AM

  12. DC-2008

    I totaly agree with you

    I have no respect what so ever for closet cases, but am willing to abide them as long as they aren't out denegrating us/ fighting against us....legislating/preaching against gay interests.

    The closeted politicans and preachers who schlepp this anti-gay agenda need to be outed. LOUD and OFTEN!!!

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 10, 2006 11:32:15 AM

  13. zeke

    yes he is disgusting

    He looks like his heart is going to explode any second now. Every time I look at him I keep thinking "Jaba the Hut" slimy, nasty, and a crook

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 10, 2006 11:36:13 AM

  14. what really boils my ballls are certain liberal blogespherians using the Foley confab as an invitation to gay-bash... this fucker's a pedophile - yep, gay, it sure sounds like - closeted (until now), which is a second, though lessor offence (and his own fucked up problem to deal with) - but the sex-play w/ kids stuff just aint right - as has been stated again and again, if this guy were a gym teacher or Big Brother, he'd be in jail NOW - Foley's gotta go down for hitting on kids.. whaddya bet so long as they scratching around, someone's gonna surface that had pre-adult sex w/ this guy?

    oh, and another candidate for Repug closet case?

    condi rice - condi rice - condi rice

    Posted by: randall | Oct 10, 2006 11:36:46 AM

  15. Perfectly said, 24PLAY. But I am so sick of hearing Repugs replay that worn out tape loop about it all being about "limited government, fiscal conservatism, and a strong national defense" as if Democrats are consciously AGAINST those things. [I understand Brian that you weren't endorsing that, per se.] By limited government they mean government that does not limit THEM or provide for others alone which relates to "fiscal conservatism" which means "only spend money on the things WE care about" which relates to "strong national defense" which means spend billions on the military-industry which they or our friends have stock in, even if it means on more weapons than we could ever possibly use [unless the President conveniently make up a reason to go to war to use up what's been gathering dust for years...except, I guess, there's not an acceptable profit margin on body armor] and magnifying the deficit beyond comprehension ["ignore what we said about fiscal conservatism"], and denying money for health care and school lunch programs and medical research, etc., etc. After all, didn't their greatest hero, Ronald Reagan, prove that, for school lunch purposes, ketchup is a vegetable?

    Posted by: Leland | Oct 10, 2006 11:41:11 AM

  16. The FBI and CIA wouldn't hire gay men because they could be "blackmailed" regarding their hidden sexuality. I guess congressmen feel the same way, though it doesn't stop them from running for office. The closeted gay men in office are presumptively being blackmailed by others in DC. No wonder they drink too much!

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 10, 2006 11:41:31 AM

  17. Did we really need to go there? Hastert gay? Thanks, now I have to go and stare at old Jamie Bamber pics to clean out my brain.

    Seriously, though - I think the bigger issue that is causing the ground to shift is not the predatory behavior (and not about being a closeted gay guy). It's about the leadership response to something that should have been handled seriously, diligently, and non-politically.

    And after that it's the failure of this crew to admit their mistakes - which is a constant problem with the current leadership. If they would have quickly stopped trying to blame everyone else, and just make a unified statement at least agreeing the whole thing was handled badly, they might not have gone into freefall like this.

    Not that I'm complaining :)

    Posted by: atari_age | Oct 10, 2006 11:44:04 AM

  18. Make that "...on the military-industry which they or THEIR friends have stock in..."

    Posted by: Leland | Oct 10, 2006 11:44:46 AM

  19. Atari

    ^5 on Jamie bamber.

    Did you see the season premiere of BSG? Jamie Bamber's character is now fat. They did the whole facial prosthetic and makeup thing as well as a fat suit and a body double.

    YIKES.....clips of later in the season episodes make it appear as if his character begins to loose the weight over time.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 10, 2006 11:49:09 AM

  20. When gay people stop using their political power to "weaponize" against the ENTIRE gay populace through anti-gay legislation, THEN and only then will I concern myself with Roger's work.

    I used to be completely against outing, for any reason. I have come to accept and support the outing of people who use their political, celebrity, organizational or religious power to oppress, demonize and/or legislate against their own kind as absolutely reasonable and acceptable.

    The more I've listened to the arguments on both sides of this issue, the more I've come to view the anti-outers as the ones whose arguments seem strained and unreasonable.

    Log Cabin has repeated, over and over, that they don't know of a single case where outing changed a politician from anti-gay to pro-gay. They are full of sh*t and they know it. One (at least one) of their "Gay Republican Heroes" is a PERFECT example of this. Rep. Kolbe had a perfect anti-gay record prior to being outed and an almost perfect record of support for gay positive legislation post outing.

    Jim McGreevy's position on marriage equality is another example.

    And the list goes on and on....

    The other thing that I think we have to acknowledge is the danger of closeted politicians to national security. We can’t be so politically correct that we blind ourselves to the vulnerability of closeted gay politicians to blackmail. This is the reason that known gay people were denied security clearances back in the day. They didn’t, and some people today still don’t, realize that it’s not being GAY that makes one vulnerable to blackmail; it’s the CLOSET that makes one vulnerable. I have what I think is a very reasonable concern about closeted people being in very high positions of authority within our government. That is not a homophobic concern; it is a closet reality concern.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 10, 2006 11:50:48 AM

  21. zeke

    well said

    I did not know Kolbe once was an anti-gay politician when colseted. That is one fact to definetly throw at the Log cabin/ never-out a person screachers

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 10, 2006 11:55:32 AM

  22. Thanks Jimmyboyo,

    Check out the pre-outing vs. post-outing HRC grades of Kolbe and other politicians on issues of gay concern at:

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 10, 2006 12:00:08 PM

  23. And for those who would argue that this only proves that these politicians were forced to vote in a gay positive way, I say bullsh*t.

    What being outed really did was allow these politicians to vote their CONSCIENCE instead of simply towing the party line or the politically expedient and popular line.

    Once again, McGreevy comes to mind as an example. This is by no means an exclusively Republican issue.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 10, 2006 12:08:06 PM

  24. I remain mystified how any gay, black or female could be a Republican. There is little in this authoritarian-minded party that seems cogent to these three groups. Other than identifying with your oppressor, I do not understand how they may think.

    As for outing closeted gay Repubicans, it ought to be a gameshow. I don't believe these closeted ones are working within the party to make things better as those Log Cabin Repubs are prone to say. If you are closeted, then you are not telling your story the way it needs to be told. Out every one of the bastards.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 10, 2006 12:33:19 PM

  25. Being Gay has nothing to do with this issue. That is simply the Reps trying to shift guilt. Foley could just as easily been preying upon young girls. 'Legal age' of 16 or not Foley was still committing Sexual Harassment which is against the law.

    Sexual harasment (any type of sexual conduct, verbal or pyshical) can have a huge impact on the victim, young or old, but esp. for young people (male AND female.) It is pretty common for victims to not know if, where and to whom they should report it to. Their jobs WILL be affected in one way or another (and it's pretty common for the affect to be negative, sad to say but true.)

    For Kolbe to send that complaint about Foley to Foley's offices to be handled (no matter how explicit the complaint was) is sheer stupidity. Another case of the police policing the police--always a bad idea. Our government has reached the high level of corruptness it has by policing itself.

    It's way past time for real change. The two party system should be left behind and we should vote based solely on individual character. The whole campaign stradegy should be restructured to reflect a persons honesty , abilities and intergrity, instead of their pocketbook. And EVERY vote should be counted, none of this stupid archaic 'electoral vote' BS.

    Wake up America, WAKE UP. It's almost too late now!

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 10, 2006 12:43:57 PM

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