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]

Comments

  1. Brian says

    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.

  2. says

    …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?

  3. says

    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.

  4. Anon says

    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.

  5. tim says

    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.

  6. dc-20008 says

    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.

  7. 24play says

    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.

  8. Tad says

    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.

    OUT THEM ALL

  9. jimmyboyo says

    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!!!

  10. jimmyboyo says

    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

  11. randall says

    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

  12. Leland says

    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?

  13. Anon says

    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!

  14. says

    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 :)

  15. jimmyboyo says

    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.

  16. Zeke says

    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.

  17. jimmyboyo says

    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

  18. Zeke says

    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.

  19. Bill says

    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.

  20. Bob says

    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!

  21. jimmyboyo says

    Bill

    The only thing that makes sense to me as to why gays, blacks, and females are republicans is “stokholme syndrome”

    They have reached the point where the sympatize with and identify with their captor/oppresor

  22. jimmyboyo says

    WOW

    Hastert just gave a news conference (being reported on at huffingtonpost.com) covered by CNN and FOX

    He was at a grave yard

    There is obvious grave stones in the background……………MY GOD, do these nit wits not understand imagery, tv,pr, etc????

  23. Mark says

    Am I the only one ofended by the repeated “pedophilia” comments in this story? AM I th only one upset that gay men are being equated with child predation because Foley likes teens. 16 is legal in 34 states including D.C. but somehow this is pedophilia. The reall issue should be abuse of power, using his office as his personal dating pool. Meanwhile the ignorant conservitaves are using this is evidence that all gays are child predators, and we continue to let them.

  24. Pompeius says

    Did anyone else pick up on the hilarious and obvious contradiction in these two sentences, BOTH in the SAME post above?

    “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.”

    compare with…

    “McHenry 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.”

    LOL! Rogers is single-handedly giving the “Democratic ploy theory” a TON of credibility! Add to this the whole timing of the scandal, it’s becoming practically nonsensical to believe otherwise.

  25. GBM says

    Zeke,

    I agree with your point about outing closeted politicians/public figures that work against the gay community. Why should we keep their secret if they are working to stymie or diminish our rights? I personally wouldn’t out someone, but I think it’s understandable when it happens to anti-gay closet-cases, and I feel the fault is entirely on their shoulders.

    However, I feel like the tactics have shifted in the past couple of days. Am I wrong, or are people like Rogers claiming we should out all gay Republicans, whether they work for anti-gay legislation or not? If true, I think its the wrong way to go; the gay community should not support a blanket outing.

    Yes, The Republicans certainly come off a lot worse when it comes to gay rights or even tolerance, and their party platform is openly homophobic. Despite this, its a mistake to make gayness and outing a purely partisan issue. Republicans have many voices and not all of them are anti-gay, nor does Democrat = pro-gay. As much as the Lob Cabins Republicans bother me, their whole purpose is to work for the acceptance of gays in the Republican party, because the issue is still up for debate (or it was…FoleyGate will throw them back a decade or more).

    Yes, “out” the hypocritical closet cases that are trying to tear down the community from which they seek protection. But if activists are pushing for a blanket outing, an open sorting of all Republicans, or all politicians, no matter what they support, then they are making a mistake. I can see the Religious Right salivating as gay activists lead the way in exposing all the closet-cases in the Repub party, and then working harder then ever to oust them from the ranks by branding homosexuality as a socially palatable pedophilia, and stoking the anti-gay fires that are already getting a bit out of control. Is that what we are working for? I think some of our activists need to step back, take a breath, and see that the real enemies are not closet-cases (cowards though we say they are), but anti-gay closet-case, Democrat or Republican.

  26. Wayne says

    McHenry is a freshman idiot who won’t last if he continues to play the blame game on air. He’s been on dozens of shows since the story broke, always blaming the Dem’s for leaking this information and never admitting that, regardless of who leaked it, the story matters and Foley’s behavior is inexcusable! After watching McHenry on so many of these shows I’m becoming convinced that HE is the one who leaked the information and now he’s determined to point the blame elsewhere. What a moron, and what a poor representative for the state of NC.

  27. Zeke says

    GBM,

    I’m not really sure what Roger’s intent or strategy might be. His website, blogactive.com may be the best source for getting more information on him and his agenda.

    For the record, I am unaware of any of the small handful of gay positive Republicans being rumored to be gay. So I’m not sure if the question about outing non anti-gay Republicans is relevant at this point. Even if there are some I guess there is some argument that they support an anti-gay party and its platform even if they themselves aren’t anti-gay. I’m still on the fence with this argument.

    Additionally, closeted politicians, regardless of their voting records or party affiliations are still particularly vulnerable to blackmail. That is still an issue of concern for me.

  28. Leland says

    No, Mark, you aren’t the only one offended by the reckless use of the words pedophile and pedophilia….or “molest” or “underage” or “child” or “children”—all EXTREMELY dangerous words to use in the same sentence with “gay.” As I’ve written before, perspective and proportion were so quickly thrown out the window I’m beginning to think they never really existed in the first place. If Foley’s cyber sex TALK was “horrifying,” as it’s been repeatedly characterized, what was the kidnapping from her own bedroom, rape and murder of 12-yr. old Polly Klaas by a convicted sex offender? Yet, her father has been interviewed virtually equating Foley with his daughter’s killer. If Foley’s sex talk or ALLEGED and CONSENSUAL sex act [yet to be defined] with a 21 yr. old is horrifying, what is the Amish school slaughter? Or 9/11? Or AIDS? Or cancer? Or children dying of hunger? Or the Holocaust?

    I am not surprised by any of the lies, excuses, throwing loyal gay staffers to the wolves that Hastert et al. are now demonstrating, but the ruthlessness of Democrats to walk over our collective reputations to win votes—no less cynical or self-serving than Rove in Texas and in 2000 and 2004—stuns me. Just as they recently let homophobic Black DNC credential committee members block our equality in delegate selection for obvious reasons, they immediately began fanning the flames that incinerated the possibilities of any effective discussion about the reality of child sexual abuse versus the reality of simply being gay. That was certainly not the intent of people like California Senator Nancy Pelosi who wrapped her attacks on the GOP in the words “as a mother and grandmother,” but she should know, and have acted, better. Again, gay men collectively are the long term losers of this witchhunt while the GOP, however momentarily hurt, will simply eventually return on a platform of being even more anti all gays than they were before.

  29. Zeke says

    Mark, as Leland said, you are not the only one who has noticed and/or commented on the intentional and unintentional confusing of the differences between “gay” and “predator”, or more accurately, “sexual harasser” or the differences between “pedophile” and “pederast”.

    These topics have been discussed extensively on the other “Foley” story comment boards here at Towleroad. Check out the archives for the actual comments.

  30. Pompeius says

    Like I said, just call Foley and those like him unnaturally attracted to teens 17 and under “predators” or “perverts” and you cannot go wrong.

    Although, “pedophile” is perfectly acceptable too in this instance IMO, in its generally accepted meaning (as opposed to certain hypertechnical psychological definitions).

  31. Anon says

    Leland: I too have been worried about the Dems going overboard on this one as you say. The language flying around on TV is “horrifying”.

    As far as I can tell, the general trend has been to say that gay Republican staffers and congressment are disfunctional when it comes to gay sex scandals on the Hill and there has to be some sort of “resolution”, as otherwise, they will cover up these scandals to protect each other, nevermind the election.

    The other POV, a la Chris Matthews is that the GOP is hoodwinking the Christian Right by being privately tolerant towards gays and publicly not. However, Howard Fineman thinks that the GOP is hoodwinking the CR on all moral issues and have succumbed to the corruptions of power. One senses that Matthews dislikes gays and Fineman does not, and they’ve been going on and on about this for days. It’s hard to follow all the statements made by Dems over the past week.

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