Pranks for nothin'!

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Following up on Dave Weigel's take on the siren-worthy Foley IMs were a prank story, it's interesting to note some early reactions from presumably sympathetic parties, which don't bode well for the possibility that the prank angle might undo some of the damage. Some of the range of responses:

Eurekariffic: I should have seen this coming, but I am too childish foolish for this world.

Expected: Nothing to see here. Move along now. Move along….

On target: At last, we have proof that it's the Democrats' fault.

No cigar: It's damage control.

They tell me you've gone totally insane: And it might not hurt to remember that one man is a true victim and has been hugely damaged, Rep. Mark Foley. I know he's suffering. He has honor and shame.

(That last one's an actual quote, by the way.)

There's a detail from the transcripts, however, that I haven't seen anybody deal with. If it's all just a prank, what explains the stolen hours of lust in San Diego? That was Foley who mentioned some meaningful encounter in America's Finest City, not Edmund. I don't know what went on between the two in San Diego, and you know, let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment, but whatever it was, it seems like a lot of trouble to go to just for a prank.

I am happy, however, to see some recognition that the lovable kid with the cast fetish may have been a more active agent in this than originally advertised.

NEXT: Siren Song

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  1. Now this is why I come to Hit and Run: non-stop posting about political parties spinning!

    Note: no disrespect to you, Tim, but this is the most recent post and seemed the most approriate place to gripe.

  2. Besides the San Diego bit, there’s also the discussion of missing each other. Foley clearly had expectations of resuming something when the kid came back to Washington.

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended): a socially conservative kid, from a socially conservative area, who is interested enough in politics to become a Congressional page, is identified by name in the press as having been involved in gay cybersex, and several hours later, comes out with a story about the whole thing being a joke, a big misunderstanding. Wasn’t that funny; I really had you guys going. Uh huh. And you were just washing your hands vigorously in the restroom where the campus police keep catching men having sex with each other.

    You know who believes a story like that? Someone who really wants stories like that to be believable.

  3. De Nile is a river in Egypt, but they should move it to D.C.

  4. De Nile is a river in Egypt, but they should move it to D.C.

    Never liked the name “Potomac” anyway.

  5. Yeah, what is a Potomac, anyway? The precursor to the Macintosh? Is this yet another example of Apple’s nonstop product placement? Jeez.

  6. I just wish one of our distinguised leges would say what they are really thinking:

    “Damn Foley ruined it for everybody.”

  7. You know, I hate to admit it, but I loved Foley on News Radio. And, as we all know, a certain Reason writer has it in for Foley. Conspiracy?

  8. So many of the commentors on the conservative sites are blaming the Dems. Somehow, when Matt Drudge himself writes that these particular messages were written by Foley when he got punk’d by a “conservative Republican” page, they still read into it that the Dems are lying scumbags who set up the Repubs. I am dumbfounded. Nothing can change their worldview.

  9. So many of the commentors on the conservative sites are blaming the Dems. Somehow, when Matt Drudge himself writes that these particular messages were written by Foley when he got punk’d by a “conservative Republican” page, they still read into it that the Dems are lying scumbags who set up the Repubs. I am dumbfounded. Nothing can change their worldview.

    That’s because it’s the nasty dems who don’t get the joke and are trying to use this for political purposes…..GOPers would never use a sex scandal for political gain, you see. If only those nasty dems had a sense of humor and the proper moral compass to realize that this isn’t something that should be used politically — everyone would realize what a non-story this really is.

    Fucking Democrats!

  10. Sad, but not surprising. If Foley had pistol-whipped an old lady in broad daylight, I’m sure the wingnuts would now be explaining to us how the old bat had it coming…

  11. You know what else is scary? I re-read what I wrote, then I read what you all wrote, and I can see some of these same tendencies as the “wingnuts.” The use of derogatory names (“democrap” = “wingnut”), lamenting that “those people” will never change, writing in a smarmy, superior tone what “they” must be thinking. (No offense to anyone here)
    This stupid scandal has left me a shell of a man. Woe is me!

  12. Yeah, there’s nothing more “honorable” than sexually soliciting young boys and rubbing one off while IM’ing them minutes before a House floor vote. Honorable, indeed.

    What this is truly exposing is how much utter idiocy and trash there is out there in the “blogosphere”.

    As Weigel pointed out, if the FBI puts together a sting operation and catches you “taking the bait” by having internet sex with one of their agents who is pretending to be a 13-year-old girl, you STILL get jail time, as you should. And even if this foley mess WAS a “prank” he should still get prison time, and the GOP should STILL crumble at the feet of this stupid scandal, among other things of course…

  13. Highnumber:

    No, democrap does not equal wingnut. The difference between the derogatory comments here and those from partisan foxholes is simply that theirs is motivated by blind partisan loyalty, while most of the comments here are motivated by rational thought.

  14. Wow! Tim, I mean really…do you think Bill killed Vince Foster too?

    Hillary is Hitler, and the Foley thing is a prank?

    I take you have all come up with something even better than L.S.D.?

    I take it that it comes in cool aid form?

    Yea, awfully glad I stopped calling myself a libertarian before you guys made Libertarian a substitute for Republican B*tch.

    Just bend you over and insert the glowstick of faith. Next will this board cover the victory celebrations over in Iraq now that we’ve won?

  15. “if the FBI puts together a sting operation and catches you “taking the bait” by having internet sex with one of their agents who is pretending to be a 13-year-old girl, you STILL get jail time, as you should. And even if this foley mess WAS a “prank” he should still get prison time,”

    Anyone interested in trying to understand the more complex psychoemotional issues that form the underpinning of this scandal should look into the works of Samuel R. Delany. He does a wonderful job at making characters with sexual tendencies that would make most people flinch into fully realized humans. In the Neveryon series, he even takes a close look at the power relationships between an adult politician and his adolescent boy lover(s).

    The issues of consent and sexuality as children approach adulthood are complex and shouldn’t be treated as simple. Children deserve legal protection from predatory adults, but a healthy respect for their ability to make choices needs to be part of the mix. It is possible for the adult to be both the victim and the criminal in these situations (not that I am saying they deserve sympathy when they behave inappropriately with children…). A teen that recognizes they are dealing with a pervert can use that knowledge to manipulate the pervert on many levels…the pervert that gets suckered deserves their fate.

  16. Johnny can’t read?

  17. had to stay away for a couple weeks. The koolaid drinkers are, actually, depressing. Then I keep hearing how the Dims planted a comhomo to take down a righteous repub.
    And I cann see some of The Usual Suspec ts (AKA Deep Thinkers) pimping it…in low tones, but pimping it.
    And how many young troops bought it this week? And WHAT is the friggin scandal? Jesus friggin christ. Speakin of whom, made an appearance to speak up for Hastert et al here…..
    http://www.teambio.org/2006/09/jesus-image-found-in-dogs-butt

  18. highnumber, normally I intensely dislike the way that partisan sites often use junior-high level taunts in place of actual argument, such as referring to “Rethuglicans.” In this case, however, a not-insignificant number of people are desperately trying to blame the deeply icky behavior of one of their own on someone who hasn’t been in office for six years, or, in the alternative, on the teenager who was said icky Congressman’s target. The only explanation for something like this is delusion, so “wingnut” is appropriate.

    Also, this is a good time for me to compliment H & R for doing such a good job of keeping a reasonable tone in the comments. I’m not a libertarian, but I so appreciate the intelligence and humor virtually all the commentors display. I like reading you even when I disagree.

  19. characters with sexual tendencies that would make most people flinch into fully realized humans

    Hey, I wanna flinch into a fully realized human being too! Tell us which tendencies, already!

  20. This whole affair is quite simply the most bizarre thing I’ve witnessed in probably my entire life.

    Politicians and pundits, divorced from any notion of a common reality, are actually trying to convince Americans that shit is ice cream.

  21. Another detail-The kid’s lawyer says the story about it being a joke that got out of hand is bullshit.

    This isn’t them spinning, it’s them trying desperately to plug holes before the hull collapses.

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