Disgraced Congressman refuses to take the blame


We live in a time and society in which we blame as many people as we can for problems, without claiming some responsibility of our own. This is no more clear than when demonstrated by those in the public eye, and Rep. Mark Foley is no different.

By now, most of you have heard about the Florida Republican’s scandal involving salacious instant messages and e-mails to male, teenage Congressional pages. The 52-year-old resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives last week after news of his conduct was reported by ABC.

There was outrage, from Democrats and Republicans and conservatives and liberals alike over such messages, and President Bush said he was disgusted with Foley’s actions. But rather than saying he is wrong and will deal with his problems, Foley announced early Tuesday that he was seeking help for alcoholism.

What? Did you think he was going to take sole responsibility for his actions? Pssh, don’t make him laugh.

But after Foley made this announcement, some of his acquaintances expressed doubts about his “alcoholism.”

According The Associated Press on Yahoo.com, some of those who know Foley said they rarely ever saw him drink and were skeptical about his statement. Just like Mel Gibson, he blames the booze for his situation. Gibson said he made anti-Semitic comments because of his alcoholism, just like why Foley made his mistakes.

But unlike Gibson, Foley’s excuse soon was all but disproved. Well, who to blame next?

Foley’s lawyer announced this week that the Congressman had been molested by a clergyman when he was a teenager, according to the Miami Herald.

Are you serious, Mark? I understand you want to place blame in as many places as possible, but to blame a clergyman? He can’t find anyone else to blame, so he’ll try to make the church look bad. It’s like throwing dirt on someone with a black eye.

Even better than blaming the clergy, Foley announced Wednesday that he is gay, according to The Associated Press.

Wow. What was going through his head when he made that statement? “I’m gay. That’s why I want to exploit children and molest boys. Because I’m gay.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Alcohol, the church and homosexuality. Did Foley miss anyone? Did anyone not get blamed? I guess he could have tried to blame some ethnic minority for his problems, but other than that, he successfully made it look like he is in this situation because of others’ actions.

Hopefully some leaders in Washington – if there are any left – will be different than Foley and do more than point fingers. If they do their jobs, maybe Foley will get the help and punishment he needs and deserves. I won’t keep my fingers crossed though.

Tim Mahoney for Congress.

Owen Kennedy is a junior in print journalism. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.