Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hastert should resign

athenae in full:
"For four years I reported on the priest sexual abuse scandal, a scandal that is not and never was about priests or sex. The true scandal was the abuse of power on the part of Roman Catholic bishops who used their positions to safeguard those who preyed on the faithful. The scandal was about powerful men who gave the benefit of the doubt to those who were like them, whose privilege insulated them from the concerns of their flock, who were charged with the protection of all those within their purview and protected only those they cared about protecting.

And the reason I don't believe Boehner when he says he thought Hastert was "taking care of it ..." Actually, let me reprhase that. I actually do believe Boehner thought Hastert was "taking care of it." I don't believe he really gave that much of a shit one way or the other, though, and the reason I don't believe it is that every single time, as a reporter, I confronted some molester-protecting official my questions were met with, "Well, I told somebody to take care of it."

I did everything I could, they'd say, as though if you really care that much about stamping out sex abuse you send a memo and never follow up. You make a phone call, and then you try not to think about it anymore. You tell a lawyer to make it go away. You don't ever dig deep to find out what really happened, you don't sit down and demand to know everything, all there is to know so that there's no surprises. Nah. Screw that. Just make it go away.

Hastert's clearly at fault here, but just as clear is that Boehner really didn't give that much of a damn if the Republican Congressman from Florida was making improper advances to a 16-year-old boy. If he had, if he'd been true to those family values his party likes to talk so much about, he'd have made damn sure "it" was "taken care of." By the police.

He'd have called every day. He'd have followed up. He damn sure would be able to remember even speaking to Hastert, and when he spoke to him, and what he said. What, do so many Republican congressmen send dirty IMs to boys that it's hard to keep track? Come on. I admit I just heard about this yesterday but I gotta tell you, it's gonna be a while before I forget it. I know Boehner's a busy guy, but you can't tell me that if this really mattered it would have been tough to clear his schedule.

"It is appalling and reprehensible that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America knew what was occuring and did not take immediate action against Foley to safeguard the pages under the House's care. No one and I mean no one should protect an adult who has made sexual advances toward a minor. My God with everything that we know now regarding sexual abuse this should never have occured. This is not something to be swept under the rug! Those days are long gone. But to see that very behavior by the leadership of a House of Congress is an afront to all that we value. It is hypocricy of the highest order that the leadership of the party of "family values" has conducted themselves in this way. Anyone, and it appears to have been far too many, who had knowledge of this and did not act should face consequences.

Dealing with sexual abuse is ugly but we do it because it is the Right thing to do and because We Are The Adults. As adults it is our moral responsibility to protect our children. The House leadership grossly failed in that responsibility. And for what? To avoid scandal? To hold a seat in Congress? The health and well being of even one child should not have been jeopardized for politics.

This is what we get from leaders of the party of family values? This is the Adults in charge again? This is leadership? Their actions lay bare the hollowness of their character, conviction and fitness to lead.

Hastert should resign."

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