The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley’s GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some “contact” between Foley and a 16-year-old page.Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him “we’re taking care of it.”
It was not immediately clear what actions Hastert took. His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged e-mails between Foley and the boy.
As a former social worker I had worked with victims of sexual abuse, the effects of which were often far reaching, long lasting and devastating. I was also required by law to report suspected incidents of physical or sexual abuse as are many other professionals who work with children in order to safeguard them from any further abuse.
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.
UPDATE:You can make what you want of this but I’m not buying it. Boehner has recanted. He went from specifically remembering Hastert saying “we’re taking care of it” to he can’t remember if he ever talked to Hastert about it. Here is the how the end of the paragraph from the Washington Post (that appears at the top of this post) looks today. The last sentence has changed…
House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate “contact” between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.
I’m curious of your opinions. Do you believe Boner?