Thursday, October 05, 2006

Double Standards

The recent news about former congressman Foley is disturbing. I think he should have been thrown out. His behavior with pages was a violation of his public trust. All of that is very clear. But here is what confuses me. The news accounts of Mr. Foley's chat sessions with young boys seem to have been just that - chat sessions. According to the Sacramento Bee, my hometown paper, Foley seems not to have acted directly on his comments.

Many of the same people who are "outraged" at Foley's actions argued that when Clinton violated his office and actually engaged in overt behavior, that this was a private matter. The difference in tone and direction of commentary by some for the two acts - both of which involved an intern like position and where a public official violated a basic precept of office - seems odd.

The democrats who are arguing the loudest here, were the ones arguing for restraint just a couple of years ago. In both cases, an elected official misused his position. In the case of Foley, at least with the evidence to date, he seems to have not engaged in anything more than chat and emails. It is depressing and annoying that some cannot see the similarities here between the two events.

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