The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, world-o-crap.com (2006 to 2010).

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's Our Hindrocket!

Leave it to Hindrocket to come up with the perfect defense for Dennis Hastert: PredatorGate is all the gays’ fault, since one expects homosexuals to do creepy stuff with the pages, and so one can’t blame Hastert for failing to take any action to protect the underage boys employed by the House from Foley.
These emails were described to Hastert, apparently, as “over friendly,” but he was also told that the family of the page in question “didn’t want the matter pursued.” I’ve never been Speaker of the House, but I can imagine that such a conversation would not be among the most significant Hastert has had in the last year, and would not necessarily make a deep impression. Foley was, I take it, generally assumed to be gay.
Yeah, it was probably just another “been there, done that” moment for Hastert when he was told that a member of the House was hitting on the pages.  Because, you know, he believed that Foley was gay, and you know what they’re like.
Our younger readers may not be aware that House pages have figured in several scandals over the years. Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) had an affair with a teenage male page that, I believe, included sex within the precincts of the Capitol Building. Studds refused to admit that he had done anything wrong, and turned his back on the House when it censured him for this misconduct in 1983. The voters in Studds’s district didn’t seem to mind; they continued to re-elect him until he retired in 1996. He is remembered mainly as a pioneering crusader for gay rights.

Then there is Barney Frank, who was reprimanded by the House for using his Congressional office to intervene on behalf of his boyfriend, a homosexual prostitute, to dispose of at least 33 parking tickets. The boyfriend also ran a prostitution ring out of Frank’s house. Today, Frank is one of the most powerful members of the Democrats’ House caucus.
Translation: “If you are young or stupid or something, I can probably convince you that the Democrats are way more perverted than the Republicans!  And while my stated thesis was that pages have figured in lots of (Democratic) House scandals, you’ll notice that I only mentioned one such scandal, and that the Barney Frank story didn’t involve any pages at all.  But hey, Frank was gay and Foley is probably gay, so now we’re even.”
So I’m not particularly surprised that Foley wrote some “over-friendly”–I’m sure I would find them creepy–emails to one or more underage pages.
Yes, Hindrocket isn’t particularly surprised that Foley wrote ”over-friendly” or even pornographic emails to the underage pages, because, after all, Foley was gay and in Congress.  So, in conclusion, Remember the Clenis!  And anyway, nobody would even care about about protecting kids from Republican pedophiles if there wasn’t an election next month.


25 Responses to “That’s Our Hindrocket!”

Every time a rightie brings up Gerry Studds and fails to mention Dan Crane – a Republican censured at the same time for a more recent offense (!But With A Gurl!) – the baby Jesus dies a little inside.
Or maybe that’s me. I can never remember.
Well, he’s got a point. I mean, all those congressguys are gay. You watch CSPAN, and it’s nothing but pricks and assholes all day long. In fact, now that I think about it, Powerline…
Actually, I’m pretty sure Buttmissle just endorsed an all-female Congress. And should Mr Homoerotic Nickname 2004 really be commenting anywhere near this smugly on this?
Dude. The people you want making the laws just got caught covering up for a kid-toucher. This is not the sort of thing that goes away because, you know, the Catholic Church or some random frat or any given small town does likewise. It’s bad. It will be bad every time it happens. If you’re going to comment on it, don’t make excuses for the people involved, or understand when we assume you don’t actually consider kid-touching to be all that big a deal.
And, uh, Barney Franks? Don’t fucking make me go off on the “consent” rant again. Because everybody else already knows it by heart and it just serves to spike my blood pressure.
Assrocket: Objectively pro-kid-touching and anti-law, and inherently unable to determine consent.
I’m amazed anyone’s willing to fuck him.
D’oh. I dunno where the S came from there. Fer cryin’ out loud, I even have the man’s book. Can I pretend the new font is throwing off my copyreading skills?
A couple more interesting pieces of the Gerry Stubbs story: First, the actual incident happened in 1973, not 1983. It just wasn’t found out until 1983, when by purest coincidence, the Republicans needed a distraction from Dan Crane’s lust for a teenage page.
Second, the former page made an appearance with Stubbs when the news of their affair became public, stating unequivocally that their relationship was consensual and nobody else’s business.
It’s well past time that we’d need it, but it sure is another opportunity to see what these guys are made of, innit? The impetus to defend one’s sorry-assed indentification with a political party is irresistible even in the face of lying your way into war, theft of public funds, torturing the innocent along with the guilty, and now the worst sort of child exploitation. At this point there’s no reason to wonder if there’s some form of moral repugnance Hiney wouldn’t scruple to defend even if a Republican did it; the list is insignificant at best.
Hastert wasn’t told that Foley had several overdue library books. He was told of improper contact with a minor, and even if the sum total of his information was the term “overfriendly” that was enough for an immediate investigation on his part, not to mention the removal of the freaking Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children if there was anything at all to he story. The key to Hastert’s response is found in the phrase “the parents don’t want to press charges”. That’s all you need to know. It’s enough to disqualify him as Speaker. It ought to be enough to disqualify him from Congress. Hell, it’s enough to disqualify him from winning Blog of the Year.
I remember Dan Crane. He made a statement about how sorry he was that he’d been involved with a page, and he somehow convinced his wife to stand there by his side while he made the statement. Also, he was holding his little daughter (maybe 2 years old) while he did this. He used his family as a prop. That’s how much he loved them. He humiliated his wife twice–first by having the affair and then by having her stand there during his announcement. And he also used his little child (who had no choice in the matter of her attendance) as a prop. That’s Republican family values for you.
It still makes me mad to think about it.
Someone really ought to point out to Hindrocket that most pedophiles are married, heterosexual men who abuse little boys that they can control.
Hindrocket is the most mind numbingly stupid partisan pundit in the blogosphere. In this post, I think he takes the title away from Hugh Hewitt.
It seems like it was common knowledge that Foley had a problem with this for years. And to put such a guy on the chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, well, that’s a la Borgia. The question is how much the House Republican leadership knew about this, and if they did, why would you want them in leadership positions. Some conservatives realize this, but Hindrocket (and Glenn “I only link him” Reynolds) can’t see past their hatred of the opposition.
Ah, the Cranes, yes indeedy. Dan had already been caught paying off a bet with a page with a six-pack of Bud when the sex scandal broke. Brother Phil was an alcoholic bad enough to eventually (2004) lose the gerrymandered seat he’d held for 17 terms in a Presidential election year, something only slightly more likely than Peggy Noonan replacing her JP2 poster with a rendition of the Madonna made entirely of guano. Lil’ bro David was enough of a crackpot he couldn’t even win elections in Indiana, though he might have served one term.
All fruit of the loins of Dr. George Crane, MDiety, syndicated medical and cracked advice to the lovelorn columnist who dispensed 19th century medical advice tinged with Birch Society paranoia until his later years, when he concentrated more or less exclusively on the paranoia. He was so wrong, so often, and at such volume that it’s a cryin’ shame he didn’t live long enough to blog.
We must admit it: We are a kid-touching nation
So Hindrocket wants to bring up gay prostitues, does he? Do we HAVE to go through the whole Jeff “Bulldog” Gannon thing again?
Gay, prostitute, I can dig both seperately or together. No problem. Self-loathing homophobe, that’s another issue. Especially when he’s in a position to influence how other people think about, let’s say, “moral values”. And, lest we forget, that’s the media’s job–influencing how we think. It’s generally done with facts and stuff, but when the reporter is biased, it’s done with bias.
And Riley as ever has put his finger on the central point here: “The parents declined to press charges”. Does this mean something *other* than “It’s an illegal act, but he’s going to get away with it”? Can it possibly?
If you know the parents *have the choice* of pressing charges, then you know that what happened was in some way legally actionable through the criminal justice system. People who know a crime has been committed but cover it up, are not the people we want making the laws that govern us in the first place.
OK, don’t anybody get me wrong here, I’m not about to defend Congressman Foley. Still, I have slight feelings of ambiguity about this whole thing. And, before going any further, let me predict that Foley actually has boinked a Page or two, and probably some non-Page minors as well. And, yes, he’s a bad, bad self-loathing queen. Perhaps if he didn’t feel that he had to put on the façade of being straight, he might have related more honestly to men nearer his own age group. I don’t know, but I’m sure a heckuva lot more information will surface before this is all over.
So, why the ambivalence, you ask?
I’m slightly reluctant to divulge this, as some might feel it doesn’t make me look good. But, here goes. As a minor, I suffered from frequent statutory rape. Oh, wait–did I say “suffered”? Strike that. Enjoyed. You see, from 14 on, I was the sexual predator stalking adults. At the time (as well as now, for that matter), I preferred men who were no younger than their late 20s (the upper limit was a more fluid, ‘if ya still look good, then you’re good enough’). And, I knew exactly what I was doing. I was the aggressor.
Now, none of that is true in the Foley case, as far as I’m aware, though in some of the IMs, the boy seems somewhat intreagued/uncontrollably horny. It wasn’t until some time later that he expressed disgust, so who knows? Maybe Rep. Foley did tag him after all!
In any event, was what I did wrong, back in the day? Admittedly, a whole lot of adult men could have gotten into some serious legal trouble through me (fortunately, nobody did). But, how could anyone have stopped me, short of keeping me chained to a wall? And I certainly see all the places that the Foley situation differs from mine (and, I am most certainly not hitting on any twinkie 16-year-olds [though, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did have a 17-year-old boyfriend when I was 23, but he had lied to me about his age, and the relationship self-destructed pretty quickly])-Foley was in a position of power over these Pages, and could likely have brought substantial pressure to bear, so any question of a consentual relationship is somewhat moot.
No, Marq, I get you. I mean, I slept with the odd teacher in high school. I consented to sex with any number of adults as a teenager.
The difference is, I think, who initiates it, and whether anyone complained.
In this case, one of the pages was so unhappy with this that he complained to his parents, and let’s take a minute to think about what it would have taken for you to tell your parents that some guy was sending you this sort of messages, and his parents complained to the house leadership.
If some thirty year old is hitting on some other thirty year old who says to stop it, that’s still harrassment.
In any event, none of the people who slept with me when I was a teenager can really be considered paragons of virtue. Extenuating circumstances or not, they still slept with someone they must have thought was sexually less experienced, less capable of making good decisions, less responsible, and as you point out, at a disadvantage in terms of power balance.
There are things that people do that are more or less understandable. I’m sure we’ve all broken a law or two. But we should expect better from the people who make the laws. Plenty of people have patronized hookers, and we have a right to expect them not to turn up on Sunday mornings explaining what the Bible says to do with whores. And, lots of people, just as an example, joined the Nazi party, not always entirely willingly, but we have a right to expect that they not lecture us on world-threatening immorality.
It’s just about holding people to their own standards.
Aw, crap, what a waste of my teen years I made, stuck in my room fantasizing. Never even occurred to me I coulda made the first move (partly because the fantasy usually involved someone making the first move on ME, because I was, and still am, insecure about my looks.) Actually, when I read the homosexual men preyed on teenagers, I started walking everywhere, hoping to get picked up-it never happened, and I was oddly disappointed-I mean, what was wrong with ME? (Yes, I know how twisted that sounds NOW, and looking back I’m glad it didn’t happen.)
In any case, after seeing what Foley looks like, I can guess why the pages complained-no 16-year-old would EVER want THIS guy, unless he was their only option. A guy like that hitting on me woulda seriously creeped me out at 16. Hell, he’d creep me out TODAY if he did it.
It is a hillarious irony that what he’s doing became illegal by his own actions. Don’t try to raise the age of consent to 18 if you fancy 16 year olds, douchebag!
D., Marq,
You’re missing the point: the fact that those adults slept with you is what’s abhorrent to society because they’re supposed to be able to control those urges. That’s why they get thrown in jail and listed on sex offenders lists, not the kids, no matter how tempting those kids are (or how mature or aggressive)
See: Lolita.
actor212, I do think a distinction can be drawn between a teenager and a young child though. That doesn’t excuse an adult from becoming sexually involved with one but when the age difference between the minor and the adult in question is extremely close (as Marq’s situation when he was 23-he didn’t seek out somebody who was underage intentionally)the area does get a little grey.
My attitude tends towards being more practical-there’s two totally acceptable alternatives to statutory rape.
1. Instead of looking for 16-year-olds to bang, look for a 21-year-old who LOOKS 16. Sheesh, they can’t be that difficult to find! (Not only is Foley a creep, he’s LAZY too.)
2. If you’re really hung up on a particular one, then just wait til they’re older. It ain’t like they’re gonna suddenly get ugly when they’re 18, is it?
Well, no. My point was that sleeping with me when I was a teenager was exactly the sort of thing morally upstanding people shouldn’t have done. If only because it’s not something we want people in positions of authority to make a habit of. There are various extenuating circumstances in various cases, and ultimately for me at least, I sustained no harm from it and if anything it actually was a net positive since it put a couple of adults and their resources in my corner and made it easier for me to avoid a really bad situation at home.
But that’s not always the case, and I would go so far as to say that’s rarely the case. In general, if you are an adult, you do not fuck teenagers even if they throw themselves at you. You try to figure out what’s going on and help if you can. You, as they say, be the adult, and make the responsible decisions the teenager is not capable of making.
On a personal level, I regard these people quite fondly. But on a moral level, I think they certainly should have said no. I’m glad they didn’t, but I also hope they didn’t do this with other teenagers who may have been harmed by it, and I hope I didn’t leave them with the sense that it was something they ought to try on other teenagers.
For the most part, I tend to think teenagers should only be having sex with other teenagers, assuming they intend to have sex at all. People under twenty generally have a different notion of what they want out of a relationship than people over twenty.
Nonetheless, this really has very little to do with the Foley ugliness, since at least one of the kids did not welcome the attention, and he knew that, and he did not stop. Even if the page was the same age as him, it would still be harassment, it would still be unethical, it would still be actionable.
The age disparity is less, to me, an issue than the power imbalance and the consent problems. But it’s an issue, especially in light of his position and his public facade.
Well, there’s the rub, eh? Do I think 35-year-old men should be allowed or encouraged to seduce teens only just through puberty? No, not really. Would I give back any of the sexual experiences I had as a teen with adults? Uh, again, not really. Except maybe the ones who were just awful lovers, completely untalented. I’d give them back in a heartbeat.
OTOH, had I had a supply of willing boys around my own age, I suppose I could have been talked into sticking with that. Of course, in the junior high school timeframe, physical maturity varies widely from individual to individual. Some boys hit twelve, and look like a strapping hunk, complete with “hair everywhere.” Other boys don’t look like they’ve gone through puberty until they’re sophomores or juniors in high school, or even later. They have that unfinished “boy” build, and remain scrawny and petite. I sprouted out fairly early, not that I went the “strapping hunk” route. I’m sure that for the several years that passed between when I started being sexually active and when I passed the age of consent that there were no small number of men I had sex with who said to themselves, “Hmm… he looks mighty young… mighty, mighty young.” And I suppose they should have told me to get lost. But, they didn’t, and here I am today; there really isn’t much negative that I could attribute to the whole thing, with the possible exception of my shitty luck in relationships, since all that early stuff was pretty much just sex and I never really learned the negotiation/compromise skills required in a successful relationship. And, yeah, that’s a pretty big one.
And, let me be completely clear, again. Even if all he did was have little IM jack-off parties with his Pages, Congressman Foley was still completely wrong to have done it, let alone anything physical and in-person. These boys were off on their own for probably the first time ever, and are likely pretty scared at first. So there’s Foley, swooping in like a chickenhawk at the first possible minute, observing, making mental notes. And he seems OK at first. Friendly. Nice. And eventually, Foley, who has been dropping the occasional “inappropriate” comment here and there, just to see who reacts how, begins to narrow his list of prospective victims, discarding those who react hostilely or overly frightened. No, he wants the ones who react to the flirting, ’cause that’s what it is, in a positive way, who flirt back.
It’s likely that most of these boys aren’t gay, and don’t realize where the whole thing is headed. True, true, the conversations have been getting increasingly sexualized. And Rep. Foley has been separating you from the protective group. Gifts have started appearing, including “contraband” items like booze, porn, and smokes. The thrill of the forbidden!
But, eventually it turns physical. And it doesn’t really matter if it’s the boy who puts the moves on Foley, or if it requires threats of exposure snarled at the boy, threatening to brand him a “faggot” before his friends, his family, the other Pages. No, by this point, regardless of any illusions of consent, there is really only one option left. So the boy lets Foley suck him off, helplessly feeling a wave of humiliation sweep over him as he ejaculates. Why did that happen? Why? Foley must be right about him! Otherwise, the Representative could have slurped and pawed at him all night, and nothing would have happened (he is, of course, not taking into account they legendary erectile powers of 16 and 17-year-olds… it’s more a wonder that they ever aren’t stiff). And now Foley has a further hold over him.
What I’m saying here is that eventually, one or more young men will come forward and confess that the Congressman did, indeed, have sex with them. They’ll describe things in Starr-report-like detail: which way Foley’s dick curves, the sound he makes when he cums. And it’s supremely difficult for what are essentially straight young men to present themselves as having had sex–often!–with a 52-year-old man. But, once the first victim comes clean, the floodgates will open, and there could be a surprisingly large number of them in the end. That kind of situation can have exremely adverse psychological effects on the victim, sometimes ones that don’t manifest for years. Their grades suffer. Their job prospects dry up. Maybe they take to beating up “faggots” in an attempt to quench their rage, but it’s never enough.
So that’s why a 52-year-old Congressman has zero business fucking around with 16-year-olds, and why this mess is far from over at this point.
The law places all responsiblity on the adult side, and with good reason. Statutory rape is generally a strict liability crime, there is no defense of lack of knowledge. Some teenagers will always explore their power in the sexual world, boys and girls. And some of these relationships can be positive, if the adult is smart he or she is very careful to be sure the teenager is being sensible. And when its done right, between a consenting adult and a teenager who knows clearly what he or she is doing, no harm is done. But notably, when no harm is done no one usually finds out or gets in trouble. No one has reason to disclose. In this scenario, the question about whether the teenager really ‘wants to’ is open and considered carefully by both sides prior to going ‘too far’.
With Foley we had predation, plain and simple. He befriended these kids and tried to have sex with them, and Marq is right, probably did.
In this scenario the question of whether the teenager ‘wants to’ probably is raised suddenly after a couple of drinks. In a hotel room.
The funny thing is Foley probably could have had completely healthy relationships with a few teenagers, and no one would know. But he didn’t go that route. He could have been cool until they were 18 as well, being genuinely friendly and waiting for some signals (as Marq noted, when a teenager knows what he wants he will probably take a chance). Its not like there is any difference, really, between 16 and 18. And its not like Foley being single at 52 isn’t already an indication or at least a topic of conversation.
Marq:
Yeah, you are exactly right. And the cycle begins anew…
Well put, Marq.
And to the surprise of, oh, NO ONE, assholes like Pete LeBarbara and Linda Harvey are already blaming tolerance of gays for the coverup of Foley’s behavior.
That reminds me–I have got to memorize what that jerk Pete LeBarbara looks like, since I have doubtlessly run across him doing “research” into the “wicked” leatherboy lifestyle, and it would be a darned shame if he was on the receiving end of one of my highly-acclaimed blowjobs (vaguely recalling a pic that Sadly, No! or WO’C posted some months ago, I seem to recall that he’s definitely not my type, but it would amuse me to loudly ask, “Say, aren’t you well-known gay-basher Pete LeBarbara? What are you doing back here, down on your knees?” The look on his face? Priceless!).
Marq:
http://www.pamspaulding.com/
weblog/2006/03/
labarbera-goes-after-illinois.html
Sorry I am html illiterate. Please re-construct. Hope this doesn’t mess up anything, SZ.

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