To the delight of political commentators everywhere, disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley reared his head yesterday in a pair of interviews, after more than two years of complete media silence.
The Florida Republican is best known for his naughty instant-messaging conversations with Congressional Pages (sample quote: "well I have aa totally stiff wood now"), which prompted accusations of pedophilia. But in his interview with the Associated Press, he insists that's unfounded…
[W]hile he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," he remains somewhat unwilling to accept full public scorn.
These were 17-year-olds, just months from being men, he insists.
"There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate' …
"You know, you hear the term 'pedophile.' That is prepubescent," Foley said, noting a "huge difference" from lurid chats with teens on the brink of adulthood.
In a separate interview with a Florida TV station, Foley expounded on this critical distinction…
"It hits me right in the gut because it's absolutely false and incorrect," Foley said in an interview with WPTV NewsChannel 5 in West Palm Beach. "A pedophile is somebody who is having sex with a prepubescent person. I mean, that is an outrage to be called that."
"Now I understand why my critics would (call me a pedophile) and I accept the fact that that is going to be so, but I don't have to accept the title, and I won't accept the title because it's not true," Foley added.
Foley is really on to something here. Clearly, there's clearly nothing deviant about his sexual predilections here. None of this would be an issue if the same-sex issue weren't on the table — after all, what would be wrong with a 52-year-old man lusting after a 17-year-old employee, telling her that he wanted to undress her and fondle her?
Oh wait, that would be unfathomably fucked up. But I guess in Foley's view, as long as the kid has hit puberty, it ain't so bad.
Tags: Florida, House of Representatives, Mark Foley