Who, Now?

As the Mark Foley scandal (a.k.a. “PageGate”) continues to suck Republicans into its hungry maw, party leaders and their conservative backers have been scrambling for a scapegoat that isn’t one of their own. The initial explanation offered was Foley’s struggle with alcoholism, and the strategy was to paint him as a troubled man who needs help. But finding little public sympathy for such a common failing, and with some questioning the claim, it’s clear who’s the next target of the damage control machine:

The gays!

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation was interviewed by Michele Norris of NPR’s All Things Considered this morning. And he didn’t waste any time.

“Here is the real problem. It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex. The idea that he should be continued as chairman of the Committee on Missing and Exploited Children, given their knowledge of that, is just outrageous.”

Credit is due to Norris, who immediately called Weyrich on his assertion, saying some might take exception to the characterization of homosexuals as sex obsessed. Weyrich was emphatic:

“It happens to be true. It’s not my opinion, it’s the opinion of many psychologists and psychiatrists who have to deal with them.”

Catch that? Foley was never one of us, anyway, he was one of them! And the only reason why we were slow in taking action against him is because the gays have us cowed with political correctness! Never mind that wrongs were committed and we looked the other way, it’s the gays! The gays are the real menace!

The new strategy falls in line with the ongoing and erroneous attempts to link child predators and pedophiles with homosexuality. Never mind that the “psychologists and psychiatrists” you’d think Weyrich respects so much have soundly disproven that claim. In 1998, notes the Log Cabin Republicans, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 98 percent of male pedophiles are heterosexual.

As for being preoccupied with sex? One only need to look at the play the Foley scandal is getting in the media — or everyday primetime television, the latest Hollywood blockbuster, or that magazine on the coffee table — to know who else might be tarred with that broad brush.

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