Are they children?

Monday, October 02, 2006
AJ at Strata Sphere makes the following comment:

Up front let me say this: I could care less if Foley is gay. If he went after children that is something for law enforcement to deal with. And I think whoever this Mike Rogers “outs” could be gay or not - Rogers sees gays everywhere he looks. Why he is so obsessed is beyond me. Maybe he needs it to fight back his internal insecurities. Whatever. Many others have been doing excellent reporting on this, and we need to know if this was a setup piece by people in Foley’s office on personal agendas. That is my interest. Were children abused and/or was this story planted. I agree with Michelle and have said the same from day one - if Foley was a child predator then lock him up. I do disagree with Michelle on one point - if dems hid this for political gain they allowed a predator to run loose and risked children.

Is a 16 year old a child? And if so, should they be driving or for that matter hanging out at the Capitol without a babysitter? If the age of consent is 16 then can we call this child abuse? It is creepy maybe, but is it a crime? Are these young people no more capable of being responsible for themselves than a grade schooler?

The panel tonight on Brit Hume talked about this. Will it hurt Republicans in the midterm? The consensus was that it sure would not help them. I would say that over reacting to the whole thing will hurt them as much as the incident itself. Maybe it is just election jitters but people need to get a grip.


Knucklehead said...

As I said of at Roger's Place I am struggling to see where the beef is on this matter.

Just One Minute does a good job of articulating my jumbled thoughts about this.

Foley is a something akin to a perv. A creep. He would, as my daughters phrase it, "skeeve people out". "Skeeving people out" is not a crime. Are there some actual charges of criminal conduct againt Foley?

Good riddance to the skeevey clown but, let's get real here, there is no shortage of skeevey character slumming the halls of congress. It might be nice to clean house but the reaction to this thing seems way over the top to me.

Unless something worse turns up about Foley the folks hyperventilating about this need to go by a box of paper sacks to breathe into.

Knucklehead said...

Some thoughts on the title question...

Are they children?

Well, yes and no. Young people in the 16 and 17 age range are not adults. They are adolescents and that is a wierd thing in today's world.

The sorts that become congressional pages have probably been more exposed to the world of adult machinations than most. Not that I know any youngsters who've become congressional pages but they are likely very similar to the kids who do other "high profile" sorts of youth leadership and extra-involvement sort of activities.

These sorts of youngsters are no strangers to the world of "gay" or "sex" or anything of the sort. They are remarkably aware and exposed, if not experienced.

Which is not at all the same thing as suggesting they are, or even should be, prepared to deal with predators. They might be that more than most, but they are young. Not necessarily innocent and some of them are probably quite capable of being predators in their own right but the bottom line is, once again, that they are young.

Bottom line, IMHO, is that they are not children in the way that most of us think of "children". They are adolescents - nearly young adults but not there yet.

Seneca the Younger said...

Knuck, the issue is "are they children". Foley's being called "a pedophile", which sounds much uglier, and strictly means "someone who is sexually attracted to prepubescent children."

By comparison, let's consider the miss World runner-up: she's 17.

She's effectively the same age (in fact it sounds as if the kid Foley had the hot IM chats with was perhaps older than she is.) Is she "prepubescent"? I don't think so.

before we start calling Foley a "frak" or a pervert, let's make sure it's what we mean.

Rick Ballard said...

It's government work - close is good enough.