29 September 2006

The Personal Usually Becomes Political

Rep. Mark Foley, Republican from Florida resigned today.

His emails are creepy, and if not criminal, clearly abuse his position as a mentor. Regardless of the gender mix of the two folks involved this would be troubling. There's a way to be friendly to someone much younger than you without being creepy. He's a creep, and most likely has done more than just exchange emails with other willing teenagers.

That he didn't choose to quietly fade away and not seek another term speaks to his narcissism and belief that he wouldn't get caught. These exchanges were more than a year old, and judging from statements earlier in the week he was ready to deny, deny, deny.

Incumbency acts like a mental illness on politicians. It corrodes their judgement and inculcates a belief in an immunity from their own bad judgement.

Nevertheless, I question the timing. Ideally they would have put this off even later so that the Republicans would have no hope of replace him on the ballot. But, maybe this revelation has to do with national as well as Florida politics. It fits within the 'culture of corruption' charge the Democrats have been trying to push but hasn't gained much traction in the polling for individual contests.

It may be dirty politics, but this particular mud being slinged was obviously handed to the Democrats by an arrogant, flawed, conflicted, predatory creep.

We don't need to be represented by saints. But, I'd settle for folks who aren't narcissistic creeps. Safe districts make it easier for creeps, both the sexually predatory kind and the feathering their own nests kind, to escape public scrutiny.

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