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Putting Party Before Predators: Why Didn't GOP Leaders Stop Foley?

In a scandal that will likely take down the entire House Republican leadership, everyone is wondering why Rep. Mark Foley, <i>Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus</i> was allowed to carry on his predatory behavior with a teenage boy a year after his relationship was revealed to party leaders.
 
 
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Watch a video of Rep. Foley giving an interview on child predators, in which he states "If I were one of these sickos, I’d be nervous with America’s Most Wanted on my trail."

Is there anything these Republicans won't cover up? Duke Cunningham took millions of dollars in bribes. The people who were buying him off bought him a yacht called the Duke-Stir. He had a bribe menu on Congressional letter head. How many ethics investigations? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Bob Ney took gifts and favors from Jack Abramoff.

He has confessed and is about to go to prison. How many ethics investigations? Zero. None. Not one.

Then there is Hastert's shady land deal. Bill Frist's insider trading. Tom DeLay's money laundering. The list goes on and on. Every one of them had their ass covered by the rest of their Republican colleagues, crooks, whatever you want to call them.

When Joel Hefley, a conservative Republican from Colorado, had the temerity to actually do an ethics investigation of Tom DeLay -- he was removed. Can't have it. You can't have any ethics investigations in a place with no ethics. The house will fall in.

Well, now it has. Because they've gone too far. This time they covered for a sexual predator. Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, was caught sending very explicit sexual messages to 16 and 17 year old boys who worked as pages for Congress.

Actually, he was caught by a fellow Republican, Rodney Alexander, because one of the pages worked for Rep. Alexander and turned Foley in. So, what did the Republicans do about it? Absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
They covered it up. Because it's what they do.

The Republican Protection Racket stepped in and made the story go away. There was no public apology to the boys that were sexually harassed. No criminal investigation. No ethics investigation. Not a word.

The Republican leadership knew for most of the year. In all that time, while other kids could have been exposed, while they knew of several instances of sexual advances toward underage boys -- they did nothing!

Now, they feign outrage. Why weren't they outraged when they first found out about it? They're not outraged because young boys were jeopardized. They're outraged now because they're jeopardized.

But it gets worse. They left Foley in charge of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. Come on!

If you put it in a movie about a corrupt Congress, I wouldn't believe it. It's too over the top. You'd walk out of the theater saying, "That's too much. No one would do that." Apparently they would and they did.

Remember this is the same Republicans who spent 140 hours investigating Bill Clinton's Christmas card list. I'm not kidding. They even started an investigation into his cat. If you put it in a movie, no one would believe it.

Not one investigation into what's gone wrong with the war in Iraq, the $9 billion dollars missing in Iraq, why a CIA agent's name was leaked, why Osama bin Laden hasn't been caught or any of the corruption scandals. But they spent 140 hours on the Clinton Christmas list (it turns out they were just Christmas cards, in case you were wondering). They're not even trying to appear fair. They think there's nothing you won't let them do. They're in charge and they can get away with anything.

Now in this case, I think sex scandals are a dime a dozen. Mark Foley resigned. I'm not that interested in that story. He could have been a Democrat, a Republican or a Federalist. Every party has people that do terrible things. This isn't about that.

This is about a Republican Party so corrupt there's nothing they wouldn't cover up to protect their own. If that means your money is misspent or stolen, fine. If that means some Congressmen commit illegal acts to get rich off your back, fine.
Apparently, it also means if your kids are exposed to a sexual predator while they are supposed to be learning about our government, even that's fine.

But it's not fine. Not by a long shot. Read what the Congressman wrote to an underage boy that was working in the House of Representatives (the Congressman is Maf54):

Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:04 PM): normal clothes
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:09 PM): tshirt and shorts
Maf54 (8:04:17 PM): um so a big buldge
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:35 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:04:45 PM): um
Maf54 (8:04:58 PM): love to slip them off of you
Xxxxxxxxx (8:05:08 PM): haha
Maf54 (8:05:53 PM): and gram the one eyed snake
Maf54 (8:06:13 PM): grab
Xxxxxxxxx (8:06:53 PM): not tonight...dont get to excited
Maf54 (8:07:12 PM): well your hard
Xxxxxxxxx (8:07:45 PM): that is true
Maf54 (8:08:03 PM): and a little horny
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:11 PM): and also tru
Maf54 (8:08:31 PM): get a ruler and measure it for me
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:38 PM): ive already told you that
Maf54 (8:08:47 PM): tell me again
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:49 PM): 7 and 1/2
Maf54 (8:09:04 PM): ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Maf54 (8:09:08 PM): beautiful
Xxxxxxxxx (8:09:38 PM): lol
Maf54 (8:09:44 PM): thats a great size
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:00 PM): thank you
Maf54 (8:10:22 PM): still stiff
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:28 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:10:40 PM): take it out
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:54 PM): brb...my mom is yelling
Maf54 (8:11:06 PM): ok
Xxxxxxxxx (8:14:02 PM): back
Maf54 (8:14:37 PM): cool hope se didnt see any thing

He was supposed to be protecting him. He was Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus!

After all this, they still covered for him. They didn't even take him off the Exploited Teen Caucus. They left him in charge.

Because they don't care. They don't care about anybody but themselves. They are driven mad with power. Their only goal is to stay in power. Now, the question is, are you going to let them get away with it? Are you going to let them keep that power, knowing what they've done with it?

Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks , the first liberal radio show to air nationwide.