This incident with the Rep. Foley's solicitations toward a teenage page volunteering his time in support of our government, in and of itself, is simply a crime, likely a misdemeanor, perhaps a lower category felony using the internet for solicitation of a minor. The Justice Dept. should handle that like any other crime of its nature.
The bigger story here is the cover-up. Incidents such as these should be reported to the House Ethics Committee and oversight personnel for the page's supervision. The cover-up is manifest in that the only Democratic member to have been notified of this ethics breach and potential danger to pages, was never informed. This incident was kept under wraps by the Republican leadership, hiding truth in order to protect themselves and their party from scandal.
That is not even the biggest story here, however. The biggest story is the continuing saga of government officials from the White House down, refusing to tell the public what they need to know to make an informed choice as voters. The corruption in government is broad. Just like crime and breaches of ethics and trust in our general society, the crime you read about in the papers represents only a small number of the actual crimes being committed on a daily basis. Here's one you haven't likely heard of. Politicians and their staff trading stocks on the basis of information on new legislation in Committee, some of them secret Committees. For you and I this is a crime called insider trading. For politicians, it is becoming common practice. But, you won't hear politicians from either party bring this up for ethics or policy review.
Were it not for whistle-blowers and investigative journalists, much of the corruption and crime we have already been told about, Abramoff, Ney, Jefferson, Foley, Adelphia, Enron, DeLay, would never have reached the public. For all the bashing of the media and whistle-blowers, they have served the American public well in uncovering the tip of an ice berg which politicians wish to keep below the water and out of sight. These stories of corruption, theft, and crime, are symptoms of a much larger problem not being addressed.
It is a very safe conclusion that Democrats and Republicans in our government are covering up much more, as they have proven time and again that they will not confess to the public what the public does not already know, if such information would shed a poor light on them. Like Foley, they will be eager to air their dirty laundry when they are caught in an attempt to create sympathy or excuse for their actions. But, why didn't Foley confess to his constituents that he was an alcoholic and had a penchant for underage sexual attractions when he was running for office? The answer is obvious: they would not have elected him.
This is the case far too often in our Congress as our Congress persons steal from future generation's earnings through massive national debt growth, almost 80% of which had nothing to do with 9/11, Katrina, or the Wars on Terror and in Iraq. Our Congress has increased the debt by 3 trillion dollars since 2001. However, only 1/2 trillion has been spent on these emergencies mentioned. This Congress is home trying to tell you that the debt and deficits are a result of the wars, 9/11, and Katrina. But, they are lying. Only 1/6 of the growth in national debt is a result of 9/11, Katrina and the Wars. This too is a cover-up for utter and total lack of fiscal discipline, and absence of concern for America's and her people's future.
Our Constitution granted the people the right, responsibility, and duty to remove from office, polticians who fail to govern responsibly, accountably, and ethically. Our forefathers would have demanded that voters at this time vote in challengers to replace these irresponsible, corrupt, and incompetent politicians who place party politics before the needs of the people, campaign contributions before the needs of the nation's future, and their reelectability ahead of decency, ethical behavior, and responsible leadership.
The real story behind the Foley story is how current politicians are so adept at keeping the truth and information, which voters need to know, away from them. Often, for weeks, months and even years before some journalist or whistle-blower finally says, enough is enough, someone has to say something. But, by then, the damage to our nation, to our government, and to the confidence and trust between the people and the government is already done.
The real story here is how voters continue to reelect these people election after election, regardless of how much worse our national debt, education, health care system, and war in Iraq get. This is not just a story about irresponsible politicians, it is also a story about irresponsible voters, who fail to remove bad performance and negative results from office.