Rehab seems to be the word of the week again. We have yet another congressman haring off to rehab when he has been caught doing something illegal.
Senator Foley did not even have enough respect for his constituents to come forward himself and apologize for his criminal behavior. Instead, he had someone else do it for him. Even worse, his excuses through this other person were ludicrous. No one knows for sure how long Senator Foley has been propositioning underage boys, most likely his behavior has been a lifetime in the making. His claims that he was abused by a priest as a young boy, that he is an alcoholic, and that he is gay, as though he hopes these things will somehow excuse his behavior are unbelievable. First of all, while I can understand that being sexually abused as a child or teenager is traumatic, thousands of teenagers around the world, if not more, go through this daily. It does not make them suddenly decide as adults that they are going to turn around and victimize teenagers by sexually abusing them as they were abused. Second of all, being an alcoholic might make you do some stupid things when you are under the influence, such as peeing in a public fountain, but I doubt very much that it would make you send sexually suggestive e-mails and IM’s to teenage boys unless you were already committing such behavior when sober. To suggest that imbibing alchohol made him go after teenage boys in a sexual manner is ridiculous. And lastly, what does his being gay have to do with anything, other than his sexual preference? There are many gay men out there who do not and would not even think of propositioning a teenage boy, and it is an insult to the ones who obey the law to even suggest such a thing.
Now Senator Foley is in rehab, apparently refusing to speak to anyone himself, but rather letting others speak for him, since he is absent from all media that I have seen, and he has resigned from being a Senator. He seems to be under the notion that by going into rehab he will escape the consequences for his actions, and he might be right.
Six months prior to the breaking of the news about Foley, Senator Patrick Kennedy crashed into a barricade on Captiol Hill while under the influence of Ambien, and Phenergan an anti-nausea drug. The officers at the scene were told by their superiors not to give Senator Kennedy a sobriety test even though they felt he was under the influence of alcohol. Instead he was given a ride home. Not long afterward Senator Kennedy came forward and admitted an ongoing battle with depression and drug addiction, and that he was going into rehab. While it has been admitted by the police in Washington DC that this situation was not handled correctly and that the officers in question were reprimanded and punished, this does not make how it was handled ok. While Kennedy was cited for failure to keep in his proper lane, speeding, and not giving proper attention to his vehicle when driving, that was the extent of his consequences. Apparently the fact that he was seen in a restaurant/bar drinking “some” according to the hostess in the hours prior to the crash, and the fact that three weeks earlier he was in another accident in a Pharmacy parking lot in Rhode Island were not taken into account. He apologized, admitted the problem, and went into rehab, that’s it, no punishment.
I can’t even begin to say how wrong this is. Senator Kennedy should have been given a sobriety test, a breathilizer test, and arrested. If he had been anyone else he would have been, and he most likely would have lost his driver’s license for a year or more which is the law in most states. He was given preferential treatment because he was a congressman, and considered to be one the elite in our society, and that is just wrong.
There appears to be enough evidence to me with regards to Senator Foley for the police to hold him if nothing else. In fact were it anyone else anywhere else in the country, he would be sitting in a jail cell. The police would be tearing apart his computers both at work and at home, not to mention his home, while they began searching for other possible victims. Is that happening? No, instead he is allowed to resign from his office, and go into rehab.
Rehab is a “get out of jail free” card in this country for those who hold political office. This sends a very mixed message to both our children, and the rest of the world. It shouts that in America, if you have enough clout, enough money, and are well known to the public you can get away with committing serious crimes with little or no punishment. We need to change this. Congressmen, as well as the other elite in our society need to be made to pay for their crimes if they break the law; they need to be made accountable for their actions. The consequences don’t bear thinking about if we do not begin making these people accountable, things such as deaths that didn’t have to happen, and traumatized children who wouldn’t have been had the perpetrator’s been arrested are only a few possibilities.