Foley takes one from the McGreevey playbook
When David Roth refers to a "tactical" decision it's a clear reference to former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey. McGreevey was involved in a situation similar to that of Foley. He came out of the closet after being involved in a homosexual scandal. Then he wrote a book describing his secret homosexual life and was hailed as a hero for his perceived bravery and courage.
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- Former Rep. Mark Foley was molested by a clergyman when he was between the ages of 13 and 15, his attorney said Tuesday amid allegations that the congressman exchanged inappropriate e-mails and instant messages with teen congressional pages.
Attorney David Roth said Foley had never had sexual contact with a minor and said any assertion that Foley is a pedophile is "categorically false."
Roth would not release details of the alleged molestation, saying only that making it public "is part of Mark's recovery" and that Foley would discuss it further when he is released from a center where he's being treated for alcoholism and mental issues. It will be at least 30 days before he is discharged, Roth said.
Roth added that "Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man."
Though the attorney would not provide the religious affiliation of the clergyman who allegedly molested Foley, Foley lists his religion as Catholic, according to a congressional directory.
"He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct," said Roth, who spoke to Foley on Tuesday. "This was a life decision, not a tactical one made by others."
While McGreevey received wide support from the left, he was accused by the right of attempting to avoid sexual harassment charges. Accused of making a tactical decision so to speak. And to a large degree McGreevey did avoid further scandal by coming out. The tactical decision worked. But it isn't likely to work for Foley. While McGreevey was simply a homosexual accused of sexual harassment, Mark Foley has been involved sexually with numerous children. Plus there is hard evidence to prove Foley's guilt while there was none for McGreevey. The sympathy for McGreevey as a homosexual in the closet won't likely be extended to a pedophile like Mark Foley.
That's why Foley's attorney is attempting to emphasize Foley as a homosexual coming out, as well as a victim of molestation, while asserting that Foley is not a pedophile. Many people have sympathy for in-the-closet homosexuals and victims of molestation, as per the McGreevey case, but no one has sympathy for a pedophile. The reality of the situation is that Foley is a pedophile. And he is likely not a homosexual. Pedophilia is distinct from homosexuality or heterosexuality. For a pedophile the primary attraction is children. The sex of the child is of secondary importance. The fact that all of Foley's victims are children and that Foley has no known adult male relations demonstrates that he is a classic pedophile case.
Foley and McGreevey both made a tactical decision, but it will only work for one of them.