Kathleen Parker

While the pot and the kettle duke it out, new tidbits keep emerging that suggest plenty of dirty politics on both sides. There's the anonymous blog that suddenly materialized in July -- stopsexpredators.blogspot.com -- and that began posting the Foley e-mails.

Also in July, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a nonprofit group funded in part by George Soros, received copies of the e-mails and filed a complaint with the FBI. That bit of serendipity doesn't quite jibe with reports that the page's parents didn't want to go public. Who leaked the e-mails?

And then there's the Republican Party leadership, who can't bring themselves to say those three little words: ``We blew it.''

Monday, Hastert reiterated that he and others now under siege didn't know about the more lurid instant messages indicating that Foley might be a sexual predator. To which any sane adult replies: So what? A red flag is a red flag; no quibbling over hue.

Even the less noxious e-mails should have been enough to prompt a serious response. Grown-up men do not write ``over-friendly'' e-mails to boys, period. Even if the e-mails Republican leaders knew about weren't sexually explicit, they were clearly inappropriate. In one, Foley asked the former page for a picture and spoke appreciatively of another boy's physique.

Now, ask yourself: If a 50-something man e-mailed your 16-year-old son and asked for a photograph, what would you think? You'd think: This guy better have his life insurance paid up.

What did the Republican leadership do? They confronted Foley and told him to stop it. Dadgummit.

Calling this a Republican cover-up may be overreaching given what we know thus far, but Democrats otherwise are right. Foley was a known creep, and the Republican leadership did not take care of business.

By ignoring Foley's completely unacceptable behavior, they have ceded moral authority to the Democrats and paved the way for the first woman speaker of the House. I'm pretty sure there's a ``foley a deux" in there somewhere.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Kathleen Parker's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.