William F. Buckley

(5) Several things combined to give the Foley case the amplitude it is having. It involved a live congressman. He was a Republican. In the most felicitous irony since the inventor of the guillotine was guillotined, Foley wrote the law proscribing the kind of corruption of minors he was engaged in attempting. So we had (a) a legislator, (b) a Republican and (c) a moralizer, electing a sexual way of life that all the engines of modern society are bent on protecting.

It is not unusual for a society derelict in affirming its own moral positions to leap, fiery sword in hand, to excommunicate a sinner. The Foley case is not going to lead to national concern over homosexual sex, or is not going to result in enforcing age codes (are they really expecting to stand guard at the movies to prevent 15-year-olds from seeing "Brokeback Mountain"?).

There is a mini-movement endorsed by a few congressmen that would rescind the congressional page program which put Mr. Foley in temptation's way. It might prove easier to rescind the laws that Foley violated.


William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography.

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