10/03/2006 07:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mark Foley's Moral Relativism

Since when is the "party of personal responsibility" so quick to find excuses for sexual misconduct? Mark Foley revealed that he was molested by a priest and that he's an alcoholic, but does that absolve him of responsibility for his horrible behavior? No. It may explain why he did what he did, but it in no way excuses the exploitation of impressionable teenagers. Nor does it answer the overarching question of why the Republican leadership in the House did nothing to follow up on the reports that one of their peers was sexually harassing minors.

Whenever liberals point out such facts as "poverty increases the risk of crime" and "failure to understand terrorists breeds more terrorism", we're accused of coddling criminals and being deeply unserious about the threats that we face. Even the slightest hint of trying to understand the root causes of a problem is often greeted with the sight of conservatives decrying the left's "moral relativism". For their failure to see the world beyond "good & evil" or "right & wrong", the right pats itself on the back for its "strong values", but that moral strength quickly disappears when it's time to protect one of their own.

I'm sorry to hear that Rep. Foley has gone through such hardship. For that he deserves as much pity as anyone in his situation (like the young men he's been harassing). But let's not forget that Rep. Foley has done some horrible things and should be punished for them. Likewise, the House leaders who through their inaction have acted as enablers for his sexual deviancy deserve to be punished as well. If you don't agree, then maybe you lack the moral clarity to realize that fifty-two year old men shouldn't be trying to fuck teenagers.