More incredulous testimony before the House ‘Ethics’ Committee in Foley’s Follies. Today’s dish came from Rep. John Shimkus, the bright bulb who chaired the House committee responsible for monitoring the page program. Here’s how the NY Times characterized Shimkus’ comments about his meeting with Foley in which he warned him away from inappropriate contact with the pages:
It is the meeting in Mr. Foley’s office late last fall,…that is of particular interest to the ethics committee. Mr. Shimkus said…that he and the clerk of the House, Jeff Trandhal, showed excerpts of the e-mail messages to Mr. Foley, who in Mr. Shimkus’s account recoiled and promised to stop contact with the Louisiana teenager.
After the meeting, Mr. Shimkus said, he thought that Mr. Foley did keep his distance.
“I had no reason to believe there wasn’t changed behavior,” Mr. Shimkus said. “We would always do an end-of-the-year ‘bye-bye’ to the pages on the House floor, but Congressman Foley did not show this year. Historically, he always did.
“But this year, he wasn’t there. So we thought the intervention may have been successful.”
Lots of faulty thinking here. First, you catch a guy bringing the dignity of the House into question via use of instant messaging. So how do you judge the success of your “intervention?” By monitoring said computer use? By speaking with pages and warning them? No, by whether or not he shows up at a once a year page party. Shimkus simply must be kidding.
And here’s another doozy of a misjudgment:
When asked whether Republican leaders had told him to exclude other members of the page board — a Republican, a Democrat and the House sergeant-at-arms — when ultimately confronting Mr. Foley last year, Mr. Shimkus replied, “I made the decision.”
He did not elaborate.
So Shimkus has gone on record that he made the highly partisan decision to keep non-Republicans on the page committee in the dark about Foley’s behavior. Do these morons realize that while bringing a Dem into the deliberations might’ve jeopardized Foley’s career if word leaked out–not bringing a Dem into said deliberations has perfectly insulated Dems from any involvement or blame for this fiasco. So instead of jeopardizing the career of a single House member by informing a Dem, they’ve jeopardized the careers of Foley, Hastert, Reynolds, Shimkus and Pryce, to name but a few who have gone or may go down in November or thereabouts.