Carol Platt Liebau: Despicable

Monday, October 02, 2006

Despicable

Of course, once one is revealed to have traded sexually explicit messages with young boys, it's hard to fall much farther.

Even so, along with his repugnant sexual proclivities, it's also clear that Rep. Mark Foley is a despicable coward. He's crawled off to rehab, claiming that he's afflicted by alcoholism.

For those who have realized that they are problem drinkers, there is, no doubt, nothing that requires more courage and character than getting help, and the people who do so for legitimate reasons should be applauded.

But recently, there's been a slew of disgraced public figures -- ranging from Patrick Kennedy to Mel Gibson -- who have conveniently discovered a problem with alcohol in the wake of reprehensible behavior. The idea, obviously, is to present oneself as a victim of that "ole demon rum," and hope that the public will conclude that the alcohol, rather than the bad behavior, was the real problem.

Well, enough. Alcoholics are alcoholics. That doesn't automatically make them drunk drivers or anti-semites -- and it certainly doesn't make them pedophiles. It's time for disgraced public figures to take responsibility for their own deplorable behavior, and stop purveying the idea that absolutely unacceptable, anti-social and even illegal behavior is attributable to alcohol, rather than to their own choices.

2 Comments:

Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

When people are affected by too much alcohol, they are often able to reveal their true selves to others.

In the case of Mel Gibson, the guy's true feelings about Jews came out when he got plastered.

As far as Foley is concerned, his sins have nothing to do with alcohol. In fact, if I were him (God forbid), I would probably think that alcohol was a temporary solution to the current problem.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I'm afraid I have to say that that is a rather subjective take on the matter. Perhaps Foley only communicated when he was drunk. Perhaps he never did when he wasn't. At this point we don't know. At the same time, it's an absolute assumption that Gibson's "true feelings" came out due to his drinking. He may simply saw a good way to rip on the cop. Just because one is drunk, it doesn't mean he's totally out of control of his mental faculties. I've never lost my understanding of right and wrong when I've gotten tanked. I even know it's wrong being tanked when I'm tanked. If Foley had some indication, or thought he did, that these teens were receptive to such an advance, drinking may have given him the excuse to take a chance, for that's how it works for most drinkers. They use their inebriation as an excuse to do wrong, knowing they can fall back on the "I was drunk" line.

11:24 PM  

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