The Foley IMs: What would a "soccer mom" think?

In a 2003 exchange, the congressman apparently exchanged thoughts on masturbation with a former page still in high school.

Published October 3, 2006 4:06AM (EDT)

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the Mark Foley scandal gives Republicans reason to be nervous about two of their core constituencies: religious conservatives and suburban "soccer moms" who might not take kindly to news that party leaders did less than they could have to keep a 52-year-old congressmen from messing with their kids.

"The Republican Party holds itself out, rightly or wrongly, as the guardian of values, and for something like this to occur does not bode well for the party," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tells the Journal. That's the same Tony Perkins who blamed the scandal Monday on "pro-homosexual political correctness." But we're betting that all those suburban moms are going to be looking for something -- or someone -- a little less amorphous to blame come November, especially if the mainstream media can stomach getting some of the more disturbing Foley instant messages out into the public dialogue.

ABC is doing its part, at least online. (Note to readers: If you don't have the stomach for disturbing sexual content, now would be a good time to skip to the next post.) In a long, multipage IM exchange up on the network's Web site now, Foley can be seen asking a former page -- clearly still in high school -- if "any girl gave you a hand job this weekend." When the page says no, Foley asks the page if he "spanked it this weekend himself." Foley says he's "never too busy" to engage in that activity because it helps him sleep. After an extended discussion of self-pleasuring techniques -- the towel, the lotion, the mattress -- Foley says: "Well, I have a totally stiff wood now," then encourages the former page to tell him about the state of his own arousal and report back on the length of his penis.

Just some "naughty e-mails," Mr. Snow? Try running that one by the mothers we know, and then see how many of them turn out to vote for your guys in November.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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