Saturday, 30 September 2006

Buckhead (where you watch your spelling) and Foley (where you watch a lot more)

Ken Berwitz

My travels are finally ended, at least for the very near future.  A week and a half in Spain ending September 19, then the next two days in Chicago and, finally, most of this week in Atlanta. 

We had a convention at the Intercontinental hotel in Buckhead.  The convention itself was wonderful.  As a focus group moderator of over 35 years' experience it is great to see old acquaintances and meet people who are newer to our part of the marketing research business.

The hotel, though, was a three-four star venue posturing as a fiver.   Internet access was absurdly limited, food prices were far too high and the facilities were poorly laid out, to name a few reasons.  But all in all a very nice experience...until, at the airport last night, we found out about Tom Foley.

Why are these guys such schmucks?  How the hell does a relatively high profile congressperson E-MAIL sexually explicit material to anyone - underage or otherwise - thinking it isn't going to become known at some point?   And then there's the fact that it was to an underage recipient....a congressional page, no less.

In the book I make it clear that homosexuality is no problem at all to me.  I myself am straight, but I've spent my life living and working with people who are gay, both male and female.  I consider sexual orientation a big fat "so what".    My problem with Foley is that he is a pedophile and apparently quite the hypocrite as well, since his positions on gays (there's a pun in there somewhere) are so clearly intolerant.

In this regard he reminds me of some of the liberal/left Jews who see the Democratic party listing further and further against Israel and torture all logic to rationalize it away.  This is not abstract to me, I assure you I am thinking of specific examples in my own family.

A pro-Israel Jew has less and less of a place in the Democratic party.  And a gay congressperson has no business inveighing against gays.

In a more perfect world we would all be what we are without apology.  I agree the world is imperfect and sometimes that can't happen.  But it is quite another story to go completely around the bend and be your own torquemada.  Foley is gone?  So be it.

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