Saturday, September 30, 2006

Time on 'today's brand of personal politics'

Time puts the resignation of Foley down to 'today's brand of personal politics'.

Leaving aside the fact that Foley resigned hours before the news broke leaving no time for personal attacks, when was there ever a time when his actions might have been excused?

Even if Foley had not campaigned against the very type of behavior he was found guilty of soliciting sex from an underage subordinate would mean an instant end to a political career even if the politician was straight.

The only real difference here is the technology. In earlier days the solicitations would be made by telephone or in person. Email is a problematic medium combining spontaneity, intimacy and permanence.

Email makes frequent appearances in the Abramoff saga, Better not put this stuff in writing. I have seen intercepts in cases where the conspirators ask 'do you think they might be reading this'.

If email was merely making it easier to catch wrongdoers there would be no problem. But it seems likely to me that the characteristics of email that help get the criminals caught is encouraging the criminal behavior.

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