Glenn Greenwald brings up an interesting point. What Foley did is creepy in the extreme, but what he's accused of is just talking. I'm aware of no allegations that Foley actually did anything with these pages, just that he talked about doing stuff over IM and through email. That's illegal because of a law Congress passed recently. But had he actually gotten together with the page, and fucked around? That's probably legal.
[Greenwald] argued that the "pedophile" rhetoric being righteously hurled at Mark Foley was not really appropriate, given that many (if not most) Americans live in states where it is perfectly legal for an adult of any age to have sex with a 16-year-old. The notion that an adult who has sex with a 16-year-old is a "pedophile freak" who deserves to be imprisoned with the key thrown away is (independent of whether it's right or wrong) inconsistent with the values enshrined in the laws of many (if not most) states, which provide that 16-year-olds are capable of consenting to sex (and even getting married).
I didn't see the pun in the title of this post until just now, honestly. But I'm leaving it in place.
UPDATE (2006-10-05): In the comments, MFN points out that (a) the timing is questionable and (b) because of the age difference, any relationship between Foley and the pages might still be illegal.
First, this is a story that seems to have been building for some time. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) received some of the emails in question back in July, and forwarded them on to the FBI, where they were ignored. CREW is now calling for an investigation into why. The FBI's reponses have been contradictory.
Second, the age of consent in DC appears to be 16. According to the District of Columbia Criminal Code (isn't the Internet great?), child sexual abuse has to be between a child and someone at least 4 years older. However, the code defines "child" to be "person who has not yet attained the age of 16 years." There doesn't appear to be any other relevant statute. So the Republicans have made it illegal to talk about something that it's perfectly legal (if unethical and creepy in the extreme) to do.