I took a walk today from our Capitol Hill bureau over to a famous watering hole on the House of Representatives side that Mark Foley was rumored to have frequented. And not to my surprise, it appears that Foley was a regular.

On my walk back to the office, I stopped in front of the Capitol Building and looked out over the reflecting pool down to the Washington Monument and then back at the great symbol of freedom that our Capitol represents. And it dawned on me that what’s at stake in the Foley scandal is something larger than one man’s sick and twisted proclivities wrecking a political career. It’s now about our national integrity.

Capitol Hill Policemen stand guard at every entrance armed with semi-automatic rifles. But who and what are they protecting if our own sons and daughters are not protected from sexual predators like Foley?

More repulsive and lurid details will continue to come out from the advances and actions of Foley. GOP Leaders are finally putting together the pieces of how this could have happened and even Democrats are starting to get some heat for organizing an “October Surprise.”

It is, after all, an election cycle and it’s hard to imagine a more explosive scandal taking shape at this point. Speaker Hastert seems to have dug his heels in and intends to weather the storm that occurred on his watch. And in fairness to Speaker Hastert, we do not know for sure that the Foley rumors were tended to with a laissez-faire attitude. But undeniably, the GOP will suffer repercussions for what has happened.

I’m a chronic optimist and after 14 years in Washington, I believe that those who are entrusted with the nation’s security and well being will see that the American public’s confidence must be restored. We’re just waiting for those leaders to step forward.

I can be reached for questions or comments at griffsnotes@foxnews.com