Foleygate: Round 2

by Ryan on October 5, 2006

in Politics


On the Mark Foley scandal: Matt Drudge has all sort of headlines today that you’re not hearing ANYWHERE else. I feel silly saying this again and again before a “however,” but Mark Foley did resign in disgrace, even his own conscience tells him he did something wrong, and prosecutions may/should still be coming.

However, Drudge has been fueling the idea that this is more than just a simple lurid almost-sex-scandal, but something larger, organized and intentionally promoted by anti-Republican forces. Hmm…

Of course, beyond the wishful thinking that this may go away or possibly even hurt the Dems, I also believe that the Dems and the MSM have done real damage to the GOP and Speaker Hastert by pouncing on this. They’ve taken control of the issue by intentionally blurring the difference between the emails and the IMs as if they were the same thing, and running with that presumption. It’s frustrating, but I like that Hastert’s standing strong, will not resign, and has turned the issue on those who exposed this story in the first place for the purpose of maximum show and political damage.

Maybe sometime soon we can talk once again about the economy, keeping the tax cuts, and winning the War on Terror by being aggressive in this election season. You know, issues where Republicans easily outclass the Dems.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz October 5, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Ryan, I have to partially disagree with you on the point “those who exposed this story in the first place for the purpose of maximum show and political damage”

This was a story that needed to be put out there loudly, regardless of which party the offender belonged to. If underage boys can’t be protected in the nation’s Capitol, there is something very sick in the state.

Personally I believe that IF Hastert did know and chose to hope it wouldn’t blow up until after the elections he should swiftly step aside, publicly state there will be a full investigation with no one sacred and allow the focus back on to the issue’s.

Unless he can give a statement that firmly closes the issue of not taking immediate action (and can be backed up) he will continue to be a lightning rod that will take the focus of those issues where the GOP may have an edge. His continued leadership and the inability to give a clear statement that is backed up by records is doing harm. Doesn’t matter how good a guy he may be, he’s hurting your cause.

As for Drudge – conspiracy theory gone mad!

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Sal October 5, 2006 at 11:31 pm

Have to disagree a bit, rightonoz. First, good to see you around again.

What happened to “Innocent until Proven guilty?” Hastart’s supposed involvement comes from “anonymous sources.” After DocumentGate, I have trouble taking the media seriously unless they produce some hard evidence to back up their claims. Politically, you are probably right, but it’s a shame that an anonymous accusation is taken seriously by the public.

As far as Drudge, don’t be hasty in discounting what he had to say. Many people thought his reporting of the “Blue Dress” was conspiracy theory. He has been right far more often than he’s been wrong. Not saying he is this time, but his track record should give one pause.

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Chris October 6, 2006 at 12:37 am

I too feel that more must be learned before a judgement can be made on Hastert. If Hastert were to resign, Republicans would be on the defensive and bloodletting in the party would continue, almost guaranteeing disaster for the next two years with the ascension of the Democrat leadership in Congress. He made the right move and needs to continue along the same path.

While disgraceful what has been allegedly done by Foley, just as disgraceful is the selective moral outrage displayed by the Democrats. Today on Hannity, Newt was discussing specifically, the hypocrisy of Nancy “Stretch” Pelosi in backing Studds FIVE TIMES for a chairmanship. Wish I could find a transcript b/c it was one of Hannity’s best Newt interviews.

True, this whole circus has done damage, but I would not be surprised if the Dems/media overplay their hand as they had done in the past, recently as this year with Allen .

Remember, on DocumentGate, it was a blogger who discovered the forgery and I really would not be surprised if it happens again (the bloggers acting as better journalists than the journalist wanna-be’s).

If this whole thing blows over, mark my words…this is only the beginning…the Clinton War Room will go even deeper into the gutter. It truly sickens me to think about how sick they will get to win power.

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rightonoz October 6, 2006 at 8:16 pm

We have to remember that both parties have a history of descending into the gutter when fighting for power. I (as an outsider looking in) couldn’t say one is better or worse than the other.

I fully agree with the ‘innocent until proven..’ however feel that there are times when it is better for the strong leader to say ‘I’m innocent however in the interests of my party I will stand aside until a full and impartial enquiry has taken place’ then immediately draw both parties into a bipartisan management of the enquiry while putting the other side on notice that if there are any skeletons in their closet it will all come out.

With the election so close, I firmly believe that only a fiece approach with a clear message to the American people that there will be a transparent detailed enquiry beginning immediately will blunt the opposition attacks.

The GOP needs to seize control of the media on this, be seen to be ruthless in pursuing the truth. If it needs for some high profile people to stand aside during the investigation then they should.

Nothing succeeds in blunting this sort of attack better than commanding the moral high ground and being seen to be ruthless on friend and foe alike. Perhaps Foley’s Arse should be dragged back to Washington for some heated questioning. Be seen to be on the attack, not on the defensive.

Apart from the politics of the whole thing we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the people are rightly worried that if their sons and daughters may be at risk from sexual predators in the highest seat of government where will they be safe.

Sal, it’s been a hectic time down here in Queensland – ‘Beautiful one day, Perfect the next’. Seems that just when I think I’m on top of everything we have another record month and I’m back to hiring more staff and all the training that goes with it.

And I thought I moved to several acres on the coast an hour from the nearest city to wind back from the corporate lifestyle…. FAT CHANCE! A new office in the nearest town and it’s all on again.

Cheers
R

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rightonoz October 6, 2006 at 8:36 pm

Just an add on,

Several posters have mentioned the liberal media and potential bias.

While it is easy to be rightly offended over the one eyed reporting in that media, it has to be stated that the champion of the right wing – Rupert Murdoch is just as one eyed in the opposite direction – even worse so in that he has significant political clout. (We had him for many years prior to you guys and know only too well how he ruthlessly fires anyone who doesn’t ‘report’ exactly per his instructions and actively attempts to influence the public to supporting those politicians who bend to his will.)

Sometimes wish there was someone in the middle that actually reported the facts without bias in either direction and leave supposedly intelligent people to make up their own minds, but at least having a right wing press saves us from having to listen to non stop left wing drivel!

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Ryan October 6, 2006 at 10:39 pm

My students wanted to talk about this very issue today. Just saying the word “intern” gets an eyebrow raised and a giggle from the back of class (but there’s no Zippergate fallout… eight years later, with students who were seven at the time?).

My lament was that issues like this at this time prevent our elected officials from talking candidly about the real issues. If the Republicans were to go down this election, then I’d want it to be low turnout forced by the Republicans spending like drunken sailors and ignoring the link between Homeland security and the borders while only giving an Iraq speech on average once every three months, and NOT because of a sex scandal that in no way truly reflects the day to day governing ability of the current Congress in a time of war. To be fair, I noted in class that if the Dems win, it should be because they won in the arena of ideas about where best to take this country, not about a scandalous “gotcha.”

It was a good, frank discussion that ended up satisfying the whole class. It’s rare that the kids will get into such a civil and robust debate on different political points of view. I never overtly side with either party, but offer up an opposing viewpoint if one wasn’t mentioned.

How that relates to this issue is that the press is making this an issue, condemning every Republican they can while conveniently leaving out Democratic precedents on these matters. It’s political– not about the real issues– which turns people off the process. Foley’s resigned, Hastert’s got people looking in on this issue, and someone will hang. Let’s let the process unfold before tightening up the nooses.

I have this opinion because in a fair contest in the arena of ideas, the Republicans will beat the Dems, whose message is inconsistent, unpopular, and at times morally out of touch with the average American.

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