I guess they are finally starting to realize how damaging this Foley scandal is, because my former allies in the right wing are penning numerous pieces ‘warning’ the Democrats not to use the Foley scandal thiselection cycle because it will hurt… the Democrats.
Seriously. Check out Dean Barnett’s ‘advice’ to Democrats:
If that was all that happened that night, it would have been plenty distasteful. But what made the Wellstone Memorial noteworthy was its raw ugliness. Republican dignitaries who attended the event to show their respect for Wellstone were booed when their images were shown on the Jumbotron. Many fevered-swamp type Democrats saw nothing wrong with this. The country recoiled from the spectacle, utterly repulsed and shocked. To many Democrats, though, the unsightliness of the Wellstone funeral apparently remains an obscure mystery.
The Democratic Party seems intent on replaying this mistake with the Foley affair. Let’s temporarily put aside the timing of the release of the Instant Messages and who-knew-what-when. Let’s just say for the moment that while the media currently hounds the Republican leadership, it’s a safe bet that it wasn’t the Republican leadership that plopped Foley’s IM’s into the lap of ABC News. If whoever was the errand boy delayed delivery to best achieve maximum political benefit, then the Democrats’ newfound status as the party of conventional morality will receive a decided blow.
But the real story here is the party’s eagerness to use victimized children as a campaign prop. The Patty Wettering campaign spot that I linked to earlier today tips the Democrats’ hand. Wettering is best known as a children’s advocate. Her own 11 year old son was kidnapped and never found. Thus, Wettering has the proverbial Cindy Sheehan cloak of putative “absolute moral authority” that the simple-minded so admire.
I thought the way certain Republicans and dignitaries werre treated at the Wellstone affair was wrong, I thought it made the Democrats look like idiots, and I still believe that.
But this ain’t the Wellstone funeral. This is the Republican Congressional leadership deciding, despite warning signs and being told repeatedly, to do nothing about one of their own, who was at best soliciting sex from pages over the internet, and at worst- well, who knows. The party that turned a blowjob into high treason knows how bad this is, and they are in damage control mode now.
So over the next few weeks we will have to hear all sorts of advice from sites like Hugh Hewitt’s in which they will be offering helpful tidbits (because they care). What you should understand is that they are scared- the more they squeal, the harder you hit. Dean Barnett may not have figured it out, but teh GOP sure has- this issue is explosive.
Why else would the GOP be trying to tie this to Democrats? Think Katherine Harris’s “What did the Democrats know” was just her thinking on her feet? Think it was a mistake that Mark Foley was labeled a Democrat several times on Fox? There is a reason Fordham, Reynolds, Shimkus, and the rest of them can’t even get their stories straight. Think it is a coincidence that despite resigning today, Fordham still dumped this on Hastert and leadership? Republcians and their spinmeisters know how bad this is- it is why they can’t get a sentence out on the topic without mentioning Barney Frank and Gerry Studds (Red State and Barnett both manage to work Ted kennedy into the equation- BOO! Scary Democrats! Kennedy! Booo!). It is why Reynolds, yesterday, in one of the most pathetic displays ever, wrapped himself in children at a day care center to have a press conference.
The Republicans are scared- and they should be. Think of every bullshit law that has been passed in the past ten years by the ‘values’ party- drug laws, terrorism bills, video game labeling, internet monitoring, porn crackdowns- virtually every right wing nutjob wishlist bill has been passed based on support from the public because it was ‘for the children.’ And with Foley, you have the Republican party, when it matters the most- protecting kids in the most basic sense, deciding to look the other way because it might get in the way of their never-ending pursuit of more and more political power. Or they were just too busy to do anything. You choose.
So yeah. They are scared. They should be. And Dean Barnett’s ‘advice’ should be read for what it is- a plea that you stop hitting Republicans over the head with the issue. Right now, only a fool would stop swinging.