Democrats waste no time in jumping all over Foleygate

First rule of politics. When the opposition hands you a ready-made campaign issue on a platter, don’t hesitate: Seize the day and run with it.

Writes Marc Sandalow of The San Francisco Chronicle:

Democrats are using the House page scandal in dozens, possibly hundreds, of races across the country to make the case that Republican leaders in Washington have grown drunk with power and should be voted out in November.

Rather than focus on the misdoings of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned Friday and entered an alcohol rehabilitation program over the weekend, Democratic candidates say the scandal is characteristic of a party preoccupied with protecting its congressional majority at the expense of the public interest.

Less than five weeks before Election Day, analysts from both parties agree that Democrats have been handed a potentially potent gift, bolstering already high expectations of significant gains in November.

Democratic consultant James Carville said if the election were held today, "this thing would be a rout," an assessment shared by a growing number of Republicans.

For more than a year, Democratic leaders have trotted out new slogans trying to play off dissatisfaction with Congress, the war in Iraq and the economy, blaming Republicans for a "culture of corruption" and asserting that the country needs a "new direction" and that "together, we can do better."

In a matter of days, the lurid details of Foley’s e-mails to underage pages and the GOP’s response has provided Democrats an easy-to-digest version of the same story line, and one which they show every intention of keeping alive.

One House candidate, Patty Wetterling of Minnesota, has already begun airing television commercials attacking Republican leaders who "knowingly ignored the welfare of children to protect their power," and Democrats have selected Wetterling to deliver the party’s weekly radio address Saturday.

Scores of candidates from California to Connecticut are keeping the issue before voters by demanding that Republicans renounce House leaders who may have received advance warning of Foley’s troubles, return Foley’s campaign contributions _ which exceed $100,000 during the current campaign _ and join the call for House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois to resign.

"It’s already bigger than Mark Foley. It’s already about Dennis Hastert, the Republican leadership, and how they run the House. It’s playing out and the GOP are scrambling," said independent pollster John Zogby, whose recent polls in battleground districts show Democrats with a comfortable edge as they seek the 15 net seats needed to win majority control of the House.

16 Responses to "Democrats waste no time in jumping all over Foleygate"

  1. John Hanks  October 6, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    My impression of the Democrats has been that they are the hunkered down enablers that they have always been. Some of their mailings to the faithful have been full of fire, but I was sure that they would have to be bogus. Democrats always deal in “light”, never in “heat”. (Meanwhile, Bush has now stolen habeus corpus)

  2. Frenchy  October 6, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    To answer your question, C, yes, Americans really *are* that stupid…look who they voted for in 2004 after being subjected to a manufactured ‘scandal’ regarding something John Kerry allegedly did 35 years ago (shoot a VC kid in the back) in the Mekong Delta. At least *this* scandal is *real*…even the Republicans, for a change, don’t have the cojones to deny *this* one. Hey, we impeached a president over a blowjob and that wasn’t illegal either.

    To quote the GOP’s favorite book, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Enjoy the harvest, boys…and it’s good to see the Democrats finally play the way they have to to win. Is it dirty and unethical? Hell yeah, and I’m sorry American politics has sunk so low, but this is how Republicans – and voters – want it.

  3. linda  October 6, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    JoyfulC asks:

    what law was broken? Is it illegal to chat up persons over the age of consent in the US now?

    The quick answer is, yes. It is dependent upon the topic being chatted about.

    In Foley’s home state of Florida the law on Sexual Predators is quite clear. Section. 827.071 – Child Abuse, employ, consent, promote, etc., sexual performance by a child is a Second Degree Felony.

    Rather than refer Foley for criminal prosecution, the GOP tried to sweep it all under the rug. Which is why people are wondering if a law was broken. That law was most definitely broken.

    I suggest you read the instant messages transcripts that were posted on numerous internet sites, including this one:

    http://rightmoment.blogspot.com/2006/09/did-you-spank-it-this-weekend-yourself.html

    Reading those messages while keeping in mind Section. 827.071 leaves no other alternative but to realize the law was broken.

  4. Dave  October 6, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    What law was broken? Well, in some places those messages would be considered ‘grooming’ a minor for sexual predation, and it’s a big felony. Period. End of discussion. No law against it in DC doesn’t make it any less heinous.

    As for running with this ball, I hope the Dems mow them down with it. We’re fighting for our very freedoms here. These bastards aren’t just greedy pigs who’ll steal the entire treasury to line their pockets and want to stay in power for that. No, they’ll screw your kids, and your spouse, snort up all the coke in the world and call you a terrorist sympathizer if you dare complain. And THAT is when it will get tough, because their great big head will ID you as one, and then you’ll disappear. Detained, never to return. Just like in Chile.

    Saul Alinsky was right when he said you’re not playing politics when you go up against these guys – you’re fighting for your political life and your goal is to win, not to ‘play fair’. And he was a populist community organizer – exactly the kind of guy the patriot act would give Bush the power to detain.

  5. David Rosenberg  October 6, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    The Democrats have to stop and smell the roses. Unless people have been living in a cave for the past week, everyone knows about Mark Foley and what he did. There is no great need to pound on this. Pounding to hard and longer then need be, will start a reverse trend, of being and feeling sorry for Mr. Foley. They could look very closely at what went on and think what Foley did is not all that horrible. Foley never met face to face with any of the Boys he was sending IM’s to. Foley’s lawyer has done a very good job, deflecting the story by showing Foley as a victim of abuse.
    Democrats should just let the story play by itself. The damage it is doing really doesn’t need their help.

  6. Jeffery Haas  October 6, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    Not only will they snort up all the cocaine in the room, they’ll help make sure it’s delivered!
    Michael C. Ruppert made a name for himself in exposing the CIA-GOP-Wall Street cocaine connection, and what’s more, he did it with such clarity and accuracy it nearly cost DCI John Deutsch
    his job when Ruppert testified before the Senate.
    Cocaine…it’s a Republican drug.

  7. David Rosenberg  October 6, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    This is a continuation of my first Posting.
    Democrats have their own skeltons, the more they go on pounding on Foley, it will have Republicans ratteling them.
    Noah Goldberg already wrote an article bringing out a few, making a point of Democrats being Hypocrits. There is one big difference between the Democrats and Republicans, that is the Democrats sexual misgivings are Hetrosexual, while the Republicans problem at hand is of the Homosexual. The straight laced Homo Hating Republicans, still hold the short end of the stick.

  8. JoyfulC  October 6, 2006 at 6:11 pm
  9. John Hanks  October 6, 2006 at 6:13 pm
  10. Frenchy  October 6, 2006 at 7:16 pm
  11. linda  October 6, 2006 at 7:25 pm
  12. Dave  October 6, 2006 at 8:11 pm
  13. David Rosenberg  October 6, 2006 at 10:59 pm
  14. Jeffery Haas  October 6, 2006 at 11:04 pm
  15. David Rosenberg  October 6, 2006 at 11:12 pm
  16. JoyfulC  October 6, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Are American voters really that stupid? Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither pro-Democrat or pro-Republican. (I’m pro-competent elected official — anybody seen one lately???)

    The page in question was 16 — what law was broken? Is it illegal to chat up persons over the age of consent in the US now? It may have been bad judgement on Foley’s part, and it’s an embarrassment that it came to light — but should it affect how anyone votes for anyone other than him?

    I also think it’s naive to think that voters in his home district will vote Democrat over this matter. Who knows? Maybe they will! But I’m putting my money on their voting in Foley’s Republican replacement because I believe voters in Foley’s district care more about tax cuts for the wealthy than morality.

    If America’s politicians and America’s media can’t pull themselves away from the hypnotic glare of scandal mongering, then maybe eventually the voters will have to lead the way.

    ..c..

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