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Wednesday Wonders

The continuing ex-Foley-ation saga (thanks Joe for that tag!) offers a glimpse of what a Democratic House majority might be like--supercharged indignation and lots of investigative hearings. John Dickinson on slate.com worries that Democrats may be overreacting, in part because "Democrats may have to use homophobia in a way usually associated with the Republican Party." More:

But what if the inappropriate relationship were between a congressman and a 16-year-old female page? Would GOP leaders face the same outrage for missing the warning signs? What if we were judging their actions toward a congresswoman who asked for a picture of a 16-year-old female page? For GOP leaders to pay a heavy political price requires either more evidence that they really knew what Foley was doing or for Democrats to form an alliance, at some level, with people who find homosexuality outrageous no matter what the age.

And with is usual contrarianism, Mickey Kaus raises "the Densepack Theory--the anti-GOP media have launched so many damaging GOP stories that they are all arriving at once and, like fratricidal incoming ICBMs, are knocking each other out of the news rather than destroying their target!"

Meanwhile, the U.S. population is about to pass the 300 million mark. The indispensible Robert Samuelson ponders the matter in this morning’s Washington Compost Happy Wednesday.  

Discussions - 8 Comments

And for folks wondering about the legal issues facing Foley, check out Orin Kerr’s useful review of the statutes.

Why must homophobia be part of the equation? That’s absurd. A Congressman was sending sexually explicit IMs and e-mails to underage pages. Regardless of what combination of genders we’re talking about, therein lies the problem.

What a sad joke that Foley used to be a co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, and that he had a TV appearance with John Walsh where he spoke with such stern authority about what should be done with those who violate children.

Also sad is hearing the NLT gang trot out the "Dems have done dirty stuff too" junk defense, seeing the self-righteous, self-ordained morality party for "values voters" twist and squirm in trying to avoid responsibility, hearing Sean Hannity compare this incident to Clinton’s philandering with an adult woman (falsely ID’ing Lewinsky as a teen), seeing FoxNews/O’Reilly put up a graphic multiple times that identified Foley as a Democrat (can you say "pathetic"?), etc. Of course, now that he’s been caught I fully expect to hear about him being a RINO. When he helped Bush in Florida in late 2000 during his election "difficulties," or when he voted for the Patriot Act, he was a good Republican, or when he said this about Clinton:

"It’s vile, it’s more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

The reason I linked to Dickinson is that he writes for a liberal-leaning site, not NRO or the Weekly Standard. In other words, it’s not just the right that is having an intramural argument about this whole matter.

in a way usually associated with the Republican Party ... that association lives in the mind of DHIMMIcRATs, Liberals and leftists.

This one is simple. An adult man is instant messaging your underage teenage son, asking him to meet and asking him to measure his penis etc etc etc... the people who you have entrusted to care for your son, find out something is wrong, and do nothing about it. Those people, happen to be Republicans in the US Congress.. including the adult male who is molesting your son.
None of this is in dispute, yet the "blame the media" game is in full swing... now that the "naughty emails" "blame Clinton" "blame each other" spin has backfired...
I have an idea... how about we recognize this latest talking point and spin? How about we blame those responsible for this outrage? How about we vote them out of the public trust they have abused?

Craig, I think the problem is that the Republicans as a whole are taking the heat when it is not clear yet who knew what. Some of that stuff is pretty bad (like the IMs) but I haven’t heard whether Hastert had seen them or not. If they did know more than a little about it then I think it’s more than fair to hold some of them responsible. If not, then it’s silly to continue the witch-hunt.

Also, the line about how the news stories "are knocking each other out of the news rather than destroying their target!" is funny and true. About a week ago, I started getting worried, but at this point I just don’t care. We’ll win what we can, which will probably be disturbingly more than we should at this point.

Damn, I missed PC’s post by a minute. . . PC, it’s not like the Republicans sent a memo around detailing Foley’s actions to eachother - very few knew what was going on and it is unclear how much they knew. Again, if Hastert and anyone else knew of the more graphic stuff then they should definitely step down/be voted out, but the Republicans as a whole aren’t to blame.

’When he helped Bush in Florida in late 2000 during his election "difficulties," or when he voted for the Patriot Act, he was a good Republican, or when he said this about Clinton:

"It’s vile, it’s more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."’

I’m not saying this ironically: at least Foley knew what he was talking about.

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