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Foley politics

I can’t at the moment improve upon John Podhoretz’s summary of the political fallout.

Discussions - 14 Comments

And the premise: a Democrat is to blame?


There’s plenty of blame to go around: Foley; the (Republican) leadership, for not being sufficiently inquisitive about the initial emails; and those who leaked the most incendiary evidence to the press. As I’ve noted before, a genuine interest in either institutional integrity or the safety of the pages would likely have led to a different strategy in dealing with the evidence.

And, yes, I recognize that my last sentence can apply to either the second or the third of the aforementioned parties. In one case, the motive might have been something like wishful thinking and the desire not to rock the boat--signs, perhaps, perhaps of weakness and the capacity for self-delusion that you don’t want to see in political leaders. In the other case, it’s the politically instrumental use of evidence of wrong-doing, of a calculating disregard for the rights of either the accused or the victims.

As some have noted, only partly in jest: would that the Democrats were as zealous in dealing with communications belonging to our real enemies!

Defeatism isn’t what we need right now.

We don’t need another analysis of how this could hurt the GOP and why. All that’s too obvious.

HOW WE CAN "IMPROVE UPON" Podhoretz’s thumbsucker column???

Tell us how to fight this. How to effectively communicate the Democrats’ utter, 100 percent hypocrisy and cynicism on the issue.

Why don’t we focus on that, not how awful this is for us?

As conservative intellectuals, we need to be LEADERS here, not WHINERS.

How to effectively communicate the Democrats’ utter, 100 percent hypocrisy and cynicism on the issue. Why don’t we focus on that, not how awful this is for us? As conservative intellectuals, we need to be LEADERS here, not WHINERS.


Dude, can’t you see that shouting to call attention to the Democrats about this IS whining? The time to point that out is a week or two after you’ve taken the high road. The right is earning a reputation as the Blame Clinton First crowd.

Part of being an intellectual (conservative or otherwise) is exercising independent judgment, not simply being a cheerleader.

Obviously. But the intellectual who cares about political outcomes should provide whatever guidance or advice he can to his side. That doesn’t conflict with independent judgment.

I agree. I was calling attention to Podhoretz’ first sentense.

Long about now we could use a few less conservative "intellectuals" and a helluva lot more cheerleaders.

Defeat is not an option, folks, it’s a lonely, pathetic orphan.

The thing that voters would respect most would be for all concerned, all the leaders who knew about Foley, or SHOULD have known, could have known, to step down right now.

It’s not as if they can’t be replaced. None of them are all that great anyway. But the respect and good will the party would gain would be immeasurable.

What the party needs is to act totally unlike politicians. Acting like politicians is what got them in this mess in the first place. They need to act like statesmen. But I don’t think they have it in them. If they had, they would have done the right thing, given Foley the boot, gone public with it all, taken their lumps, and maybe lost one single seat.

I think the idea that this the work of a "Machiavellian Democratic political operative" is frightening. Not because it’s true but it’s so ludichrist that I fear some have become unhinged. If the Democratic party has gotten it’s act THAT much together... well, forget it. But I can’t believe it.

Consider these facts. The pages were all sponsored by Republicans, the children of significant Republican players who got them placed in the program. They used their political connections to get their kids in this "fact track" program. $omeone did a favor for their constituency.

Were these kids brainwashed to entice? Did they work out to look more attractive? Buns of steel? How many years was this plot in the works? 10? 15? 20? Were they "raised Republican?" Did they wear pheromones? This is a crazy idea.

The damage wasn’t that Foley had an "R" after his name. The scandel here is that this went on for years and years and the leadership had some inkling, more than some, a number of complaints actually. And they let it all slide. The idea that this is all political gamesmanship IS the problem. It’s placing politics before principle is the problem, AGAIN!

Values voters consider that irresponsible leadership. The Republican base is expecting those at fault to be removed. They refuse to leave.

That is the problem. Find the way back by repeating... "This was a good thing. Foley needed to be removed from office. He was a danger to kids. Those who protected him need to be removed from office too. There is a sickness in my party, it needs to be healed."

The Washington Times is right: [Hastert] should resign his leadership post.

So should Rep. Tom Reynolds, the House GOP campaign chairman, who according to news accounts said: "I don’t think I went wrong at all; I don’t know what else I could have done."

I do....

It is enough for me that GOP leaders knew that a parent and child had lodged a complaint. They should at a minimum have questioned other pages to find out if other boys may have been involved.

A full investigation must now take place, and Dennis Hastert simply cannot credibly oversee it.....

With great power comes great responsibility. Memo to GOP House leaders: Have the decency to accept responsibility and resign from leadership. Or come November, I vote to let the other side put their bums in charge.

Courtesy of Maggie Gallagher.

And until the ruling champions of "moral values" stop trying to blame everyone else and take responsility for their actions, there will be many more Maggie Gallaghers.

This won’t surprise you, but I think that Podhoretz is full of it. First, it’s not clear that any operative "designed" this scandal, and saying otherwise makes you look silly. The damning evidence was provided to the media by a Republican. Republicans attempted to keep as much of this as possible from Democrats. There are no facts that seriously call any of these claims into question; instead, you’ve only got damage control arguments by Hastert, Podhoretz, and others to the contrary.

Second, as much as this might hurt to think about, given the disfavor that has descended on Bush and the Republicans, people are probably looking for neutral reasons to stay home or to opppose them. Voters don’t need to change their identity to turn away from the party that couldn’t protect House pages from one of their own. That doesn’t mean that people are happy with Bush, though. They’re just looking for an excuse to break off the relationship, so to speak.

Brett: At last! Somebody else who noticed Podhoretz’ insinuation, that a canny Democratic operative is to blame. If Republicans are looking for statesmanship to mitigate the effects of this story, I’d say they need an advisor other than Podhoretz.

No one on this side of the aisle doubts that "Democratic operatives" institigated this "outing." It’s a typical "October surprise," and we’d better get used to it. We are playing poker with cheaters, and that’s the fact.

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