Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why the Public Clamor?

The Republican Party has suffered many setbacks, but none as great as Foleygate. Why? Though the deeds and their cover-up are atrocious, you can’t say that what Republican leaders did with regard to Mark Foley is worse than what they did (or did not do) with reference to the Iraq debacle, the Katrina catastrophe, their K-Street partnership, the corruption of Jack Abramoff and their voting to allow torture. Of course, not. So why the public outcry now?

I have been writing against the Iraq War from the beginning. Very little reaction - until a couple of years later when it became obvious that we're witnessing sectarian violence. Even now, criticism is muted. We're told it's only mass violence, not yet civil war.

Katrina came and images of poor black people getting caught in the onslaught appeared on TV screens. Americans were horrified, but politics proceeded as usual.

Republicans made K-Street, the center for lobbyists, an arm of the Republican Party. Lobbyists paid money and in return got the opportunity to write legislation to help their business clients. Most Americans were not aware of this corruption - until Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay became famous, or infamous. Lots of criticism, but not much emotion.

Even when Bush promoted the necessity for torture and John McCain and the other Republican senators caved into the so-called "compromise," and stained the Constitution by passing the bill that allows torture, Americans were not as upset as they should have been.

Here comes a tawdry affair about a gay representative abusing a 16-year old page, and the whole country erupts. Why? Republicans all over are running around making one stupid remark after another. These are the same Republicans who have won election after election through their message discipline. Unbelievable. Important events affecting our lives and our future make little impression, while homosexuality and abuse do. Why does Foleygate resonate?

I happend to visit a new blog today that answers my question. The blog is named "Unclaimed Territory.". Here is a gem of a paragraph that explains the clamor:

But for so many reasons -- its relative simplicity, its crystal clarity, the involvement of emotionally-charged issues, the salacious sex aspects -- this Foley scandal circumvents that whole dynamic [journalists and pundits] . People are paying attention on their own. They don't need pundits or journalists to tell them what to think about it because they are able to form deeply held opinions on their own. None of the standard obfuscation tactics used for so long by Bush followers are working here. To the contrary, their attempted use of those tactics is making things much worse for them, because people can see that Bush followers are attempting -- through the use of patently dishonest and corrupt tactics -- to excuse the inexcusable. And seeing that, it gives great credence to all of the accusations voiced over the last five years that this is how the Bush movement operates in every area, because people can now see it for themselves.

Let Republicans excuse themselves, criticize pages, place the blame on Democrats (as Newt Gingrich is doing). The more they do it the less credible they become. Already a nationwide poll has found that there has been a 21-point drop in support among white evangelicals for Republican candidates.

Yes, the public is finally seeing current Republicans for what they are: inept, corrupt and reckless people, who have won election through lies, smears and ruthless attacks. The public is up in arms and clamoring for the overthrow of the mean Republican machine.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 6, 2006 6:17 PM
Comments
Comment #186763

You ask a good question. Why is this such a big deal considering everything else? I’d guess because it’s easy to understand, it involves homosexuality, and it doesn’t involve torturing foreigh “others.” This country is really stupid, sometimes.

Posted by: Trent at October 6, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #186767

Us middle america types may not be politically savvy but when you say sex scandel our ears perk up and we know of what you speak and you cant double talk us. We know its true.
However when we hear all the other issues you mentioned get rationalized away on Fox news then we just are to busy to really stop and think about it.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 6, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #186772

Good post and replies. I also think it’s because the Republicans act as though there really aren’t any gay people in their party (even though there are many). I mean, have you ever seen a Log Cabin Republican speak at their Conventions? No, instead they try to act as though the entire party is totally comprised of stellar Christians of perfect morals, therefore, none of them could ever be a pervert — nor would any of them have ever helped to cover it up.
So, all in one fell swoop the whole country is seeing that 1.) Yes, there is such a thing as a gay Republican, and some of them hold office, even if they are willing to vote against their own interests. 2.) Yes, Republicans can be extremely perverted. 3.) Yes, the party is willing to collectively cover up horrible deeds if they believe it will hurt them politically.
It’s kind of a triple play.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 6, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #186777

The reaction is because there is NO way to spin it in a positive light. You can argue for Iraq, you can argue For spending, you CAN’T argue FOR pedophelia, or covering it up.
Thank god for a republican scandal even Kansians can understand.

Posted by: Observer at October 6, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #186781

No!…ummm He did it! mmmm We didn’t know!…. hmmmm It’s all the democrats fault!

There’s no way to spin or contrive or confuse. If Foley had played innocent, he may have survived for a bit, but when you’re guilty and you know what is to come is truly bad, then … well, you go home in shame.

What I’m amazed at is the insane back stabbing from the Republicans. Seriously, I’ve never seen this before… it’s always been like everyone got “the memo.” But here, it’s like they all expected the other guy to be the fall guy… and it looks as if they’re all guilty.

As seen on Hardball tonight, from a moron from home state (NC): “The only question remaining is what Democrats knew, and when they knew it.”

Yea… right. He even went as far as to say that he was demanding that key Democrats come into the ethics committee and state under oath what they knew and when they knew it.

Shouldn’t we get Foley, Hastert and Boehner under oath first? We know they’ve know about this for a very long time.

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #186783

No Tony there is still “it was the pages fault” as so cleverly stated by a repub from Utah.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 6, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #186785

Oh yea…

“WASHINGTON - Rep. Chris Cannon today attempted to clarify public comments he made last night seeming to blame teen-age congressional pages in the unfolding scandal with disgraced ex-Rep. Mark Foley.

“These kids are actually precocious kids,” Cannon, R-Utah, told KSL Radio’s Nightside. “It looks like uh, maybe this one email is a prank where you had a bunch of kids sitting [around] egging this guy on.”

Cannon, who has defended House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s handling of the scandal, also said Thursday that there’s not much to do other than educate kids to the dangers of going online.

“Frankly, this is the responsibility of the parents,” Cannon said. “If you get online you may find people who are creepy. There are creepy people out there who will do and say creepy things. Avoid them. That’s what you have to do. And maybe we can say that a little more to the pages.”

Sheeeesh…. kids these days!?!?!?

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #186786

I said this on another post republicans trying to blame Democrats for this foley thing is just stupid were not that good I wish we were. Not even rove is this good. They can spin it all they wish buts it’s there problem.

Posted by: Jeff at October 6, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #186788

It’s kind of like watching a dog trying to catch it’s own tail.

Best thing to do is just stand back…


and laugh your ass off.

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #186790

Were is that plisner guy I bet he could put a good spin on this.

Posted by: Jeff at October 6, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #186791

If I had to prop us these snakes in DC… I think I’d run out of steam pretty quickly.

For the past 4 years, every single headline has been followed with “…but…”

No WMDs … but…

Ignores 9/11 (got D grade on homeland security) … but…

Failed to pass Social Security reform … but …

bin Laden “wanted Dead or Alive” … but ….

Who cares about Bin Laden … but …

Iraq is on the verge of a civil war …but …

Delay indicted …but…

Libby indicted …but…

Cunningham indicted… but…

Ney indicted …but …

Foley is an internet child sex predator… but…

Hastert cover Foley’s ass …but…

——
I got tired just writing all that down.

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #186792

Public clamor? Media clamor is more like it. While the blogs and the media hyperventilate over every latest dirty instant message and speculate wildly about what it all “means for the election”, it means a great deal less than they think.

The Pew poll Paul cites is actually measuring many other things than the public reaction to the Foley story. For one thing, it’s measuring the decrease in the intensity of support among evangelicals since the 2004 election (when Bush topped the Republican ticket and when Karl Rove put together a massive GOTV campaign).

If you want to see the Pew poll that directly addresses the Foley fallout, look here.

The Foley effect is statistically negligible. In fact, Pew is saying that bipartisan “job approval of Republican leaders” actually went up a point since Foley’s resignation and “disapproval” went down three points! Go figure.

The Republicans are definitely going to lose some seats, but only Foley’s seat will having anything to do with the Foley scandal.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 6, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #186793

Pilsner…

Have you actually seen the polls coming out lately?

People who are aware of the Foley scandal = 80%

Of those people, 65% beleive REP leadership covered it up
… 18% beleive they just found out about it

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #186794

Tony, so what?

I’m surprised that 100% of the population hasn’t heard about it.

And even in 100% of the population also believed that the Republican leadership convered for Foley, the question is still whether they care enough dirty e-messages and a potential coverup to let it influence how they vote.

The polls which ask THAT question clearly say that they do not.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 6, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #186796

????

Did you follow the link I sent????

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #186798

Tony, I did follow it. It was nothing but more blah blah blah from a talking head about the whole Foley circus and more citations from polls which do not address the issue of how people will actually VOTE in response to it.

Yes, people KNOW about it. Yes, many seem to think that Foley was protected by the Republican leadership. Yes, it’s making some Republicans nervous and many Democrats gleeful.

But once again, look at the Pew poll post-Foley that I linked to above which actually addresses the question of whether people intend to vote differently as a result.

The poll simply confirms what common sense should tell us. The election is about Iraq and other issues, and this Foley story is simply a tempest in a teapot.

Here’s a question for you: are liberals suddenly going to abandon the Democrats and vote for Republicans if a scandal involving a Democrat erupts tomorrow? No, of course not. It’s one thing to dissaprove of your side or one member of your side—it’s quite another to switch teams.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 6, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #186801

“Here’s a question for you: are liberals suddenly going to abandon the Democrats and vote for Republicans if a scandal involving a Democrat erupts tomorrow? No, of course not. “

Sorry - I’m voting every incumbent bastard out of office.

Democrats suck - Republicans suck… your guys are just a lot more adept at it.

Posted by: tony at October 6, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #186803

Pilsner
Of course strong Republicans will stand my their men and women, but what about those that just lean Republican, what about independents, what about the heart broken religious right who saw the Republicans as the last hope for morality in this country?

Posted by: mark at October 6, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #186806

Pilsner = Denial

Won’t affect anything… OK… whatever you say.

Good luck to you. BTW, when the Democrats hold the Senate, the House, and the Presidency, we will be watching and waiting for you conservatives to show us how you aren’t ‘haters’ and will support the opposition administration. We know how you hold those qualities in high regard and you will be sure to set a good example, I’m sure.

Posted by: LibRick at October 6, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #186811

Mark, a considerable number of independents and those who only lean Republican are going to vote against Republican control of Congress in 06 anyway, and for reasons having nothing to do with Foley. That was already a done deal.

The “heart-broken religious right who saw the Republicans as the last hope for morality in this country.” however, is a fiction. It’s a grotesque oversimplification of how the religious right operates politically in this country.

Like any special interest, the Christian right gravitates towards those that they see as most likely to advance their agenda. They are for school choice, are anti-gay marriage, pro-life, etc, and to the extent that they vote for this agenda when they go to the polls, a scandal involving suggestive messages to a young man from a Florida congressman who most of them had never heard of before changes nothing.

In fact, the Christian right has repeatedly voted for Democratic candidates in certain districts who advance their agenda. They truly do care about their agenda, and they vote accordingly. The idea that they can’t figure out who is most in line with what they want legislatively and are merely fooled into voting for Republicans is ridiculous.

No Republican currently running who is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, pro school choice, etc has any reason to suddenly doubt the support of the religious right in a contest against a Democrat who is against any of those things—not because of Mark Foley, not because of anything.

If George Bush or Rick Santorum had sent thos messages, it could very likely be a different story, but Mark Foley? Forget it.

Frankly, it’s a ludicrous Democratic pipe dream that evangelical Christians are suddently going to have some sort of meltdown and be pried away from the Republican party at the revelation that there are gays in their midst or they feel that Republicans have tried to keep it a secret. Kerry and Edwards believed in this pipe dream in 04 and kept rambling on about Dick Cheney’s gay daughter, to no effect whatsoever.

At the end of the day, probably the biggest issue evangelicals are wrapped in is that of abortion. Which party is pro-life? How does Foley change that dynamic? He doesn’t at all. The Foley scandal makes good theater, but that’s it.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 6, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #186823

The only cover up here is the one from CREW. This George Soros backed group had the information in April and didn’t release it until last Friday. Why? Why did they only give authorities edited versions of the emails and IM’s? They also won’t tell them where they came from. I wonder why?

Posted by: Keith at October 7, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #186829

We need to stop with the “politics of personal destruction.” Maybe Foley should say, “I did not have sexual relations with that…” page. Oh wait. He didnt have sex with anybody. So, we have a sex scandal without the sex. Somebody call Starr.

Posted by: JoeRWC at October 7, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #186832

There was this T shirt: “Somebody give Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him.” We didn’t get that, but we got something almost as good.

Posted by: aClem at October 7, 2006 6:21 AM
Comment #186834

“The only cover up here is the one from CREW. This George Soros backed group had the information in April and didn’t release it until last Friday. Why? Why did they only give authorities edited versions of the emails and IM’s? They also won’t tell them where they came from. I wonder why?”

Of course - this is all somebody else’s fault. (Is this what REPs mean by STAY THE COURSE? )

This is kind of like blaming the otters for the Valdese accident… THEY KNEW OIL SHIPS PASSED BY THEIR HOMES.. THEY IGNORED THE DANGERS.

Posted by: tony at October 7, 2006 7:23 AM
Comment #186838

Pilsner,

It has already had a big impact on the election, because this past week was supposed to be when the GOP used their propaganda machine to turn the tables on the Democrats. We were supposed to be hearing “If you vote for a Democrat, terrorists will blow up your children.”

Now we’re hearing a sort of variation on that theme, but it’s not so good for the GOP.

The poll you looked at was too early to get a good read on what is going on.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #186842

Plisner is right about the evangelicals christians not changing partys. And frankly I do not need there twisted views on god in my party.

Posted by: Jeff at October 7, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #186847

Why would you consider writing some nasty letters to a child the worst things the republicans have ever done.the truth is historically both political parties have had sex scandals . To hold a politically party accountable for the decadent behavior of one person is completely ludacris.I think if you are truly liberal you would forgive this mans trnsgressions and focus on issues that really matter in this day and age .For example why in areas where the teachers are paid very well the students still score badly exams? Why do people drive suv’s when we have a war raging to keep our oil supply flowing.To vote for a political party because of a sex scandle is the most idiotic premise i have ever heard.

Posted by: russell at October 7, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #186848

Pilsner

Granted, the Christian fundamentalists being heart-broken point I made earlier is a simplification as you pointed out, however I still think the Foley scandle, and more importantly the way the Republican leadership has handled it(from the time they first became aware of it) has got to have an effect of at least causing some suppression of the Christian right vote. Given that this is not a Presidential election and now this Foley scandle I do not see the Christian right have their minions out to vote in 2006 as in 2004.

Posted by: mark at October 7, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #186853

New motto for sex scandals of the new millenium:
boys will be boys with boys. We’re going to miss a consenting adult male getting a blow job from a consenting adult female.

Posted by: karen a smith at October 7, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #186856

I disagree that Christian evangelicals will dismiss the Foley scandal as a nonfactor in their voting decisions, however, if the biggest issue for the Christian evangelicals is the issue of abortion rights, why has the Republican House, Senate, and White House, not advanced legislation restricting or outlawing abortion? Why don’t they push legislation which would put a test case before the Supreme Court? Perhaps this missed opportunity has the evangelicals despondent and sitting at home with their head in their hands.

Posted by: LibRick at October 7, 2006 9:25 AM
Comment #186857

Hasn’t everyone figured out yet that Foleygate is the fault of liberals like me?

From The Arlington Group:

“We are very concerned that the early warnings of Mr. Foley’s odd behavior toward young male pages may have been overlooked or treated with deference, fearing a backlash from the radical gay rights movement because of Mr. Foley’s sexual orientation. It appears that the integrity of the conservative majority has given way to political correctness, trading the virtues of decency and respect for that of tolerance and diversity. No one should be surprised at the results of such a tragic exchange.”

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=73682

Yeah, right, the Republicans feared a backlash from “radical” gays so they traded their “virtues” (cough, cough, gag) for tolerance and diversity.

So, I’m liberal and I believe in tolerance and diversity. It’s all my fault, well mine and George Soros’.

You Republicans really are just too damn funny.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 7, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #186861

“Why would you consider writing some nasty letters to a child the worst things the republicans have ever done.”

IMO - the current leadership (who happens to be Republican) is guilty of massive failures, egregious lies, outright wrong decisions and the loss of life. However, it’s not the sexual action taken towards a minor, it’s the interest in sexual interaction with a minor that is perverted and sick. It’s the cover up by those in charge in hopes of preserving political control and power that is sick and twisted. It’s the attempt at blaming others for their own shortcomings and ill-intent that is sick and twisted. Added together, it can be seen as one of the lowest points of a group of leaders. Sadly, there have been far too many of these low points.

Reminding us that others have been guilty of similar actions n the past never works as an excuse, but it does remind us of the ills of unchecked power and it’s resulting corruption. (This is not a result of a political party, it’s the result of absolute power.)

Posted by: tony at October 7, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #186862

Why? Because THIS TIME IT OBVIOUSLY CAN’T BE BLAMED ON CLINTON!

Posted by: capnmike at October 7, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #186868

The Republicans are not blaming the Dems for what Mark Foley did. Only for making this the “biggest” issue of the day. Tha fact is the reason this story is getting the traction it is in the press and from the Dems is they don’t want to talk about anything else. None of their other issues is taking hold with the public.

Posted by: Keith at October 7, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #186869

Pilsner-
An internal Republican party poll states that if Dennis Hastert remains in his position, the predicted 20 seat loss will become a 50 seat loss. That’s a significant effect by even the most spin-dulled standards.

This is the thing you have to understand: your party is in the trouble it is because bit by bit its been convincing people that their continued tenure is based on a cynical desire for power rather than any motivation to represent their principles, or their constituents. Some peel off on the Iraq war and its mishandling. Others have found the fiscal situation intolerable. Yet others will look at this and decide that the party member’s moral leadership was just an illusion meant to cynically manipulate the voters who care about such things.

The problem is, you folks have been sunk so much in your own propaganda that you’ve been denied the ability to put a stop to behavior that is reprehensible, incompetent and corrupt by your own standards as well as the rest of America’s.

You folks have relied on artificial means of supporting your party’s reputation for so long, that your leaders no longer put out such an effort on the more effective, more persistent means of maintaining a reputation: actions and know-how. No party can forever float on a cloud of self-regard. You have to prove yourselves worthy to hold the reins of government. You have to earn people’s trust. You can’t just tell people you’re right, you have to demonstrate it in such away they’ll end up agreeing with you.

That is why the Republican Majority will end up being so short-lived. It took the wrong lesson from history.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 7, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #186873

Keith Your this is just not true. Bring up something that happend 23 years ago and blaming the Democrats for what foley did is what is keeping this B.S alive. I say lets get this behind us and talk about the real issues. Lets talk about Iraq lets talk about hearthcare and what about wages and lets talk about the so called death tax or as I like to call it the Paris Hilton tax refund. Lets talk about keeping our borders safe. And what about our ports and the spending of your party. And on and on so lets talk.

Posted by: Jeff at October 7, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #186876

Keith,

You write:
“Tha fact is the reason this story is getting the traction it is in the press and from the Dems is they don’t want to talk about anything else. None of their other issues is taking hold with the public.”

You could not be more wrong if you tried.

“Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7. In addition to winning—for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll—on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent) and moral values (42 percent to 36 percent), the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34); the economy (53 to 31); health care (57 to 24); federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29); gas and oil prices (56 to 23); and immigration (43 to 34).”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15167150/site/newsweek/page/2/

The story continues to run in the media because it involves sex and other salacious aspects. Worse, the Republicans keep pointing at one another, and making terrible attempts to blame the situation on every but themselves. It should not have last more than a few days, at most. Instead, it stays in the headlines. Both Democrat and Republican political junkies would rather discuss other issues. But if the media insists on covering this story, Democrats will remain relatively quiet, and let the Republicans continue making shameful excuses.

Posted by: phx8 at October 7, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #186879

The reason for the outrage over this is it involves America’s children.

Children who were sent to the seat of power to learn about our government. To have them exploited by a person in a position of power is inexcusable.

I don’t give a crap about this “age of consent” bullshit. It’s bad enough that they may be exposed to this stuff any time, but from a person of power?

If there is to be an “age of consent” it should apply universally to everything. Drinking, driving, etc. And it should be nationwide.

And it is NOT a homosexual issue, no matter the spin machines grinding away. It’s wrong regardless of the sexual orientation of the predator or victim.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 7, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #186884

“Were is that plisner guy I bet he could put a good spin on this.”

Good? no. Dizzying? YEP.
Another interesting tidbit to add.
Aparently, republican leadership would warn incoming REPUBLICAN pages to stay away from Foley. Incoming Democrat pages WERE NOT WARNED.
Again, power and elections over the welfare of children.
Got a spin for that one, Pisner?

Posted by: Observer at October 7, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #186899

(CNN) — Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds apologized Saturday for not catching Rep. Mark Foley in alleged lies about his Internet exchanges with teen pages.

Reynolds, R-New York, who heads his party’s House campaign committee, issued the apology during a commercial aired in his Buffalo-area district.

He also reiterated his assertion that he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert about Foley’s behavior in the spring.

“At the time, I thought I had done the right thing. I have since learned that newspapers in Florida and the FBI had copies of the e-mails for months, and that Foley had been confronted about them and lied,” Reynolds said.

“Looking back, more should have been done, and for that, I am sorry,” he said.”Nobody’s angrier and more disappointed than me that I didn’t catch his lies.”

“I trusted that others had investigated,” he said.


——

Kind of makes the whole “When did the DEMs know about it” argument kind of mute.

Posted by: tony at October 7, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #186903

Oct. 7, 2006 — Republicans had hoped House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s “the buck stops here” speech last Thursday would ease some of the pressure on him, but the daily drip of the Mark Foley scandal continues to keep the focus on what Hastert and his staff knew and when did they know it.

Today, the Washington Post quoted an unnamed Congressional staffer who said Hastert Chief of Staff Scott Palmer, one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, personally met with then-Rep. Foley, R-Fla., about his inappropriate contact with male pages. That meeting, the same source tells the Post, took place long before Hastert says his office was first alerted to “overly-friendly” e-mails Foley had sent to a Louisiana boy.

The New York Times also cites an anonymous Hill source who alleges Palmer was warned about Foley’s troubling behavior well before Hastert has said his aides were first alerted in 2005.

Those two reports seem to back up former Foley Chief of Staff Kirk Fordham’s account — first told to ABC News — that he warned Hastert’s top aide about Foley’s problems as far back as 2003.

———


ooops…

Posted by: tony at October 7, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #186908

The key question of this blog—“why the public clamor?” is a very profound question. Certainly there have been far worse abuses by the administration and the Republican controlled congress than the Foley matter. That the public hasn’t seemed to pick up on the other stories, I think, is indicative of the public attitude in general. People have become innured to politics and are generally cynical. Lies and cover-ups have become the norm and don’t seem to garner much public response anymore. Remember, what brought Nixon down was not the Watergate break-in. It wasn’t even the cover-up, which resulted in so many prison sentences. What ultimately brought him down was when he was forced to admit that he had lied to the public.

The public seems to not want to focus on things that they consider politics-as-usual, including bribes, mis-spending, political favors. Perhaps with all the spin that accompanies those things, people are forced to think too much. They have their own lives to think about and don’t want to have to put their attention on those things. What gets to them are things like sex and murder. Hence a story about Jon Benet Ramsey’s suspected killer trumps a simultaneous story about a commission report that shows the president lied about WMD’s in Iraq. Stories about the Runaway Bride or Robert Blake or OJ Simpson have greater appeal than stories of political importance. We’ve become a society of sound-bites and check-out-counter tabloids. Americans care more about Brad and Angelina than about Rove and Cheney.

I hear conspiracy theorists on both sides of the aisle bemoaning the press. The liberal press. The corporate controlled press. The fact is, the press seems to have abdicated its role as the fourth estate. Where once the press took a leadership role and informed the public of what should concern them, its become a market driven machine with a philosophy of “give the people what they want.” So if a story grabs the public’s attention the media will look for every possible way of exploiting that story. You can almost hear the managing editor assigning all sorts of side spin articles on the topic. It’s non partisan. It’s just responding to public demand for more.

Sex sells. Always has and always will. Ask most people why Clinton was impeached and they’ll tell you it was because he had sex with Monica. It was that part of the story that captivated the public.

Posted by: Stan at October 7, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #186919

“The Republicans are not blaming the Dems for what Mark Foley did. Only for making this the “biggest” issue of the day. Tha fact is the reason this story is getting the traction it is in the press and from the Dems is they don’t want to talk about anything else. None of their other issues is taking hold with the public.”

Keith,

You’re hilarious man. Honestly, you made me laugh so hard I almost puked. I have no idea how the midterms will play out. It’s purely on a state-by-state basis. Here in Kansas I’d doubt that it effects any election by more than one or two percentage points.

Of course here in “red-neck” land voting and party dedication is just like supporting the home team. The most disturbing thing to me is the idea that this is more egregious because it’s a “gay” offense.

Would this be any less offensive if it involved female pages? Would it then be more acceptable to the “party of god”? Do you find it odd that Fox news tries to portray Foley as a Democrat? Or that the Theocratic Right tries to portray this as a “liberal” problem?

I still say that you Republicans are just totally funny. That’s funny, as in you’re all a total joke. So, tell me, who will Bush bomb the hell out of this month? I’m waiting for the October surprise.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 7, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #186938

Stephen, public polls which directly ask the question of whether the Foley scandal is going to change votes show that the answer is no. I’m not just trying to spin this to make the situation look good for Republicans—what would be the point? The votes will be cast as they’re cast, and nobody’s spin will amount to a hill of beans. I’m simply pointing out what the polls say.

I put no stock in unverified “internal Republican polls” which directly contradict what widely publicized and available polls say in plain English. By definition, an “internal poll” is not for public consumption, and if we hear about it all its because someone with an agenda is trying to achieve something. There are plenty of Republicans, as well, who’d like to take advantage of the Foley mess and manipulate the situation to bump him off and move up the ladder.

Observer, pages work for specific members of Congress. Those working for Republican members are going to travel in different circles and hear different rumors than those working for Democratic members. There are no “official warnings” given to anybody about working with specific Congressmen, so that baloney is just something you must have picked up on a left-wing blog somewhere. It’s certainly not supported by any evidence, and you certainly have not provided any.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 8, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #186961

The hypocrisy is visible in all manner of places. The Evangelicals have recorded a 21% drop in their support for the republicans because of Foleygate. But, why wasn’t there a 100% drop? What kind of Evangelism is this?

Posted by: john polifronio at October 8, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #186993

I posted this on the wrong thread last night:

Foley Helped Bush Disenfranchise Florida Black Voters

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/foley-helped-bush-disenfr_b_31193.html

I hadn’t actually thought about the Florida connection but it sounds reasonable. Whether or not it’s truthful I don’t know, I’ll leave that to everyone’s personal discretion.

KD
Posted by: KansasDem at October 8, 2006 12:46 AM

Posted by: KansasDem at October 8, 2006 12:21 PM
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