Jonah Goldberg has a long, must-read post putting the Foley matter into perspective. The insight that Americans, gays included, have moved significantly to the right strikes me as especially important. I would take it further and say that shifting attitudes about homosexuality have civilized homosexuals. The prevailing attitude when Gerry Studds was elected was that, whether you thought homosexuals should be shunned or accepted, homosexuality was entirely different from heterosexuality and would naturally operated under a seperate set of rules. The acceptance in gay culture of "man-boy love" would seem to fit well into that paradigm, which helps explain the thinking of old-school gay activists like Harry Hay. These were the people who thought closing the bathhouses in response to the AIDS epidemic was somehow a step backward for gays.
The Spectacle Blog
As a homeschooling father, this paragraph from Cal Thomas's column today on the Amish killings resonated with me:
The AP reports:
A senior congressional aide said Wednesday that he alerted House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office two years ago about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages.
Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had "more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene."
I typically try to err on the cynical side. It prevents disappointment. Sometimes I go out on a limb, like I did on Alan Keyes*, and get knocked dramatically back to earth, but generally I look for worst case scenarios.
Strangely enough, I'm feeling fairly Pollyanna in the midst of all the gloom and doom over Rep. Foley's moral malfunction. The Dems released this one way too early to be decisive. We're still a month away from the election. The news cycle has time for about five to ten good turns before then.
The idea of an October surprise is passe'. It's so seventies. The Foley thing is not a deathstrike. It's just a shot by the Dem fundraisers to keep the donors in the game and cut down the GOP advantage.
I'd be looking for something bigger from either Team GOP or Team Dem a few days after Halloween. There's an eternity to go. The fourth quarter has just started.
As part of a joint statement with Joe Pitts, Mike Pence comes out against a Hastert resignation:
"Regardless of our reservations about how this matter was handled administratively, we believe Speaker Hastert is a man of integrity who has led our conference honorably and effectively throughout the past eight years. Speaker Dennis Hastert should not resign."
It's looking more and more as if the Foley scandal is the final nail in the coffin for the Republican majority in the House, if not the Senate as well. To me, the House was up for grabs this year, and it all depended on whether the news cycle broke in favor of one party or the other in the weeks before the election. Last month, it seemed as if the tide was turning in favor of Republicans as the focus shifted to national security. But the Foley scandal, which has entered the mainstream and become fodder for late night comics, reinforces the idea that Republicans have simply been in charge for too long and have become drunk with power. Also, as far as voter turnout is concerned, national security is probably the one issue that the otherwise fed up conservative base will rally around Republicans on, but it's hard to think of something that will sap their enthusiasm more than a Republican congressman abusing his power to take advantage of teenage boys.
Thanks for that Shawn. Just wait until he announces he's going to run later this year/early next year.