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GOP leadership: spinning for the election home stretch, but nowhere to run on Foley

The NYT has an interesting story about the attempt by Republicans to tout their legislative successes as they adjourn — and the scandals and culture of corruption that threaten to drown out the well-honed message and deep-six their total control of the Hill.

The Foley scandal is front and center as a major distraction from the talking points the party wanted to go home and campaign on, such as the torture detainee bill and their feeble, simple-minded attempt at taking on the immigration issue — approving 700 miles of fencing on the border between the U.S. and Mexico — to help quiet the Freepi (that won’t fly with that crowd).

They tried to spin, but the reporters kept coming back to Foley.

Just hours before Congress closed down for the midterm elections on Saturday, Republican leaders threw together a ceremony to celebrate the passage of what they hoped to promote as their singular legislative accomplishment — a bill to bring terrorism suspects to trial.

But after House and Senate leaders formally signed the measure for the cameras, the only questions they faced from assembled reporters pertained to Representative Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who had just resigned after accusations that he sent sexually explicit Internet messages to teenage pages.

None of us are very happy about it,” Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said before abruptly calling a halt to the questions, and the ceremony.

…The highly publicized case of Mr. Foley, who served in the House leadership as a deputy whip, threatened to build into an institutional scandal as House leaders acknowledged that they had known about the messages for nearly a year, but had relied on Mr. Foley’s word that nothing inappropriate had occurred.

…Mr. Foley, a six-term congressman who was a high-profile Capitol figure for years, had the potential to become a major liability. Late Friday, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, called for an investigation into what the leadership knew, and when.

Republicans denounced her from the floor, grumbling when she introduced herself as a mother and a grandmother. But they were careful with her potentially explosive request and quickly referred it to the ethics committee.

And in the “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” department, even the drop in gas prices is seen as a suspicious Republican maneuvering for political gain. Tiny violin for them.

Despite their troubles, many Republican leaders believe tumbling gas prices could be their salvation. But even that benefit has drawbacks. Many Americans tell pollsters they believe that the drop was politically orchestrated to help Republicans in the election.

Too many terror alert leash jerks have resulted in a good number of Americans who don’t think they can’t trust anything this government does. Great job, GOP!

Yes, let them run on their record of cover-up, corruption, deficit ballooning, disaster on Iraq and national security — and a failure to protect pages on the Hill from a predator in their midst — a colleague they allowed to continue, unmonitored, to prey upon teenagers. Parents entrusted the House leadership to give these young people an opportunity to learn about government. Those teens learned a lesson all right — about how morally bankrupt these people running the show are.

The Freepers see the impact of the meltdown.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Either incompetence or corruption/immorality… take your pick. Any citizen with some common sense would ask a lot more questions if they caught a 50yo gay man sending emails to a 16yo boy asking for pictures of the boy.

Either incompetence or corruption/immorality… take your pick. It’s a pattern. Foley, Ney, DeLay, Burns. The leadership knew of their poor character and refused to do anything about it. I pick immorality. Corruption is the symptom.

Until our political leaders acknowledge the truth and atone for their sins, this incident will be a stain on our party and our nation in God’s eyes. Looking the other way as children are abused… that’s a sin in my book.

I think somebody is not happy with the analysis given by other Freepers, or the fact that Hastart and the Republican leadership in the House have now asked for a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.

Too little, too late. They had information for a year and didn’t appropriately act upon it.

No, I’m not happy to see our political leaders trying to self-destruct our party.

What did they know and when did they know it? Aw, jeez, looks like we need another investigation. Maybe Patrick Fitzgerald can find the answers!

Sounds like Boehner and Hastert can’t get their stories straight….this is looking baadddddd. Say goodnight to the GOP-controlled House.

We all need to get a grip, look at who is hoisting this story, and realize that while it is a horrible situation and the guy absolutely should be prosecuted in addition to resigning, these accusations toward the entire GOP are the Dems attempting to take the moral high ground and win an election. A ground they have no standing to take, none zilch nada!

Let them deal with the issue as is required by law, and let them do what has to be done. One bad apple does not make the entire party responsible. Unlike the Dems, who have almost nothing but bad apples. The guy is a slime, and should leave the party, we don’t want him. But the rest are not responsible.

Hastert knew that Foley was emailing 16yo boys and asking for pictures. He accepted some flimsy explanation from Foley. If you caught a 50yo gay man asking your 16yo son for pictures, would you take the “explanation” at face value? Hastert needs to go. He’s obviously a bumbling idiot or a morally corrupt politician.

First Boehner told the Post that he promptly told Hastert about the emails, and then he calls back hours later to tell the Post he can’t remember if he spoke to Hastert about it, lol…I would call that a big inconsistency, lol

One bad apple does not make the entire party responsible. But when top members don’t make more an attempt to throw the bad apples out of the barrel…that is not good.

I still see this disclosure as an October Surprise. It’s October. Surprise. Candidate is out. Rats win.

We only have extremely bias newspaper print that tells us that. I wasn’t there, I don’t know how it all came down. I will wait and see. But again, I don’t think the entire party is responsible for the actions of a pervert. This should be a valuable lesson to people. DO NOT elect people of questionable character, with questionable judgment! No matter what the party affiliation.

[Ding, ding, ding — and we have a winner for the most entertaining Freeper entry — a true conspiracy theorist ready to toss “Democratic party activists in the clink…]

If you read all the threads you will discover that the organization that released the IMs to the news media are called CREW, and they are the same folks presently providing support and legal counsel to the Plame/Wilson people in their suit against Dick Cheney, et al.

That is, they are all the same thing.

Democratic party activists.

They’ll do anything they can to get control of Congress so they can conduct an impeachment against the President.

I don’t expect to have to repeat myself again on this ~ CREW had the IMs. For 3 years. This is the Plame/Wilson scandal in a different format back to haunt us.

And that’s what happens when a Republican President fails to take the most vigorous action possible against internal CIA spies like Mary McCarthy and the folks revealing national security secrets to the New York Times, and then fires Porter Goss, CIA director, because he admitted he might have attended some parties where Demon Rum was available.

It’s long overdue for “W” to round up these people ~ enemies of America and the American people ~ and pop them into holding cells for the duration of the war ~ just like Woodrow Wilson.

* More Foleygate
* Foley blasted ‘vile’ Clinton in 1998 for his ‘sad sexual addiction’
* Resolution for ethics probe over Foley passes 410-0
* Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley
* Foley drops out of re-election campaign
* What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding