October 4, 2006


The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall: Republicans More Damaged by Scandals (Paul Farhi, 10/03/06, Washington Post)

Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives.

The latest example: Mark Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, who abruptly became an ex-congressman from Florida last week amid revelations that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys who were serving as House pages.

Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured. With a Republican at the center of the seamy scandal, however, it was almost a slam-dunk that Foley would have to quit.

That's how it usually turns out for members of the conservative, traditional-family-values party. Just ask Bob Livingston, Jack Ryan, Bob Packwood, Dan Crane or others in the GOP who've watched their careers go pffft! with salacious disclosures. Or ask Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank and other Democrats who've withstood embarrassing revelations to govern another day.

Why would moral transgressions matter to a secular party?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2006 12:00 AM

This was never about getting people to switch to Democrats. This was about getting the R base to stay home.

All across the nation, R house members are being asked what they knew and when they knew it. Hiding behind timelines and supposedly "innocuous" first e-mails is a strategy of failure.

The most obvious course is to ask for the Speaker's and Shimkus' (another worthless Illinois hack) resignations from their leadership posts.

They are prevented from doing that by a system that will bankrupt them the moment they speak up.

The "red" voter sees all this, and stays home. It ain't rocket science.

Posted by: Bruno at October 4, 2006 9:43 AM

Red voters never stay home. That's why only third party candidates on the Right ever get any votes--Wallace, Anderson, Perot.

Posted by: oj at October 4, 2006 10:00 AM

The cable news and the Beltway press are all over this. Its page 8 stuff in our very liberal local paper in Cleveland.

No one will lose a seat over this. Look at Mickey Kaus link to a poll that shows the GOP within 3 points in FOLEY's district.

Bruno, seriously, move out of Ilinois. Its going to kill you.

Posted by: Bob at October 4, 2006 10:44 AM

What's more important to the red base, someone who's out of office or judges returning Roe v Wade to the states?

Can't ge the judges if you don't have the majority.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 4, 2006 5:33 PM

The point is to get as many red voters as possible to drop out of the political system. Many people treat the two parties as corrupt, and mirrored. Get people to leave, to avoid the slime, and then the Left can take over. They've done it to many formerly good organizations, and are quite practiced at it.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at October 4, 2006 6:21 PM