There They Go Again: Or Lucy Pelosi and the Football

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
After absorbing this stuff for a few days, here's how it looks to this old grizzled vet:

This year the October surprises occurred two days early. They were a one-two blockbuster, attacking the Republican party's twin strengths, traditional values and the Iraq war.

Number "one", the Foley "scandal" is an attack on the House leadership. A relatively successful (if not flawless) legislative session is over, so a good gay sex scandal is sure to cloud that essentially Republican-positive result and get the democratic base excited. The reason: it exploits the perceived weakness of Denny Hastert, who no longer has the "hammer" Delay to protect his flanks. In Denny's best days, he is not a strong manager of a crisis. Moreover, he is not a favorite of orthodox conservatives.

The Foley problem allows competitive democrats to neutralize the "family values issue, and at the same time accuse Hastert of failing to protect "the children". One misstep, and Hastert loses support in his own caucus, which would be a major advantage for democrats in contested house races. At least Pelosi keeps her caucus together would be the message from "sophisticated" pundits.

The facts showng that Democrats have in the past exhibited far worse behavior towards interns and pages (actual sexual misconduct as opposed to phone/internet sex) is beside the point to a "concerned" press. After all, the cognoscenti know that perception is reality in Washington and politics
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Number "two" is the new "Woodward Book", typical of his genre, a combination of gossip and speculation sourced by those to whom the powers that be should have listened. The metamessage: This war is now badly mismanaged, and we need a change.
Again, this attack provides cover for the democrats in close contests to sew uncertainty on the Republican's bona fides in national security and the war on terror which, until this week was recovering nicely.

Here's the deal, though. Like with the John Kerry "report for duty", the Democrats' past track record and votes undermine their credibility on the issues on which they use these two surprises to attack the Republican candidates.

I am afraid fear has caused some of my usually stalwart colleagues to encourage precipitous action like Hastert's resignation.

I think that would be a mistake.

I counsel calm and calculating pragmatic politics.

The Democrats have not changed their approach to anything. Lucy Pelosi and her her buddies will hide that football every time Charley Brown tries to kick it.

6 comments:

CF said...

I think they dropped this a bit early and as Kaus says they have fired too many ICBMs at once and they are destroying eachother instead of their target.

Rick Ballard said...

This has a definite nutroots odor - sort of a cross between unwashed socks and outhouse in August. They've not proven terribly ept to this point and I don't believe that they possess the critical faculties that learning requires.

The Rep leadership is holding fairly well and I expect that the blowback will be sufficient to put an end to this. I just read a comment at JOM that stated that Dick Morris had a report that there is at least one Dem pol who had seen the IMs 'months ago'.

That ties directly to Hastert's request that the FBI ascertain the provenance of the IMs.

Barry Dauphin said...

Although I am not hastert's biggest fan, I'm struggling to figure out what he was supposed to have done short of giving himself supoena power or mind reading capacities. If he had tried to do something at the time on flimsy evidence, he would ahve been blasted for going on a witch hunt over nothing. Also the Dem reaction (and news media) seems extremely well coordinated. You'd think they knew something was coming. Just what does happen when the journo's hang out with the pols ate DC watering holes...wonder what they talk about?

terrye said...

As usual some of the conservatives are going to try to do the circular firing squad thing.

Tony Blankley is full of it. Let him run for office and actually take some responsibility instead of this never ending back stabbing, back biting, second guessing crap that I hear from these morons all the damn time.

Foley is gone, the man's life is ruined. The FBI is looking into it, what do they want..a lynch mob?

David Thomson said...

"I think they dropped this a bit early..."

Yup, the Republicans may have endured the worst. Much of this stuff will be forgotten by next week. Most Americans will only notice the lowering gas prices.

vnjagvet said...

Terrye:

They want the destruction of Republican control of Congress. Whatever works yaknow?