Thursday, October 05, 2006

[Foley Scandal]

How Long Will The Story Live?

Let's do a little thought experiment. It now emerges that Foley's follies began not in the last session or even 2001, but as early as his entry to Congress in 1995. Meanwhile, Denny Hastert, the vast old wrestler, has planted his feet and refuses to step down as Speaker. Follow a logical progression from these facts: Hastert refuses to step down, and so keeps his own incompetence and GOP in-fighting on the front page. With now 11 years of history, reporters work to dig up more dirt on Foley. Will they find only more emails? Is it possible Foley spent 11 years pursuing pages and never acted on it?

Or, let's take a charitable view: Hastert steps down. With a history going back 11 years, which leader is going to stand up with clean hands? Surely not Roy Blunt or John Boehner. They would instead find themselves on the same hot seat Hastert vacated. Casting about for a leader who is not tainted by the scandal leading up to the election--a strategy for killing the story? Not likely.

While I doubt it will remain all the news all the time as it is now, this thing looks like a tire fire for the GOP--a slow-burning, stinking mess. Or am I missing something?

[A moment later.] Oh, and one more thing. This leaves aside the money Foley funneled to the RCCC and the whole Reynolds connection. That brings even more sticky politics--and a few more tires--into the whole thing.


JB Eads said...

Your analysis is missing just one thing: just how deeply satisfying the whole thing is to watch.

What's Luntz-speak for Shaudenfreude?

Jeff Alworth said...

The central reason it's fun to watch is because it's like the grand floral parade of hypocrisy. So much of it is sordid, though, that there's a certain cotton candy hollowness to the whole affair.