Ever since Mark Foley resigned from Congress in disgrace for a series of highly inappropriate Instant Message exchanges with underage House pages, the Democrats — and their allies in the MSM — have jumped on this kerfuffle as a chance to tar the House GOP leadership, given that several knew about the conversations (but not their content) long before the story broke.
In this way, they seem like Republicans in 1998 who thought that the confirmation of then-President Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky would cause the American people to sour on the Democrats. So, in that fall’s campaign, congressional Republicans didn’t come up with any new ideas to campaign on, but merely ran against President Clinton, his party and this scandal.
Yet, the America people did not warm to the GOP’s focus on sexual peccadilloes in 1998, failing to reward them in the fall elections. While I think most Americans remain disgusted by Foley’s behavior, they’re probably little interested in the story now that he has resigned from Congress. Democrat attempts to make political hay out of this may strike American voters as an obsession with one Republican’s sexual misdeeds in order to direct voters’ attention from their own party’s failure to put forward a positive agenda.
As the Washington Post‘s Sebastian Mallaby puts it, “Most Democrats in Congress seem bereft of ideas or the courage to stand up for them. They clearly want power, but they have no principles to guide their use of it.” (Via: Instapundit).
It is clear that the Foley kerfuffle hurts the GOP. But, if the Democrats remain focused on it, it’s going to hurt them as well.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest).