The ongoing saga of Representative Mark Foley (R-Florida) continues to spin out of the control of even the most determined Republican spin doctors. What began as the outing of a sexual predator targeting teen-aged House pages, has turned into a full-blown scandal which has the potential to take down the leadership of the party.
While the wheels of Congress ground to a halt last week, the turbine of power politics was just getting started. To update where matters stand today (Thursday, October 5), Foley resigned on Friday, September 29, shortly after ABC News' release of salacious emails sent by the congressman to pages. The emails were from 2005, and shortly thereafter, even more disturbing instant messages were made public.
Sometime over the following three days, Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, denied knowledge of more than just a few transcript pages of the original "naughty emails." Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Republican majority leader, has changed his story twice since Foley's emails surfaced last Friday, initially (Friday) telling the Washington Post that he had spoken to Hastert about the sleazy messages, then calling the paper back later in the day to say that he didn't recall such a meeting.
But on Tuesday, Boehner told a Cincinnati radio station that he had indeed spoken to the Speaker and that Hastert told him the matter had been handled.
Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has admitted he knew about Foley and his behavior and reported such to Hastert, and on Monday night appeared at a press conference surrounded by children - at which no questions were allowed.
It was a rather creepy scene, of which there's video aplenty available all over the web. Some of the reporters asked that the children (all of whom supposedly kids of Reynolds' supporters) be removed from the room so they could grill Reynolds about the Foley correspondence. Reynolds declined to allow the children to leave.
Wonderful! Now we have Republicans using children as human shields - to keep them safe from the probing queries of the bullet-pointed press.
Then on Wednesday night, Laura Bush appeared at a rally - fund raiser for Reynolds in an obvious ploy to sweep the crud on him off his lapel and under any convenient rug. The First Lady wasn't previously scheduled for the event, so it's plain that she was rushed into action to aid the beleaguered chairman of the National Republican Congressional Campaign (NRCC) who is facing a stiff challenge this fall from challenger Jack Davis.
Surprise, surprise, Mr. Reynolds. An internal poll conducted for Davis shows Davis beating Reynolds 50%-42%.
Not to worry, John McCain is reportedly on the way to upstate NY to stump for Reynolds. One should assume that Mr. Clean McCain is going to have a very, very busy travel schedule this month. Trouble is, for McCain, he's going to be backing a lot of losers and questionable characters along the way and there will be photos and quotes and links and all kinds of implications tying McCain to all kinds of human garbage.
The Democrats couldn't have planned it any better. Thanks to Foley and the Republican attempts at cover-up (has it occurred to anybody besides me that these Republican leaders, from Bush on down, are probably the most inept, moronic bunglers ever to step foot on Capitol grounds?) the leading Republican candidate for president in 2008 is going to impale himself on the stump right here in '06. Bye-bye John. Stay a Senator. It's a safe job... for now.
OK, that should get us all caught up on the unfolding scandal here at just after 8:00 pm EDT. Now for the good stuff.
Reynolds has more problems than even Hastert and is looking more and more like he'll end up in a political body bag in November. Not only is he losing his own race, as chair of the RNCC he's likely to have too many fires erupting across the landscape to control. Reynolds will burn out in the heat of the campaign. Burn, baby, burn...
His problems will grow in depth and intensity as his own campaign turns uglier. Not only did Reynolds' recently-retired-in-disgrace chief of staff Kirk Fordham serve as Foley's CofS, but Reynolds also accepted a $100,000 contribution to the RNCC from Foley. That's now tainted money and the robust hue of putrid, foul, rank enterprise is all over Reynolds, just like his brethren, Abramoff, Scanlon, Cunningham, and DeLay.
Tom Reynolds is in it up to his eyeballs. Losing the election to Davis may actually be his best exit strategy.
Political junkies and activists take note: Anyone wishing for a complete and total Dem whitewash this fall should hope and pray that Lumpy (Hastert) fights for his political life as hard as his bloated body will allow. The longer this seedy saga strolls, the closer we all get to our date with destiny...
I'll be here daily, blogging the life out of the evil, corrupt and anti-democracy Republicans this fall. I make no bones about my political leanings. I was a Republican most of my life, though leaning away as I grew older, but since George W. Bush won in 2000, I've gotten religion, and it's known as love for democracy and faith in the rule of law.
The current regime is more corrupt than any I have ever seen in our country and I place the blame for our country's current malaise squarely on the heads and shoulders of the President and his Republican lackeys in the Congress. This entire crew has to be swept completely out of the body politic and kept out. They have trampled on the constitution with impunity and are the greatest threat to liberty in this country and around the world.
Just so you know where I stand, I hope my position is plain enough.