Friday, October 06, 2006
Scandals And Distractions
A few lefties out there are moaning about what a horrible distraction the PredatorGate scandal is. "We could be talking about torture and habeas corpus!" they holler.
Yeah, we could -- and set Joe and Jane Public snoring, alas.
But they are right about PredatorGate being a distraction. It certainly is -- for the GOP. With this scandal burning a hole in their evangelical support and causing their House leadership to neglect campaigning in favor of CYA and backstabbing, it's going to cost them the Congress unless they can find some way to stop it. So far, they haven't found a way, and every day more of Foley's victims are stepping forward.
The best way to stop it would probably be if there were Congressional Democrat chickenhawkers out there. But there's a problem with this game plan: If there were any Democratic Congressmen chickenhawking the pages, this would have been found out and all over the blogs and then the regular media within hours after Foley's resignation from the House. Over a week's gone by, and guess what? There's been nothing. NOTHING. Not even a manufactured attempt to create a connection, the way the GOP/Media Complex tried to pretend that Jack Abramoff donated to Democrats when he did not.
Remember how quickly the RW blogosphere jumped on the funky fonts in the Killian memos? Well, PredatorGate and its coverup makes what was in the Killian memos (whose content was verified as true by Killian's secretary, by the way) look positively penny-ante. The fact that this has been going on for over a week without a single Democrat being so much as suspected of looking at a page funny shows that there isn't anything out there.
And for those of you who are thinking "but what if Rove and the gang are just holding it back so they can spring it in the last week of the campaign?", think again:
As I noted above, the PredatorGate scandal is destroying the GOP's already-marginal chances of holding the House. It's also going to hurt their chances of holding the Senate. It's not just the negative impact of Foley's behavior suppressing evangelical turnout, but the simple fact that it's a huge time and money sink for the GOP.
Think about it: The time and money they spend backstabbing each other and lawyering up is time and money they're not spending on strategy and anti-Democratic attack ads. They can't coordinate anything because coordination requires a functioning leadership cadre -- and right now their leadership cadre is too busy throwing each other under the bus to care much about anything else.
That's why it would be unthinkable for Karl Rove or whoever to hold back any Democratic dirt they had if there was any chance at all that it could be used to defuse this scandal. Shutting down the scandal is Priority One for them right now: Until they do, they will continue to not only hemorrhage support, but they won't have the ability to stop the bleeding.
This is also why it's a good thing, as Kos and other smart folk have noted, that Dennis Hastert didn't step down: So long as he's in place and spewing lies which his political rivals are refuting with ease, he's the living breathing embodiment of the PredatorGate coverup scandal. Congressional Republicans are already cancelling fundraising engagements he's made with them. And as for any leadership he could have provided, he's going to be too busy fending off Reynolds and trying to keep Boehner in line to be able to work on the strategy needed to hold the House for the GOP.
By the way: If you really care about habeas corpus, you should understand that only a Democratic Congress has even a snowball's chance in hell of bringing it back. That's why PredatorGate is more important.
That is now rectified. There are a few nyms I never pass by, knowing there will be substantive, insightful comment attached; yours is one.
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