Uh. Mah. Gawd.

I…words simply fail me.

In the fine tradition of George W. Bush standing under the "Mission Accomplished" sign, or any one of the Katrina backdrops (where no expense was spared to bring power to an area for a photo op, and then just as quickly cut off), we now have the head of the NRCC, Tom Reynolds, using small prop children as set decoration in a press conference devoted to the topic of…yes, predatory online sexual solicitation of minors.

Even the reporters present could not contain themselves: 

Reporter:  Congressman, do you mind asking the children to leave the room so we can have a frank discussion of this, because it's an adult topic.  It just doesn't seem appropriate to me.

Reynolds:  I'll take your questions, but I'm not going to ask any of my supporters to leave.

[]

Reporter:  Who are the children, Congressman?  Who are these children?

Reynolds:  Pardon me?

Reporter:  Who are these children? 

Reynolds:   Well, a number of them are from the community.  There are several of the "thirtysomething" set that are here and uh I've known them and I've known their children as they were born. 

Reporter:  Do you think it's appropriate for them to be listening to the subject matter though?

Reynolds:  Sir, I'll be happy to answer your questions, I'm still, uh…

Nobody has yet answered the question as to why the matter was put at the feet of the NRCC anyway (a body whose sole function is the re-election of Republicans to Congress), but considering the problems that the situation is visiting upon the GOP for November I guess it's small wonder nobody was really anxious to do anything about it.  Reynolds now says it's All Denny Hasert's Fault.   

We thought there were new nadirs hit with Drudge's "blame those teenage beasts" defense of the GOP, and then came Rush's "the teenagers were setting him up" line of attack, but this was a damn good shot at the "how low can they go" gold medal.  

Nice coda:  fundies are pissed.  Seems the GOP kingpins seriously misjudged the amount of kool-aid they were capable of chugging and confused them with die-hard authoritarian cultists who would have no trouble with a little institutional coverup of page diddling, considering it was All For The Cause, after all.  

Looks like that was a bit of a miscalculation.

BuffaloGeek also reports that:

Marc Odien asked him if he or the NRCC had any plans to return the money or earmark it for programs or groups which fight against sexual predators.

Reynolds said it was essentially clean money. Foley did not raise the money using illegal or immoral means and it was given as per standard operating procedure to the NRCC. He has no intention of returning it.

Like a good Republican, Reynolds never takes his eye off the ball — he wants that $2.7 million Foley raised for his re-election campaign for the NRCC.  Any thought about using the money to help get therapy for any of the kids who might have been traumatized in the situation, especially because of the GOP leadership's inaction?  Doesn't seem like that was ever a consideration.  Reynolds cares about the kids who may have suffered in this case about as much as those he is using as his small human backdrops.