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December 04, 2006

“Ladies’ Man”

Posted in: 2006 Election,GOP ethics

foley-mark.jpg

From a new article in Vanity Fair on Mark Foley:

In mid-October, Fordham says, he learned that the Speaker's office was trying "to throw me under a bus." There were leaks to the press, he says, suggesting that he had tried to block a page-board investigation of Foley. As there never was an investigation to block, he found this accusation unsettling. "I was trying to be the loyal Republican and do this behind closed doors with the F.B.I. and the ethics committee in a way that probably wouldn't have hurt them—until after the election," says Fordham. His shoulders sag. He is very pale, clearly tired—of everything. "It's a pretty significant move for a staffer to go behind his boss's back," he says. "You know, it's not like we had a tip line to the courts, where you can call about congressmen who behave inappropriately to staffers," he says wearily.

I've got to believe that the willingness to sacrifice everything on the altar of election politics in the way outlined in the article finally simply got too wedded in people's minds with the GOP, to the point that the Republicans just sort of thought people were okay with it.  It must've come as quite the shock to find that the rolls of those willing to overlook stuff like this were a bit shorter than they'd banked upon.  As Sidney Blumenthal notes, white evangelical turnout was only slightly lower than it was in 2004 (75% down to 72%), but a third of them voted for Democrats this year. While I'm sure that was in no small part due to the horror of finding the GOP filled with gays, the naked acknowledgment of a GOP political agenda with only one item on it — electoral success — probably started to become a bit corrossive on the gullet of even the most dedicated kook-aid chugger.

Foley sounds like a bit of a sad case who melted down at just the wrong time for the GOP, wingnut conspiracy theories notwithstanding.


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