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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:39 AM
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Out of Control /

The impact of the Foley scandal on the congressional races is less about values than it is a general sense that Congress has gone astray.

Web-exclusive Commentary
By Eleanor Clift

Updated: 3:37 p.m. CT Oct 6, 2006

Oct. 6, 2006 - Republicans booed their likely next House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, when she rose to speak Wednesday evening not only as Democratic leader but as a mother and grandmother. Some shouted Jefferson, a lame attempt to find equivalency between a disgraced Democrat, Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, currently under investigation for allegedly taking kickbacks, and Florida Republican Mark Foley, whose sexually predatory e-mails to teenage House pages has set off a round of recriminations among Republicans.

With the midterm election just five weeks away and GOP House leaders forming a circular firing squad, Pelosi is close to the point where she can start measuring the drapes in the speakers office. Even before Foley surfaced as an embarrassment for the Republicans, they were on track to lose their majority. The fact that the leaders of a political party known for stoking homophobia to win votes stood aside and did nothing for years to rein in Foley is further evidence the party has lost its way.

Everybody in Washington knew Foley was gay, but he never acknowledged it publicly until his lawyer announced it this week. Sneaking around is one of the problems of life in the closet, and when an elected official in the public eye, or anyone for that matter, lives this secret life, its a warping existence. Gay politicians need to get out there and live an adult life. And if the consequences are that they lose their jobs, thats not the worst thing in the world. What Foley did was not about being gay but about abusing his power over young studentsand it was compounded by the actions of his colleagues whose silence made them complicit.

The impact of the scandal on the congressional races is less about Foley and values than it is a general sense that Congress has spun out of control. Foley is a symbol comparable to Terri Schiavo, says Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. Just as Congresss ill-advised intervention into whether the brain-damaged Schiavo should be taken off life support reinforced a sense that the Republican-controlled Congress had been taken over by the Christian right, the Foley scandal feeds the perception that Congress is consumed with partisan infighting and unable to do the peoples business, that they care more about protecting their power than blowing the whistle on immoral behavior. The Republican Congress is crashing in image, says Greenberg. The Democrats dont fare much better in Greenbergs polling. Democrats are just flat-lined through this period, he says, an apt phrase suggesting a brain-dead party devoid of ideas and unwilling to take bold stands.

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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:17 AM
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1. Oh please...
"Everybody in Washington knew Foley was gay,....
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