Every once in awhile, A leading Democrat will actually hit a home run when given the ammo.
In this case, a hanging curveball was supplied by GOP Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia. Kingston had the chutzpah to send a letter to both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean demanding answers.
The letter wanted to know what the Democrats knew and when they knew it, concerning Rep. Mark Foley's 'overly friendly' chats with teenage pages. Rep. Kingston, in effect, was the GOP sacrificial lamb, who would allow the Republicans to obfuscate the facts of the case by trying to make the entire Foley scandal seem like a dirty trick perpetrated by the minority party, right before an election. It was a page directly out of the Karl Rove playbook. Predictably, it is a charge that is being floated as a GOP talking point. I suspect not for long.
You see, in this case, the GOP has totally misread the impact of this scandal.
It was refreshing to hear the following from Pelosi, through her spokesperson, Jennifer Crider:
"Republicans still don't get it.
"Every mother in America is asking how Republicans could choose partisan politics over protecting kids, and the Republicans are asking who could have blown their cover-up."
That is exactly the point.
It is also a response that other emboldened Democrats are confidently using, because it sets the right tone. In the past Democrats might have scurried to defend themselves. In this case, however, they appropriately stayed in attack mode, refusing to take the bait.
In a rare sense of unanimity, many talking heads on Sunday, from both sides of the political aisle, were conceding that the handling of the Foley case has been a PR disaster for the party of piety. I guess the internal polling is revealing this to be a serious drain on their hopes of maintaining their majority in Congress.
Now, I realize that the GOP House and Senate under Bush has made brazenness and lack of accountability an art form, but there is something I cannot yet comprehend.
Regardless of the specifics of what details certain members and leaders of the GOP knew about Rep. Foley's interaction with underage pages, it seems rather apparent that some knew about his indiscretions going back at least months and, more likely, years.
So how is it possible that this man was allowed to co-chair the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus?
Sadly, the only answer I can think of was that somebody reasoned that exploited kids was an issue that was part of Foley's area of expertise. And $100,000 in donations by Foley to the National Republican Congressional Committee possibly helped to convince others to let him continue his 'research.'
Good idea GOP.
Let's have an investigation and find out just who knew about Foley and when they knew it.
Just one condition.
Let's have it out in the open.
There it goes...that hanging curve is being slammed deep to center field and it's...outta here!
Much like the Republican majority come November.