Archive for October 2nd, 2006

Pure Foley

Guest post by Kevin K.

Spanking machine Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council finally acknowledges Foleygate and, as expected, it’s a doozy:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /U.S. Newswire/ — In response to the events surrounding the resignation of Congressman Mark Foley (R- Fla.), Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“We are all shocked by this spectacle of aberrant sexual behavior, but we shouldn’t be. This is the end result of a society that rejects sexual restraints in the name of diversity. When a 16-year-old boy is not safe from sexual solicitation from an elected representative of the people, we should question the moral direction of our nation. If our children aren’t safe in the halls of Congress, where are they safe? Maybe it’s time to question: when is tolerance just an excuse for permissiveness?

“Both political parties need to be more serious about protecting children from sexual predators. We need public policy in our country that protects marriage, respects parental authority and aggressively polices boundaries around our children.”

So Tony is shocked even though he shouldn’t be, the Democrats are equally responsible for this mess, gay marriage creates pedophiles, and, I think, he wants the Minutemen to start policing our children’s borders.

Or something like that.

(Digby has more.)


Guest post by Kevin K.

When I’ve seen GOP strategist Ed Rollins on TV in the past, he’s been over-confident, snide and disgustingly oily, but the Ed Rollins I saw on CNN this morning taking about the Foley debacle and Woodward’s new book was beaten-down, disillusioned and ashen. If a thoroughly despicable, no-holds-barred political operative like Rollins thinks things are looking dire for his team, it may finally be time to start celebrating early. A professional bullshitter like Rollins only displays this kind of honesty when all hope is lost:

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This obviously goes to the credibility of the leadership. You had Bob Ney recently admit to felonies, he was chairman of the Government Administration Committee, he claims he’s an alcoholic now, obviously this is a guy who was in leadership. Leadership says it knew about this.

And I think to a certain extent these are issues people understand. They may not understand national intelligence estimates, they may not understand or who did what, whether it was Clinton or whether it was George Bush who should have done what, but they do understand when someone is sending perverted e-mails to their — to young people. And I think to a certain extent, why wasn’t there some adult supervision.

And if the leadership knew about this why didn’t they do something about it.

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Is the big question going to be how much the leadership knew and when, because it sounds like Hastert, certainly his office was aware of what they called “over friendly.”

ROLLINS: Well, and what is over friendly? There’s been rumors about this guy for a long, long time. He had kind of an unconventional lifestyle and I think to a certain extent it’s sort of nine (ph) neglect. And it’s are you going to run the House, Republicans, you are in charge, why you want to keep the majority is because you have been more effective than Democrats. And what you have done is given people a reason now to make a change. In off-year elections, it’s about motivating your base, getting your voters out. There’s a big drop-off from presidential elections. You have got to make Republicans turn out and vote.

This is going to turn Republican voters off, this is going to turn off religious right voters …

S. O’BRIEN: I was going to ask you about …

ROLLINS: … this is going to turn off elderly voters. This is going to make people — Our voters are not going to be as motivated as Democrats are who think there can there be a change. And that’s where something like this is catastrophic.

S. O’BRIEN: We still have not heard from the religious right leaders yet. If they call for a removal of the leadership, if they say, you know, heads need to roll not just Congressman Foley who is now in some kind of rehab, do you think that that’s something that’s going to have to be taken seriously?

ROLLINS: Certainly it has to be serious, and I think to a certain extent — I think the speaker and the leadership have to say why haven’t we used the Ethics Committee? For the last two years, there have been scandals, starting with Abramoff. The only thing we have done to reform the House after two years of lobbying scandals is basically say former members can’t use the gym.

We have not had any kind of major reform. A report came out this week where Abramoff went 400 some odd times to the White House. There has been no slapping of any hands. And I think to a certain extent that’s what’s going to be the issue in this campaign and I think it’s going to work to the detriment of Republicans.

S. O’BRIEN: To what degree does it trickle to the White House? The White House, when I talked to Tony Snow earlier this morning, clearly, no surprise, they are really downplaying and distancing themselves from the Foley scandal. But one of the things he said to me, there have been scandals before and these naughty e-mails. I think that caught a lot of people’s attention — not necessarily naughty e-mails, kind of more than that, perverted e-mails.

ROLLINS: The bottom line is this is a congressional election. Democrats would love to nationalize it and make it about President Bush. The president has his own battles with the war and his national prestige, but this is about the Congress, and in they lose the Congress, certainly the president gets a black eye and certainly we’ll have two very, very miserable years. But this now is going to be a localized election and this is certainly going to be about getting Republican voters out to the polls which is going to be much more difficult.

S. O’BRIEN: So the real target could potentially be the Republican leadership. Can I ask you a quick question about the book, Bob Woodward’s book?

That, in combination with what we are seeing today with this scandal, to what degree, is it just going to drive – either voters stay home or they just say forget it.

ROLLINS: Well, I think it all comes down to a question of integrity. It’s sort of a drumbeat. It’s sort of like one charge, you don’t pay much attention to. A second charge you pay a little more attention to. When it guest the third and fourth and fifth. And someone like Woodward has a lot of credibility. Over a 25 year period. And I think to a certain extent when he makes a charge, people listen a little bit more and certainly is going to have a lot of play in the next three or four weeks. This is the worst thing that could happen to Republicans in the last closing weeks of this campaign.

Guest post by Kevin K.

According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, the Republican “value voter” base may not be anywhere near as motivated to hit the voting booths in ’06:

WASHINGTON — Josie Fitzgerald of Temple Hills, Md., a 60-plus year-old voter and anti-abortion activist who attended the recent Family Research Council’s Values Voter conference, is worried about the turnout of evangelical voters come November.

“I have concerns about people being so frustrated with what’s going on Capitol Hill,” she said. “Like one [conference] speaker said, Congress is so polarized it’s paralyzed. My concern is that people will be too discouraged to vote,” she said, referring to Christian voters.
Whether Republicans keep control of Congress may well hinge on the turnout of Christian conservatives who were so important to President Bush’s victory in the 2004.

But there are questions about just how energized those voters will be this time around, given their disappointment that the congressional Republicans haven’t produced the results–new laws significantly restricting abortion or banning same-sex marriage–for which these voters had hoped.

Also, like other voters, some evangelicals appear to be concerned about the Iraq war. And some in the GOP worry that angry evangelicals may stay home from the polls because of questions about House Republicans’ handling of allegations involving former Rep. Mark Foley’s electronic messages to underage congressional pages.


Tom Minnery, vice president of government and public policy for the conservative Focus on the Family, said, “It’s hard to say why people are less willing to turn out, but I suspect it has to do with the progress of the war and various other issues.”

Still, the group is trying to get its voters out. This year, it has launched its most ambitious midterm voter registration drive ever, Minnery said, targeting eight states that it thinks will make the difference in control of Congress. The states are Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.


Pastor Bob Coy of the Calvary Chapel, a Ft. Lauderdale church with an average of 18,000 worshipers on Sundays, senses that the abortion and gay-marriage issues aren’t resonating as they might have in the past.

“There’s an assumption, sadly, that some of those issues are already on their way to the gavel or the verdict without our participation,” Coy said.

Instead, he said, his congregation seems greatly interested in such issues as immigration, the Iraq war and the economy.

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