After news broke that former Republican Congressman Mark Foley had sent salacious instant messages to a former congressional page, liberals hoped that all their political dreams would come true. It seemed that a juicy sex scandal was just the thing to help Americans forget that most Democrats want to cut and run in Iraq, provide Geneva Convention protections to terrorists, and prevent the President from authorizing warrant less wiretaps of calls from Al Qaeda members into the United States.
But it seems that things haven’t turned out quite like the Democrats expected. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken between October 5 and 8, three-quarters of respondents said that the Democrats wouldn’t have handled the Foley matter any better than Republicans had. What’s more, a Pew Research Center survey taken between September 21 and October 4 found that the scandal hadn’t changed the margin by which voters reported they preferred Democrats to Republicans. In fact, the job approval of Republican leaders actually rose one point after the scandal broke.
Despite all the left-wing attempts to portray the Foley matter as a symbol of Republican decadence and corruption, it’s revealed much more about the character of the Democratic Party than about the GOP. Examples are plentiful.
First, it’s shown that some Democrats are truly clueless when it comes to issues of personal morality and responsibility. Democratic congressional candidate Debbie Farrell (running against incumbent Chris Shays in Connecticut’s 4th district) called on Speaker Hastert to resign in the wake of the Foley scandal. Somehow, she saw no inconsistency in denouncing Hastert as she campaigned with Senator Teddy Kennedy. It fell to her opponent to point out that even the worst allegations against Hastert fell well short of the behavior to which Kennedy had admitted at Chappaquiddick. Even then, Farrell didn’t understand. “My jaw dropped,” she reported, upon hearing Shay’s comments.
Second, it’s become clear that some Democrats are hypocrites of the first order. Claire McCaskill, Missouri’s Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, says of Bill Clinton, “I think he’s been a great leader, but I don’t want my daughter near him.” If Bill Clinton is, indeed, a “great leader” despite his own sexual history, it’s not clear upon what principle McCaskill, too, has called for Dennis Hastert’s resignation based on Mark Foley’s wrongdoing.
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