Debra J. Saunders

Here's a new twist, though. GOP leaders complained that the Foley story was the work of partisans who were cynically using the page story to win the House for Democrats -- and they turned out to be right. Staffers of the House Democratic Caucus had the e-mails since the fall of 2005. They were not so concerned for the welfare of pages that they ran to law enforcement -- as some partisans suggested the GOP should have done. They were too busy leaking the e-mails to the news media. The former page was their pawn.

To me, the biggest irony is that Foley probably would have helped the GOP more if he had not resigned immediately after ABC News reported the explicit e-mails. If Foley had waited a day or two, the news story would have been on the pressure mounting for Foley to resign to atone for his crude behavior. But the quick resignation -- which Speaker Denny Hastert and other GOP leaders had sought -- meant that outraged critics had to look elsewhere for a scalp.

If House Republicans had not had such a poor record on ethics, the public might have seen a righteous move to oust Foley instead of a cover-up that did not happen.

Debra J. Saunders

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