Finally (at least so far) came the brilliantly timed disclosure of Republican Congressman Mark Foley's "overly friendly" e-mails to male House pages in their teens. Foley resigned promptly, but that accomplished nothing. The e-mails disclosed to Speaker Dennis Hastert and others were so inconclusive that several newspapers had declined to pursue the matter. But the Democrats were understandably eager to keep the uproar going. "What did Speaker Hastert know, and when did he know it?"
There are still four weeks to go before Election Day, and it's conceivable that something (e.g.: a new terrorist attack on some American city) could refocus the voters' attention on security and prompt them to change their minds. But as of today, the Republicans can look forward to losing the House, and probably the Senate, as well. That will guarantee a stalemate between the White House and Congress during the next two years, which will probably suit the American people very well.
None of this heralds a true revival of the Democratic Party, which suffers from deep systemic problems, or means that the Republican Party has, unless it abandons its core conservative principles, permanently lost its grip on the support of the American people. But all this remains to be discussed in another column. Meanwhile, the Republicans had better prepare to take a well-deserved bath on Nov. 7.
William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .
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