The GOP Finger-Pointing Continues on Foley
As a follow-up to my Open Thread earlier today, here are some updates to the Foley cover-up:
It looks like the GOP caucus is scurrying for the exits. Majority Leader John Boehner is pointing the finger at Hastert, as is NRCC chair Tom Reynolds, both of whom also knew about Foley’s messages but did nothing themselves to protect the pages or deal with Foley.
For his part, Hastert is doing everything possible to bring down his party and make the base stay home: he says he will not resign, and more GOP strategists say the mess will cause major problems for the party next month in both houses. The scandal will also deprive the White House and its Capitol Hill enablers of its campaign strategy of bashing the Democrats for being weak on protecting the country and wanting to raise taxes. That hasn’t stopped Bush from trying anyway, but he is preaching to cultists who may not be listening much longer, defending GOP incumbents who until recently were considered safe bets for reelection.
As far as Boehner is concerned, he may be toxic too: endangered Pennsylvania GOP representative Jim Gerlach cancelled a fundraiser last night with Boehner.
One of the right-wing talking points is that the Democrats somehow sprung these messages and emails upon the GOP as a campaign ploy, but the FBI has had this evidence since July and has sat on it.
And an excellent Wall Street Journal piece today notes that two key constituencies for the GOP may be united against its candidates as a result of the Foley cover-up: Christian conservatives and soccer moms.
Perfect storm, anyone?