Use Foley Cover-Up For The Right Message
While Hastert tries to hang the Foley cover-up on his staff, DeLay ally Roy Blunt, who sought the House Majority Leader slot but lost it to John Boehner, threw some mud on Denny Hastert today when he said he would have been more “curious” about the emails and would have handled the issue differently than Hastert. Worse than this though is the fact that Kirk Fordham, who was fired today as NRCC chair Tom Reynolds' chief of staff allegedly for withholding the emails from the bipartisan Page Board, says he told senior House GOP staff
two years ago three years ago about Foley's behavior towards congressional pages. If so, this undercuts the entire House GOP leadership, who would have us believe that none of the leaders knew what their staff knew for the last two years.
Chuck Todd wrote earlier today that this issue has the potential to shift the election and power in Washington. Both he and Charlie Cook think the Foley cover-up can change the election, and Todd said that Democrats are hanging back and allowing the GOP to engage in the circular firing squad that is emerging. Todd cautioned that Democrats shouldn’t overreach here and step into the appearance that they are manipulating the matter for purely partisan gain.
Notwithstanding the fact that the GOP did exactly that when it covered this up months ago, Todd is correct that Democrats should not overplay the cover-up by itself. Instead, Reid and Pelosi should use the cover-up as the most recent Exhibit A of an argument for change in Washington. Pelosi should make the argument, in measured tones, about how this episode clearly demonstrates why the rubber-stamp GOP congress must be turned out of office, and replaced with a Congress that spends more time on doing the right thing, protecting all Americans, and fixing Iraq than it does on maintaining GOP power.