"If I fold up my tent and leave," Dennis Hastert told her, "then where does that leave us? If the Democrats sweep, then we'd have no ability to fight back and get our message out."I can't predict elections or seat changes, but what's clear is that the rationale for the existence of the Contract For America class is gone. That means nothing to us (we've known it was nonsense in most areas and too real in others), but it means a great deal to to those who voted for them. This is one of those "the victors write history" thing. The Contract was delivered late in the cycle, no one read it point by point, but it meant one thing:
That quiet admission may have been the most damning one yet in the unfolding scandal surrounding Florida Congressman Mark Foley: holding on to power has become not just the means but also the end for the onetime reformers who in 1994 unseated a calcified and corrupted Democratic majority.
If you think politicians clinging to power isn't big news, then you may have forgotten the pure zeal of Gingrich's original revolutionaries. They swept into Washington on the single promise that they would change Capitol Hill.Democrats represent change and at this moment, that's more than enough to garner votes.
Meanwhile, as mentioned several times before there's a heads I win, tails you lose component to the House leadership scandal. While the win for Dems is the kindling of desire for change, fueled by Iraq and fed by Katrina, the loss for the Republicans is the ability to propagandize from the WH about national security and everything else. Oh, they still tell whoppers on a daily basis but no one can hear them. From the WaPo:
Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) was trying to talk about security Friday at bustling Port Everglades, but with planes roaring overhead and containers slamming onto trucks, nobody could hear him.Time and money are precious commodities as the election draws near. More importantly, this is when the majority of voters, most of whom are not political junkies, make up their mind. What they are hearing is that Iraq policy is a failure, Iraq is in civil war, and by the way, all the GOP cares about is themselves. The GOP fiddles while Iraq burns (aka State of Denial).
That's a common problem for Shaw and Republican candidates around the country these days -- trying urgently 30 days before Election Day to frame a winning message but finding their efforts drowned out by the furor over former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.).
Here in CT, the three GOP House incumbents are running ads about how independent thay are and how party doesn't matter. They are not running commercials touting their votes for Denny Hastert. Does it work? Cokie Roberts, the voice of America's scolds, sums up: "America's mothers are furious". "The silliest response from old men" "have we learned nothing from the catholic Church?" etc. If the only reason Hastert is still here is because it's worse for him to leave (for the GOP), that won't wash. And give her credit for this line: counting on voters hating the media and Democrats more than sexual predators is a losing hand. It was refreshing to hear someone say that, even if it was the media.