Is There Time for the GOP to Recover from Foley Scandal?
Mickey Kaus thinks that, in today’s climate, the fact that the Foley sex scandal has broken four weeks before the election is good news for the GOP:
The Feiler Faster Thesis is the Republicans’ friend at this point. […] There’s also the Densepack Theory–the anti-GOP media have launched so many damaging GOP stories–see Josh Marshall’s list— that they are all arriving at once and, like fratricidal incoming ICBMs, are knocking each other out of the news rather than destroying their target!
Mark Coffey makes a similar point, noting that the much-touted Dick Cheney hunting accident in February has been all but forgotten.
Interesting points, to be sure, but I think they’re wrong. On the surface, aside from the issue of whether Hastert and company covered up Foley’s crimes for political reasons, there’s no scandal here that touches the party. There are plenty of creeps on both sides of the aisle and I don’t hold Cynthia McKinney or Tom William Jefferson’s personal transgressions against the Democrats.
Like the drip-drip-drip of stories suggesting that George Allen is a racist, however, these stories feed into a pre-existing media meme. The Foley scandal may well crystalize in the public’s mind the idea that the Republican leadership is corrupt, hypocritical, and inept. Given how many loyal Republican pundits already thought that, it’s not a far leap to think that undecided voters (a/k/a “clueless morons”) might get the same idea.