Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Possible Smoking Gun

OK, remember the first rule of scandal...the cover up is the fatal mistake! Well, Kirk Fordham, a former aid to Mark Foley (R-FL) who later transferred to work for Reynolds (R-NY) has resigned his position with Reynolds and gone public with information that he personally warned senior staff at Speaker Hastert's (R-Ill) over three years ago!! This is three years before Hastert originally admitted hearing of it and two years before his current version of events. Hastert of course denies this. But then Hastert has already been caught in one outright lie about this affair and his story still conflicts with the versions of other House Republican leaders - including Reynolds and Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH).

This new revelation is critical. First, it places the original notification to the GOP leadership prior to the 2004 elections. This might explain why they didn't do anything. 2004 was expected to be very close. Second, Fordham was an aid for not just one but two of the principal actors in the affair (Foley and Reynolds) and seems to have been instrumental in sounding the alarm about Foley.

Third (and take this with a grain of salt). This places the initial decision to cover up firmly in the era of Tom Delay (R-TX). Delay was widely believed to be the real power rather than Hastert. He was also widely believed to "play hardball" with other Republicans to enforce loyalty. A friend of mine has suggested to me that if it came out that this goes back to Delay's time (it now has) it might be that Delay suppressed the information in order to hold it against Foley (a libertarian leaning Republican who might be inclined to support Delays theocratic agenda). Once Delay made that choice, he would have committed the entire GOP leadership to keeping the secret or else be exposed as covering up the scandal. This is a bit conspiratorial. But given how we have seen the current batch of Republican leaders behave it's not that crazy.


Dr. Strangelove said...

The first report from ABC News that broke the story wide open is instructive. (Note, the first report was actually 24 Sept in the blog Stop Sex Predators.)

When pressed by ABC News, Foley claimed on 28 Sept (Thurs.) that the e-mails were entirely appropriate and part of a Democratic smear campaign against him. He only resigned the next day, when the more damning IM messages were revealed.

We see from Foley the usual Republican tactic when confronted by evidence of wrongdoing: they lie through their teeth, deny absolutely everything, and then try to shift the discussion and attack their accusers however they can. Republicans only accept responsibility when the evidence against them becomes so great that not even their friends will believe their lies anymore.

I expect we will see the same pattern with Hastert. No wonder the conservative Washington Times is calling for him to resign now, rather than closer to the election! It's now just a matter of waiting for the truth to come out as more people come forward to speak the truth. What a shame that not even this scandal and cover-up will convince the so-called "values" voters that the Republicans in office value nothing but themselves. Throw the bums out.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, Dr. S, but your description: "they lie through their teeth, deny absolutely everything, and then try to shift the discussion and attack their accusers however they can" applies excellently to Bill Clinton in 1998. It's not just a Republican tactic. It is the tactic of arrogance of power.

It is also the gameplan of the loser in scandal world. The only reason Clinton was not so tarnished in 1998 is that the Republicans made the only mistake you can do as the opposition party: go overboard and make a spectacle out of yourself. Or, as the old saying goes, when your opponent is committing political suicide, the best thing you can do is get out of the way. 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

Yes, Clinton lied and denied. It was the combination of those to with the last part especially, that is, attacking one's accusers rather than really answering the charges, that seems to me an increasingly common Republican tactic. It feels like something that goes beyond the usual arrogance of power to a new level of aggression when confronting scandalous information.

Anonymous said...

I'll also point out that what someone is lying about matters. In Clinton's case it was a consensual sexual relationship with an admittedly younger employee who was nevertheless a college graduate. In the current case of the Republicans it is non-consensual sexual activity with minors. In other cases it was lying about evidence that lead directly to bloody wars. Or lying about manipulation of elections.

Yes, it is wrong to lie even about stuff that's not illegal. It is even worse to lie about things that involve crimes themselves.

That said, LTG is right. The Democrats would do well to sit and watch the fur fly for a while. 

// posted by RBR