Thursday, October 05, 2006

How to Assess the Foley Scandal

I'm in two minds about this. Part of me is watching gleefully as the well-oiled Republican message machine sputters into a lifeless heap. On the other hand, of all the scandals of the past few years, this should be at the bottom of the list in terms of importance. This should not be what they go down for. I'm as disgusted as ever by the media's voyeuristic preoccupation with sex scandals, while paying scant attention to Jack Abramoff's adventures in the Northern Mariana islands, or Bushite incompetence, or pretty much anything else associated with this regime.
But in terms of how this all gels with the modern Republican party, I think Andrew Sullivan nails it:
"If Hastert stays, the GOP could lose 50 seats, according to an internal poll. And if he quits? Maybe they didn't ask that question. One aspect of this is worth further noting. The base of the GOP has been fed homophobia and gay-baiting for years now. It was partly how Rove won Ohio and the presidency. Gay-hating is integral to their machine. Now, the very homophobia these people stoked and used is suddenly turning back on them. Part of me is distressed that the GOP could lose not because of spending recklessness, corruption, torture, big government, pork, and a hideously botched war ... but because of a sex scandal which doesn't even have (so far as we know) any actual sex. But part of me also sees the karmic payback here. They rode this tiger; now it's turning on them. And it's dinner time."

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