Did you hear that former Congressman Mark Foley is writing a book? Yep. It's supposed to be a real page-turner.
I know you've heard better jokes, but what you haven't heard is anyone taking responsibility for covering up the fact that Foley stalked teenaged House pages for years. Who knew about this outrage and when they knew it is going come out soon. (And some of those involved will also likely have to "come out.") The Republicans are frantically practicing damage control, hoping their house of cards can remain standing through November 7th. The Democrats are happily watching them squirm -- and hoping the other Gucci doesn't drop.
Columnist David Corn wrote last week about a "list" circulating among journalists and others in Washington. It names dozens of gay GOP staffers -- three of whom reportedly work for House speaker Dennis Hastert. Kirk Fordham, Foley's former chief of staff, who is gay, says he told Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, about the Foley problem three years ago. Fordham later served as chief of staff for Congressman Tom Reynolds, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee. If you think those two never discussed Foley's problem, I've got a bridge in San Francisco for sale. With the FBI now investigating, the lid isn't going to stay on this pot much longer.
Though their number is shrinking, thankfully, many Americans are still phobic about homosexuality. Knowing that, Republicans shamelessly milked fundamentalist Christians for millions of dollars to help promote anti-gay-marriage initiatives and other "family values." When these folks finally get a clue about all the Gay Old Partiers in power (coughkenmehlmancough), they're going to be steamed. They've been suckered, cynically used as God-fearin' ATMs by a party that openly accepted gays in the halls of power while it demonized them in public for votes and cash. The fear for the Republicans now is that the fundamentalists will hate being played for chumps worse than they hate the "gay agenda" -- and quit voting for the GOP.
And what about Hastert (aka "the Capitol Rotunda")? After taking "responsibility" for the problem, he's staying out of sight in his apartment -- the one he shares with his chief of staff, Scott Palmer. Oh boy. Stay tuned.
Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor