Wednesday, October 04, 2006

THE END OF THE AFFAIR. The Foley scandal continues its widening gyre. Foley himself is becalmed in rehab, but no one cares about him. The Parties are surfing the gyre. The Republicans have the worse job, and are trying all kinds of wild shit to reverse its course. The Perfesser hehindeeds through the howling wind that it's really about gay hypocrisy, or pro-gay hypocrisy that's really anti-gay, or some damn thing. His comrade cries out:
Does anyone seriously think that the Democrats can position themselves as the party of sexual restraint? The party that will be tough on gay men, straight men, or anyone else who gives off even a whiff of impropriety?

Please - this is not a bidding war the Democrats can win and I am reasonably certain that, after years of "sex is a private matter", it is not a war the Democrats want to start.
But like most shouting into the wind, this is bootless. As previously noted here, the Democrats are considered the Party of libertine sex, as a thousand Leno jokes will attest. The Republicans have encouraged that perception, and positioned themselves as the Party of family values, and benefited from the comparison. When one of their own got caught out, no one thought the roles had been magically reversed. We just thought the Republicans had fucked up. Again.

Remember when the cry over Clinton was, it's not the sex, it's the lying/perjury/hypocrisy? Now it's not the sex, it's the fuckups. We expect our politicians to lie and perjure themselves and be hypocrites, but when Denny Hastert goes blundering around trying to explain Foley on the radio, it may be that the average observer is not reminded of Clinton or Gary Condit or Jim McGreevey, but of Rumsfeld, and "Brownie," and Abramoff: the spectacle of a Party that runs nearly all our government, once again giving mumbled, grudging responses when things go wrong on their watch.

When the Foley scandal subsides, no lingering taint of sex madness will adhere to the Republicans. The stink of failure may grow a smidge more ripe, though.

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