October 15, 2006
Media fixation with Mark Foley -- on-target or wishful thinking?

Postman, in Friday's column:

Mark Foley's "Do I make you a little horny?" has replaced President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" as the phrase most likely to sweep Democrats back into power
The column elicited a disputatious voicemail which Postman transcribed on his blog
"Well sir, I hate to delude you a little bit here, break your bubble, whatever; even the most causal reader can look at your column today and realize that you're nothing but a political hack and shill for the Democrats.
I don't think Postman is a Democratic shill. But if the caller's point is that Postman and his colleagues are making more of Foley than most voters are, then the voters that NPR has interviewed would confirm the caller's point: "Rural Voters Appear Unswayed by Foley Scandal"; also listen to today's story, which belies its own headline.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at October 15, 2006 08:09 PM | Email This
1. The target is not Mark Foley: who cares about yet another corrupt republican in the gov't. The target is the war in Iraq; an incredibly stupid venture into foreign affairs that will tax our children for many generations to come. Any of you folks want to give me another updated justification for a unilateral war that has cost $500 billion, killed 650,000 Iraqis, and has yet to accomplish a single thing????

Posted by: Unkl Witz on October 15, 2006 08:23 PM
2. Unkl Witz,
If this were a Democrat instead of a Republican. You would be shouting at the top of the roof tops that this was gay bashing. After all it was already proven that the leaked e-mails were after the page turned 18.

As for Iraq; 30 buried aircraft, 500+ more chemical munitions than was claimed to exist by Iraq, 5 separate terrorist training camps found (including one with a 737 fuselage) and numerous previously unknown mass graves found.

But hey, I know that no amount of evidence would change you rabid pro-democrat position.

Posted by: Mike P on October 15, 2006 08:42 PM
3. Foley who?

Posted by: Jeff B. on October 15, 2006 08:43 PM
4. In regards to the Foley affair, the Dems are having what I call a Louie Renault moment: "I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to see all this gambling!".

No, Oncle Wince, none of us wants to give you a justification. Move along, now.

Posted by: huckleberry on October 15, 2006 08:44 PM
5. "killed 650,000 Iraqis"

Based on a completely discredited study in the Lancet. They used anecdotal evidence to make wild claims about the number of dead. No one with any serious credentials on either side of the aisle takes this number seriously. That being said, the loony left spouts it every chance they get.

So, what does that make you?

Posted by: Calvin A on October 15, 2006 08:57 PM
6. Yes, it's clear that the leftwing MSM is desparately trying to make a disgusting story EVEN MORE disgusting just for the sake of hurting republicans. Couldn't be more obvious. After all, Bill Clinton and Monica weren't much better. The thought of picturing Bill Clinton with his pants down and Monica on the floor and attached to him while he's doing the country's business is pretty disgusting, but the MSM weren't trying to remind everyone about it this way. They were too busy helping Bill try to deny it and run out the clock for several months first.

If the Postmans and other MSMs of the world think religious conservatives aren't turning out to vote this time around, they are wrong.

Posted by: Michele on October 15, 2006 09:07 PM
7. oh, and Foley resigned, as he should have. Billy Clinton didn't, even though he totally disgraced himself and the Office. Says it all, doesn't it??

Posted by: Michele on October 15, 2006 09:09 PM
8. People assume, incorrectly, that in order to matter an issue has to resonate with 50+1% of the electorate. That is plain wrong. In order to matter an issue simply has to sway some percentage of voters from one candidate to another. Even 1 or 2% can make a huge difference. Hell if Kerry had swung 2% of the electorate his way, we would be calling him president.

While it may not resonate with a huge number of voters, Foley may convince a small number of voters to change their votes ans bring the D's one step closer to a majority.

I might add that the R's understand this very well. They strategically put together coalitions based on security, gay marriage, small government, etc. Knowing full well that each of these alone does not resonate with a majority of the electorate.

Posted by: Giffy on October 15, 2006 09:18 PM
9. It's the only card the dems have.

Going after a resigned gay congress critter.

The dem have no ideas, no plans, no isues to run on.

They are left to jump up and down and scream.


Posted by: JCM on October 15, 2006 09:25 PM
10. John Stuart Mill (May 20, 1806 - May 8, 1873) must have been prescient. he wrote about the modern liberals.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

Posted by: JCM on October 15, 2006 09:43 PM
11. The only thing about Foley that would make me want to vote against the Republicans would be if he were still in office!

Unlike the Dems, when a Republican is caught doing something wrong they either leave on the own or they are forced out by the Republican leadership.

Posted by: David Davis on October 15, 2006 10:19 PM
12. For most sane people, what Mark Foley did was disgusting and demeaning. And for most sane people, when Mark Foley resigned, the matter ended. I doubt that it will affect local politics at all, and after, all politics is local. People are going to vote for their congressmen and senators just exactly as they had intended all along, with or without Foley.

Posted by: katomar on October 15, 2006 10:22 PM
13. I find it amusing how much angst is brewed over Postman's purported and perceived ideology. He writes opinion for cripes sake! I take his stuff with the same grain of salt that I would HA's golden showers (well, maybe a bit more ;'}

Once again the "journalist" becomes the story (sort of). It appears to me that the "media" is fixated on....itself!

Posted by: alphabet soup on October 15, 2006 10:57 PM
14. An excellent Quote, JCM. Never saw it said better, today's leftist will not even defend them selves.

Posted by: pagar on October 16, 2006 04:59 AM
15. JCM: Being willing to fight and being willing to fight stupid and pointless wars are two entirely different things.

Or given todays crop of republicans perhapses I should say "sending others to fight".

Posted by: Giffy on October 16, 2006 06:11 AM
16. Cheap shot, Giffy. Mostly because you have no idea how many of the posters here have someone near and dear fighting as we speak. Also, I might add, the military is entirely volunteer, so it stands to reason that many, many of those patriots fighting to protect us come from conservtive, republican upbringings.

Posted by: katomar on October 16, 2006 06:52 AM
17. Okay, Shark, he is not a shill. But, you can't take away the hypocrite in him. In an exchange with me, he said he would go after both sides during the coming election as issues arise. I took him for his word (my bad).

Postman, after the primary, played a little joke on his readers of the blog (former in my case). When he thought we were all thinking about Lieberman and Lamont, he did some research and reported on a similar type of race in Michagan or so- Republican, in this case.

I thought it brilliant, but the "not excactly a shill" stopped his research. Only anti-Republican venom came out since then, and his one shot at attacking a Dem was tepid to say the least. Hypocrite at best.

And for him to bring up Foley at this late date is also hypocritical, at the least, if not a "shill".

So, my point is not that he is a D operative, but that he told us he would be fair and balanced, which I admit, is different from the voice mail he got.

Posted by: swatter on October 16, 2006 07:39 AM
18. I love hearing the right wing morons who even TRY to bring up Bill Clinton (who had a consensual relationship with an adult woman..which his wife forgave him for), and Foley, who was a predator who abused his position of power to prey on MINORS. The utter hypocracy of him being a member of the gay-bashing right, AND co-chair of the "missing and exploited children commitee" goes too far.

What Foley did was not only immoral..it is illegal. The FBI catches online sex predators all the time..and prosecutes them. So..try not to compare to Clinton, who ONLY had an affair. Compared to that moron Bush and the way he f*cked this country..Clinton was a saint.

Posted by: Proteus on October 16, 2006 08:56 AM
Clinton, it was the BJ on the Oval Office carpet. Which would have gotten any corporate CEO canned.

It was perjury in a court of law, which got him a contempt of court citation and disbarment.

Foley, bad taste emails, over the line TM with pages baiting him. No evidence of relationships with minors.

Foley resigned and no one is defending.

The dems have defended to the death Clinton, Kennedy, Studs et. al.

Posted by: JCM on October 16, 2006 09:46 AM
20. They pass laws on Sexual Harassment in the workplace, but they themselves think they are exempt.

I am kind of on the side of more protection for pages, and yes, Mr. Protein, for interns.

These representatives, including our last President, preyed on these young people. These reps have unlimited power and these young folks are seduced by the power and the ability to sleep with them.

At least interns and pages, even if they are of legal age, should be better protected. You can't tell me Lewinsky is better off for being seduced by the Big Guy.

But, my issue is not going to get fixed for awhile. And, since it goes across both parties, it shouldn't have become an issue for this election.

I, personally, am more interested in the shenanigans of Cantwell in relation to her advisor and the bad judgement she exercised, both personal and professional.

Posted by: swatter on October 16, 2006 09:56 AM
21. the republican moral hypocrisy creates dissonance in the party's talking points....revert to clinton bashing immediately.

topics to avoid:

federal spending
terry schiavo
war in iraq
lack of effective homeland security
"do nothing" congress
bob ney
duke cunningham
where's weldon

Posted by: dinesh on October 16, 2006 10:06 AM
22. dinesh, as our good old buddy nelson used to say: Y A W N !

Posted by: alphabet soup on October 16, 2006 10:23 AM
23. Dinesh - try a little light reading - "Do as I say, Not as I do."

Federal spending - too high. We are at war and that will cause additional spending. Earmarks and pork are apolitical - both sides crap on their constituents with this stuff. Democrats have complained that all the spending isn't enough. NCLB is "under funded". Prescription Drugs are "under funded". Education is "under funded". It goes on and on and on. If we stop the war today, that money would still be spent. The Democrats will redirect it to all the "under funded" programs - and raise taxes to boot.

Terry Schiavo - The Party of Life wanted her to have a chance, the Party of Death wanted to "off her".

War in Iraq - Prior to March 2003; Democrats had decried the WMDs and dangers of Hussein and Iraq. Iraq signed an armistice in 1991. They failed to live up to the terms of the armistice and 17 UN resolutions on giving a full and accurate accounting of their WMD programs. In the meantime, Iraq was practicing wholesale killing of it's own citizens. Kurds in the north and others in the south. Iraq plotted to assassinate a former U.S. president. They gave safe harbor to terrorists from other countries. Hussein was a threat and could no longer be allowed to retain power.

Lack of "effective" homeland security - that's wide open. Examples please.

Torture - You got me there. We do still allow Al Gore, John Kerry, Michael Moore, Cindy Shehan, Babs Streisand, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden way too much time in the news and other venues.

"do nothing" congress - I thought you just accused them of spending too much. Better if they were "do nothing".

Abramhoff - despite your implication, Abramhoff was an opportunist. He was also involved with several Democrats - whoever could help his native American casino clients.

Bob Ney - convicted. Discussion about him being tossed from the house. Your point?

Duke Cunningham - Was stupid. Got caught. Resigned. Went to jail. Your point? How's Jefferson doing these days? What's Reid up to with Federal land swaps?

Where's Weldon - go to his website and find out.

I guess Republicans have moral hypocrisy because they have morals. They have a bar by which they can be measured by others. Democrats have morals called "situational ethics", they also have a bar, but their bar constantly changes, so we don't really ever know how we should measure them. It's for sure that we are not allowed to measure Democrats by the same bar we use to measure Republicans.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on October 16, 2006 10:56 AM
24. i dont think sane people from any political side truly LIKE war--for their own reasons--logical or otherwise;

but i think many today suffer from the "sitcom attention span". world problems--especially wars--do not get solved in 30 minutes for the brainless consumer's attention span & commercial potty break.

in how many dark times did FDR, Churchill & Lincoln have to reassure & re-kindle the people's hopes? history tells us there are few 'one-shot' wars. nor should we engage in protracted wars. resolve and cut/run concerns were prevalent in every war--Civil, WW2 etc. finish the job correctly--brutally if needed for your own survival. running prematurely emboldens the next agressor--just look at the UN military force's track record of "solving" armed conflicts.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 16, 2006 10:57 AM
25. dinesh - from the AP, "The raids came three days after news broke that the FBI is investigating whether the Delaware County congressman used his influence to help his daughter, a registered lobbyist, win consulting contracts."

Gee, if we were to change that a little, who would it resemble?

"The raids came three days after news broke that the FBI is investigating whether the Washington State senator used her influence to help her special friend, a registered lobbyist, win consulting contracts." (Edits mine)

Posted by: SouthernRoots on October 16, 2006 11:54 AM
26. P.S. - the Weldon issue is brought to us by the same C.R.E.W. that started the Foley brouhaha.

Maybe if we sent C.R.E.W. the information on Cantwell, they would be more than happy to file a complaint with the FBI. Thay are, after all, a tax exempt, non partisan 501c entity only intersted in weeding out corruption (or at leaset having it investigated) in government regardless of the party......


Posted by: SouthernRoots on October 16, 2006 12:02 PM
27. southern: you're making excuses. so you must admit by now that:

1) the republican party no longer believes in small govt and limited spending;

2) the republican party is held hostage by the extreme christian wing, which will have the federal govt intervene in an individual family's legal choice regarding the medical treatment of their family member (schiavo).

3) that republicans are just as corrupt as democrats when it comes to pork barrel spending.

4) that republicans are just as stupid as democrats for getting caught after breaking the law.

so, republicans are just as bad as democrats, but you believe they have morals.

it only took the republicans 12 years in power to become as corrupt as dems became after 40 years in power. its like moore's law revised for politics.

please. just close your eyes and ears and vote republican.

Posted by: dinesh on October 16, 2006 12:26 PM
28. please. just close your eyes and ears and vote republican.

And you won't be doing the exact same thing for the Democrats? Work on your insults a bit, eh.

Posted by: jimg on October 16, 2006 12:34 PM
29. "please. just close your eyes and ears and vote republican."

OK, although I'll do so gladly (and with my eyes wide open)...

Posted by: alphabet soup on October 16, 2006 12:39 PM
30. "so, republicans are just as bad as democrats, but you believe they have morals."

I believe they have morals and that they have a ways to go to match Democrats.

If Mark Foley was a Democrat would he still be in office and running for reelection? See Gerry Studds.

If Curt Weldon was a Democrat would they be looking into his daughter's lobbying? See Maria Cantwell and Harry Reid.

If Bob Ney or Randy Cunningham were Democrats, would they still be in office? See William Jefferson.

If Newt Gingrich was a Democrat would he still be in office? See Bill Clinton.

These Republicans certainly didn't do anything worse than the Democrats, but these Republicans left office (one way or another) and the Democrats didn't.

Yes, there still is a difference.

When Democratic operatives try to influence Republican voting by exposing real (or contrived) moral scandals against Republican politicians - and it works, yes, there still is a difference.

When Democrats are exposed in a scandal and nary a word is said against them, yes, there still is a difference.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on October 16, 2006 01:08 PM
31. Dinesh: Answer me one thing regarding Schiavo. What constitutes family? The man who was married to her and while she was ill found another woman and started another family without bothering to divorce her, just so he could retain control over her life? Or the mother, father, and siblings who desperately wanted to care for her?

Posted by: katomar on October 16, 2006 01:09 PM
32. i believe in divided govt. it helps curb the excesses of the parties. monopolies are generally not in the best interest of the consumer.

so, if roles were reversed and the dems had total control and screwed things up so royally, i would absolutely be looking to diversify the political representation in d.c. and would therefore vote republican.

the close your eyes and ears comment wasn't meant to be an insult. if you already have made up your mind, and can make excuses for some of the most egregious lapses in judgement and abuses of power, well then, new information doesn't inform your opinion, but rather reinforces it.

so be it. you vote, and if the r's win, you get more of the same.

Posted by: dinesh on October 16, 2006 01:11 PM
33. Dinesh says: "monopolies are generally not in the best interest of the consumer."

Glad to see you are a liberal that will support school vouchers. Since the Public Schools obviously have a monopoly on the education of our children, vouchers would be the best way to break up that monopoly that is "not in the best interest of the consumer".

Bill H

Posted by: Bill H on October 16, 2006 02:35 PM
34. bill h: i have no idea what type of reasoning you employed in your post regarding school vouchers.

you make certain assumptions, which may or may not be accurate, as i don't follow the school voucher debate. the first, and biggest assumption, you make is that 'public schools have a monopoly over the education of our children.' i would argue that 'public schools' are not the unified, monolithic group you suggest them to be (e.g. see the difference in the quality of public schools in certain high income, high property value areas versus inner city schools).

the next assumption you make is that 'vouchers would be best way to break that monopoly.' again, as i don't follow this debate, i don't know if this statement is accurate.

i do know that our education system sucks. china graduated 2 million engineering students last year, the u.s. around 70,000, of which 40,000 were foreign born. if kids want to be cool, live off of credit, and grow up to be rich and famous, well, we are setting ourselves up to be even a bigger debtor to the chinese than we perhaps realize.

Posted by: dinesh on October 17, 2006 09:38 AM
35. Hey Dinesh (or should I call you Professor?),

How are the public schools in your own high income, high property neighborhood? And if you're uncomfortable with people living off credit, maybe we should just outlaw credit cards?

(Just kidding. Dinesh is actually a good pal of mine and all of the above is an inside joke).

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on October 17, 2006 10:27 AM
36. Dinesh,
As the father of three children who have attended both the public schools and private schools, I think I CAN speak without making unwarranted assumptions.

It is unassailable that the public schools have a monopoly on education--unless you happen to have the money to utilize other options. I believe education is too important to be left to the public school monopoly.

You speak of engineers--my oldest just started as a Freshman at a private engineering school in Indiana. He attended public schools for 4 1/2 years until it was clear that the public schools could not adequately address his high capability. He went to a private school for 4 1/2 years and then entered the International Baccaulaurette program for his high school years.
His 4 1/2 years at the private school made all of the difference.

My second son was failing in the public schools when we found out (through private testing) that he was dyslexic (the public schools assumed he was ADD and wanted to give him drugs). We placed him in a private school that specifically deals with dyslexic kids and that turned him around. He is now back in public school and is getting straight A's.

Now, if we could not have afforded to utilize private schools (and private testing), I am not optimistic that my two oldest would have fared as well as they have. And we did not live in downtown Seattle, we lived on the Eastside in a "good" school district. And for some average students, the district is good. But because of the monopoly of public schools, we would not have been able to do what we did for our kids had we not had the means.

Consequently, we paid all of our taxes to support the public schools and in addition paid 10s of thousands of dollars more for private schools. Most people could not afford to do that.

If you don't like Burger King, you can go to Wendy's. If you don't like Pepsi, you can drink Coke. Why, for the most important thing we do for our kids, education, are we either stuck with one choice, or we have to be able to spend $1000's more to utilize a private alternative?

As to your question of whether vouchers is the best way. I confess that I don't know if it is the best way, but it is A WAY. It has shown to be effective in Milwaukee and other parts of Wisconsin. I think it is deplorable that it is continually blocked by a combination of wealthy Republicans, (who, as you say, are happy enough with their public schools) and Democrats who are simply doing the bidding of their own monopolists (the NEA and the WEA).

I hadn't planned to post this much, but as you can probably tell, I feel very strongly that we are doing a disservice to the next generation of Americans and as much as anything, this is creating two classes of Americans--those who can afford and get a good education, and those can't.

Bill H

Posted by: Bill H on October 17, 2006 12:58 PM
37. "i would argue that 'public schools' are not the unified, monolithic group you suggest them to be (e.g. see the difference in the quality of public schools in certain high income, high property value areas versus inner city schools"

Why is this? If all of the schools are in the same district, why would there be such a disparity between schools?

IF the ultimate goal of the school district was to provide a high quality education for all of the students in their district, why wouldn't the school board allocte the funding based on the needs of the children rather than apportion it based on the affluence of the neighborhood?

Aren't all school levies district wide? Aren't all of these schools PUBLIC?

Rather than waste money on busses, why not improve the condition of all the schools?

Posted by: SouthernRoots on October 17, 2006 01:16 PM
38. bill h:

thanks for your post. i'm glad to hear that you did have the resources to provide your children with the needed tools to equip them to perform well in school. i agree that we are fostering a 'have/have not' system in education and that something needs to be done to improve public education. i just am not informed enough to weigh in on what direction is appropriate. thinking generally, it seems that appropriate actions would occur at the local level, and some of those actions may involve charter schools, vouchers or some additional form of accountability for administrators/teachers/students/parents.

that said, something needs to be done, and done quickly.

Posted by: dinesh on October 18, 2006 11:21 AM
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