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Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Democratic October Surprise?

Here they come?

House GOP sources say they believe Dems plan coming 'October surprise'

Republican sources in high-ranking Congressional offices are quietly acknowledging that the party has largely lost hope of retaining control of the House this November, RAW STORY has learned.

Aides currently in the employ of two different House Committee chairmen have expressed to RAW STORY that they believe the party will become the minority after next month's elections.

"I'll probably be working for the ranking member this winter," noted one staffer. "It just doesn't look like there's anything that's going to prevent it."

One sign of an impending shift, said another, is that staff members for Democratic congressmen have assumed an unusually confident posture. "[Democratic staffers] don't even joke about it with us anymore. They just know."

One pointed to rumors on the Hill that there is the possibility of a Democratic October surprise. "[Former Congressman Mark] Foley wasn't their surprise. That just kinda happened, but people are saying they do have one of their own."

The Foley scandal has been the dominant political story—and perhaps the prime mover—this election season, fueling conflict within the Republican party, evoking strong criticism from Democrats, and even prompting some right-wing critics to lay the blame at the feet of liberal bogeymen. But that tactic doesn't seem to have resonated in opinion polls.

Earlier in the month, conservative websites began posting stories pointing to an assurance from Karl Rove that a Republican October surprise would rescue their party, but so far none has manifested. One Republican staffer even doubted whether any political maneuver by Rove would be enough to allow the GOP to retain the House. "I'm not even sure that'd work at this point."

October has always been a kinetic month in the election cycle, for observers and participants alike. But this October—marked by Republicans playing to their perceived advantage on national security and, perhaps more notably, by the page scandal and its extraordinary momentum—finds even veteran analysts exhausted by the twists and hesitant to make predictions. The election has at times even overwhelmed news coverage of important but unrelated events, including the war in Iraq and the apparent detonation of a nuclear weapon by North Korea.

Democrats, however, are playing down the perceived advantage. One veteran Democratic aide, responding to the Republican comments and encouraging polling, said, "when I see Republicans looking for jobs, then I'll start believing the polls."

What surprise?

Well, NBC is reporting that there's a third Congressman in the wind, who they think messed with a 16 year old girl.

You've got Foley and Kolbe under criminal investigation as is. One more Congress member didling kids? Osama could show up on the Mall in a dress with Jimmy Hoffa and they would be done. Three grown men diddling kids in Congress? Shit.

Now, Michelle Bachmann has never, to my knowledge, harmed a soul. But she's paying for Mark Foley, because when it comes to trust, Patty Wetterling, who had her son kidnapped when he was 11, is unimpeachable on the subject.

What frustrated me when discussing Kolbe was the bullshit excuses about him "counselling " kids. Give me a fucking break. If this other Congress member pops up, no one will want to hear that shit.

It is simple: grown men don't seek alone time with teenagers they don't know well. And since there is some confusion on what that means, it's this: someone who isn't a relative or family friend. Gay or straight, there is something questionable about an adult who seeks to spend social time with teens they don't know.

Pages work in the member's office, but are not supervised by them. Most members barely notice them. There are members detailed to work with the pages. But to take them on trips, constantly offer them rides and dinner, crosses the bounds of propriety. Why? First, because of favoritism. Members should see to avoid favoring pages. Second, because of suspicion of impropriety.

And if the members can't do this, the leadership and the page board needs to.

posted by Steve @ 12:15:00 AM

12:15:00 AM

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