Is Hastert to blame in the Foley scandal?

A mostly political Weblog.
Oct. 1 2006 4:25 PM

Foley and the Best Boys

kf judiciously apportions blame.

CW = Contrarianism + Time: Let the record show that while analyst Charlie Cook may have backtracked from his rash "this cake is baked" prediction, according to the WSJ's "Washington Wire" his Cook Report colleague, Amy Walter, is still pushing the 1994 model, the idea that the GOP's 2006 problem is, in the WSJ's words, "comparable with the Democrats' predicament before 1994 defeat." ... She could be right! ... Meanwhile, ABC's Mark Halperin tells George Stephanopoulos [ at 36:54 ]:

People who think the Democrats have a better chance of taking the Senate than the House have too much time on their hands to make up theories. [E.A.]

Are  Chuck Todd and John McIntyre  going to take that lying down? ...  12:49 A.M.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Cache it now: Web site of the day. 12:57 P.M.

Advertisement

Foley and the Best Boys: Clarice Feldman, a conservative, tries to find Democratic misbehavior in the outing of Rep. Foley and fails, as far as I can see. So what if a Soros-backed "watchdog" group coordinated the publicizing of the initial, not-that-damaging-but-suggestive email between Rep. Foley and a page? That's allowed. You're even allowed to wait until it's too late for the GOPs to take Foley off the ballot. The gambit only worked because Foley was guilty. ...

From Feldman's timeline, it also looks as if the St. Petersburg Times is innocent of the suggestion, made by RealClearPolitics, that it sat on the story until closer to the election. (See follow-up here.) The first emails that the SPT had ("send me a pic of you") were simply less damning, by several orders of magnitude, than the later instant messages* that came out just last week ("get a ruler and measure it for me"). The paper seems to have made a plausible judgment not to publish, though maybe it shouldn't win any investigative awards.

It's slightly less unfair to blame the House Republican leadership--sure, the evidence in the first emails wasn't much. But did they really have no idea what Foley was up to? Don't these rumors get around the Hill pretty quickly?** It's not like Foley was co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Chil .... oh wait. Someone could maybe have called Foley in and given him the third degree--e.g. about what other emails might be out there. Hastert's aides could have asked  Foley to permit a search of his computer. Maybe there were alternative methods of interrogation, or other ways to check out his story. Where's Patricia Dunn when you need her?

But that's a judgment call, and the GOP leadership screw-up is a lot clearer in retrospect.

The only clearly guilty party, as far as I can see--aside from Foley--is the New York Times, which hyped the anti-Hastert angle by conflating the earlier, suggestive emails and the later damning ones. Here's the  Carl Hulse/Raymond Hernandez Times lede:

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 20 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Red Planet and the Comet
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.