Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Foley Erect

[Yes, I stole that from The Daily Show... see previous post for video]

Tim Grieve over at Salon's War Room did some dot connecting in this whole Foley affair in a post last night, which shows that this is much more than just a few "naughty emails" and IMs from a 50-something Congressman to teenage boys (which in and of itself should indeed be a big deal). First up, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Reynolds:
As we noted earlier today, ABC's Brian Ross has told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz that a strategist for Foley tried to cut a deal with him last week: Ross doesn't disclose the sexually explicit instant messages Foley sent to pages, and the strategist gets Ross an "exclusive" on Foley's resignation. Thanks to AMERICAblog's John Aravosis, we know now that that strategist was Kirk Fordham.

Who is Fordham? He's a former chief of staff for Foley who is currently the chief of staff for Reynolds. Reynolds, it seems, lent Fordham's services to Foley to help him navigate his way out of the page scandal. And what does that mean? It means, as Glenn Greenwald explains, that "the top aide to one of the Republican House leaders, as recently as last Friday, tried to suppress the most incriminating and important facts regarding this scandal. Isn't that the very definition of 'cover-up'?"

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog notes this really classy move at a Reynolds press conference last night:
Flanked by about 30 children of supporters and as many parents, Reynolds defended his actions at a news conference late Monday in Amherst.

The congressman said that like anyone who hears a complaint about a co-worker, he alerted his supervisor, in this case Hastert.
When a reporter suggested to Reynolds that the children step outside in order to have a frank discussion of the sexually charged case, Reynolds declined.
Back to Salon's post, we have the lumbering Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:
The speaker acknowledges that Reynolds may have told him about Foley's e-mail exchange in the spring but says he just doesn't remember it. In an unusually mocking retort, CNN's Andrea Koppel told Hastert this afternoon, "This is the kind of thing, I've got to tell you, if somebody told me that a senior congressman was sending, perhaps, 'over-friendly' e-mails to a 16-year-old page, I'd remember." Hastert's pathetic response: "I'm just saying that I don't remember him telling me that." Pressed at another point today to explain why Republicans didn't do more when they first learned of Foley's problems, all Hastert could say was, "Would have, could have, should have."
And finally, everyone's favorite Republican propaganda pamphlet, the Washington Times, is now calling for Dennis Hastert's removal (via TPM Muckraker):
House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.


At 8:02 AM, Blogger David said...

Is anyone really shocked by any of this?


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