Even the most dim-witted of America's extremist "values voters" must soon realize that Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert has played them for fools in the Foley scandal. His talking points about a vast, Democratic media conspiracy have been dutifully echoed by the owners of values groups, whose income depends on keeping their donors happy. Like Hastert, Gary Bauer of American Values ranted like a lunatic about the conspiracy, which he described as "an attempt to discourage Christian conservative voters and to get some percentage of them to stay home so that the Left can retake the United States Senate and the United States House."
But even Bauer's comments seemed moderate compared to the shrill hysteria of Speaker Hastert himself, who told the Chicago Tribune:
"I think the base has to realize after awhile, who knew about it? Who knew what, when? When the base finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be happy. The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros."
He went on to suggest that operatives aligned with former President Bill Clinton knew about the allegations and were perhaps behind the disclosures in the closing weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, but he offered no hard proof.
While Hastert couldn't be bothered to honor an interview with WGN in Chicago last night (Guess what? Hastert's office now denies he was ever scheduled to do the interview), he took the time to call the utterly depraved James Dobson and give him his personal assurance. Dobson was videotaped Tuesday night at a rally saying:
I talked to Denny Hastert today and he told me that they have even put their pages in a separate building with 24-hour supervision to try to prevent this from happening.
Now we know it was a Republican, not a Democrat, who leaked the e-mails to the press and that Hastert's office was informed at least as early as 2003 about Foley's behavior. While obviously intended to be the "coded message" that went out to values voters via Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and campaign rallies, Hastert's talking points appear to be falling flat as the facts contradict him at every turn. The remaining question is how long it will take "values voters" to realize they've been suckered.