Sunday, October 08, 2006

Late Edition: Republican Groundwork All for Naught

Dana Bash, CNN's congressional correspondent, made an interesting point during a Late Edition discussion on the Mark Foley scandal this morning. Bash observed that the groundwork Republicans have carefully laid in preparing for this election, like forcing congressional votes on a marriage amendment, flag-burning, etc., is "all for naught" because of the Foley scandal. The "do-nothing" Republican Congress has been wasting time all year on those non-issues, when it isn't on vacation.

Mark Halperin and John Harris, authors of The Way to Win, discussed the Republican response in terms of the phenomenon they call "freak show politics," the Republican tactic of polarizing a discussion to the point that there is no agreement even on basic facts. Certainly we're being treated to a giant helping of freak show politics as Republican after Republican appears to blame the current scandal on Nancy Pelosi, CREW and Bill Clinton, talking points that were, according to the Washington Post, distributed by Republican party operatives to sympathetic talk show hosts, conservative blogs and, obviously, congressmen like Patrick McHenry.

The Wall Street Journal has called The Way to Win "a well-sourced, dispassionate look at the grim realities of running for president." You can read the first chapter here.

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