Greg is absolutely correct, the Republicans and their sad little sycophants are completely tone deaf on the Foley scandal. I caught a bit of Hannity’s show yesterday, during which a caller who seemed generally sympathetic to the conservative world view tried to explain to Hannity that pedophilia is not a Republican value. Hannity continued to defend Hastert, like the good little soldier he is, continually reiterating yesterday’s talking points — that Hastert never saw the more explicit IMs, never even saw the emails — all he knew was that Foley was sending “overly friendly” emails to a page whose family was disturbed by this and asked him to stop. The caller tried to point out that knowledge of a fifty-something congressman sending “overly friendly” emails to a teenager should have been all Hastert needed to know, but Hannity was having none of it. I just don’t see it and hey, what about this unrelated thing a Democrat did once? Yadda yadda yadda.
It’s really quite astonishing, that they think they can win this one with arguments like that. That they imagine parents across America will say to themselves, heck, what’s the big deal about an overly friendly email? Of course, I’ve certainly been astonished in the past, by the things they can apparently get away with. But when it comes to something so basic as an older man in a position of authority who’s supposed to be protecting teenagers but is instead hitting up on them, I find it hard to believe that most people are going to be swayed by a nitpicky little argument about the difference between instant messages and email.
Purely from a strategic standpoint, if ever there was a time to just toss in the towel and admit your guys fucked up, this is certainly it.