Trouble brewing for the GOP?

Demonbeck asks:

The Foley thing has swung the pendulum back a bit, but how much?

Clearly it hurts the GOP – not only is Congressman Foley no longer a Congressman, but questions are being raised about when the GOP Congressional leadership knew about Foley’s activities. Since this is a blog about Georgia politics, let’s focus on the impact this might have on Georgia.

The GOP is making the case that a vote for John Barrow or Jim Marshall is a vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Will the Democrats now try to make the case that a vote for Mac Collins or Max Burns is a vote for Denny Hastert for Speaker? I don’t think either argument has much impact, but it a tight race it might.

I think the bigger impact of the Mark Foley story is the potential impact on Republican voters who may become disgusted with the GOP leadership and decide to just stay home on November 7. This leads me to my other discussion topic about the mood of the Republican base.

This past Saturday while waiting to walk in the Duluth Fall Festival Parade, I asked a person who was walking with the GOP if they wanted to wear a “Sonny” sticker on their shirt. The person said “no” because this person is not sure if Sonny will get their vote. I was taken aback, and engaged in a discussion as to why the person felt this way. Another person walking with the GOP came up to participate in the discussion and expressed anger at Sonny and went so far as to call me a Democrat for supporting the Governor. The bottom line for both of these folks is that they don’t think Sonny is “conservative” enough.

Another recent encounter: I received a phone call from a person here in Gwinnett who told me he was not voting for Sonny because Sonny was a Democrat. We discussed Sonny’s record for about twenty minutes and this guy could not be persuaded. He’ll vote for Casey Cagle, but Sonny Perdue can go to h*** in his opinion.

I don’t mean to come across as condescending, but I think the comments by these folks represent a basic misunderstanding of the difference between governing and being a minority opposition Party. No longer can the GOP in Georgia be as ideologically pure as it once was. It’s easy to sit around with your Republican friends and say: “when we get in power we’ll do X” because the reality is “X” might not really be possible, or at least not possible in the short term. Republicans have governed Georgia for about four years now and to expect Georgia to be a Republican utopia in just not realistic. Republican voters must realize this and judge their incumbents accordingly.

I realize these are an anecdotal encounters, but these people are not “soft” or “out of touch” Republicans. Frankly, these encounters have me worried – just how pervasive is this line of thought, and coupled with questions about the national Republican leadership, could it present problems for Sonny and the Georgia GOP on election day?

42 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Buzz,

    The sneaky alteration to the bill that saved Sonny $100,000 in capital gains taxes smells a lot like what a crooked Democrat would do. Thus, you have thta image.

    Don’t tell me THAT legislative move was part of the problem with “governing”.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Putting myself at risk of looking weak …

    It hurts all politicians, not just Republicans. Which, by weakening faith in public officials, hurts the strength of government.

  3. John Konop says:

    The Georgia GOP Congressman should ask anyone in the house who knew about this and did not tell parents and law enforcement to resign now! If not They should not get our votes bottom line !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If this happen at our kids school and they did not tell parents or law enforcement for 5 years what would happen ?

    From ABC news,

    It turns out Foley’s obsession with 16- and 17-year-old male pages has been known to Republicans on Capitol Hill for at least five years.

    But other than issue a warning, little else seems to have been done about the congressman.

    A former page has come forward to tell ABC News warnings were issued about Foley to the pages in 2001.

    Matthew Loraditch (former page)says pages were told to watch out for Foley.

    “It was a slight cautionary statement, you know, ‘Don’t get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff.’ You know, ‘He’s a nice guy, but he’s a little bid odd,’ and that sort of thing,

  4. buzzbrockway says:

    No Bill, not talking about that. I’m talking about stuff like “why haven’t we eliminated the department of X” or “why haven’t taxes been cut in half.”

  5. SpaceyG says:

    In the beatheth the dead horse catagory… a visit to the State Fair this past weekend found the flaggots STILL slapping “Sonny Lied” stickers all over his signage there. Hell no, they ain’t forgettin’ nor forgivin’!

    And on a southern cultural note, my real beat, that North Georgia State Fair clientele sure has gone upmarket– Yuppies outnumbered the Rednecks 10-1.

    Then again, I wasn’t there under the cover of darkness. Merely as a member if the TrueGritz media team. (We fired that last media advisor ’cause after he let Sonny OD on Cialis, he then wanted to put Sas on antidepressants…)

    http://www.truegritz.com

  6. SpaceyG says:

    Oh yeah… any candidate for a Georgia-based political office who wants to be on the next TrueGritz, just get in touch at:
    [email protected]

    You’ll make new media history fer sure! Think about all that “social media outreach” mumbo jumbo some youngster in the campaign has been bugging you about! Here’s your chance.

    (FYI, we are non-partisan, but cannot guarantee sobriety of the staff.)

  7. Paul Shuford says:

    “Which, by weakening faith in public officials, hurts the strength of government.”

    Sounds like a plan to me.

  8. Buzz,
    I enjoyed talking with you at the PP meet and greet in Decatur a few months back. I think one of the most persausive arguments the GOP makes (and they make it often), even if I don’t agree with it fully, is that too often the Democrats are no longer the party of ideas and instead just attack the Republicans.

    Like I said, I don’t agree with it but I’m impressed at how the Republicans have been able to develop this theme, and since so many of them (like Sonny) are former Democrats they can add on the whole Zell Miller “used to be a great party” thing.

    Now, in that vein, you may notice that on Peach Pundit I often advocate for ideas and proposals that I have in addition to just generic Democrats. As I acknowledged, I think Republicans make a good point so I like to counteract it.

    Now, I’d like your thoughts as to the whole attack Nancy Pelosi thing. Republicans have not been able to get much traction on this attack, and I just don’t see how they’ll be able to make Pelosi into a household name in the next month (but wait 2 years and I’m sure they can get it done if she becomes speaker).

    But here, I think, is the biggest problem with their attack – it’s hypocritical. They have controlled Congress almost completely for 12 years and instead of pointing towards their own accomplishments (or lack thereof) they are just lobbing bombs at their opponents.

    And I’m curious what the Republicans on here think of this about face. I wonder, are Republican leaning voters taking the Republican Party’s long offered advise not to vote for the guys who have no ideas of their own but just call their opponents bad names, only now it is the Republican Party that has taken on this strategy.

  9. pvsys says:

    John Konop:

    Those comments from 5 years ago:

    Don’t get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff

    …and…

    He’s a nice guy, but he’s a little bid odd

    Are rather tame because if every such comment and suspicion were treated as a “worst case scenario”, then I suppose we’d have daily congressional investigations of half the members of Congress!

    Generally speaking, most folks don’t want to try to take out a congressman purely on vague suspicions and rumor.

    And, likewise, you are going to have to have much more concrete information in the hands of Republican leaders to make the case you’re trying to make.

    –Rob McEwen

  10. John Konop says:

    Rob,

    I am not saying rumor. I am saying any Congressman who knew and did not tell Parents and Police should resign bottom line.A Congressman job is to PROTECT AND SERVE !
    That means our kids are more important than the next election ! Why would any Congressman not demand for anyone who did not tell the police and parents to resign?

    I will not post the e-mails , trust me you would have to blind not to see something was wrong.
    This is not a political matter this is about being a parent and human being.

    You should read this from roll call,

    At least four Republican House Members, one senior GOP aide and a former top officer of the House were aware of the allegations about Foley that prompted the initial reporting regarding his e-mail contacts with a 16-year-old House page. They include: Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) and Reps. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), as well as a senior aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl.

    http://www.rollcall.com/issues/1_1/breakingnews/15259-1.html

  11. RandyMiller says:

    Buzz,

    Hard to say. For the most part I think voters look local, not national, when they go to the polls (for our state officlas). Also, maybe I’m wrong, but many people seem to be “immuned” to the indiscretions of some members of the house. All that’s happened in the last decade for example, and on both sides of the aisle!!!!! While we won’t vote for a particular candidate because of so and so, I don’t think we banish an entire party for the actions of one or two rotten apples.

  12. Chris says:

    Randy, while we won’t vote for a particular candidate because of so and so, I don’t think we banish an entire party for the actions of one or two rotten apples.

    This party has run on the platform of keeping Americans safe, and they can’t even keep the minors on Capital Hill safe. The perversion appears to be systemic, judging from the permissiveness of the leadership, to the actual crimes of the people within the party.

    Most people may not even be aware of it, what with our crappy liberal media, but according to this, http://www.jbs.org/node/1277, there have been similar problems with others of late:

    J. Brian Doyle, DHS, caught in a cybersting operation

    Michael Burks, DHS, caught in a Dateline sting

    Frank Figueroa, former head of a federal anti-molester initiative called “Operation Predator,” arrested for indecent exposure in an Orlando mall.

    A common theme throughout these events is the use and abuse of office to try to get away with it.

  13. John Konop says:

    Chris,

    This is not a party issue it is a Congress issue.
    And your party has coverd for Barney Frank for years.I wrote a letter published in the paper over a year ago saying it was time for both parties to clean up their act. The two guys I named was Delay and Frank. This has to do with Americans not demanding Congress to act like adults.

    Read this from the Washington Post.

    Gobie’s dream has come true. His accusation that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) knew that Gobie had operated a prostitution service out of Frank’s Capitol Hill apartment became national news after it was first reported Friday by the Washington Times.

    Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress, confirmed Friday that he paid Gobie for sex, hired him with personal funds as an aide and wrote letters on congressional stationery on his behalf to Virginia probation officials, but Frank said he fired Gobie when he learned that clients were visiting the apartment.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/tours/scandal/gobie2.htm

  14. Chris says:

    Oh I agree, it’s a problem for both parties. But right now it’s got traction as a GOP killer. When it swings around to crush the Dems when they’re in power, I’ll be just as enthusiastic to use that to throw all the bums out.

    This is better’n term limits, wouldn’t you say? Of course those about to be vilified in the media are probably wishing they’d been inhibited by term limits right about now.

  15. John Konop says:

    Know nothing

    This from President Bush Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union
    January 31st, 2006

    “We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history, and it has been my honor to serve with you.

  16. Ha!

    When it rains it pours for republicans.

    Even worse than GOP leadership covering up for perverts is this story detailing how condi rice was briefed on an impending terrorist attach 2 months before 911 & did nothing:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/02/washington/03ricecnd.html?ei=5065&en=a9fc92094cf1099a&ex=1160452800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

    It was just this morning on the radio that she was saying that she was never briefed on this stuff.

    None of it really matters anyway. I am truly convinced that to much their ‘base’ republicanism is a religion. No amount of reality can make them not support republicans.

    I heard on talk radio this very morning that the whole Foley thing was a lib’rul conspiracy for gods sake!

  17. Chris says:

    Btw John, it’s not my party. They lost me 6 years ago when they “lost” the election to the dirtiest, stinkingest rotten scoundrel of a man our country’s ever seen.

  18. John Konop says:

    Chris,

    I agree term limits. But If GOP leaders come out strong it will not be a problem. If they do not come out strong, do not let the door hit you.

    Buzz was Chairman, do you think it would help if party leaders came out strong and ask for anyone in the mix to resign? Or do you think it just does not matter ?

  19. RandyMiller says:

    Yeah Chris…. what’s with the guy Jefferson??? And Frank with the male prostitute letting him use the capitol gym??? And what’s with the Kennedy guy who slept with the 14 year old baby sitter and got away with it??? No Chris, this isn’t regulated to one party.

  20. Chris says:

    candler, who was it recently that said we need another Sadam Hussein to take over Iraq to get it under control? Put those two statements back to back and we’ve got another great ad to run for the GOP.

  21. John Konop says:

    Chris,

    In the constitution we have seperation of powers. We also have State rights. The local police do not report to Congress.

    This is a police issue not a Congress issue. If this happen at a school you would not want them to investigate you would tell them to call the police and tell the parents.

    A Congressman should no more than a coach or teacher, do they not make the laws ?

  22. Chris says:

    Randy, Jefferson’s out isn’t he? And Frank should be too. I’m not familiar with the Kennedy stuff, but that’s not an elected official is it? I already admitted both parties are riddled with pervs. Normal sane conscientious people rarely even run for office. And I am oh so proud to have helped trampled Cox in the Dem primary. Does that earn me suitable wings as a libertarian-leaning nonpartisan?

  23. Chris says:

    It is a Congress issue, when they have a fully established ethics, investigative and oversight committees (among others) to monitor and control the behavior of its members. Why do you think they were in such an uproar when the FBI raided their offices a couple months ago? That’s never happened in the history of Congress, because Congress is charged with policing and investigating itself.

  24. Chris says:

    John I believe that’s a justice department issue, in which case investigations will be undertaken by both the Justice Department and Congress.

    In this Foley case, I perceive this rush to have an investigation as a means of clamping the lid on it to keep as much information from the public as possible. Of course there needs to be many investigations to get to the bottom of the coverup, but I don’t trust the party in charge to properly conduct the investigations, since they appear to have allowed this behavior to go unchecked for many years already.

  25. GetReal says:

    I think the killer in the Foley thing is simple and the public gets it – the House Republican leadership knew Foley had serious issues with his inappropriate interest in male pages. The news reports on the warnings to Republican pages about him in 2001, and the recountings of multiple warnings to the Republican leadership, make that much clear. They didn’t do anything about it because he was part of the leadership, and they didn’t want to cause a ruckus that would bring attention to the problem.

    Remember when Foley entered the 2004 Republican Senate primary and then dropped out? I wonder if Republicans who knew about his issues and worried about them getting aired out in a high profile race pressured him to quit that race and stay in the House.

    Basically, you have a situation where a bunch of politicians put protecting themselves and their friend above protecting kids from a pedophile. It fits the worst suspicions that the voters have of Congress, they understand it and believe it happened, and there’s going to be hell to pay for it.

  26. John Konop says:

    Chris,

    Cynthia McKinney was arrested by the police not the Congress ? So if she got arrested are you saying a child predator (Foley) would not ?

  27. RandyMiller says:

    Chris,
    William Jefferson never resigned. And once again, by defeating Cox you lost your last good chance at voting Perdue out.

  28. Mad Dog says:

    Now I have another reason for using Mad Dog as a handle.

    Not only does being mentally ill fit in with this blog, but but but but not being logical fits in, too!

    Get Real has a grip on it.

    Jeff is holding the door for the in/out crowd.

    I think John is ready with the rope.

    Chris thinks people listen to him when he talks sense.

    Rob wants us to ignore warnings and forgo pre-emptive strikes. (Sorry Rob)

    Candler thinks it is news when Condi says, “I don’t know nothing about birthing no jihad.” (Sorry Martha Mitchell et al.) [When they get through burning me at the stake for using such patent racism, just remember, Prissy — played by Butterful McQueen — was a self-proclaimed expert at birthin’ babies. Until she got the job.]

    I think I spewed enough rabid saliva for now. I want a drink of water so bad!

  29. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I think it’s hard for those that knew about the Mark Foley incident to stay in their positions of power and have any credibility on any issue.

    I mean, Nancy Pelosi may be liberal, but heck, would she cover up a child sex predator for the benefit of power?

    That’s the real question that is being asked. If Hastert and Company knew about the Foley problem all these months, why didn’t they do something proactive, like, DEMAND that he retire and not run for reelection?

    I think it’s hard for Hastert to hang on here. Boehner is a lousy pick for Speaker and Blunt has serious problems. The logical choice is either Deborah Pryce or Jack Kingston for Speaker of the House and I say, Kingston is the man.

    So, you heard it hear first – Jack Kingston for Speaker of the House.

  30. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I think it’s hard for those that knew about the Mark Foley incident to stay in their positions of power and have any credibility on any issue.

    I mean, Nancy Pelosi may be liberal, but heck, would she cover up a child sex predator for the benefit of power?

    That’s the real question that is being asked. If Hastert and Company knew about the Foley problem all these months, why didn’t they do something proactive, like, DEMAND that he retire and not run for reelection?

    I think it’s hard for Hastert to hang on here. Boehner is a lousy pick for Speaker and Blunt has serious problems. The logical choice is either Deborah Pryce or Jack Kingston for Speaker of the House and I say, Kingston is the man.

    So, you heard it hear first – Jack Kingston for Speaker of the House.

  31. Rick Day says:

    I don’t blame the OP’s citizen samples. I can not tell a spit of difference between Purdue the Democublican, and Taylor the Republicrat.

    Sigh…at least G.M. Hayes can speak fluent Klingon. He would be a ‘fresh voice’ in government!

  32. Chris says:

    Randy, who said I wanted Perdue out of office. I don’t care one way or the other which man is governor, which is why I’m voting for Hayes. And Handel for SoS.

  33. rugby_fan says:

    “by defeating Cox you lost your last good chance at voting Perdue out.”

    What in your mind suggests that Cox had any ability to win that race? Were you watching the same primary?

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