In the immediate aftermath of the Mark Foley/House Page debacle, staunchly conservative Republicans decried the 'immorality and indecency' of Congressman Foley and the Republican leadership which enabled him. In fact, a number of powerful Conservatives cited the incident as the impetus for a dearth of Republican voters in the upcoming midterm election.
Appearing Sunday morning on the Chris Wallace program, "Fox News Sunday," an angry Tony Perkins demurred: "I think you can't underestimate the impact this is going to have on the election. I think you're going to have marginal voters that will drop off because of their disgust with the Republican Party, not only on this issue, but a lack of advancing many of those core social issues. I think you're going to have marginal candidates that will suffer at the polls because they do not clearly articulate these issues. I think the Republican Party is at a point of decision. I think some are questioning out there whether this big-tent strategy has led to a three-ring circus. I mean, there is some serious concern in the ranks of social conservatives."
Perkins' declaration of Republican voter anger may be an honest portrayal of conservative disillusionment with current Republican leadership. But Democrats would be foolhardy to fall for a conservative strategy that plies them with overconfidence for success in November. Especially when the overconfidence is designed to keep Democrats from the polls altogether through the false supposition that the Democratic take back is squarely in the bag.
IT'S NOT!!! IT IS NOT!!!
There's little doubt the consistent failures of the Bush Administration and Republican majority Congress have prompted realistic Republicans to rethink their dedication to this President and to the current Republican Party. The failure of both to adhere to so-called conservative morality, the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, the growing national debt spurred by the costs of the wars and corporate globalization, America's ever-increasing military casualties, the decline of the American middle class, the decline of America's worldwide prestige, the inept handling of North Korea which resulted in a nuclear bomb, and a myriad of other disappointments have given rise to a growing number of disenfranchised Republicans.
But while some of the disenfranchised may abandon their Republican party to vote 'America first/Party second', there are still enough irreversible 'My Party/My President' die-hards that Democrats have no choice but to get to the polls in droves. The future of the nation and the world hang precariously in the balance. Complacency on the part of Democrats to get to the polls and vote November 7th will be nothing short of DERELICT, DIVISIVE, DESTRUCTIVE and DERANGED!!
The fact is, Tony Perkins, Richard Viguerie, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have always known there were gay Republicans in Washington. According to Mark Leibovich's article in Sunday's New York Times, "The presence of homosexuals, particularly gay men, in crucial staff positions has been an enduring if largely hidden staple of Republican life for decades, and particularly in recent years. They have played decisive roles in passing legislation, running campaigns and advancing careers."
Considering how entrenched Perkins, Viguerie, Robertson and Falwell are in the day to day entanglements of the Republican Party. Considering how meddlesome these Conservative leaders are in every aspect of Washington business. Considering there are Conservative lobbyists filling the halls of the White House and both Houses of Congress, it's impossible to believe these Washington insiders are learning for the first time that there are gays in high places in Washington.
As Bill Maher said to Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on last Friday's episode of his HBO series "Real Time, "We know in Hollywood that when there's a scandal that hits the public, we always knew about it beforehand. So you've been in Congress eight terms, you must have known, like everybody [Foley was gay]. Come on, when it happens in Hollywood we say, well it's a small town. This [Washington] is a small town, too. Congress is even a smaller body. Didn't everybody know [about Mark Foley].......?"
In typical Republican George Allen 'macaka' style, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, Mark Foley's fellow Floridian, responded with an incredulous, "No!"
In the United States House of Representatives, a body famous for gossip, speculation and leaks, where the same people meet in the same Hall every day, and live in the same vicinity of the same concentrated city every day, can anyone really believe this woman is telling the truth? Much like, does anyone really believe the contention that the intrusive Conservative Christian leadership only recently learned there were gay Republican Congressmembers and staffers in Washington, D.C.?
The fact is, Perkins, Viguerie, Robertson and Falwell have always known there were gays in Government in D.C. But it was never an issue until the revelation of the lurid acts of Mark Foley because the overwhelming majority of D.C. Government gays live highly responsible, respectable lives.