According to a new Gallup poll, just over one-third of voters (34%) say the Foley scandal has made them less likely to vote Republican in the upcoming elections.
Said Gallup: “It’s also possible that the Republican handling of the Foley situation has become a tipping point of sorts — not terrible in and of itself — but rather another indicator for some voters of a desire to shift the incumbent leadership of their Congress.”
At the head of the Republicans handling (or mishandling) the Foley situation is Dennis Hastert, who thus far has decided to remain in his position as Speaker of the House, even though half of Americans (52% according to a CNN poll, 46% in a CBS-New York Times poll) think he should resign.
UPDATE: Today, Hastert gave a news conference (in front of a graveyard, no less!) in which he tried to shift blame to members of his staff.
Just how long can Hastert last and will his presence continue to erode support for Republicans, particularly when bloggers are fishing around for other evidence of anti-gay hypocrisy on Capitol Hill? Mike Rogers of BlogActive told Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor that he would announce the names of more closeted gay Republican members of Congress before Election Day. Rogers declines to give any hints who those lawmakers could be.
While certain names have been bandied about for years, the Foley scandal has put the spotlight on other members of Congress rumored to be gay, like Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who has been appearing on talking heads news shows in a bid to save House Speaker Hastert. His appearance on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show prompted one liberal blog to ask, “But what could be more “sick” than a closeted gay Republican who rails about the “sanctity of marriage” while defending those who cover up the crimes of a child predator?”
McHenry continued to float the theory that the Foley scandal was a Democratic ploy to win the November elections, a theory that has been widely discredited. However, he was put into a corner by Wolf Blitzer, who asked McHenry five separate times to provide evidence of the Democratic plot. McHenry could only provide silence.
AmericaBlog’s John Aravosis has been whispering about the presence of another top-level closeted Republican whose outing would prove explosive.
Wayne Madsen, a liberal blogger most likely to float the most out there theories, questions the living arrangement between Dennis Hastert and his staff:
“There is also much focus on the relationship between House Speaker Dennis Hastert and his chief of staff, 56-year old Scott Palmer. Hastert and Palmer, Hastert’s longtime unmarried adviser, live together in a DC townhouse along with Hastert’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Mike Stokke, while Hastert’s wife Jean lives in Yorkville, Illinois and stays at a hotel when she visits Washington.”
Could Dennis Hastert be gay? That’s what many of the more prominent liberal blogs are beginning to ask.
Meanwhile, as lawmakers survey pages and the FBI interviews ex-page and now identified Foley accuser Jordan Edmund, the FBI is saying that Foley’s email exchange didn’t rise to the level of a crime and that their investigation was hampered “because the group that provided it the email on July 21 wouldn’t name the page and edited the messages.”
Melanie Sloan, the President of CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says the FBI is lying. (Clip via AmericaBlog)
You may have missed…
Mark Foley: The Early Years [tr]
Former Page Jim Kolbe Knew of Mark Foley’s Emails in 2000 [tr]
Pat Buchanan on that “Flamer” Foley [tr]
Barney Frank: “Gay GOP Like Secret Jews” [tr]
Hastert Asked “To Intervene” on Foley Three Years Ago [tr]
Mark Foley’s Indiscretions Began in ’95, as did Cover-Up [tr]
Foley is Gay, Says Attorney; Was Molested by Clergyman as Teenager [tr]
The Talk: Foley, Jon Stewart, Hastert, Bay Buchanan [tr]
Mark Foley Scandal Updates [tr]
Investigations Begin into Cover-up Surrounding Mark Foley: Republican Leaders Knew of Misdeeds for Five Years, Did Nothing [tr]
Political Page Turner: Rep. Mark Foley Resigns Seat Over Inappropriate Emails [tr]
Male Page and Rep Mark Foley in Troubling Email Exchange [tr]