October: The month of political surprises
We interrupt this series of columns dealing with the geopolitics of the Middle East to probe a series of “October surprises” launched at partisan Republicans by partisan Democrats.
The first surprise was the leaking of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) using only those portions of the NIE indicating that U.S. policies with regard to Iraq had stirred up a hornet nest. The implication being, had we not invaded Iraq, the Islamic terrorists would have forgotten about anymore attacks against us. You can be the judge of that.
But the NIE also stated that our intervention in Iraq was hurting the terrorists, keeping them off balance and serving to keep the war over there, rather than over here. Rather than allowing the leakers to have their way by providing their friends in the Sinistra Media only a portion of the NIE, President Bush authorized the publication of the rest of the NIE – minus only those portions that would have given away sources and methods.
The next political ambush came via Washington journalist, Bob Woodward, who, instead of attributing his tales to the comatose, or even dead, CIA director, William Casey, attributed his latest collection to some living Washington insiders – only some of whom were quick to deny what Woodward reported. Close is only supposed to count in horseshoes and hand grenades; however, in Woodward’s career, close, but with some factual errors, have been his hallmark.
Next, came the “outing” of Congressman Mark Foley who resigned when someone, presumably Democrats, surfaced some e-mail and text messaging strongly suggestive that Foley is not only homosexual but a possible pedophile. But the Democrats may have walked into a gay-bashing minefield of their own making.
Washington insiders on both sides of the political aisle have known for some time that Foley was gay. Prior to this campaign year, Democrats were loath to out a gay Republican congressman because there are so many gay members of Congress who are Democrats. Moreover, the Left has yet to renounce the North American Man-Boy Love Association -- the group that advocates that gay sex between men and young boys is perfectly normal.
In a clever combination of Democrat opposition to electronic eavesdropping on communications from known terrorist abroad to suspected terrorists within the United States and the Democrats well-known opposition to gay bashing, author and wit, Ann Coulter, wrote: “If Republicans had decided to spy on Foley for sending overly friendly e-mail to pages, Democrats would have been screaming about a Republican witch-hunt against gays. But if they don’t, they’re enabling a sexual predator.”
Apparently, those within the GOP House leadership who knew Foley was gay (and had even sent emissaries to warn Foley against having contact with House Pages), were faced with a Hobson’s Choice: Make public Foley’s sexual nature and face the wrath of the ACLU and the Democrats or remain silent and risk the wrath of the GOP Right when the “coddling” of Foley became known.
If you do not believe homosexuality isn’t a subject being treated gingerly by the media, just note how long this story ran before the first mention of Foley’s homosexuality. The stories only spoke of electronic messages of a “suggestive nature,” of “inappropriate behavior,” etc.
So, Democrats and Republicans alike should fish or cut bait. The Democrats cannot condemn Foley and cheer his resignation without alienating a gay/lesbian portion of their political base. The Republicans cannot justify remaining silent about what they knew about Foley’s homosexuality without alienating their conservative political base.
The only “scandal” I can recall when your faithful observer was a page in the Oklahoma Legislature was how we pages had to read the morning papers to the illiterate legislators from southeastern Oklahoma -- known as: Little Dixie.
The November election may not be about which party can attract the most voters, but which party has offended the least number of its traditional supporters.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.