Mandate driven by sex?
Mark Foley's "Do I make you a little horny? " has replaced President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" as the phrase most likely to sweep Democrats...
Seattle Times chief political reporter
Mark Foley's "Do I make you a little horny?" has replaced President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" as the phrase most likely to sweep Democrats back into power in Washington, D.C.
What a mandate that'd make. If Democrats take control of the House and/or the Senate next month, they could rightfully say voters demanded change. But if they are propelled to victory by the scandal around former Congressman Foley and his explicit messages to House pages, what exactly would voters be demanding?
Democrats will say it's not as much about what Foley did as it is about what the Republican leadership didn't do: stop him. And I remember Republicans saying the move to impeach Bill Clinton was about lying, not sex.
Democrats and Republicans may be right about the deeper meaning of both. But let's be honest: Sex is easy to understand. Dirty e-mails are the fast food of scandal. They're for the masses, they're tailor-made for 30-second sound bites, and you'll feel guilty later having read them.
Democrats didn't want it to happen this way.
There was a time when many thought that, as public opinion turned against the Iraq war, voters would turn to Democrats as a check on President Bush. Congressional Republicans, though, worked hard to put Democrats on the defensive in war debates.
In Washington state's races for U.S. Senate and the 8th Congressional District, Democrats do accuse their GOP opponents of being blind followers of Bush's Iraq policy. But any anti-war campaigning seems muted at best.
There also was a time when "culture of corruption" charges against Republicans were seen as Democrats' best hope. But Thursday, a Democratic Senate Finance Committee report on disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was overshadowed by news of North Korea and Foley.
Some Democrats have tried to package the Foley scandal with more meaningful messages. I've heard it said that "security" is Democrats' top issue: security for the country, the world and for our children at home. It seems a stretch.
Even some on the left are unhappy with what might be the Democrats' ticket to power.
Writing on a blog at the liberal magazine The Nation, Richard Kim couldn't contain his sarcasm at the newly energized Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
"Let's see, in the last week the National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the Iraq war has become a jihadist 'cause célèbre' that only fuels terrorism and anti-Americanism. The Republican-led Congress authorized torture, suspended habeas corpus and approved the construction of a 700-mile long fence along the Mexican border. Former Bush hagiographer Bob Woodward revealed that Condi Rice was warned about an impending al-Qaida attack two months before 9/11, but did nothing.
"But Huzzah! The Democrats have finally gone on the offensive; the DCCC is pushing for Dennis Hastert's resignation as speaker."
Reach David Postman at 360-236-8267 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.