FOX News is now scrolling an alert that says “GOP Poll Shows Massive Losses if Speaker Stays Till November.” Bill Hemmer then quoted a report from Major Garrett saying prominent internal GOP polling suggests Republicans could lose up to 50 seats were Hastert to stay on through the election. ~John McIntyre, RealClearPolitics
As someone else who ought to resign might say, my goodness! Tony Blankley’s judgement and instincts have been proven right beyond anyone’s wildest expectations: not only would Hastert’s resignation be the right thing to do, but it would obviously help save a tottering GOP from just this kind of political debacle. It turns out that the Alamo analogy was correct, even if it was definitely not appropriate to use, in terms of the scope of political disaster that awaits Republicans who want to go down fighting. Instead of the Alamo, I suggest Balaclava as a more apt and fitting analogy for disaster-through-incompetence that is the modern GOP. Given the number of reasonably competitive seats that are being contested this year (roughly 40, rather than the approximately 100 in ’94), a 50-seat loss would effectively be a stronger repudiation than 1994. It would certainly pack a harder psychological punch after a year of expectations of an extremely tight, hard-fought contest in which Democratic control of the House seemed to be getting ever more unlikely in the view of some observers. My initial reaction was: this would be a terrible outcome. But then I realised that this is just the kind of repudiation the GOP deserves for what it has already done, pre-Foley, and this is exactly what I would have wanted to have happen. This is the drubbing they ought to have already been facing. In fact, they deserve to be beaten even more soundly than this for this latest disgrace. They ought to have been repudiated in this fashion because of their policies, not because of their stupid management of an in-House ethical problem. But if this is what it takes to clean house, so be it.
Update: Here is another detail from FoxNews’ article on the aforementioned polling:
While internal GOP polls show trouble for Republicans, the newest AP/Ipsos poll also showed that half of likely voters say the Foley scandal will be “very or extremely important” when it comes time to vote on Nov. 7. By nearly a 2-1 ratio, voters say Democrats are better at combating corruption.
Coming from New Mexico, the land of Democratic nepotism and corrupt dealmaking, and also fully aware of the corruption investigation into NJ Sen. Bob Menendez and the history of corruption among the Dems in both New Jersey and Louisiana, I am confident that these voters are profoundly wrong about the Democratic ability to combat corruption. But, as they say, perception is reality, and if Dems are winning on the corruption question by 2-to-1, they will trounce their opposition if half of the voters are making the Foley scandal an important part of their decisionmaking.
Update: Dave Weigel has some remarks that suggest that, scandal or no, maybe Hastert ought to resign as Speaker anyway:
I’m enjoying watching the coverage of Hastert’s press conference. A Emperor-clothes moment – reporters stepping nimbly to avoid discussing how the man third in line for the presidency is a mumbly simpleton.