Tuesday, October 10, 2006
# Posted 11:14 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
I thought immediately of of TWTWTW - (That Was The Week That Was), which obvious reveals my advanced age.
The Pre-Sunday show Roundup was here: Where it always is
The Post Sunday show Roundup was here: Where it allways is
Sunday Morning Talk Shows - The Review
(Remember Mark Foley?)
By Mark Kilmer Posted in Special Features — Comments (13) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Sunday, October 8, 2006.
Mark Foley dominated everything, including the first portion of the Talent-McCaskill debate. The Republicans were mostly on defense, but the Democrats seemed specious on offense. Kingston and Putnam got in some good shorts for the GOP.
On NBC's MTP, Russert talked to Senator Talent and his Dem opponent about Mark Foley, Iraq, and human embryonic stem cells. What if you rushed into a burning building and could save only a Petri dish with stem cells or a 3-year-old with juvenile diabetes? (It's a moral dilemma which we as Americans must face every day in your weird little dream world, Tim.)
Congressman Adam Putnam of the House Policy Committee faced Rahm Emmanuel on ABC's TW. Rahm boasted that Gary Studds was immediately censured for his sex with a page, while Speaker Hastert encouraged Mark Foley to seek reelection. Putnam argued that the Speaker reacted proactively and aggressively, forcing Foley to quit in an hour or so. Steph pointed out that he had nothing to do with the Clinton sex scandal, as he left the White House in '96. Rahm, one of Clinton's chief hatchet men during this period, was silent on the matter.
James Baker on TW said that his Iraq Study Group is not using "political terms" like "stay the course" and "cut and run." He dismissed reports that the commission is going to adopt Joe Biden's partition plan, pointing out that it was unfeasible. There often is no physical boundary between Sunnis and Shi'ites, for instance.
Schieffer and Dan Balz, on FTN, had doom and gloom for the GOP. Tom Davis and Ray LaHood put up a nice defense, but LaHood complained that this was taking "oxygen" away from what the economy was doing. It's "getting all the coverage," he said.
On LE, more of the same, maybe worse, from Blitzer and Chuck Rangel, but Congressman Patrick McHenry was able to point out that Tom Reynolds did not ask Mark Foley specifically to seek reelection; rather, he asked the entire Republican Congress to seek reelection because this is the midterm in the President's second term, and historically the other party makes gains. (The press and the Dems thus lie, it has to be said, when they represent this otherwise.
Read More for the show-by-show review. …
KINGSTON AND MEEHAN ON FNS. On FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace talked to Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Georgia) and Mary Meehan (D-ShaysMassachusetts) about Foley. Citing "numerous sources," Wallace insisted that Hastert knew that Foley was a pervert but did nothing. He asked Kingston if this changed his support for Hastert. The Congressman answered that Hastert had taken responsibility and was taking measures to "get to the bottom of this."
Wallace asked Meehan about Kirk Fordham, Foley's chief of staff in 2003, whom they showed dressed almost in camouflage, who says he told Hastert's office about this back then. Hastert's peeps deny knowing, but some other Congressional aide backs Fordham. Meehan said there were gaps in the Republicans' stories and there should be a full investigation. He said the Republicans did a bad job of protecting 15 and 16 year old kids from "predatory behavior."
Wallace asked Kingston if it would be devastating if Hastert knew and protected Foley. Kingston asked what would motivate Hastert to protect a pervert who was in a seat which was safely Republicans without him.
Meehan said the evidence was clear and that the chief of staff to Hastert would not talk to Hastert about it. He said that it is not credible that Hastert would forget conversations about Foley. He said that Hastert was a good person, "but good people do bad things to protect their power."
Meehan admitted that "federal laws might not have been broken," but it was a scandal how the leadership handled this.
Kingston pointed out that Rahm and Pelosi had refused testify under oath. Wallace asked why they would have to testify under oath:
"What I don't understand is, were have these e-mail been for three years? Are we saying that a 15-year-old child would have sat on e-mails that were triple-X rated for three years and suddenly spring them out right on the eve of an election? That's just a little too suspicious even for Washington, DC. We do know that George Soros, a huge Democrat backer, has a group called CREW, it's a 527 partisan group. They apparently had the e-mails as late as this April and did not do anything about it. And that's according to the FBI, as reported in one statement.
He called it a "clever coincidence" that the Foley scandal was "paraded out" when it was too late to replace Foley's name on the ballot in Florida.
Meehan accused the Republicans of taking a serious matter and turning it into a political attack on Democrats. Wallace brought up the late Gerry Studds and the Democrats shielding him, and Meehan said that it was Studds and "Republican Congressman Crane" involved in activities, implying that it was a joint thing. Congressman Dan Crane of Illinois had a consensual relationship with a 17-year-old female page in 1980 and was defeated for reelection in 1984, Studds's affair was with a 17-year-old male page in 1973. The two episodes are unrelated.
Wallace pointed out that no one called for Tip O'Neill to resign when the Studds affair became public in 1983, and Meehan suggested that there was no evidence that O'Neill knew about it. Kingston said that there was no evidence that Hastert knew. Meehan insisted that the friendly e-mails about "what do you want for your birthday?" were easily recognizable as predatory by anyone who's ever been involved in a child abuse case.
They had to cut it short here, but Wallace, curiously enough, offered to "set up a phone line" so that they two of them could continue their discussion. If they took him up on this, it could give us some cute sound bytes.
TALENT AND MCCASKILL ON MTP. This was another of Tim Russert's "debates" featuring two Senate candidates: Senator Jim Talent (R-Missouri) and his Democrat opponent, Claire McCaskill. They discussed Mark Foley, the war in Iraq, and human embryonic stem cells.
Russert wanted to know if the Republican Party has been hurt by Foley. Should Speaker Hastert resign because of Foley? Two magazines, Newsweek and TIME, report the death of the Republican Party because of Foley. Tony "Spanky" Blankley of the Washington Times demands Foley's resignation.
Senator Talent said that there will be a complete investigation that will determine who is at a fault and who should resign. Russert asked if Talent were comfortable having Hastert 3rd in line for the Presidency. Hastert said that the investigation will see what was done. Russert demanded that the electorate know about these things before the election.
On and on and on...
Russert quoted Talent as saying that in Iraq, the "mission was going well." Russert said that everybody is dying and everything is falling apart, so how can Talent make such an outrageous claim. Talent explained that the mission was to remove Saddam which will help to remove terror the equation in the region. "We have made progress so far."
Russert again asked what the mission in Iraq was. Talent explained that the mission now was to train the Iraqis to defend themselves. There should be no timetable. Russert wanted to know if we could be gone in two years. Talent said no timetable. Russert asked Talent if, when he voted to authorize the use of force, he expected us to have 145,000 troops on the ground in 2006. Would he have voted for the war if the CIA had told you that there were no WMD?
Talent said that he would have and that the same people who are screaming to get out of Iraq now would be asking why we're not there, as Saddam would have been free to develop his WMD and terrorize his neighbors.
McCaskill has an idea for waiting two years then redeploying our troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Qatar, even if they don't want our troops. Russert asked her what would happen if Iraq then erupted into a full blown civil war and became a haven for terrorists, "much like Afghanistan in the [Clinton] '90s." McCaskill said that our country is so great because "retired general after retired general" is criticizing President Bush.
On stem cells, Russert was ready with a goofy hypothetical. He asked Talent what he would do if he burst into a burning building in which were trapped a 3-year-old and a Petri dish of stem cells. Which would he save? Russert made it goofier: what if the 3-year-old trapped in the fire had juvenile diabetes and could be saved by experimenting on the stem cells? Talent pointed out that no one has been saved by experimenting on stem cells and that wonderful alternatives were being developed.
Was McCaskill there? I don't remember her that clearly.
As always, this was liveblogged and covered in detail over at DebateScoop.org, if you want to look further into it.
PUTNAM AND RAHM ON TW. Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Florida) of the House Policy Committee faced off against Illinois Democrat and former Clinton staffer Rahm Emmanuel on former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos's This Week on ABC. Putnam was very good as a last-minute sub for the embattled Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Reynolds reported "flu-like symptoms."
Putnam argued that the Speaker's office had acted "proactively" and "aggressively" on the matter of Mark Foley. Rahm countered that they purposefully ignored "warning signs" and had urged Foley to seek reelection even though Hastert knew he was a bad man. He used the analogy of a high school teacher molesting students. Steph asked him if the entire episode was a Dem dirty trick, if they had also known of the Foley e-mail and IM. Rahm said that he had never seen the e-mails until they "came from a Republican source." He emphasized that it was a Republican source, though he did not disclose who the source was.
Putnam mentioned that "two people at this table" had a boss involved in a sex scandal but had never demanded his resignation. Steph protested that he had left the White House in 1996.
On the topic of Gary Studds, Rahm said that the Democrats went right to the Ethics Committee with Studds's page fling and he was censured. The Republicans knew about Foley for three years, he argued, and they had asked him to seek reelection. Putnam pointed out that Studds was reelected several times after his sex with a page, while Foley was forced out, resigned in hours.
Steph put up some poll which purported to show that the issues which concern Americans were health care, Iraq, etc. Putnam told them that the Foley issue was not important, as Americans were concerned about the falling gas prices, the rising Dow, etc.
Putnam thinks the Dems will win "not enough to take Congress" this election. He sees only three seats affected by the scandal, all in Florida. Rahm said that this election was about change.
JAMES BAKER ON TW. James Baker leads a Congressionally appointed but independent commission, the Iraq Study Group, which has been getting some press of late because of a rumor that they will recommend splitting Iraqi into three Joe Biden-shaped provinces.
Steph told Baker that there was a "consensus" developing that we had to change course in Iraq. He quoted Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner as saying that the next 2 to 3 months are crucial as far as the Iraqis taking control of their own security. Baker agreed but noted that there are options other than "those mentioned in the political debate," i.e. -- staying the course and cutting and running. He said that his commission was avoiding those "political terms."
Steph asked him about reports of the Biden partition plan his commission was supposedly about to adopt. Baker said that the main problem with that was that there often was no real boundary separating Sunnis from Shi'ites, that they lived side by side in cities like Baghdad and Mosul.
Steph asked Baker if his commission would talk to Syria and Iran. Baker replied: "We've done it."
LAHOOD AND DAVIS ON FTN.Schieffer showed a Newsweek poll that showed that most Americans think Hastert knew about Foley. He cited this as proof that Americans are ready to throw Republicans out of office, contrary to the opinions of some analysts.
The poll also showed that most of those surveyed prefer the Dems' take on the war on terror. The President's approval rating is at 33%, Schieffer said, "an all time lie... low."
Talking to Ray LaHood (R-Illinois), Schieffer asked if he'd reassessed his opinion that Hastert should not step down, "now that you've seen these numbers." LaHood said that Hastert is working hard and doing the right things. He listed how Hastert reacted to DeLay and Duke Cunningham. Schieffer laughed at him and called the two Congressmen crooks. LaHood insisted that Hastert didn't know they were crooks when he appointed them.
Schieffer talked to Tom Davis (R-Virginia), who thinks they took to long to do this. Americans should be talking about the lowest unemployment in the world, the soaring Dow. He wants to wait until the investigation is complete.
Dan Balz, helping Bob ask questions, asked Davis if he had evidence that this was a Democrat dirty trick. Davis talked about finishing this and moving beyond it.
Schieffer asserted that Tom Reynolds had asked Foley to run for reelection even though he knew that he was "sending overly friendly e-mails." Would he have asked Foley to seek reelection? He asked LaHood this, who said that hindsight is 20/20. If Hastert knew what we knew now, LaHood said, he'd have given Foley a "Dutch uncle" talk.
Schieffer demanded that Foley fire his staff, those who didn't tell him. LaHood said he hopes Hastert has talked to his staff, as he deserves better than that.
Balz suggested that John Boehner was trying to save his own skin by blaming Hastert. LaHood pointed out that Boehner and others "are behind the speaker now, Dan."
Schieffer asked Davis if the scandal will be "wide enough know" to make the Republicans lose the House, adding that there were other issues "that people feel so strongly about" helping the Dems. Reynolds complained that this is taking the "oxygen" away from the economy, as all that gets reported is Foley.
Schieffer asked a goofy hypothetical: "IF the election were held today, would the Republicans lose the Congress?" Davis thought yes, but the election would not take place for another month. LaHood insisted that they have 30 days to use their resources to convince the American people that "we can govern."
RANGEL AND MCHENRY ON LE. Wolf Blitzer went Foley, Foley, Foley, Foley, Foley with Chuck Rangel (D-New York) and Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina). He quoted that Spanky Blankley editorial from the Washington Times editorial and asked: "Is it time for the Speaker to stand down?" Absolutely not, McHenry answered, as calling for him to stand down would only help the Democrats.
Blitzer cited the Newsweek poll that showed those surveyed believe Hastert knew. McHenry said that Americans are concerned about other things, but he asked who had held the messages and timed their release to the last minute before the elections. He asked if Rahm Emmanuel and/or Nancy Pelosi had timed this. He pointed out that Rahm, on TW, would say only that he had not seen the messages. Blitzer asked YES OR NO if he had any evidence or if he were "just throwing out an allegation."
He asked Rangel if he knew of the Democrats holding the information. Rangel said that he had never heard "Patrick" talk like this, and that the charge was ridiculous. Blitzer hosted Hastert as accusing the Dem operatives and George Soros of "feeding this story." Rangel called them desperate. Blitzer said that Hastert had no proof. Rangel said that the Foley scandal was the "best thing which could have happened to the Republicans," as it had chased away news of the war, the "corruption," and the deficit from the headlines.
Blitzer pointed out that Brian Ross had said he had heard it from a Republican. McHenry insisted that the Dems were smart enough "to let someone else do their dirty work." Hastert blamed Foley, posited that Republicans knew, and asked if Republicans should be fired. Rangel said that someone had 'been covering this whole thing up." Blitzer asked if he believed that if there were a cover-up, "there were criminal violations involved." Rangel said yes, it was perjury. The FBI will take testimony, he said, and Republicans will lie. The best thing for them to do, he insisted, was to do what Foley did and resign.
After a commercial break, Rangel insisted that the Republicans covered up Foley's crimes because Foley's was a "safe Republican seat." McHenry pointed out that Tom Reynolds asked every Republican to run for reelection. Blitzer thought he asked Foley specifically, but McHenry repeated that Foley had asked the entire Republican conference. IMO, the press and the Dems lie when they represent this otherwise.
Blitzer wanted McHenry to admit that Hastert did a bad job of handling this. McHenry said that Hastert had done everything he could, what else could he have done? Blitzer said that Hastert could resign for "letting down the Congress." McHenry pointed out that Studds didn't resign, Clinton didn't resign. Rangel said that if a President were to "resign because of mistakes," Bush would have to resign for Iraq, Katrina, etc.
They tried their best, but they haven't convinced me that this was anything other than a creepy Congressman acting terribly, getting caught, and being tossed out on his arse. I can't think how it might affect various individual races or affect the base. Some indies, maybe, but not likely. With a war going on and so much else at stake, it won't affect Republican turnout.
I'm not concerned but for the fact that it's keeping the GOP off message, but there's still plenty of time to regain that.
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