I guess we can’t legislate vice out of existence

I haven’t written about the Mark Foley scandal because I haven’t had much to add. What could I really say that isn’t common sense? Bad Congressman. Duh. The interesting parts will develop between now and November 7th, at least. The blanket, unthinking conservative attack on gays as a scapegoat will continue, but better bloggers than me already have that covered. What I like is the blame being thrown at Democrats, as if it’s their fault for (allegedly) waiting until now to spring this news. Uh-huh.

The Democratic Party seems intent on replaying this mistake with the Foley affair. Let’s temporarily put aside the timing of the release of the Instant Messages and who-knew-what-when. Let’s just say for the moment that while the media currently hounds the Republican leadership, it’s a safe bet that it wasn’t the Republican leadership that plopped Foley’s IM’s into the lap of ABC News. If whoever was the errand boy delayed delivery to best achieve maximum political benefit, then the Democrats’ newfound status as the party of conventional morality will receive a decided blow.

But the real story here is the party’s eagerness to use victimized children as a campaign prop. The Patty Wettering campaign spot that I linked to earlier today tips the Democrats’ hand. Wettering is best known as a children’s advocate. Her own 11 year old son was kidnapped and never found. Thus, Wettering has the proverbial Cindy Sheehan cloak of putative “absolute moral authority” that the simple-minded so admire.

Yeah, okay, so the Democrats maybe held onto this information to use it an opportune time. Doubtful, but even if true, it’s clear to everyone but the most simple-minded partisan hack that the Republican leadership in Congress knew long ago. Any shame the Democrats may deserve in this, the Republicans have brought far more on themselves. But that’s not key here. What is key is that, if the parties were reversed in this story, we’d be calling this Karl Rove’s “October surprise”. What’s good for the goose…

Hat tip: John Cole