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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

The Choice

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The opening of Bill Kristol’s latest:

“It shocks the conscience. Congressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children. For over a year, they knowingly ignored the welfare of children to protect their own power. For 17 years, Patty Wetterling has fought for tougher penalties against those who harm children. That’s why she’s demanding a criminal investigation and the immediate expulsion of any congressman involved in this crime and coverup.”

TV ad on behalf of Patty Wetterling,
Democratic candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District


“A call is placed from New York to a known terrorist in Pakistan. A terrorist plot may be unfolding. Should the government intercept that call or wait until the paperwork is filed? Nancy Johnson says: ‘Act immediately. Lives may be at stake.’ Liberal Chris Murphy says: ‘No. Apply for a court warrant even if valuable time is lost.’ Chris Murphy — wrong on security, wrong for America.”

TV ad on behalf of Nancy Johnson,
Republican candidate for reelection in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District

There you have it. These TV ads in two competitive House races tell the story. Repelled by former Republican congressman Mark Foley’s sexual overtures to congressional pages and ex-pages, and by the House GOP leadership’s alleged failure to move aggressively against him? Vote Democratic. Worried about the Demo crats’ tendency to coddle jihadists? Vote Republican.

This is a choice that should work out fine for Republicans. Which is why Democrats and the media may look back on the frenzy about Foley as a tactical mistake. In a time of disturbing foreign news–apparent lack of progress in Iraq, North Korea’s threat of a nuclear test, Pakistan’s cutting a deal with al Qaeda, Iran’s nuclear program chugging ahead–the assault on the Republicans focused on a disgraced and departed congressman and the unquestionably decent speaker of the House, Denny Hastert.

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