How is Foleyfallout affecting Campaign ’06?
My Townhall.com column points to Minnesota’s 6th, where Michele Bachmann is running a strong race to fill the seat left open by GOP Senate candidate Mark Kennedy.Bachmann is opposed by Patty Wetterling, who lost to Kennedy in 2004. Yesterday Wetterling went up with a disgusting and deceptive television ad about Foley that asserted that “Congressional leaders have admitted to covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the internet to molest children.” This is of course a flat lie, but as Dean noted, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has not reported on the Wetterling lie, even though their lead “reporter” on the race Eric Black admits on his blog that he can’t find anything to substantiate the charge, and even though the paper gives front page treatment of the fact that Wetterling is using the Foley affair. (There isn’t anything, Eric, which even a cub reporter could have figured out by mid-day Tuesday. Surprisingly, Eric turned down a chance to be interviewed on yesterday’s show.)
Indifference to facts and objective reporting has long marked the Strib, so don’t expect that circulation challenged dinosaur to get ethics or standards over the next few days. (This bit of temporary reportorial blindness, though, will make a memorable entry in the list of best examples of worst media practices for j-school panels in the future, up there with the Los Angeles Times’ late hit on Arnold, Rathergate, and assorted other wonders of indifference to truth on the part of dying MSM. To annual Mary Mapes Reality-Challenged Award will be added the Eric Black “What Trainwreck?” Award.)
But expect all of talk radio to focus on this disgusting example of Demnocratic dirty tricks today, as well as bloggers far and wide. Expect Michele Bachmann to raise some considerable cash as a result, and I hope she responds with her own ad that both denounces Foley but also calls for a new era in DC, one that rejects the Michael Moore-like distortions of truth that have now engulfed the Wetterling campaign. Bachmann should demand the ad be taken down, and see if it continues to run. Drawing attention to the Wetterling pratfall is the best way to run at the Democrats, and would model the best tactics for the GOP. “So you want to talk about Foley, eh? He’s gone, but William Jefferson isn’t. And then let’s look at Gerry Studds, shall we? Would-be Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Pelosi, and Chairmen Conyers, Rangell and Frank all were in the House after Studds seduced a 17 year old. Why didn’t they insist on his resignation?” No doubt Kos, Dr. Lamontenstein, will be urging lots of democrats over the Foley cliff in the next few days. GOP candidates have to figure out that anything other than direct confrontation of the lies and distortions will hurt their campaigns. Bachmann can show the way.
At the same time that House GOP candidates flank the excessive and off-putting dirty trick-addicted Dems, they need to make sure that they are talking about the fence:
President Bush yesterday signed into law the annual homeland-security spending bill that provides the first down payment for 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The $33.8 billion spending measure boosts the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents to 14,800, funds 27,500 detention beds for illegal aliens, or an increase of 6,700, and includes $1.2 billion for a fence, vehicle barriers and other infrastructure.
“It’s what the people of this country want — they want to know that we’re modernizing the border so we can better secure the border,” Mr. Bush said as he signed the bill in Scottsdale before a bipartisan group of elected officials in Arizona.
While the bill funds hundreds of programs, including transportation and port security, it has become a key symbol of the debate over illegal entry into the U.S.
Mr. Bush took time in his remarks to press for a broad immigration bill — he advocates legalization of most illegal aliens as well as a new temporary-worker program. But Republicans fighting for re-election this year called the bill “a great victory” for enforcement first, a position Mr. Bush had opposed.
“As a result of this signature today, it puts in place funding for the first steps, really, of enforcement first,” said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican, who joined Mr. Bush for the ceremony.
Still to come is Mr. Bush’s signature on a bill to build 700 miles of fencing along the border, which House Republicans authored and pushed through Congress. The president has said he will sign that bill, too, though an aide yesterday said it’s unlikely he will have a public signing ceremony.
A smart move would be for the combined House and Senate leadership to release a detailed understanding of when fence construction begins and where, and when it is expected to be completed. Widespread democratic opposition ot the 700 miles of double-layered fencing underscores the fecklessness of the Democrats on the border issue, even though the fence’s rapid construction will bring the possibility of regularization to the country’s illegal population.
I mixed it up with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday who with others had fallen completely into the left’s invitation to turn the last five weeks of a Campaign 2006 away from the war, security and the courts and instead into a bonfire of Republicans’ leaders based on MSM accounts of unsubstantiated failings fueled by gossip and rumor.The knockdown with a respected leader of one part of the conservative movement wasn’t pretty, but the Tony Blankley-Tony Perkins indifference to the prospect of a Nancy Pelosi-led House in a time of war is so stunning as to tell me that it isn’t the House that needs new leadership, but the Washington Times editorial page and the Family Reseach Council.