Monday, October 02, 2006

Congressional Elections II

The business with Rep.Mark Foley will likely cost the Republicans the House, and maybe the Senate. He's the Florida Republican who resigned after revelations that he had sent sexually suggestive emails and IMs to a 16 year old page. It's unclear whether the House leadership knew about all of the communications, but this is really, really bad for the GOP. The Iowa Electronic Market now puts the chances of the Republicans keeping their House majority at about 50-50, down from 58% even a few days ago.

I've seen some criticism of the scandal as "all about sex" during a time when there are global and national policies that should be at the core of this (or any recent) election. But this is something that voters can get their heads wrapped around, and offers a simple shortcut that aggregates a lot of information into an easy package. It crystallizes discontent, much like the 1990s "check kiting" scandal, which was otherwise a big bunch of nothing, tied together the idea that Congress was out of touch and steeped in perks not available to the average person. Who do you trust on Iraq? Social Security? Iran? Terrorism? The economy? These are complicated questions. "Someone who's not a child molester" is a much easier answer.

As I said, things can change in a hurry. . .


Post a Comment

<< Home