Howard Dean on the Foley scandal
Great quote from Howard Dean:
I’m not going to say somebody should resign or something like that. But I will say this: [Rep.] Ray LaHood [an Illinois Republican] says they should get rid of the page program. They should not get rid of the page program. They should get rid of the people who run the page program, and that’s the Republican leadership. In the past, when things like this happened, they acted in unison in a bipartisan way to deal with it. Here they keep [Rep.] Dale Kildee [a Michigan Democrat] in the dark; they never even told the Democrats who were supervising the page program about this. They didn’t let our side of the aisle know. Why? Because, they considered this a political problem. This is not a political problem. This is a human problem, and it should have been dealt with a year ago.
Hastert press conference
It’s so humorous sometimes listening to Chris Matthews analyze an issue in real time. He often gets so caught up in the moment or one point that he completely loses all analytical skills.
Matthews seems to think that Hastert did well in today’s press conference. Naturally, he’s missing the point. He and his guests are not addressing one critical fact – Hastert failed to notify the Democratic member of the page board! That fact makes clear that Hastert was more concerned about politics than getting to the bottom of Foley’s problems with pages.
Josh Marshall is all over this story, and he sums up the issues nicely with his latest post. The GOP has plenty to answer for – what did the leadership know and when did they know it. This story has legs.
Howard Dean vs. Rahm Emanuel
The fight between Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel over how the Democratic National Committee should be spending its money demonstrates the difficulties facing the Democrats as they try to restore the party to power.
Both men have valid arguments. Howard Dean is spending money in all 50 states in a long-term strategy to rebuild the party from the ground up. This strategy makes sense, and he should stick to his guns.
On the other hand, Rahm Emanuel sees the huge opportunity this fall to retake the House and Senate. He wants Dean to conserve resources so they can weather the inevitable GOP onslaught in tight House races. Emanuel doesn’t want to lose this opportunity. He’s also correct.
Unfortunately, even with solid fundraising, there’s only so much money to go around. Emanuel will probably lose this argument.
That said, the Washington Post article points out the Emanuel’s House committee has roughly the same amount of cash on hand as their GOP counterpart, and Chuck Shumer’s Senate committee actually has more money than their GOP counterpart (run by the hopelessly incompetent Elizabeth Dole).
On a more humorous note, the Post article is worth reading just for its description of Emanuel:
Emanuel, a recreational ballet dancer with the vocabulary of a longshoreman, has for 15 years fashioned a reputation as one of Washington’s most aggressive figures — first as an operative on Capitol Hill and in the Clinton White House, and after 2002 as a representative from Chicago.
Karl Rove unleashed
Get ready for hurricane Karl. Howard Fineman reports how Karl Rove’s strategy for the 2006 elections will be to demonize the Democrats and scare the crap out of voters. Democrats should be worried. Rove is at his best when he’s fighting in the gutter, and he will do everything in his power to avoid a Republican meltdown in November.
That said, this strategy might backfire. Voters are obviously tired of Bush and the GOP, and they’ve heard all this about the Democrats before. Rove in essense will be doubling down with this strategy, and it could lead to even bigger GOP losses.
Chris Matthews sucks up to Tom Delay
Now I know why Tom Delay wanted to go on Hardball tonight. Chris Matthews treated Delay as if he were one of our greatest statesmen who was retiring after a long and distinguished career. Of course Delay, like any guest, deserves civility, but Matthews should be embarrassed by his “softball” interview. Delay is under indictment in Texas, and now federal prosecutors may be closing in on him as well. Matthews mentioned this, but he certainly didn’t ask any tough questions about it.
Matthews kept harping on the very talking points that Delay and the Republicans are trying to promote – that somehow the Democrats will act irresponsibly with the subpoena power (and possible impeachment) if they regain the House. It took Bob Schrum to point out to clueless Chris that the Democrats would be foolish to impeach Bush and elevate Cheney to the Presidency. Absent a significant smoking gun uncovered by real investigations, impeachment is not on the table for most Democrats.
Matthews let Delay get away with claims that the GOP changed the culture in Washington, without pointing out that the new culture was one of corruption that went far beyond what the Democrats had done. No mention of the abuse of earmarks, the explosion of spending or the complete abandonment by Republicans of many of the principles they ran on in 1994 when the took over the House.
Larry King could have done a tougher interview. Chris Matthews has his moments – he has been all over the Plame and Abramoff stories and he’s been very tough on Bush and Cheney (at least lately) on the pre-war deceptions. But interviews like this make him look like a fool.