Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Here's Brian Williams on last night's NBC Nightly News talking about the death of Tom Foley:

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Transcript (emphasis added)
Beneath the Capitol Dome, present day, in the House chamber today, a rare honor afforded to very few in our history, specifically those who serve as Speaker of the House. In memory of former Speaker Tom Foley, who died last week, today the Speaker's chair and desk were draped in black, the gavel resting upon it. His portrait was also draped in black. Foley was a Democrat from Washington State, proud of his work as a conciliator. Let's just say he served in a different era.
Yeah, that was such a different era:
A few days before he became speaker, a scandal erupted over a Republican National Committee memo entitled "Tom Foley: Out of the Liberal Closet" and comparing the Spokane Congressman to openly gay Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. An aide to Newt Gingrich, then the House Republican whip, encouraged reporters to look into the sexuality of Foley, who had been married since 1968. President George H.W. Bush eventually condemned the memo -- though he stood by RNC Chairman Lee Atwater, a longtime aide.
Karen Van Brocklin, one of Gingrich's top staffers, spread false rumors that Speaker Tom Foley was gay in an unsuccessful attempt to get the media to cover the story. Larry Sabato, author of Feeding Frenzy, observed that Van Brocklin was "particularly aggressive" in spreading the rumors. Van Brocklin told a New York Daily News reporter, "We hear it's little boys." ...

Gingrich refused to fire Van Brocklin.... He claimed that she was merely asked by a reporter if there were stories around about Foley's personal life, "and she stupidly said yes." But the Los Angeles Times discovered that Gingrich was lying: several reporters said that Van Brocklin "had brought up the subject of Foley's alleged behavior with at least three news organizations and had tried to get them to publish stories on the subject by claiming other newspapers were about to do so."

Foley lost his speakership when an unknown named George Nethercutt beat him for his House seat in the Gingrich/Contract with America Republican wave election of 1994, which was not exactly a campaign full of sweetness and light.

Yes, every obituary of Tom Foley says that he worked extremely well across the aisle. But he did not "serve in a different era." He served at the dawn of the godawful era we're living in now.

Brian Williams might have mentioned that. But he'd rather have you believe that what's troubling politics today is a temporary fever, and not the GOP's standard operating procedure for at least a quarter of a century.


Victor said...

Nixon's election started this nation's decline.
His "Silent Majority" was the cover for his "Southern Strategy," which was meant to tear this country apart, for Republican partisan gain.
Racism and xenophobia, were at the heart of the strategy.

Reagan's election accelerated the decline.
His "Moral Majority" invited in the Manichean Christian Evangelicals, to add that groups misogyny and homophobia onto the existing racial and xenophobic flames the Republicans were fanning.

As for Newt, in a lot of respects, he's is either the Jeff Davis, or the Bobby Lee, in our "Cold Civil War."
He was at the heart of the mid-90's Republican insurrection.

Maybe it's a positive sign that a NASCAR-loving Republican like Brian Williams, with a powerful MSM megaphone, is pining for days when things weren't so radicalized.

While the Conservatives fever hasn't broken - imo - it's important for people to see that they're sick, and trying to continue to spread their sickness.

The problem is, that you can't quarantine these sick puppies, since the House loons are already quarantined - via gerrymandering.

The more MSM people like Brian Williams pine for the days of civility, maybe the more people start to catch on, and the quicker the Republicans lose the House, and have to clean their own house(s.)

I know - too optimistic!

MSM folks have long pined for the good-old bipartisan days - days that haven't been around, since before the Civil Rights movement, re-defined our two parties.
And that's IF they were around, even then...

Danp said...

Ah, yes. 1994, the year the Gingrich Revolution brought Marc Foley to the House. Oops! Right rumor, wrong Foley.

Unknown said...

I remember the stories of people in Foley's district being shocked to find out that their newly-elected noob would not be speaker of the house.