A sex scandal in DC is about as unusual as a hot August afternoon in Columbia. The lessons that can be learned are not found in the center of the event, but on the edges. What I have noticed in the last week of watching this has fallen into two, not very suprising, categories; The media loves sex and Republicans hate the work of governing.
If you were to list the numerous scandals and disputes of the last six years, Foley's pedophilia would not rank in the top five. It has little national or international importance, and affects less that 2 dozen people total. Yet, it has been the top news story for a week now, something a number of far more important issues have never gotten.
CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, MSNBC give us 50 minutes of Foley, then break away for thirty seconds to mention the 8 troops have been killed in Iraq, we get another hour of Foley, then an insightful 90 seconds of analysis of NATO taking over control of Eastern Afghanistan. Even events with great visuals, major fires in two US cities, the kind of thing that the 24 hours news networks linger over for hours, get mentioned in passing, then back to Foley.
Sex sells. The American public understands it, loves it and hates it. They will watch it for days, drooling after every little detail. Signing statements that try to usurp law, they don't understand, War profitering is to complex, the selling of American polity to the highest bidding lobbyist is boring, NIEs, lying, downing street memo, war crimes, their eyes glaze over, but sex they will watch for hours.
In addition this clearly shows just how little interest this current batch of Republicans has in actually doing their job. If the issue doesn't include a group of lobbyist carrying large checks, it isn't worth their time.
I don't think Hassert (R-Il), Reynolds (R-NY) and the other Republicans who were warned about Foley and did nothing wanted a Pedophile running lose in the hall of congress. They just didn't care one way or the other. The had more pressing issues to deal with. They took the steps they thought would prevent this from going public, then forgot about it.
They could have actually investigated, but they saw no profit in it, there was no lobby with juicy checks pushing the issue. Since there was no clear gain in cash or power, they did nothing.
This is typical of the type of Republican oversight we see today. If they can scoop up more power, if there is a profit to be made, if there is a political gain, they will act. If it is just doing their jobs, and they think that no one will know it they don't act, they opt to do nothing.
And their peers continue to support them, their talking heads attack the kids Foley preyed upon, yet almost no one in the Republican party has yet to ask the obvious question, why didn't we just do our job of proper oversight 12 months ago.
To that question I will add, why didn't they do proper oversight when approving Brown to head FEMA? Why are they not interesting in the gross war profitering we see occurring in Iraq? Why did the war crimes that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan and the various CIA black holes go without real investigation? Why was the response to the Presidential wire taping, not to investigate the illegal act, but to try to make it legal?
The answer is obvious, it would require that the DC republicans actually do their jobs, and the harsh truth is, there is no real profit to be gained in doing that.