At least there are some folks who are not fans of the Republican party and who are pulling for the Democrats in November who are trying to sound a cautious note about the Foley matter. I have not seen one person on the Right defend Foley, in any way whatsoever. But I have been seeing attempts to whip up a frenzy coming from the left. John Dickerson sees a potential pitfall here.
Democrats would be happy with either outcome. But there's a potentially ugly side to their glee: For this scandal to cause lasting damage to GOP leaders, Democrats may have to use homophobia in a way usually associated with the Republican Party.
The ultimate judgment of this affair may be that it's just more dumb behavior by Republican leaders, and that may be enough to help Democrats with the midterm election, especially if this incident is seen as the final insult. But voters, particularly Republican voters, might pay attention to the facts (assuming more ugly ones don't come out) and use them to absolve their party's leaders. Sure, they could have handled the situation better, but who could know that Foley was going after young boys?
If that's how Republicans respond, this won't be the political doom Democrats hope it will be. The saga has too much political potential for them to allow that to happen. The narrative is far easier to understand than the Jack Abramoff scandal, and at least in the early rounds, the pressure has caused GOP leaders to point fingers at each other. But for this to become a brush fire may require courting homophobes to generate sustained and impenetrable outrage.
I noted this same thing last night and a number of others have also noted it. By trying to badly overplay what is frankly all about one bad actor, the Democrats risk a serious backlash in the long run. There have been a number of actually much worse scandals in the past where Democrats have gotten away with it. Now they want to bring down more than just the one person who is really at fault here. A dangerous precedent for a party with so many skeletons in the closet. A politically deadly move to invoke homophobia as a strategy and alienate a core constituency.
But then, the Democrats this year have a rather bad track record on the use of double-edged weapons. I suspect this one may also wound them almost as much as their targets.