Given the historical record, the latest page sex scandal involving House members and pages is a gift to Democrats because it is the one type of scandal which hurts Republicans and from which they are immune.
Back in 1983, when Democrat Gerry Studds and Republican Dan Crane were found to have abused their trust with underage pages, the Democrat continued a successful career in the House while the Republican resigned. Rep Studds was found to have had sexual relations with a 17 year-old male page and Crane with a 17 year-old female page. Newt Gingrich demanded both be expelled from Congress, instead both were merely censured by the Democrat-controlled House.
Crane resigned, while Studds, unapologetically held a newsconference with his 17-year-old lover and told everyone to screw off, this was a private affair.
I don't know if most Democrats don't care about the whole "sex with minors" thing or were just showing themselves how tolerant they are but Studd's home district continued to re-elect him until he retired in 1996. Crane's career ended when his district found his actions unacceptable for a Congressman.
Similarly in 1990, when it was discovered that Representative Barney Frank's live-in lover Steve Gobie was found to be running a prostitution business from Frank's apartment, the Democrat controlled House merely reprimanded him and his district continued to re-elect him.
When it was discovered that Republican House Speaker Robert Livingstone had had an affair, he resigned.
When it was discovered that President Clinton had an affair with an intern, he was re-elected despite the public's knowing that. Granted he got less than a majority and the Right side of the ticket was split, but that simply means that it was the minority left that re-elected him.
Through all of this it is clear that switching the subject from homeland security and war, where Democrats are open to criticism, to sex, where Democrats are immune from prosecution, is a gift.
Even if the Republicans find similar sex scandals to pin on Democrats, so what? Sex scandals are tolerated by Democratic voters where they are not so tolerated by the Republican base.
The big stink by Democrats now is simply trying to exploit the damage. Foley is gone. A seat that was safe is now in contention. Democrats now would like to make as many seat vulnerable as possible so this will continue to be brought up as often as possible.
It's not like they care about the pages well-being. It is pretty clear that the IMs were around in some operative's hands for a very long time but were released not to protect pages but to gain political advantage.
The less talk about security and the economy and the more talk about Republican sex, the better it is for Democrats.
And it's clear that all their talk about privacy is just politics as well. Because while terrorist communications should remain private, Republican communications should be monitored with abandon.
And that's just the way it is.