A Party That Has Lost Its Way

A police technician walks out of the Warfside Commons apartment complex, the home of a Yale animal research technician Raymond Clark III who worked with murdered student Annie Le, in Middletown, Conn., Wednesday, Sept 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
AP Photo/Jessica Hill
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The Republicans can't catch a break.

The Washington Post reported this weekend that a prominent Republican congressman knew about Mark Foley's behavior problems five years ago.

The Republicans are taking a beating in recent polling for the upcoming election, and this Foley business isn't helping. The war in Iraq has certainly dragged President Bush's numbers down, and that has to have an effect as well.

But I wonder if this isn't really a story about a party that has lost its way, starting with California Rep. Duke Cunningham who resigned in disgrace for taking money from defense contractors. Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, the de facto head of the Republicans in Congress, is gone too, as is Rep. Bob Ney from Ohio — both tied to convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Did the Republicans lose sight of what got them there in the first place? That's the real question Republicans need to be asking themselves this fall.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith