Monday, October 02, 2006

Paging Dennis Hastert, or "They Look Alike, They Sweat Alike, They Even Deny Regret Alike"

Sing it with me now: "Cause they're scumbags...identical scumbags, just the same!!"

I love to see the porky, sweaty, pasty Illinois pols squirm in the spotlight. I really do.

Seems like that lovable former wrestling coach is gonna need to pull some crafty moves to wriggle out of this chokehold.

At a press conference today, Hastert read a prepared statement in which he denied having any knowledge about the online conversations from 2003. "No one in the Republican Leadership, nor Congressman Shimkus, saw those messages until last Friday when ABC News released them to the public."

He added that he found the messages "vile and repulsive."

Exactly the point, Denny!! You should have seen them, because when the problem was brought to you, you decided, by most reports I've seen, to do nothing. You just accepted the explanation that it was no big thing, there was no need to examine it, no need to report any allegations, no need to ask anyone else about it.

To paraphrase the classic street cop refrain: "Nothing to see here, let's move it along, folks, nothing to see."

I guess the political judgement that got him to the top of the heap wasn't keen enough to keep him there any longer. Not only has Foley resigned and handed his seat to the blue side, but this blows up much closer to the elections than it needed to, for Denny's and the reds' sake.

For those that think this can't stick, maybe the remarks of the House Majority Leader, John Boehner (R-OH), were about Hastert's mea exculpa:
ABC's Teddy Davis reports: In a radio interview with 700 WLW radio in Cincinnati, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) placed responsibility for the Foley matter not being handled properly on House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL).

"I believe I talked to the Speaker and he told me it had been taken care of," said Boehner. "And, and, and my position is it's in his corner, it's his responsibility. The Clerk of the House who runs the page program, the Page Board—all report to the Speaker. And I believe it had been dealt with."

Please note that by saying that he talked with the Speaker about Foley, Boehner is reversing course and going back to his original position. [props to superblogger, Atrios, for this snippable synopsis]
Denny may lose not only his leadership post, but his seat as well.


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