Friday, October 06, 2006

It's not a "page scandal." It's a "Denny Hastert scandal"

* i mentioned this before - but there's something very fishy about it:
"House Republican candidates will suffer massive losses if House Speaker Dennis Hastert remains speaker until Election Day, according to internal polling data from a prominent GOP pollster, FOX News has learned.

"The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker," a Republican source briefed on the polling data told FOX News. "And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss.""
repugs are saying that they expect to lose 20 seats regardless? fishy.

* nyt:
"Charles Black, a longtime Republican strategist with close ties to the White House who has been in contact with the president’s top political strategist, Karl Rove, said that at this point he did not think the White House would intervene by getting involved in the debate over Mr. Hastert’s future.

“Every time the White House gets involved in internal party stuff on the Hill it has a bad result,” Mr. Black said, referring to the White House’s involvement in the ouster of Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi from the majority leader’s post in 2002, which bred resentment within the party."

* athenae:
"I'm becoming annoyed that this is all being called the "page scandal," and that we're talking about reviewing the "page program," because, you know, the pages didn't actually do anything wrong, and the problem isn't that there wasn't a "system" in place, as Hastert tried to say this morning. It's that the people in charge of other people on Capitol Hill were stone stupid and so craven they put the interests of their own above the interests of constituent kids.

That's not a "page scandal." That's a "House leadership scandal." It's a "Republican Congress scandal." It's a "Denny Hastert scandal."

Watching this play out, watching the press conference this morning, I'm shocked by the to-the-letter similarity with the Roman Catholic Church abuse scandal, because the response from the bishops was almost exactly the same as Fat Denny's has been.

The best of the bishops knew right away that this was a huge problem and responded with openness, compassion, and a willingness to talk to whoever they needed to talk to for however long they needed to do it in order to get their shit straightened out.

The worst of them did exactly what Denny Hastert is doing. First, they denied ever being informed. Then, when presented with letters in their own handwriting that say, basically, let's sweep this under the rug and not tell anybody, they floundered around for a while giving conflicting statements while the victims got more and more pissed. Then the bishops got pissed off themselves and blamed the press for, variably, digging up old history, stirring up trouble, having an anti-Catholic bias, trying to "collect scalps," or just plain lying.
I'll tell you what we're going to do about it.

Write to your congressmen. Ask them to publicly demand Hastert's resignation. Not from his leadership post. From Congress. Ask them to put out a statement, to talk into a microphone, post something on their web site, go on record in some way asking Dennis Hastert to quit, and to do it now.

Give money to John Laesch. Do what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wouldn't do, and make this race against Denny one of the top-tier races in the country. He chuckled today about expecting to win re-election, Denny did. Wipe the smirk off his face.

Give to your favorite House candidates, too. Make Denny the speaker of nothing when the Democratic Congress comes back to work.

Get back up."

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