The Spectacle Blog

Chesser is right

By on 10.5.06 | 6:16PM

Paul -- Thanks for your thoughtful and highly lucid response below, re Hastert. I was particularly disappointed in Cheney's statements -- from both the standpoint of its substance AND its politics. The LAST thing the White House needs to do is to associate itself with Hastert right now. That just inserts Bush and Cheney into a story they should be staying away from. They don't have to actively work to oust Hastert, but fergoshsakes, they should just back off and let the chips fall where they may.

Meanwhile, for those in the DC area, the local Fox affiliate is gonna interview me in a few minutes, I guess for use on its 11 pm newscast, on the political ramifications of this whole sad case. Anybody who wants to watch, please do, and don't hesitate to send in feedback tomorrow. Thanks.

Re: Hastert Obnoxious

By on 10.5.06 | 5:12PM

Quin, I missed Hastert's press conference but I'm not surprised in the least nor do I doubt your assessment of it. He doesn't get it. The issue isn't about when he knew about e-mails, IMs, or when and whether he did or didn't decide to do something about them. The issue is that the Foley disaster represents one more in the long list of ethical breaches (Cunningham, Ney, Abramoff, etc.) on his watch, not to mention the abominations of legislation (like the prescription drug program, earmarks, No Child Left Behind, etc.) that he has pushed through his chamber. In short, it's an absence of leadership, and if the buck truly stops with him as he says, he should step down.

More evidence that Hastert and other Republicans don't get it (courtesy links from Drudge):

Re: Page Prank?

By on 10.5.06 | 3:51PM

Good point, John. And lets face it, if it was all some sort of joke that didn't mean anything, why would Foley have resigned?

Hastert Obnoxious

By on 10.5.06 | 3:35PM

Frankly, I thought Hastert's press conference just now was obnoxious. He sounded exactly like a politician trying to change the subject, rather than a leader trying to right a wrong. He still doesn't "get it." He still gives evidence of an incredible arrogance of power. In trying to sound strong, he instead sounded almost breezy, not really concerned in his gut but instead just like he was trying to swat away a fly that was bothering him. He is a TERRIBLE symbol for the GOP. He should announce that he will serve out his term just to avoid unnecessary disruption, but that he will NOT stand for re-election as speaker. Only when he gets his large rump out of the way can conservatives have enough breathing room to turn the story around and fire back at the liberals on multiple fronts. Finally, I note that Hastert read the new Tip-line number incorrectly, reversing two anybody listening only, rather than watching the news screen that presented the correct number, would have reached the wrong number. That's not a moral or ethical fault, of course, but it's just one more example of how he can't get anything right.

Re: Page Prank?

By on 10.5.06 | 3:31PM

Matt Drudge really hasn't distinguished himself this week. When you say the IMs were "a prank," it sounds like someone put them together as a joke, and that Foley didn't actually participate. Of course that's not at all what happened. Read the story, and all it says is that the page who was IM'ing with Foley wasn't actually gay, and was playing along with Foley's sick game just to laugh at the old perv. That really doesn't change anything important about the story-- but if you just read Drudge's headline, you might think that the whole scandal was a hoax. Let's nip this one before it confuses people as much as Drudge's last bit of reporting did.

Re: No Help For Foley

By on 10.5.06 | 11:57AM

Whether or not the page was 18 or 17, while obviously important for legal reasons, does not change anything ethically. As far as I'm concerned, Foley's actions were disgusting because they were about abusing power and taking advantage of his position as a congressman.