Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why should Hastert go?

Josh Marshall provides a clear summary of why Hastert should not remain any longer as Speaker of the House.
Pretty much everybody in the leadership knew something about it. And most of them remembered telling Hastert. But he'd never heard about it. He was out of the loop. John Boehner just made up remembering telling him. Rodney Alexander contacting Hastert's office. He never heard. Tom Reynolds was lying too, until it was clear Reynolds wouldn't eat his words like Boehner.

The scandal -- to the extent we are talking not about Foley as an individual but the leadership's role in enabling him -- is about accountability. And at the gut check moment, Hastert lied to duck responsibility.

Everyone could see it. And from that moment on he couldn't, and I suspect he can't, shake that defining impression.

On Friday night Hastert could have said, 'I heard about this. I thought we'd taken care of it. Clearly there was much more there than we realized. Now we're going to get to the bottom of it.' If he had, I don't think we'd be hearing those calls for resignation, at least not yet.

Yet all of us can only be who we are. He could have said that. But he didn't. I suspect because he's the same guy who let Foley run unchecked for years, presided over a regime that enabled him, like so much else. It was in character.
-- Josh Marshall
There's not too much else to say, is there?

Denny Hastert is the Speaker of the House. He is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in the House. He was told by numerous members of the House Leadership about the problems with Mark Foley, but when he was asked about it, he lied and said he had not been told.

It was time to take responsibility for his own actions as leader, and he flat refused to stand accounable. Instead, he lied. He refused to stand accountable for his own actions, instead he lied to coverup his failure to act and to try to deflect blame to others.

Hastert should be toast before the end of the week. If he isn't, then the entire Republican Party in the House stands as failing to be accountable to America.

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