Memo to Hastert: ResignJust when I thought there was a good chance that the Republicans would hold the House and Senate and save the Republic from the terrible prospect of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the wheels fall off. For some time I have said that the GOP majority in the House would not win re-election because they deserve re-election, but because the Democrats can offer nothing better to the American people.
What has happened over the last few days has demonstrated the glaring incompetence of Dennis Hastert as Speaker of the House, who was warned about the unseemly internet activity of Rep. Mark Foley of Florida on two separate occasions but failed to act. What's more, Mr. Newt has been all over Fox News trying to defend the Speaker of the House in the face of his ineptitude. There is no excuse for this and I agree with Adam Graham that Hastert should resign immediately. To be fair, Hastert has now called for a full investigation from the Justice Department, but he only did this after nearly two days of intense media pressure, quite a bit of which came from conservatives demanding accountability.
At this point, all we can do is pray that the fallout from this terrible wrong burns over before the election. Normally the electorate has short memories and if this had happened in March or April, a small reshuffle at the top of the heap would have saved the day over the long term. We are just over a month out from an extremely pivital Congressional election, and while the electorate's memories are short, I fear that they are not that short. From a raw political point of view, either party would be trying to use these wretched events to their political advantage. Had this been a Democratic Congressman, Republicans would be playing this for all it is worth and would burn up the airwaves with it. We now must pay the piper for failing to act to stop the bleeding when GOP members go awry just as Democrats do.