So it appears Speaker Hastert has decided to do his best Gloria Gaynor impression:
J. Dennis Hastert, who was installed as House speaker eight years ago through backroom maneuvering in a moment of crisis for his party, has no distinct power base in Congress, not much of a national reputation and, in an age of television politics, little polish in front of the camera.
But Mr. Hastert has survived and survived to become the longest-serving Republican speaker. And on Thursday, standing outside his district office in Batavia, Ill., he made it clear that he did not intend to become a casualty of the Mark Foley scandal, saying he expected to win re-election to his seat and run for speaker again when the new Congress convenes in January.
Mr. Hastert made his statement soon after the leaders of the House ethics committee promised a vigorous investigation into the handling of the Foley case, approved dozens of subpoenas and said they expected to finish their work in weeks.
And what of that Ethics committee:
The House ethics committee launched a wide-ranging investigation into Congress’s handling of information about a Florida lawmaker and teenage pages yesterday, as Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) vowed to keep his job, saying, “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
The ethics panel approved nearly four dozen subpoenas for documents and testimony from House members, officers and aides. Its leaders said they plan to complete the inquiry in a matter of weeks, but not necessarily before the Nov. 7 congressional elections.
Sounds like the right thing to do. But then I see Rep. Jack Kingston (R-FL) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on MSBNC’s Hardball (here is the transcript and the gory details), and who they really want to subpoena are Rahm Emmanuel and Nancy Pelosi, so that they can clear their names. Because, you see, in the corrupt party, up is down, down is up, and it is the Democrats who need to clear their names. I don’t thnk I am being too jaded to think that the only reason they agreed to allow the Ethics committee to expedite their investigation into the Foley affair was to attempt to pin this Republican scandal on the Democrats.
This spring, Dick Cheney made it fashionable for high-profile Republicans to shoot (excuse me, the term is “pepper”) people and face no consequences. In an odd twist, House Republicans have decided to follow his lead- only this time, the gang that couldn’t shoot straight is content to aim their rifles at their own heads.
*** Update ***
What did the media and the Democrats know, and when did they know it, LSD (GOP?) edition:
Earlier this week, Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) sent a letter to the clerk of the House requesting a probe into rumors that a drunk Mark Foley was turned away from the House page dormitory.
That part got a lot of attention, and for good reason. But Pryce repeated a second allegation in her letter, something she also heard during a GOP conference call on Oct. 2, that didn’t get much play: Jeff Trandahl, onetime House clerk at the time of much of Foley’s newly-revealed transgressions, had been warned about Foley by the director of the page program.
“[A]nother claim was brought forth that the director of the Republican pages brought specific concerns about then-Congressman Foley’s behavior to the attention of the then-Clerk of the House,” Pryce wrote.
Our attempts to reach Trandahl were unsuccessful, although we learned he has hired a lawyer to represent him. An assistant in his office was unable to tell us his lawyer’s name.
You can read the letter for yourself here. We checked in with Pryce’s office this afternoon; so far they’ve heard no response.
I can’t believe I supported these jackasses.