Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: It's All About the Politics

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's All About the Politics

Not that we really expected anything else, but it turns out the Repub House leadership was concerned about the Foley situation as a political matter. Denny Hastert (unintentionally?) gave the game away this afternoon in an interview with CNN. You can see the interview or read the transcript at Think Progress.

As a quick recap, Tom Reynolds, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, says he told Denny about the Foley e-mails, and while Denny doesn't take issue with that, he claims he doesn't remember anything about it. Expanding on why he wouldn't recall such a thing in his CNN interview, he explained that Reynolds would've presented it to him with a number of other items.

HASTERT: If he would have told me that, he would have told me that in the context of maybe a half a dozen or a dozen other things. I don’t remember that.

REPORTER: Other allegations of improper e-mails?

HASTERT: No, just other things that might have affected campaigns.

There's your context, folks. Not worried about criminal wrongdoing. Not worried about the well-being of the page. Just concerned about how it's going to affect the perpetual campaign.

According to Howie Kurtz this morning (scroll past the FOX News story) and John Aravosis this evening, Reynolds's chief of staff (who was also once Foley's chief of staff) tried to make a deal with ABC's Brian Ross to keep the story from blowing wide open. Once again, sweeping it under the rug in service of the perpetual campaign.

Meanwhile, in an unlikely tip from Drudge, the Moonie-owned Washington Times calls for Denny's immediate resignation as speaker.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.

They suggest that Henry Hyde replace him, but I guess you can't have everything.

This whole matter has gotten more out of hand than I ever could've expected, and it doesn't look like it's finished escalating yet. Via Think Progress, Brian Ross had this to say on ABC News tonight: "We’re hearing quite a bit from former pages. They’re sending us all sorts of messages about possible other members." Stay tuned.


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