Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Dennis Hastert Affair is the story of a political party, the GOP, so untrustworthy that party leaders can't find one who tells the truth ... by gimleteye

It hard to know where one is, lost in high weeds, and that is the place metaphorically the GOP has dragged the United States.

Today the nation tries to reconcile how the GOP -- the party of "family values" -- went from one leader of the House, Newt Gingrich, with deplorable family standards to another, Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who won't come out of his Illinois mansion for shame.

If the shoe was on the Democrats' foot, the Fox News Juggernaut would be screaming from the rafters. So I violated my own moral code -- Turn Off Fox News! -- and went online to see how Roger Ailes decided to cover the Dennis Hastert Affair. Predictably, the story barely floats above the readers' eye in the small print section, and it's not even a Fox News report. Fox cribs the Hastert story from Associated Press and the Washington Post.

The Fox report, furthermore, is redacted from these sources. It fails to include the AP citation of Hastert's awful voting record on gay rights. Here is a better accounting from The Raw Story: "Noting Hastert’s “deeply conservative” policy positions back in 1998, the Associated Press reported the “National Right to Life Committee, the Christian Coalition, the Chamber of Commerce, and the National Rifle Association all gave his voting record perfect scores of 100.”

Fox does note that Hastert left office in 2007 with a net worth of "no more than $270,000" and then cites the Washington Post that his current worth is "between $4 million and $17 million, mostly in real estate holdings."

Spending a quarter of one's net worth on an extortion scheme tied to betrayal of "family values" after all those 100 percent ratings by conservative political groups; that would stick in my throat too.

What moral rules does the GOP leadership play by? Apparently, none.

So a question to Republican friends you won't find asked on Fox News: which is worse: sexual congress with an underage high school wrestler or the accumulation of vast wealth as political bag money for clients including Big Tobacco?

If interviewed by Fox, I might answer: the first is a personal tragedy and what justice is meted out to Hastert, after the facts are collected, is also a personal tragedy for his victim. The second is a national tragedy for which there is no criminal penalty and for which we are all victims.

Standing away from the weeds for a second -- because the Dennis Hastert Affair does have the unintended effect of clearing the stage -- it is possible to observe that beyond the issue of campaign finance reform -- at the heart of our national ills -- a party so committed to resentments, division, and extremism cannot even discern the damage it has done to itself.

Voters should see more clearly after the Dennis Hastert Affair.


Anonymous said...

You are kidding, right? We have a compulsive liar Democrat in the White House today who repeatedly lied to us by saying, "If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan," and then lied about lying. We have a sitting Democrat Vice President who repeatedly plagiarized another's speeches when he ran for president. We have the 2016 Democrat presidential frontrunner who created a email private server to conduct government business and shake down foreign governments for tens of millions of dollars, and when caught, destroyed the evidence and wiped her server clean. We have her disgraced husband, who as a Democrat president was impeached for lying and who pleaded guilty to felony perjury.

The suggestion that the Republicans are the party of liars is laughable given the Democratic Party's track record.

T said...

The Dennis Hastert case just shows you need to keep an eye on your kids when they are around gays.

Anonymous said...

T, your ignorance is blatant. Gay men and lesbian women are not child molesters. Gay men and lesbian women have no desire to have sex with children. If you do just a wee bit of research, you will see that child molesters are mostly, if not all, men who identify as heterosexuals. Child molesters are mostly married men, except of course for Roman Catholic priests.

I don't see it as a matter of lying on the part of Republicans, I see it as a matter of hiding the truth. If you want to be the self-proclaimed party of high moral values, be real. We have Huckabee defending the Duggars. We have Hastert paying several million in hush money. Oh, and Rick Scott invited Huck to his summit.

Anonymous said...

Beyond the morass of person issues, and a few million dollars of his personal money, the BIG issue for me is what else in the nation and the world was given up to keep this quiet. The Speaker of the House is second in line for succession if the President dies in office. Speaker of the House has massive power in our government and in the world, beyond what the typical American can image. America is the world's only superpower. America is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. We need to find out how deep this went, and how, if at all, we have been compromised and potential impacts on American ad world history.

Anonymous said...

I have no issue with homosexual men, but watch out for your kids when they are around sanctimonious, apparently heterosexual white men, especially legislators and men of the cloth.

gw said...

To the first anonymous--

I know that both parties lie, cheat and steal. They are politicians, afterall.

The Republicans are far worse for their incredible hypocrisy. All three Speakers of the House during the Clinton hearings were cheating on their spouses at the same time they were condemning Clinton.

They are so opposed to abortion for any reason yet several Repubs have gotten women pregnant and wanted them to have abortions.

They won't recognize equal rights for gays to marry yet more than a few of them have been found to have engaged in sex with not only men but boys, below the age of consent.

And, the party of smaller government only wants it that way when it comes to big business. Otherwise, let's drug test food stamp users, force women to take unnecessary invasive test if they want an abortion and determine what foods those food stamp users are allowed to buy.

And then there is the wide-spread epidemic of forgetfulness on behalf of most of the Repub party when it comes to the separation of church and state. I have never heard so many candidates misstate what this country was founded on as this group and they have the audacity to act as though they are morally superior.

The mind boggles!!

Alexandria said...

The fraud in this country is astronomical. Religion is the first problem. People thinking they are better then others. Sadly the real fruits are married men with 6 children who go out and molest children. They are leaders in their whatever religious affiliation you want to stick in place. Our country followed an idiot down a rabbit hole. Reagan was a bobble head for the first bush and his idiot son finished the job. War mongers and idiots have destroyed the greatest nation in the world. We think its okay to give up every freedom our forefathers set up for us. It will take a miracle to save us. Every politician is a pervert. They cheat on their wives beat their kids and make sanctimonious speeches about morals 15 minutes later. But the real problem is the people who are their minions, the people who need a pat on the head, their followers, their parrots, that's the real problem with America the idiots who elect these bastards the greater good mind set.When the tsunami comes I can only hope they stand on the shore saying look at the pretty blue wave. Me I'm running for the hills with the animals who know better.