Slew of Conservatives Call for Hastert to Resign

Brian Zick

Washington Times editorial: "Resign, Mr. 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. Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei for WaPo report There was intense anger among social conservative activists in Washington yesterday, and some called for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to resign. (…) Hastert faces a spreading revolt among some conservatives over the way he and other GOP leaders handled the matter when first alerted to the contact between Foley and one page. (…) David Bossie, who runs a group called Citizens United, yesterday called for Hastert's resignation and said other conservative leaders are likely to follow suit. Bossie said the initial e-mails alone, which included Foley's request of a minor's picture, should have prompted an immediate probe. "That was a cry for an investigation," Bossie said. "Why couldn't the speaker of the House muster the will to stop this?"Leaders from about six dozen socially conservative groups held a conference call late yesterday afternoon, and participants were described as livid with House GOP leaders."They are outraged by how Hastert handled this," said Paul M. Weyrich, a conservative activist who participated in the call. "They feel let down, left aside. How can they allow a guy like that to remain chairman of the committee on missing and exploited children when there is any question about e-mails?"Vin Weber, a GOP lobbyist close to the White House and to congressional leaders, said many Republicans outside of Washington are echoing Bossie."From what I hear, it is resonating badly and our candidates are on the defensive about this," Weber said. "The maddening thing about this is if they had done the right thing" by informing Democrats early on and investigating it fully, "there would be no political fallout," he said. "The maddening thing about this is if they had done the right thing… there would be no political fallout." Well, duh!But when was the last time Republicans ever did anything "right" - as in "ethically and honestly and fully accountable"? - Iraq? Abu Ghraib? Plame? No-bid contracts to war profiteers? Governing with 24/7 Terror Scare Campaign? Torture law and spying on innocent American citizens? Investigating 9/11? Abramoff? Katrina? Schiavo? Social Security? Medicare? Voter suppression? Phone jamming?The Republican Party is the party of Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon, of Henry Kissinger, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Al D'Amato, Ed Meese, John Poindexter, Elliott Abrams and Oliver "I Just Followed Orders" North, the party of Iran/contra and Watergate, and of granting presidential pardons to people indicted and convicted for perpetrating crimes in direct service to their administrations' political agendas. The party of lynch mob hysterics and false "Wolf!" alarms, and convenient exemptions to themselves and their political friends from the standards of measure by which they demand others must be judged. The whole point of being a Republican is to have entrenched institutional power and support for avoiding ever doing "the right thing."

In These Times August 2022 Cover
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