Hastert, Foley And The Republican Narrative

John Laesch on Hastert:

Exactly one month ago today Dennis Hastert made the front page of the Kane County Chronicle, a local paper, that covered Dennis Hastert’s town hall forum on Internet safety.

Protecting children is OK for Dennis Hastert when it is earning him votes, but he doesn’t give a damn when it is a page working on Capital Hill.

The fact that Hastert tried to cover this up is reason enough for him to resign.

This is all of a piece with everything that’s ever been said about Republicans in the past six years, really. The hypocrisy. The incredible ineptitude not just at illicit sex (those e-mails would embarrass a sixth-grade AOLer) but at the cover-up of same. The persistent belief that rules are for other people.

That last is really the part of it that I think plays into everything else that happened this past week, this past month, this past cycle of Republican congressional rule. Rules are for other people. For Democrats. For working parents trying to get out from under credit card debt. For soldiers in Iraq. For prisoners in Guantanamo. For protesters. For the ACLU. For you and me and everyone we know. Rules are for everybody else. And they, because they’re rich, they’re white, they’re in power, they don’t have to follow the laws they write. They can make their own reality.

It’s a pretty ugly reality, and as the day’s gone on it’s gotten more and more ugly. It’s a reality in which the leader of the House can’t remember whether or not he was told about one of his guys cybersexing a teenager. It’s a reality in which, “dude, don’t, like, do that again” is considered an adequate response. That’s the reality these guys live in. It’s a reality so completely without consequences for them that they’ve forgotten their actions affect others, and they’ve done here what they’ve done every time they’ve stepped in their own messes over the past six years: lied, made excuses, and attacked.

In a lot of ways this scandal is the most concise illustration of precisely what’s wrong with the Party of Personal Responsibility.


4 thoughts on “Hastert, Foley And The Republican Narrative

  1. “They can make their own reality.”
    They have for years now and have publicly admitted it when they said that we are part of the “reality-based” world. It wasn’t hyperbole.
    This is a great post, by the way, A. Thanks for writing it.

  2. You are right on. They send this message day after day after day, rules are for the other guy. The second message they continually send is, when playing by the rules, they see the other person is going to gain or win on them, it is okay to change the rules of the game mid-game. Thanks for the great post

  3. And when, regardless of the will of American voters, they cheat and steal and lie their way into additional terms in office, what then? Seriously, they have no problem thumbing their noses at all of us. What do we do then?

  4. CatStaff, what do we do then?
    Smoke ’em if you got ’em, because that’s what we do, out here in Berkeley. And then we speak and inform and write and show the truth to people, and to one another, and find a peaceful way to fix it.
    Not going to be easy and I don’t have the answer for what we’re going to do, directly, but indirectly I can tell you that we need to have this way of speaking in order to change a thing.
    We can replace this government peacefully, either through the ballot box or by creating some kind of replacement from the grass roots, I don’t know exactly how it will look and what course it will take, but it has to abstain from violence at all times or replace one evil with another one.

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