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Washington Times calls for Hastert resignation. Conservatives biggest critics of how GOP leaders handled Foley e-mails.

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GOP conservatives are the strongest critics of how GOP leaders reacted to the initial news of former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mails.

The Washington Times Tuesday editorial for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to step down is important because the editorial page is influential among GOP opinion makers. Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said Hastert has no intention on vacating the speakership.


GOP leaders are trying to draw attention to the newspapers--including the Miami Herald--tipped off about Foley and did not end up publishing a story. It's a try.

From the Washington Times...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20061002-102008-9058r.htm

Resign, Mr. Speaker

TODAY'S EDITORIAL
October 3, 2006

The facts of the disgrace of Mark Foley, who was a Republican member of the House from a Florida district until he resigned last week, constitute a disgrace for every Republican member of Congress. Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e-mail messages to underage congressional pages. His aberrant, predatory -- and possibly criminal -- behavior was an open secret among the pages who were his prey. The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened.
Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, the Republican chairman of the House Page Board, said he learned about the Foley e-mail messages "in late 2005." Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the leader of the Republican majority, said he was informed of the e-mail messages earlier this year. On Friday, Mr. Hastert dissembled, to put it charitably, before conceding that he, too, learned about the e-mail messages sometime earlier this year. Late yesterday afternoon, Mr. Hastert insisted that he learned of the most flagrant instant-message exchange from 2003 only last Friday, when it was reported by ABC News. This is irrelevant. The original e-mail messages were warning enough that a predator -- and, incredibly, the co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children -- could be prowling the halls of Congress. The matter wasn't pursued aggressively. It was barely pursued at all. Moreover, all available evidence suggests that the Republican leadership did not share anything related to this matter with any Democrat.
Now the scandal must unfold on the front pages of the newspapers and on the television screens, as transcripts of lewd messages emerge and doubts are rightly raised about the forthrightness of the Republican stewards of the 109th Congress. Some Democrats are attempting to make this "a Republican scandal," and they shouldn't; Democrats have contributed more than their share of characters in the tawdry history of congressional sexual scandals. Sexual predators come in all shapes, sizes and partisan hues, in institutions within and without government. When predators are found they must be dealt with, forcefully and swiftly. This time the offender is a Republican, and Republicans can't simply "get ahead" of the scandal by competing to make the most noise in calls for a full investigation. The time for that is long past.
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.
A special, one-day congressional session should elect a successor. We nominate Rep. Henry Hyde, also of Illinois, the chairman of the House International Relations Committee whose approaching retirement ensures that he has no dog in this fight. He has a long and principled career, and is respected on both sides of the aisle. Mr. Hyde would preside over the remaining three months of the 109th Congress in a manner best suited for a full and exhaustive investigation until a new speaker for the 110th Congress is elected in January, who can assume responsibility for the investigation.

16 Comments

Ms. Sweet,

For a moment I was concerned that we were witnessing yet another instance of corrupt Republican leadership attempting to coverup misdeeds by a Republican member of Congress.

Imagine my relief when I found out it was all the fault of the media.

-- SCAM

Mr. Hastert should have resigned a long time ago. He is an uninspiring and visionless (and largely invisible) Speaker under whose leadership the Republican majority has foundered. His failure to address such a glaring ethics problem made possible exactly what has transpired: the media were left to time the revelations to best aid the Democrats in the upcoming elections.

Mr. Hastert's resignation could help salvage Republican electoral hopes; otherwise, he will lose the job anyway along with the loss of the Republican majority.

At the very least Mr. Hastert needs to resign. Any person who has knowledge of illegal activities and does not report it is an accessory to that activity in my book.

The complacency of the current Republican leadership is now married to a despicable cynicism where power, majorities and votes apparently trump morality, decency and legality.

I am no clairvoyant, but I have a feeling the Republicans will get what they richly deserve at the polls in November and that is a national tragedy because it will open the door for a party of craven opportunism to hamstring the national government. God help us.

Cover ups, child predators, and bribery on both sides. The American people deserve so much better from their leaders. But who are their examples, who leads with pure hands. . .no one. They don't even attempt to hide it, or those who expose it take action. The high morals they claim to have don't even riase to the level of the gutter.

Why should Hastert resign? Clinton didn't, wouldn't resign, and he was the offender. It seems to me that we have a double standard for Republicans.

RE: Hastert's Actions in Connection with Page Boy Scandal

What I find amazing is that Mr. Hastert was a school teacher once! You would think that a man who was in education would be particularly sensitive to the vulnerabilities of teenagers in general in this type of situation. His failure to act in a more timely fashion displays an egocentric behaviour so common in Washington.
If I was in his district, I am not sure if I would vote for his reelection!
Peter Raoch

Foley must resign. He's a sick dude. But lets remember, in the past, we've had Congressman Gary Studds, who admitted to playing with a pageboy. Yet, where were the critics? The same ones who went after Foley. He was reelected 6 times before leaving. How about Barney Frank, he is still there. Didn't we have a former president taking advantage of an intern? And lets not forget Mel Reynolds. Why Jesse Jackson gave him a job as youth counselor with Rainbow/PUSH, AFTER his affairs with teenage girls.

Why is anyone surprised? We have a do-nothing Congress who's inability to solve the pressing issues of the day, leaves one amazed when anything DOES get accomplished. A POX on both their houses. Watching the news last night, Mark Fiedler of the Miami Herald stated that the emails were not explict enough to run the story. They were "afraid" of the implications. Here's a clue for you Mark - HE'S A 50 YEAR OLD MAN SENDING EMAILS TO A 16 YEAR OLD BOY AND THEY'RE NOT RELATED!!!! He's not his father or long-lost uncle. Pull your head out of the sand and smell the coffee. Why are we handling this like its a hot potato? The man is a predator and needs to be treated as such. As for the comments by Ms. Boyd in a previous email; 1) disgusting as Clinton's conduct was, Ms. Lewinsky was NOT a minor and 2) the double standard the Republicans are subjected to is self imposed since they are the MORAL MAJORITY! HA!

Hey Wing-Nuts, there's no comparison between trying to have sex with a 16 year old boy (Read: PEDOPHILE) and consentual sex between Studds and Franks' legal aged partners. Is it any wonder this country is so screwed up right now that right wing whack jobs continue to bring up the past, which isn't really relevant, while burying their collective heads on the sands when it comes to Iraq, Economy, Imigration, Health Care, Veteran's Benefits, Port Security, and unfortunately, this list of inactivity can continue for pages. Wake up and smell the hypcracy, neo-cons...your days are numbered and your prison suits are being measured.

Neal, stop 'spinning' it. Studds pageboy WAS underage. As were Reynold's girls in his affairs...Something else, stop name-calling people who have an opinion (Wing-Nut). Thats my right as an American citizen. Just like you have a right to your opinion. I've earned this right, also. I FOUGHT for this country (VietNam, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment,67-68). Sent there by a democrat president, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

John,

First off, thank you for your service. But as it regards to my comment, both pages were of consentual age in WDC. Facts suck, don't they!

Foley turned the honorable Page program into the joke the Intern program is now after the Lewinski/Clinton debacle. We all lose! Neo-cons protect us from the islamofacist boogeyman who doesnt exsist in Neal's world.

Pete,

I guess you don't read the newspapers you're blogging on..do you? NIE just stated without a doubt our actions in Iraq are creating MORE NOT LESS terrorists. Keep sucking the right wing kool-ade. Combating terrorism effectively, as proven by the British, is through dilligent police and intelligence work, not illegal, immoral wars in Iraq.

Neal, using WDC law, Foley's boys were ALSO of legal age. And as were Studds....But using the Law of Decency--we both know BOTH Studds and Foley were sick dudes. Don't we? My question is 'Why were these same critics who are going after Foley quiet when the Studds debacle happened?' A very fair question.

Neal your a commie, your happy when America fails. Your source is a half truth like Foley thing your the party that protect homosexual marriae and pedophiles, you had rep stadd, mel reynolds ,bill clinton and barney frank. Stil a month to go we will see if you can fool everyone.

Pete C,

Since you can't spell and can't write can I assume your just a typically undereducated Republican who gets his news soley from Rush (a thriced divorced drug addict)Limbaugh and Faux (fox) News? At least Dems aren't hypocritcal when it comes to homosexuality. Why is it that most of the Pols who've been forced to resign because they hid the gay lifestyle were Republican? By stating "your a commie" provies that you have the mental ability of a gnat. The last time I checked, the constitution allowed me to dissent when our elected leaders screw up...and this current chimp-in-a-flight suit (you know that sorry-assed excuce for a humam being you call a President) is without a doubt the worst, most lying President in the history of this great nation. Unfortunately, morons like you are given the right to vote and we're stuck in the mess were in right now.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 3, 2006 9:15 AM.

Dems pick 6th CD hopeful and Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth to deliver Saturday national radio address. Hastert, Pelosi sparring over national security. was the previous entry in this blog.

Hastert: Should he resign as Speaker now because of Foley? If GOP keeps Congress--should Hastert remain Speaker? is the next entry in this blog.

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