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Raise Your Hand If You Love Dennis Hastert


George W. Bush, President of the United States, Decider in Chief and undisputed head of the Republican party says Dennis Hastert is his man, a good "family values" guy and a great leader:

"I know Denny Hastert," Bush said. "I meet with him a lot. He is a father, a teacher, a coach. He cares about the children of this country."

He said he supported Hastert's call for an investigation by law enforcement into the Foley case.

"I'm confident he will provide whatever leadership he can to law enforcement in this investigation," Bush said.

That's a pretty powerful endorsement of Hastert's handling of the situation, wouldn't you say?

Let's see what Time Magazine's Blog of the Year has to say about his culpability in the Foley matter.  Take it away, John Hinderaker:

[T]he idea of pursuing the House leadership on a "when did they find out that Foley sent a creepy email" basis seems ludicrous, and is understandable only in the context of two facts: Foley is a Republican, and there is an election in five weeks.


[T]he point I was making was not to defend Foley, who, as I said, should have resigned, and did. My point was that according to published news accounts, they were described to Hastert as "over-friendly." If Hastert had seen the actual emails and not done anything, I think he could be subject to legitimate criticism. But if, as has been reported, he was merely told that a gay member of his caucus had sent "over-friendly" messages to a former page, but that the page's family didn't want to pursue it, and further that Hastert's office "referred the matter to the authorities last fall," I don't see any particular basis to criticize Hastert or anyone else, other than Foley. (my emphasis)

I'd like to ask the Christians out there who may be reading this — do you think this is attitude toward Hastert's actions closely approximates your own?  I mean, if you were told about emails between a 52 year-old man and a 16 year-old boy that someone had enough concern about to bring to your attention, would you bother to ask the simple question as to what was in the emails?  And would you be satisfied when the sole inquiry into the matter was to ask the 52 year-old man for his version of the story, and when he said there was nothing to worry about, leave it at that?  As GOP Speaker of the House, having passed the problem off to others, would you feel that you had fulfilled all of the obligations incumbent upon you in the situation?

I think we may be witnessing a breakdown between the "family values" set, the authoritarian cultists who depend on lucrative think-tank fellowships and other forms of wingnut welfare for their daily bread, and the kleptocrats who profit therein. 

Next up:  Hinderaker explains how this is "all good for the Republicans."  Glenn Reynolds concurs with a hat tip and a link. 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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