Reader DairyMaid brings up a point we've discussed the last few days, but it is something I think needs a bit more emphasis:
He pointed out that if, Heaven forbid, the Republicans should hold on to the House, that there would be a skirmish for leadership positions, regardless of the present public display of their craven lack of care and accountability.
He said,”It’s like muscial chairs. Boehner, Hastert, Reynolds, etc…all want a seat, and when the music stops, someone will be left out.”
Denny has a target on his back…no matter what. So tossing him in a public display may be the easiest way to appease the base and move on. Or so they hope.
I read somewhere or heard this morning on MSNBC (can't find or place the exact source) that Hastert had intended to step down as Speaker at the end of the next term of Congress if the GOP retains control in any event — that he had mentioned something to this effect to friends in Congress.
The GOP leadership, both in the House and outside of it, is in full damage-control mode and may be thinking that hastening Hastert's "retirement" from the position might staunch the bleeding (so to speak) on this issue. But would it? In this finger-pointing, every Republican for himself environment — and with substantial questions being raised regarding Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), his chief of staff Kirk Fordham (who previously was former Rep. Mark Foley's Chief of Staff as well at one point — yeah, I know, you start to need a flow chart here…), and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) who was head of the page board…well, that's a lot of people to still be standing there with outstanding questions. And that doesn't even get to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).
All the articles and interviews I've been trying to keep up with on this suggest a lot of hints from Republicans on the sidelines who may be salivating at the prospect of a free-for-all for the GOP leadership positions after November. (Chris Shays, for one, has been all over coverage denouncing the handling of this and he's made no secret in the past of wanting to get back into the leadership.) We live in interesting times, but I'm more than happy for the GOP infighting, so long as what they end up fighting over is who gets to be Minority Leader after the elections in November.
(Musical chairs still from the Stan Laurel Collection.)