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October 05, 2006


btw, last 4 polls from pollingreport.com:

AP-Ipsos *
10/2-4/06 38 59 -21

9/21 - 10/4/06 37 53 10 -16

NBC/Wall Street Journal RV
9/30 - 10/2/06 39 56 5 -17

9/29 - 10/2/06 39 59 2 -20

Goodbye 40, Hello 30's

Warning signs about Foley's conduct -- even if they were ambiguous -- were missed.

they weren't missed, they were ignored, because "officially" Foley was straight in the eyes of the GOP leadership (although they, of course, knew better). Coming from a real heterosexual, the "overly friendly" nature of the emails were just a "little weird" -- coming from a gay man, they were obviously warning signs of a significant problem.

Hastert, et.al. chose to ignore what they knew about Foley's sexual preference. If a straight congressman had written those emails to female pages, steps would have been taken. If out gay congressmen like Kolbe or Frank had written those emails to male pages, steps would have been taken. The reason why nothing was done was because to act on them would mean disavowel the myth that Foley was straight....

We have watched our figurehead President with Rove for a brain and Cheney the real president.
What would the Bush presidency look like without Rove/Cheney?

Were Hastert and Delay the House's version of Bush-Rove/Cheney?

Hastert has often been said to be a figurehead Speaker, with Delay, with his hammer, in charge of day to day operations in the House.
Where was Tom Delay in the Foley mess?
Did Hastert's staff report to Delay first and Hastert second, if at all?
Did Delay engineer the coverup and leave Hastert out of the loop?

Are we seeing what the GOP controlled House looks like without its hammer?

Ugly, isn't it?

Great point about Reynolds' involvement being improper no matter what he ended up doing. I'm trying to figure out why the GOP, which is made up of people with extraordinary save-myself-first instincts (witness Boehner's exemplary loyalty to Hastert), hasn't been able to get rid of Hastert? He must have a pretty good list of the locations of corpses, I think.

You can't dump leadership this close to an election. everyone stops running for their seat and starts running for speaker.

"I didn't do anything wrong" should be slightly amended.

More to the point -- "I didn't do anything."

I have been reading through these reports of the disarray of the House Republican leadership and the resulting fall-outs since the weekend. Foley-Gate keeps growing and pulling in more players. I suddenly became aware that I am sitting here grinning.

This is such a pleasure to watch. I feel a twinge of regret for Mark Foley who has some real problems that if he were straight or a Democrat would probably have been taken care of by a friend getting him into the counseling he needs. With luck, Pages were not hurt. I mean, for a young hetrosexual male it is a real shock to be hit on by another male, but that's life. It happens and you deal with it, just as girls do [well - except that it is harder to learn to deal with since guys don't talk to each other.]

But all the fallout in the Republican Party!! It is like they are the reincarnation of the Keystone Kops, all brought together into a big room and watching everyone stake out a chunk of wall to stand against so no one can get behind them. Then they all watch each other suspiciously, while hoping that the media does not call on them to speak.

If someone anonymously yells "Who did it?" they each glance wildly around and point to someone else, real or fake, then glance (again suspiciously) at the people next to them to see if someone is pointing at them. Some are pointing blatantly. Some, instead, try to catch your eyes and then surriptiously glance at Hastert, hoping no one who doesn't like them will notice what they did or who they gave up.

No one goes near the window or the balcony, doubtless fearing defenestration. Everyone is afraid to go near the door because it they leave, they will be the person blamed. They can't leave the party, but they really, really don't want to stay.

It's a paranoid's circus is what it is. Somewhere Hieronymous Bosch is unlimbering his paints and brushes as he gets new inspiration.

And I'm sitting here watching it through a darkened window, grinning, and loving every minute of it.

When I was a little kid, in a state I can barely remember I played basketball. I was just a little tyke. A little slender reed of a girl. Some of you have those sorts of team pictures. Almost painful to look at until you are much older. Of course Mom has every team picture any of us made on a hall wall.

I remember the team to a girl and the young amazingly athletic eager College girl that was our coach. Of course my mom and brothers came to see me play. Well my older brothers would already be there doing their own thing, but they would always come by and encourage their little tyke sister with a "go get them, take your time with the shot, use two hands to shoot, watch the ball, ..." the usual, with a quieter (so mom couldn't hear) "don't make us look bad squirt." For that I got them back bad when they later became involved with girls. But anyway, now I believe mom told them to pass through at least once, and then they could go play with the boys and stare at the girls furtively, like they did my coach.

I wan't very good then. A few years later I would mature in Junior High when mom pushed me to play again to develop some coordination (for a tall thin girl) and some confidence. About then I blossomed and wondered where all my court savy had been back in the 6th grade. Wow, I would have burned them up. But anyway.

A quote from Dennis Hastert's website:
"Throughout his legislative career, Speaker Hastert has drawn from his experience as a former wrestling coach by emphasizing teambuilding and setting clear-cut, achievable goals. The Speaker has since remained committed to the goals he laid out during his first term as Speaker and his accomplishments during the 107th Congress prove this."

Speaker Hastert was a coach! A wrestling coach. A sport that grit and determination play a big part in. Speaker Hastert is proud of being a coach!

I remember my big(est) brother telling me back in those early years. "Don't give up just because the team is behind. Coach don't give up. You don't give up. You don't give up" Well I tried though I wasn't very good then, but with my big brother and mom watching and cheering I never gave up. Never. I was as serious a little tyke that has played a game, from start to finish. They rewarded me with smiles and hugs for trying. And daddy too when he was home. My coach loved me for trying! She of course hugged everyone, but maybe me a little more. A little more! A life lesson!

"Coach don't give up."

Hastert decided that he was going to stick it out. If the Republicans lose the House he would never be Speaker again. If he quit now, the results for the Republicans were still up in the air, and some said it would be worse, but he would never be Speaker again.
I am told that men who are Speaker and then aren't never hold a lower leadership office. It is a step down.
He has probably has no problem winning the Illinois 14 District regardless of what he does. He will win bigger if he stays Speaker

and (pardon my language) hell, COACH DON'T QUIT!!

I learned that long ago.

I don't know if it will help or hurt. I think the House will go Democratic unless something really big happens. This thing will fester and grow, but Hastert quitting or not quitting doesn't matter. And Coach don't quit.

Say I'm a House Republican. ("ok, you're a House Republican.")

Say I want to show clearly and resolutely that I no longer support Hastert.

What would I do? Other than go on Sunday talk shows, I mean. Is it reasonable to expect me to introduce a House Resolution or something on the record that is the equivalent of a "no confidence" measure?

I'm asking because I'd like to be able to ask why none of the Congressional Republicans are doing it -- but I don't know what "it" is.

They're afraid. They've chosen the "hang together or hang separately" defense, turned over the program to the James Baker-David Gergen "fix it" wing of the party (more competent spin now emerging) and are now engaged in prayer.

The party's nominations for Speaker are made internally and in private, in closed (and usually Members-only) meetings of the House Republican Conference. That's where the real, intra-party move to replace Hastert would be made.

Unofficially, of course, the wheeling and dealing that's part of lining up behind one candidate or another is done elsewhere. Sometimes publicly, sometimes not. Going on a talk show would be one of the public ways.

The official act of replacing Hastert, of course, would have to take place on the House floor. If he were to resign, it would just be a matter of calling a vote for a new Speaker. If he had to be forced out, I would guess it would be done with a resolution to declare the Speakership vacant.

Could I have answered that in one line, then? A resolution to declare the Speakership vacant? Yeah, I guess so.

But by the time you got to that resolution -- and the House would need to be in session, which it's not until after the elections, for you to actually make such a motion -- you would have already worked out a succession plan inside the Conference. That can be done without the House being in session. It can even be done by a small cabal, say, via cell phone conference call, either with or without eavesdropping. But that process would be private, and as closely held (absent eavesdropping) as possible. So we wouldn't hear about it except from leakers.


I'm asking because I'd like to be able to ask why none of the Congressional Republicans are doing it -- but I don't know what "it" is. -- I wrote this badly, I didn't mean so I could ask you guys why none of them are doing it (their reasons are clear) but so I could begin asking rhetorically, "congressman (...) says he wouldn't shield sex predators, so why hasn't congressman (...) done this thing to repudiate Hastert?" but it sounds like without the Congress in session there is no "this thing" (other than yakking on talk shows) and even when it is in session it sounds like what little there is to do doesn't quite roll off the tongue

although I suppose as political rhetoric goes, it may not be bad still to ask "why doesn't congressman (...) vote no-confidence on Hastert" and just leave it to the other side to explain the sensible technical reasons why that can't be done, all of which may end up sounding like an evasion.

It's worth road testing, 'pockets. You're right, the actual explanation for why Congressman (...) isn't doing anything probably would sound like an evasion.

Even asking, "Why don't you get rid of Hastert?" and being answered "Well, it's not that simple" is an opportunity.

"Sure it is. Just submit a resolution declaring the Speakership vacant," is a fine retort. The fact that it's not politically that simple is a bad answer for the Republicans, even if -- perhaps especially if -- it's really true.


Without Hastert resigning it is too difficult with a month to election. Most will say "vote for us and we will take care of it next session, and we will know more by then anyway. But I share all your concerns and need your vote so I can go back and straighten out this mess."

It goes back to my statement.


But I also said this will fester and grow and the Pelosi will replace Hastert. Wow. Won't that be something?!

Of course that assumes no bombshells on the Democrats.

QUESTION: So you don't expect Hastert to resign?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the judgment made by most Republicans here in Washington, including top Republicans at the White House and the Republican National Committee, is that if Speaker Hastert resigned, it would just open up the floodgates and guarantee that this issue dominates the headlines until the election, and sort of crystallizes in voters' minds that the Republicans mishandled this. That's why they want him to stay in and fight at least for now. And that's also why yesterday President Bush, after the speaker did his press conference, called him to express his support. It was a signal that he wants Republicans to close ranks

If Coach knew about his assistant's advances to team members and did nothing, Coach gets sacked. And more is coming out.


at this point what we know for sure is that Hastert did know about the "concern and requesting a picture" email. He didn't know about the IMs. Supposedly no one in the House knew about it until ABC released it. I can believe that because it would have been news long before.
Yes some people, supposedly Foley's chief of staff, have claimed that they told certain things to the leadership. What this is we don't know.
The FBI cleared that email that Hastert saw (or knew about) as "not at any criminal level."

Foley went home before Hastert knew about the IMs, or at least on the same day.

Now that sequence of events may be wrong. There may be lies or unknown facts.

But based on that, Hastert's main failures were
1) not "putting "his boots" on the ground and checking to see if there was any more that he didn't know." The men in my family are unanamious on that.
2) embarassing his party

There are many things he could have done.

If there was concern about looking like the Republicans were "attacking homosexuals," then they should have pulled in Barney Frank, and other homosexual Democrats, and Republicans, and said. Hey this is what we know. What are your ideas on how to handle this, how to check into this. (But that had a political risk that they chose not to take.)

Hastert and the leadership tried to handle it but by the time they went to see Foley about that"known" email, all those IMs were already sent, ??years earlier.

Anyway I don't expect Hastert to be Speaker (some miracle happens) or minority leader next year.

Unlike Rove-Plame there isn't enough data and the issues aren't clear enough to predict.

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