Dennis Hastert Unfit for Command

I’ll say.

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert took to the podium, praised William Jefferson, and said a prayer attacking the FBI for violating the sanctity of the Congress, saying that the raid was not “God’s way” . . .

Oh wait. That was a different scandal and a different Speaker. It was Tennessee Senate Speaker John Wilder who embarrassed himself, his party, and his chamber by heaping scorn on the cops instead of the criminals—almost exactly one year ago today. Sorry. It was hard to tell them apart, since Hastert and Wilder are both amply demonstrating why they’re no longer worthy of retaining the power entrusted to them by the people.


But Democratic Congressman Jefferson took a bribe (allegedly). That’s easy to understand. Especially when the FBI has the New Orleans Democrat on tape counting the money. Each of the one thousand $100 bills! And then they found $90 thousand of that in his refrigerator. And he’s the same guy who right after Hurricane Katrina, commandeered a National Guard boat and some soldiers to help move crates out of his house—including one box that was described at the time as (wait for it) “the size of a small refrigerator.”

This scandal was so easy for Republicans to exploit to their benefit that you’d be forgiven for thinking that William Jefferson was really a Karl Rove Republican plant.

So, even if ethics is irrelevant to you, if for nothing else, Dennis Hastert should be fired from his leadership position for sheer political stupidity.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Mac says:

    The Republicans had a chance here.

    Despite the claims that people didn’t understand or care about the Abramhoff scandal (a sentiment that I vehemently disagree with) the Republican’s had a chance here to counter the “Culture of Corruption” tarring that the Dems were desperate to give them (and that they so desperately deserved).

    William Jefferson hits them square in the numbers like a pass from the 1999 Kurt Warner, and what does Hastert and others do with it? Butter-finger it for the turn-over.

    Unfit indeed.

    And damned strange. It’s very troubling the way they all seem so nervous about this raid.

    I’m thinking that things are going to get a bunch more interesting before this all over with.

  2. legion says:

    It’s simple, mac. Up till now, their offices were sacrosanct. Now, if they don’t get Bush to put the kibosh on the FBI, Congresscritters will have no more closets left to store their skeletons in. Everybody has something to hide, but what sort of treasures might you hide if you had somplace you thought nobody could ever look…?

  3. Roger says:

    …and if there was no one to hold you accountable? Same concept applies to Bushco.

    Vote for accountability, folks.

  4. Or as Lord Acton said long ago: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Long past time to throw them all out.

  5. lily says:

    I want Pelosi out, too. Not in jail since, so far’s I know she isn’t even suspected of a crime, but out of the leadership. God, what was she thinking?

  6. floyd says:

    steve; hastert fired for stupidity??? that’s why they gave him the job in the first place!!

  7. Roger says:

    Heartless. You don’t send your lapdog to the pound just because he has an accident on the carpet once.

  8. Dale says:

    Worst Speaker of the House in at least 50 years.
    He has had no voice until now. From my district, too. Like others who voted against him, I am appalled at his “leadership” and agree with floyd above.

    It is supposed to be a joke that you recruit a candidate smart enough to do a job and dumb enough to take it. (The Rs took it to heart and failed to achieve though). Hastert fulfills the second requirement and falls short of the first.