Friday, June 5, 2015

Dennis Hastert: another "do as we say not as we do" Republican.

News of  Dennis Hasterts indictment for violating banking regulations and lying to the  FBI over large cash withdrawals he was making for hush money to cover up his having sexually molested at least one underage male while a teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois has left a lot of Republicans " shocked". Why they are shocked is hard to say.
Hastert was the Speaker of the House for 7 years. He became Speaker in 1998 replacing Bob Livingston. Bob Livingston had been Speaker for only 24 hours before having to resign, having  just replaced Newt Gingrich the one time conservative Republican Speaker who had been found guilty of ethics violations and who resigned in the wake of Republicans being swept out of the House ( as an aside Gingrich is now a regular contributor on CNN proving that being unethical is  no stumbling block for employment at CNN which makes their coverage of everything from Ferguson to politics understandable).
Livingston had to resign just 24 hours after being elected Speaker because it was at the height of Republican attacks and news media lunancy over Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and it was revealed that Livingston was too having an affair while continuing to criticize Clinton over Lewinsky but had no problem accepting the Speakership anyway. Then he was caught, his affair made public and was forced to resign.

Gingrich  too, it was subsequently revealed,  had been cheating on his wife with his own "female subordinate" as Republicans liked to refer to Lewinsky, at the same time he also was criticizing Clinton. Gingrich in fact said at the time that he "would not let a day go by when I will not remind the country of what Clinton did". While doing the same thing. 
House judiciary committee chairman, the late Henry Hyde who presided over Clinton's impeachment  was also exposed as having been cheating on his wife at the same time and was not only cheating on his wife but he was cheating on the woman he was cheating with by lying to her about being married.
After Hastert became Speaker he was strongly criticized in 2005 for not taking stronger, harsher and faster action against Mark Foley a House Republican who had been sending sexually explicit instant messages to underage male House pages. Obviously the hypocrisy of that would've been too much for Hastert. 
All these Republicans by the way, including Hastert had voted for The Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 designed to prevent gays from getting married. 
Then there was Tom DeLay, former Republican whip in the House who was recently released from prison after being convicted of money laundering and sent to prison.  And Duke Cunningham, another conservative Republican congressman was sent to prison for accepting bribes on defense contracts.  And let's not forget former Republican senator Larry "wide stance" Craig  who was arrested for soliciting sex through a stall in the mens room at an airport.
Most recently the Republicans had conservative senator from Louisiana David Vitter, who was re-elected by the conservative Republican majority in Louisiana who was caught cheating on his wife with prostitutes provided to him by the Washington D.C. Madam. 
Now we have  Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House, lobbyist, member of the board at Wheaton College, a Christian school, now under federal indictment for lying to the FBI while making $3.5 million in hush money payments to a man who as a minor,  Hastert sexually molested repeatedly as a school teacher and wrestling coach back in the 60's and 70's. There is news that there is another man and possibly a third with a similar story.
Hastert has pled not guilty to the charges against him , resigned from his law firm,  resigned as a lobbyist, resigned his position at Wheaten College,there is  pressure to remove Hastert's portrait from the halls of the Capitol and Hastert has asked the Illinois state legislature to put on hold a $500,000 statue of him they planned to erect in his honor, though given the reasons for the hush money maybe "erect" isnt the best choice of words.
Hastert has turned out to be another in a long list of  "do as we say not as we do" Republicans who over the decades, dating back to the Nixon White House,  and HR Haldeman who have two sets of values , one for them and one for everyone else having  constantly moralized about everything setting themselves up as the arbiter of "values" and "morality" only to be exposed as hypocrites and the first to violate those same "values". Which doesn't stop them from continuing to try to impose their "values" and "principles" on everyone else. Principles like keeping government out of the private lives of American citizens, opposing "undue government influence in people's lives" to quote a conservative member of congress, except of course, when it comes to government forcing women seeking an abortion to have vaginal ultrasounds. Or to have government pass laws to prevent gays from marrying. 
Had they all been more honest back in 1996, instead of persecuting gays and lesbians , what they would have passed was The Defense of Cheating on Your Wife and We Define Morality Any Way We Want Act.  It would have passed by a wide margin.

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