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October 05, 2006

Hastert Should Resign

There are now allegations that Dennis Hastert's office knew about the emails from Representative Foley to pages, perhaps as early as three years ago. Nonetheless, certain members of the Republican leadership, and Hastert himself, resist calls for Hastert's resignation.

For my own part, it seems like there is enough evidence to indicate that Hastert, and others in the House, knew about the allegations, or should have known. If it becomes clear that they did have actual knowledge, and did nothing, then they ought to not only be removed from leadership, but removed from the House altogether.

However, the analysis does not end with actual knowledge. Regardless of Hastert's actual knowledge, there is now enough evidence to indicate that he should have known about the emails. It seems clear that a number of people in the House knew about Foley. It appears to not have been a secret. Consider if the House were a school district, or a corporation for that matter, and the school district or corporation had such information within it but did not have a system in place to follow up on this information and get it in the right hands. Such a school district or corporation would be subject to huge liability.

The House, however, apparently has no such system for properly dealing with this type of information. How do we know that? Because Dennis Hastert himself admits, by his denial of actual knowledge, that there is no system in the US House of Representatives to get this type of information to him. There is, in short, no system to protect these pages. Remember a goodly number of these pages are minors--children, albeit older children. Hastert, as the administrative as well as political leader of the House, has a duty to protect these children that is the same as any school principal. He has clearly, by his own admission, failed to so protect them. That is reason enough for Hastert to resign immediately, regardless of his actual knowledge.

Posted by Mark at October 5, 2006 07:19 AM


What was it that leadership should have know?

That Foley is gay? Maybe so. They should have known that much.

Or that Foley was hitting on pages? Hastert knew about one that we know of - and from what I understand, the parents of the page did NOT want the matter pursued. He honored the request.

In hindsight, he should have acted differently.

Posted by: Ellen at October 6, 2006 06:43 PM

It was more than one page. It looks like it may have been as many as three. And there appear to have been complaints as far back as three years ago. It's really pretty surprising that Hastert hasn't resigned already. The moral reasoning aside, the longer he stays, the more seats he's going to cost Republicans next month.

Posted by: Kevin at October 6, 2006 07:06 PM

Straightening pictures in a burning house. Get off the Foley trolley. There are dictators who have sworn to kill us and now have the capability. Cleaning up the homosexual community in Congress accomplishes one thing: The international community we are so eager to emmulate is laughing their collective selves silly over our infighting. Get a grip! We need to focus on survival not finger pointing! Tell the Dems to stuff it and get on with defending our country.

Posted by: Jane at October 9, 2006 07:00 PM