Friday, October 06, 2006

L.A. Times Joins Wash. Times on Hastert Removal

And here's why.
ENNIS HASTERT SHOULD RESIGN as speaker of the House of Representatives. Not necessarily because he failed to act quickly when shown evidence suggesting that Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was abusing his power with teenagers — not all the details are known, though the ones that are don't look good. No, the Illinois Republican should resign because he's an unimaginative politician and an uninspired legislator. Unfortunately, these days that just makes him a typical congressional Republican.

At his job-preserving news conference Thursday, Hastert said, "The buck stops here," then proceeded to blame some of this Republican scandal on the Democratic Party. "I haven't done anything wrong, obviously," he added.
Start with his laugh-out-loud assertion Thursday that the Republican Party has been "holding the line on spending." From 1999, when Hastert was elected speaker, to 2005, non-defense discretionary spending increased 34%, according to the Heritage Foundation. Pork-barrel line items have grown exponentially on Hastert's watch, and ballyhooed attempts at reform have largely fizzled. Instead of trying to prevent his colleagues from raiding the public purse, Hastert has saved his scorn for judges who authorize the FBI to search the offices of fellow lawmakers charged with crimes.

The same Republican Party that swept into a House majority 12 years ago amid fire-breathing promises to clean house and inject new blood is now led by a 19-year veteran whose oldest son is a lobbyist.
He needs to go. They all need to go.

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