Remember when Dennis Hastert went inexplicably nuclear over the raid of William Jefferson's office and cried constitutional crisis? It was a bit of a mystery at the time, but now it seems like the fat man knew he had reason to worry in the future.
It didn't stop him from endorsing Colorado House candidate Doug Lamborn on Friday, or campaigning with him that day — I guess he needed something to do outside of Washington and punking Lamborn was no big deal. As his opponent, our ActBlue candidate Jay Fawcett, says on his Kos diary today calling for Hastert's resignation, Lamborn's judgment has always been somewhat suspect. Either he was just about the only one who didn't know or he didn't care about Hastert's moral indifference to sexual predators. Either one is problematic for someone seeking a leadership position.
ABC is reporting that it was known as far back as 2001 that Foley had page chasing problems, and the mad scramble on the right to defend him is pretty amusing (hat tip C&L). No doubt Hastert knows where many of the bodies are buried and won't be thrown under the bus with ease, but salvaging him in a situation with such ugly optics may prove extremely costly in November.
Another of our Blue America candidates, John Laesch, is running against Hastert (the DCCC didn't bother backing anyone in the race, but Howie Klein did). John had a great session here on FDL in July and he's going to be back on Monday afternoon to discuss his campaign and how Hastert's role in the GOP predator protection racket could affect it, so please join us.
As for Hastert — well, he's covered enough people's asses over time he's definitely got a few in the favor bank. Let's hope he pulls enough of them to keep himself in the game until he turns the entire November GOP field into a nuclear wasteland. He's calling for an investigation, but only into Foley's actions, most certainly not his own culpability. Will anyone let him get away with it?
Foley's leadership PAC has given money to such GOP candidates as Nancy Johnson, Kurt Weldon, John Doolittle, Rob Simmons and George W. Bush himself. Fellow Republicans like Joe Lieberman have tried to make much hay over the company their opponents keep, and insisted that any money raised by those they find objectionable be returned. Now that Joe has tried to make his sanctimonious moralizing about Bill Clinton a campaign issue once again, will he call on his good friend George W. Bush to return the cash?
Enquiring minds want to know.