disclose, denny

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dennis Hastert is a bumbling half-wit

* TNR:
"Can there be any doubting the conspiracy at the heart of the Mark Foley scandal? For years, much of official Washington has harbored a shameful secret about a certain congressman. Republicans looked the other way because they worried about their fragile majority, while the media played the role of willing enabler. Most knew the truth would come out eventually, but few had the guts to face it.

I refer here, of course, to the fact that Dennis Hastert is a bumbling half-wit--something that became apparent to the world last week but had been common knowledge in Washington for almost a decade. It was roughly eight years ago, after all, that Tom DeLay installed Hastert as his front-man, knowing full well that Hastert was no more capable of being speaker than the average sheepdog, to which he bears a remarkable resemblance. (Just after Hastert accepted the speaker's gig, a reporter asked him how he felt. Hastert's one-word response: "Scared.") But, rather than call DeLay on this lapse in judgment, House Republicans joined forces with the press to perpetrate an elaborate cover-up.

Reading back over the last several years of Hastert coverage, one is astonished by the lengths to which reporters go to avoid outing him as a guileless nincompoop. One common approach--frequently deployed in stories about dumb-but-powerful politicians--is to interpret Hastert's apparent lack of intelligence as evidence of his enigmatic character, as though Hastert were a walking riddle with jowls and a Midwestern accent."


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