Friday, February 17, 2006

Hastert Says "No" to Ethics Proposal

Lynn Sweet of your Chicago Sun-Times reports that Denny Hastert feels that the foxes are doing a fine job of guarding the henhouse:
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that the Republican leader is dead set against a proposal by Sen. Barack Obama to create an independent panel to probe ethics complaints.

Hastert's strong resistance to a plan Obama (D-Ill.) wants to make the centerpiece of his ethics crackdown puts the two Illinoisans on a collision course.

"He is against having a private investigating panel," Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said.

"It makes no sense," Bonjean said. Instead, Hastert believes allegations of wrongdoing can be handled by members in the ethics committee -- though the House ethics committee has been dormant for the last year.

I asked Bonjean if Hastert's opposition was negotiable.

"No," he said.
If asked what the two most politically foolish things one could do in Washington D.C. today are, my answer would be:
  1. Defend the "ethics" of House Republicans, and
  2. Needlessly confront the most charismatic man in Congress.
But for some reason, Denny Hastert has taken a position that combines both of these Herculean challenges. A gifted politician like Denny must recognize the cost of taking such a position, so why would he do something so politically inadvisable?

There is only one rational explanation: that Hastert believes that an truly independent ethics probe would be even more politically costly to him.

Kinda makes you wonder what Denny thinks an independent ethics probe would uncover.

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