Feeling Icky About Pelosi's Gushing Praise for Hastert
by Matt Stoller, Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 05:48:30 PM EDT
Nancy Pelosi offered these warm words of praise to Dennis Hastert yesterday.
"I salute Speaker Hastert for reaching this milestone - it is a testament to his leadership within the Republican Conference and the halls of Congress.
"Dennis Hastert began his career as a teacher and coach; he now serves the people of Illinois and America. While we often disagree on issues, we agree on the importance of public service - the kind of public service that has been the hallmark of his career, whether in a classroom or on the House floor.
"In Congress, we all hold the title `honorable' by virtue of our office; Dennis Hastert holds it by virtue of his character. I salute him for his service to our nation and look forward to many future opportunities to work together."
I mean come on.
Upon election to Speaker, Dennis Hastert immediately offered audiences to lobbyists for campaign cash, and despite widespread anger at corruption, continues to offer these meetings. Dennis Hastert was also a reliable ally of Jack Abramoff, is 'in the mix' of a bribery scandal, and weakened the ethics committee by removing members who enforced ethics rules.
I get the need for comity, and I have begun to deeply respect Pelosi's political skills. But these compliments of Hastert's supposedly virtuous character feel icky, and I suspect they might become quite embarrassing in the not-too-distant-future.