Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico: Ahead of the News Cycle

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:22 pm

On September 2, 2004, I got “ahead of the news cycle,” when I said:

Who ever said [Denny] Hastert was anything but a moron anyway?

I was right then, but boy, am I ever right now. Hastert has been claiming that the recent raid on William Jefferson’s office was an affront to the Constitution.

What’s wrong with Hastert’s assertion of that argument? Let’s see. First, legal scholars disagree with Hastert. Second, Hastert is needlessly giving Democrats political cover in this embarrassing situation, allowing them to make the issue about the overbearing Bush DoJ, rather than what it actually is about: a corrupt Democrat politician caught taking bribes on video.

Wrong on the law and terrible politics.

Yup, Hastert is a moron, all right.

And, unlike the last guy who got ahead of the news cycle, I didn’t need any double-secret anonymous sources to feed me information on this. I just figured it out myself.

UPDATE: Bush ain’t too bright himself.

UPDATE x2: Many have criticized Hastert, but few so well as Joe Katzman:

Perhaps [Hastert] was replaced by a double with no political training; nothing else seems to explain why he chose to take a bullet for Jefferson, assert a position that will look to the outside world like a defense of Congressional immunity from law enforcement, and work to confirm his party’s image as friendly to corruption. All within a day of the scandal breaking, no less.

Yup. That nails it.

14 Responses to “Patterico: Ahead of the News Cycle”

  1. It’s all about control. Anything that threatens that control, such as accountability, is to be fought with every resource at one’s command.

    The elites have a duty, to keep the plebes happy, hapless, and safe. They can’t fulfill their duties if some interloper comes shuffling about looking for something to chastise the elites with. It is not just the emperor who must be above the law to perform his duties properly, but even the emperor’s stable boys. And thus you see the damage done when people suffer from metaphysical constipation.

    Alan Kellogg (16eb4e)

  2. Bush Orders Documents Sealed

    It was a gigantic mistake for Bush to do what Hastert, among others, asked him to do. This sends out the wrong message. Instead of doing what Congress and the President should do – fight corruption – this has cover-up written all over it.

    Liberty and Justice (a5b264)

  3. I’m searching for reason here. Could Hastert be afraid of future politically motivated FBI raids? If so, either he hasn’t mentioned it or that part of his response was parsed out by the media. I gave them time to straighten things out. Instead of using that time to provide an explanation, they have circled their wagons in a futile attempt to defend themselves. They threw me out of the circle. They have given me no choice but to join in the attack.

    I wasn’t happy with their response to the immigration issue, I wasn’t happy with their reluctance to push judges, but I was still OK ’til now. But Bush’s response clinches it. I am now officially disgusted with the Republican Party. They went from representing my interests very closely to totally alienating me in a few days.

    I don’t think they realize what thin ice they are on. It takes a lot to get me to trust a politician, and once that trust is violated there is no way back.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  4. Sometimes, people take a position that they wouldn’t take if they followed it to its logical conclusion, because it’s a complex issue, and the logic trail is convoluted. Then there’s this case. It takes an amazing level of obtuseness not to realize that the end result of this position is that Congressmen would be able to commit any offense they wanted as long as they did it in their offices, and kept the evidence there.

    CraigC (1acec7)

  5. “I’m searching for reason here. Could Hastert be afraid of future politically motivated FBI raids?”

    Or maybe Hastert is afraid the FBI will find damaging evidence of corruption among Republican congressmen outweighing that of any among the Democrats. In that case, the paradox about Hastert’s “needless” reaction is resolved.

    The next few months will be very interesting . . .

    Bradley J. Fikes (e619fc)

  6. Um, what’s “not to bright” about Bush’s actions?

    Seems more than sensible to me. He gave Hastert an opportunity to save some face and time to cool down. At the same time he made it clear that the Justice Dept will retain the records and that the will be used.

    What issues do you have with this?

    Norman Rogers (89cfab)

  7. Like I’ve said elsewhere, it takes a particlar brand of stupidity to score an “own goal” during a penalty kick.

    Kevin Murphy (5ea038)

  8. Um, what’s “not to bright” about Bush’s actions?

    We’ve been waiting for Bush to take just such bold action on issues we care about – cutting pork, immigration, SS reform.

    But when does he act? To give cover to a guy that was caught on videotape taking a bribe, and later, by all appearances, used the national guard to recover it at the expense of providing evacuation to hurricane Katrina victims.

    Perhaps Hastert’s obstruction makes sense. If you have three equal branches of government, where does one get the authority to investigate the others?

    But the fallout may finally prove the assertion that there is no real difference between the two parties. More like the ruling class and the rest of us proles.

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  9. Why should the Speaker of the House, senior member of Congress, not get into the fray when invaded by the Executive branch? He has to.

    I hope he is as bold with respect to the awful immigration bill the Senate passed.

    RJN (9e856d)

  10. Please help me resolve an issue with the William Jefferson case.
    It is reported that he received a subpoena nine months ago.

    When the FBI raided his office last week I would expect that they would find nothing incriminating. Is he that stupid???

    rab (f70b48)

  11. Rab: Anyone stupid enough to keep $90,000 in his freezer is stupid enough to keep all the evidence in his office, which he assumed would never be searched. He is so stupid he thought he could ignore the orders of a judge for 9 months and get away with it. Lesson #1, never pi** off a judge, he (or his friends) can and will get you.

    Scrapiron (71415b)

  12. I doubt that Hastert could have reached the position he holds if he was that stupid. That’s why I suspect there is something that the FBI nabbed in the search, or something that Haster believes was nabbed, that is a serious problem for him or his cronies.

    I’m so depressed. I remember, back in the 80’s and early 90’s. I would say that if we could only get a Republican majority, they would clean up the mess in Washington. If asked to give a list of the mess, I certainly would have listed irresponsible spending and probably would have added corruption and immigration.

    What a mess the Republicans are leaving.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  13. […] Sounds fine to me. Long-time readers know I am no fan of Hastert’s anyway. Hastert is the guy I called a “moron” for claiming that the raid on William Jefferson’s office was an affront to the Constitution. Because the word fits, I also called him a “moron” for smearing George Soros. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Captain Ed: Hastert Should Resign (421107)

  14. Castro is dead (updated!)…

    I’ll update this post later, with the details. In the meantime, I hope you’ve been practicing the Dead Castro Dance.

    UPDATE, DEC. 13: I will post details as they become available. For now, this is more of an “ahead of the ne…

    Sean Gleeson (766507)

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