Hastert, trying to save a party destined for the electoral dustbin, held a bumbling and portentious press conference today in which he, y’know, announced a new “tip line” that people can “confidently call” – and then provided someone else’s toll-free fax number. These folks can’t even get their faux-apologies right.
The public approval numbers are lower for Congress than they are for the President. This is, of course, the same public that thinks aliens live among us and the Jews attacked us on 9-11, but nonetheless there is slim respect for Congress, and I don’t think it has much to do with which party is in charge.
But, this latest scandal may seal it for the Republicans on Election Day – as it will cause many of the so-called “values voters” who make up the conservative base to sit out the election. Many independents and Republicans already intend to vote against the Republicans for reasons ranging from the Iraq war to this latest case of Republican mis-leadership. What Hastert, et al. appear to have done is attempt to “make it go away” as they saw their hope for retaining control of the House slipping away – and presumably to avoid opening a can of worms that could go beyond Foley.
Now the only question that remains is control of the Senate.
But meanwhile, pop that popcorn and prepare for two years of Bush officials being questioned under oath by House committees.