Feelin' the Heat

Speaker Denny Hastert is trying to keep his job while he weathers a storm of controversy swirling around Representative Mark Foley’s come-ons to house pages.

Backed by measured words of support from President Bush, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert opened an intense drive on Tuesday to hold on to his post, but behind the scenes senior Republicans weighed whether he could survive the scandal surrounding former Representative Mark Foley.

Among the options being considered by senior Republicans is for Mr. Hastert to announce that he will stay on as speaker through this year but not seek re-election to the post assuming Republicans retain control of the House, said people on and off Capitol Hill who were involved in the discussions. They said the advantage of such a step would be to postpone a disruptive leadership fight until after Election Day.

In a round of interviews with right-leaning radio shows after the conservative editorial page of The Washington Times called Tuesday for his resignation, Mr. Hastert vowed he would not quit. He accused political opponents of stoking the furor over Mr. Foley, Republican of Florida, in an effort to influence the coming elections and strip Republicans of Congressional control.

“If they get to me, it looks like they could affect our election as well,” Mr. Hastert said in an interview on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

And that’s the real problem. Too many people are worried about how this will effect the results in November. What about the people who were thrown under the bus by Foley? What about the minors he’s harmed mentally if not physically? If members of the Republican party intentionally kept the Foley matter from becoming public, I don’t want them reelected. I don’t want them serving our country. They need to be rooted out and their careers cut short.

And yeah, Hastert should step down. I haven’t been that impressed with the guy as it is, and now there is this whole can o’ worms. He should have done something about it before now.

I say, clear the halls of all the bums, Democrat and Republican alike. If their only goal is to keep getting elected, then I don’t want them running the country.