Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Is the Speaker of the House Insane?

Just look at this transcript from Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, an interview with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:

HASTERT: Well, you know, that doesn’t do any good. You know, but look behind us at this convention. I remember when I was a kid watching my first convention in 1992, when both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party laid out their platform, laid out their philosophy, and that’s what they followed.

Here in this campaign, quote, unquote, “reform,” you take party power away from the party, you take the philosophical ideas away from the party, and give them to these independent groups.

You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. And I…

WALLACE: Excuse me?

HASTERT: Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years — George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.

WALLACE: You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?

HASTERT: I’m saying I don’t know where groups — could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know. The fact is we don’t know where this money comes from.

The mind boggles, doesn’t it? Soros is for drug legalization, therefore he gets his money from drug cartels. Never mind that drug cartels are the LAST ones who want drug legalization, which would pretty much destroy their profits. And never mind that he’s wrong and we DO know where Soros gets his money, it’s all in his tax returns and public filings for his corporate interests. Those inconvenient little facts get in the way of a perfectly good irrational and illogical smear. Even the Fox News host was taken aback by such stupidity, but of course, being the good little journalist (read: lapdog) that he is, he doesn’t follow up on it and lets him just change the subject to something else rather than asking if he’s off his medication. Here’s how one commenter on Crooked Timber responded, turning the tables on Hastert, a former wrestling coach:


We don’t know whether Mr. Hastert likes to have sex with little boys, or whether he likes black boys or latino boys in addition to white boys. We do know he enjoys watching boys roll around on the ground together, and used to give boys instructions as to how to cradle another boy in their arms.

Someone may have documented the full extent of his pedophilia- there may even be a series of films of Mr. Hastert having sexual intercourse with boys- I would stress that at this point we don’t know for sure whether any such videotapes exist or whether Mr. Hastert might have destroyed them.

Brilliant. This is by no means the first time the right has made hypocritical attacks on Soros, a wealthy investor who is rather stridently anti-Bush and supports numerous groups that oppose his reelection. My favorite was Tony Blankely, former press secretary for Newt Gingrich and now columnist for the Washington Times. On Hannity and Colmes, he had this to say about Soros:

He is a self-admitted atheist. He was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the holocaust…

When a man with this kind — when a man is with this kind of money, and he’s spending it on trying to influence the American public in an election — trying to buy the election; he is not going to — we have a right to know what kind of an unscrupulous man he is.

Okay, let me see if I’ve got this straight…A man who is on the payroll of Reverend Moon says that since Soros is spending money trying to influence the American public in an election, we need to know what kind of man because…he’s a Jew who figured out a way to survive the holocaust? I think we have a new world record for unintentional irony and hypocrisy.

By the way, Blankely is an enormously influential political columnist and Hastert is 3rd in line for the presidency. Sleep tight.

Comments

  1. #1 Dan
    August 31, 2004

    Here’s a working hypothesis. This is probably nothing new to people who actually think about politics a great deal, so I don’t pretend that it is anything earth-shattering. Back in the mid- to late-60s, the radical and extreme elements of the Democratic party did enough damage to the Party that it was effectively sunk for a quarter century. Think Chicago in 1968. If you exclude Jimmy Carter, who only got elected (barely) thanks to the national disgrace that was Watergate, the Democrats were shut out of the White House for almost 25 years.

    Today, the extreme and fundamentalist wings of the Republican Party are the public face of the Party. When (if?) mainstream America, which is generally moderate, wakes up and realizes what the demagogues and fundamentalists on the Republican side are up to, I wonder if we might see the same kind of backlash against Republicans? Garrison Keillor has an interesting essay up here: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/979/in which he argues, not surprisingly, that the Republican Party has gone “seriously haywire.” (Thanks to Brian Leiter for the link.) I’m not suggesting that mainstream America WILL wake up. I’m simply suggesting that when I really think about this stuff, I hope against hope that as a nation, we’re smart enough to see where some are trying to lead us. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

  2. #2 mist
    August 31, 2004

    Wow… just wow. It’s truly amazing what people can get away with saying these days. Besides, everyone knows the CIA gets their funding from the Drug Cartels!

  3. #3 Lynn
    August 31, 2004

    Nothing about the two conventions shock me.

    Bush and Kerry are running nearly neck to neck, and are also running equally nasty, filthy, and hateful campaigns. I see one just as distasteful as the other.

    I’ve reached the point that I don’t give a shite,

    Too bad we can place both Bush and Kerry on an island and let them duke it out.

    As for what Mist said, where do you get your information? Show or tell your source.

  4. #4 Austin Cline
    September 1, 2004

    “The mind boggles, doesn’t it?”

    Connect the dots between this and your previous post on Bush’s assault on free speech. The key passage is here:

    “I remember when I was a kid watching my first convention in 1992, when both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party laid out their platform, laid out their philosophy, and that’s what they followed.”

    Hastert is smearing Soros in order to justify a more general attack on independent political speech. He remembers fondly when political parties held all the cards and people followed along.

    http://atheism.about.com/b/a/109249.htm

    Watch for more of this. I saw someone on CNN this morning (Tommy Thompson?) complaining about independent groups having too much say in the political process. I think you’ll see this cropping up more and more.

  5. #5 Chris Krolczyk
    September 1, 2004

    By the way, Blankely is an enormously influential political columnist and Hastert is 3rd in line for the presidency. Sleep tight.

    Gee, thanks. Pity the poor Illini (i.e., me) who has to live with the fact that a congressional district in his state elected Hastert. That, and the thinly-veiled antisemitism and religious bigotry of Blankely’s “comment” is discomforting enough.

    But there’s more!

    Consider the fact that the state GOP here was running around like a chicken with its head cut off after Jack Ryan resigned from the Senate race and then decided that longtime religious wackjob/creationist Alan Keyes was a good alternative candidate.

    That’s right. Alan f***ing Keyes.

    At this rate, “sleeping tight” is going to involve some of those supposedly illicit pharmaceuticals Hastert was bitching about.

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    September 2, 2004

    Chris-

    I’ve been having a lot of fun with Keyes’ run for the Senate. Almost as much fun as Obama is having with it.

  7. #7 Bill Ware
    September 2, 2004

    Ed,

    That last remark sounds like “selfish hedonism” to me.
    B

  8. #8 Chris Krolczyk
    September 2, 2004

    I’ve been having a lot of fun with Keyes’ run for the Senate. Almost as much fun as Obama is having with it.

    Obama can have fun with it just by sitting there and letting his flapjaw “opponent” (if that’s what they’re calling stunt-dummy candidates these days) open his yap. Open mouth, insert foot. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    What amazes me is that Keyes went through at least eight years of post-secondary education in order to get a doctorate, and all anyone got out of it was a singularly obnoxious ultraconservative yammerer who’s looking to get his ass handed to him in Failed Senate Bid #3. Talk about diminishing returns for graduate education.