"Death By A Thousand Cuts" For Hastert?
From last night's edition of MSNBC's Countdown:
HOST KEITH OLBERMANN: Late today, a fellow Republican congressman, Mr. Lewis of Kentucky, canceled this fundraising event he has with the speaker, Hastert, next week. The third lead Republican in the House, Mr. Blunt, said he would have handled this differently than Mr. Hastert has. When does this start to qualify as death by a thousand cuts for the speaker?
CORRESPONDENT DAVID SHUSTER: It‘s already started, Keith. And, in fact, tonight, we‘ve been told by every lawmaker, every Republican lawmaker we‘ve called has said that Dennis Hastert will not be the speaker of the House this time next week. Furthermore, some Republicans say that a group of top Republicans in the House have already started talking amongst themselves about which one of them is going to make the call to Denny Hastert or personally fly and see him and make the case that the Republicans simply cannot survive this week with him as speaker, and that he has to step down.
That‘s how serious it is for the Republicans. They say they are dead unless Speaker Hastert resigns in the next week.
Again, Keith, they say the problem is not that Denny Hastert was the speaker of the House at a time when Congressman Foley was having these lewd exchanges with the congressional pages and the former pages, the problem, they say, has been the way that Speaker Hastert and the top leadership handled it this week.
On Monday, Hastert said that he couldn‘t remember the e-mails. Then on Tuesday, he told Rush Limbaugh he suddenly had a memory being refreshed, and that he did remember a contact a year ago. Now it turns out perhaps two years ago. Republicans say the shifting stories, the shifting explanations, that in and of itself is going to cost Denny Hastert his job as speaker.