Sunday, October 08, 2006

Republicans Offer New Talking Point To Defend Hastert ... Even Though It Contradicts What Hastert Said

Conservatives are pushing a new talking point to defend the role of House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) in handling the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL).

The talking point: That when ABC made Foley's sexually explicit communications public, Hastert "dealt with it immediately" by going to Foley and saying, "Resign or be expelled."

It sounds so pleasing to conservative ears. Too bad it's not true.

How do we know? It disagrees with what Hastert himself said in his first statement on the issue on Monday: "When (the instant messages) were released, Congressman Foley resigned. And I’m glad he did. If he had not, I would have demanded his expulsion from the House of Representatives."

Maybe Hastert misspoke. Maybe he meant: "I told him he would be expelled if he did not resign."

But beyond Hastert's own words, the timeline makes the Republican talking point impossible.

As the Center for American Progress notes: "Hastert could not have issued an ultimatum to Foley after the sexually explicit instant messages were made public, because by that time, Foley had already resigned. ABC did not make Foley’s sexually explicit communications public until Friday, September 29, at 6 p.m. Foley had already resigned three hours earlier, at around 3 p.m.

As ABC producer Maddy Sauer has described, Foley decided to resign not after an ultimatum from Speaker Hastert, but after ABC called his office on Friday morning and read Foley staffers the instant messages they had obtained. According to Sauer, Foley’s office called ABC an hour later and said the congressman would be resigning."

Still, all those facts didn't stop Republicans from spreading the false talking point. Each of the following quotes came on Oct. 6:

REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R-MI): I mean, we were all disgusted by what we found out last week Friday. But we also need to remember that what we did do on Friday is the speaker, the leadership and the House Republican conference, we spoke with clarity. It was a defining moment for us. We said, Resign or be expelled. Mark Foley left the House of Representatives within hours of this information becoming public.

MEHLMAN: The fact is, what Denny Hastert did is something that we haven’t seen done in thirty years in this town in Washington DC, and that is he said to a member of congress, either you go or we’re going to make you go. That happened the moment that Denny Hastert found out about this.

GILLESPIE: In fact, voters are starting to understand that speaker Hastert reacted very strongly. As the father of a 16-year-old son, I appreciate him going to Mark Foley and saying, “You either resign or you’re going to be expelled.” That would be the first time in thirty years.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didnt Dick Gephardt resign after the James Traficant scandal? Why didnt Dick Gephardt resign after the Gary Condit scandal? Why didnt Dick Gephardt resign after the Barney Frank scandal?

1:54 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Good questions. But they have nothing to do with the JABBS post.

How about answering this question: Why do the Republicans have to lie to defend Hastert?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

It's a ridiculous lie, particularly as the house voted to expel Traficant just a few years ago, in 2002. How ignorant of recent history are they?

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob if you can give me some proof, not lib talking points, that Republicans lied in this mess, I will be more than happy to answer your question. Remember Rob, no lib talking points. FACTS!

Dave, I don't consider myself ignorant of recent history, I consider you ignorant for not being able to answer a direct question, EVER!

Traficant isn't the issue in my post, house leadership is. I would also like to know where I lied in my post. I know you libs love the word lied and throw it out there at every moment, but you need to back it up with fact. And the fact is there is not an untruth in my post. Just a post you cant seem to handle or answer to.

You have three Congressmen involved in scandals, a Democrat leader at the helm for all three, yet he was never asked to resign. I mean come on. Three strikes and Gephardt should have been out of there, no?

Amazing, only Republican leadership is asked to resign when they are at the helm.

HAKUNA MAKAKAWITZ

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Dave, I don't consider myself ignorant of recent history, I consider you ignorant for not being able to answer a direct question, EVER!
Anonymous, how is it you can't even follow a simple sentence? The quoted people in the JABBS post are saying, "It's been 30 years since someone was asked to leave." Traficant was thrown out 3 years ago. That's not 30 years. That's a lie. I'm not accusing YOU of a lie. I'm accusing those quoted in the JABBS post of a lie. To break it down even more simply, I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU.

Meanwhile, I don't answer your questions because your questions are patently ridiculous. In 2 of those 3 examples, the GOP was running the House at the time. In those same 2 instances, it would have been stupid for Hastert to resign when Traficant did his own dirty deeds on his own, and when Condit was accused of a crime but never charged or convicted. Traficant went to jail, as he deserved, and the House voted 420-1 to dump his ass. Besides, why would Dennis Hastert resign if some lunatic goes and murders someone? That can't be pushed on Hastert in the first place.

The Foley thing can - because of the amount of people who knew about it and did nothing or next-to-nothing.

So why are you defending people who were enablers of a sex predator?

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youre not answering my question because you have no answer. Just as long as Republicans resign you are happy happy. You still havent provided any proof that the leadership knew anything. Please bring me proof and maybe you wont sound so stupid in your talking points.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

And you have no idea what I'm saying, or how to hold a conversation. How many people have to come forward and say they knew about it, and had conversations about it, before you believe it? I can't make you understand. Understanding comes from within.

Site administrator, please supply better trolls.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still dont see any facts Dave. I will be waiting for them. You see Dave I live in the world of reality. The reality is Hastert knew about the EMAILS not IM's, as did the FBI who found nothing wrong with the EMAILS and the FBI never saw IM's. So how was Hastert to know about IM's when they just came to light. I guess maybe ABC News should have informed Hastert yet ABC News held onto their story right up until a month out of an election, because as we all know Brian Ross was just too busy to protect the children back in July.

I will be waiting for your facts Dave.

Site adminstrator, please supply smarter libtards. This one just spins.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, anonymous, not only are you incapable of reading, but you are apparently suffering from paranoid delusions.

I'd like to see you answer Rob's question: Why do Republicans have to lie to protect Hastert?

Because JABBS seems to have a sound, logical argument showing how Republicans are lying.

11:21 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Anonymous:
There's a difference between whether the FBI had enough evidence to pursue a criminal case, and whether Hastert had enough evidence, or cared enough, to probe deeper into the Foley "overly friendly" emails.

Did Hastert negligently fail to conduct an investigation in the emails, in which others saw a problem, or was he merely attempting for politically-motivated reasons to put a lid on bad publicity concerning a Republican?
Either way, for the majority of people It does not look good for the house speaker.
Did you see the latest polls anonymous?

Meanwhile, evidence mounts that Hastert knew about concerns from pages about Foley as early as 2003.
Scott Palmer, Hastert's own chief of staff, contacted Foley about complaints of inappropriate behavior from a page long before Hasert said aides took action.
Here's one many stories on the late development.
http://tinyurl.com/fz7h6

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting for Robs proof also.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Anonymous, I can't decipher or peek into the bonkers world where you live, where every fact is discarded unless it came from the rumblings inside your brain. Hastert knew about the emails. His staff had spoken to Foley and were aware of something going on going back for years. They didn't do anything about that in the face of those things. You're not even disputing this. So why are you defending Foley's enablers?

12:09 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Furthermore, anonymous, why can't you answer/debate/argue against/argue in agreement, regarding why it is that the Repulbicans cited in the JABBS post are lying to protect Hastert?

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, when you call someone a liar you need to back it up with fact. I am still waiting for your facts.

Dave, I am not defending anyone, especially since I think Foley is scum. I want facts that the house leadership knew about the IM's. You and Rob have yet to do that.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Anonymous, read the freaking JABBS post !!!!

Let's review the facts:

1) Hastert claimed something that follows a specific timeline.

2) ABC verifies that timeline.

3) Now that Hastert is in hot water, Mehlman and Gillespie, among others, are trying to propose a different timeline. By doing so, they are LYING.

Question to you, anonymous: Why do Mehlman and Gillespie have to lie to defend Hastert?

Got it? Have I sufficiently backed up the claim of a lie with the presentation of a fact? Can you now answer the question?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not good enough Rob, but nice try. I dont see a very large difference in the time line. As far as protecting Hastert, they should. He has done nothing wrong. I am done with you all on this. You have proven nothing.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

" I dont see a very large difference in the time line."

You're a moron. Sorry. I don't mean to be offensive or resort to name-calling. But you are a moron.

You want to say that ABC is wrong, or Hastert mis-spoke, I can buy that as an argument. But if you don't see the difference in the time-line, you're a moron.

Let's break it down, real slow:

Hastert originally said he didn't ask Foley to resign.

Hastert originally said he didn't know about the sexually explicit IMs until after the ABC News report aired.

The ABC News report aired during the evening news -- 6:30 ish on the East Coast.

Foley resigned at about 3 p.m.

Now, a week after the fact, Gillespie and Mehlman say, "No, that's the wrong timeline."

They are saying:

a) Hastert knew about the IMs before the ABC News report -- in which case they are contradicting Hastert's original statement and timeline, as well as contradicting the confirmation from ABC News, and:

b) Foley resigned later than Foley or ABC News said, contradicting what they said.

In effect, in order to defend Hastert, Gillespie and Mehlman are calling Hastert, Foley and ABC News liars.

So, once again, do you want to take a crack at this conundrum? Or are you just going to remain safely tucked into your bubble, where facts are not allowed to permeate, and Republicans do no wrong?

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

I want facts that the house leadership knew about the IM's.
I never asserted it. I said Hastert knew about the emails. And others knew about Foley's conduct/behavior. Do you ever take action unless someone draws you a map and a 20-point plan on what to do?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take action as long as there is proof. You all want Hastert to resign over IM's he knew nothing about.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

NO NO NO NO NO NO

Dammit. So typical. Create a straw man to knock down, but don't debate what anyone is actually saying.

Crap.

Read, respond. Don't invent and respond, anonymous.

I'm guessing that you know you can't defend the lies, so you're just pretending they don't exist. I can't imagine anyone could be so lacking in reading comprehension skills.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

I can't imagine anyone could be so lacking in reading comprehension skills.

Believe it, man. Trying to get anonymous to comprehend simple sentences is like trying to get cats to operate a lawn mower -- it just isn't going to work.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Widget said...

Dave Whoops, and Twot are homophobes.

You would all like the congressmen to admit to being gay so that pages will not be placed in areas where they will meet them and be compromised.

Maybe there should be a space for sexual orientation on a congressional application. The congressmen could 'tell' up front.

Or maybe gays should be disqualified to run for election?

This hatred towards gay congressmen has gone on for days now. Only homophobes would go on this way.

I notice the conservative posters dont mention Foley's sexual orientation.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Widget said...

Robbed of a Brain is also in that homophobe group.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

widget, you too are a moron.

this is just a smokescreen, so we can all defend ourselves against this ridiculous charge.

it has nothing to do with foley being gay. he could be straight and been inappropriate with femaie pages. it doesn't matter. in fact, the foley part of the argument is moot, because he resigned.

the question at hand -- the question the MLFers don't want to deal with -- is what hastert, reynolds, fordham, etc., knew, and when.

what the MLFers don't want to deal with is that hastert admitted to a timeline, which was verified by ABC News. And now, with Hastert in hot water, Republicans are trying to change the timeline to protect Hastert. They're lying, and they're hoping voters won't notice.

So quit the smokescreens, widget, and quit the unsubstantiated personal attacks. still to the issue at hand, if you're capable of doing so. I honestly think you MLFers are just a bunch of fucking morons who will say anything in order to protect yourselves from the facts at hand, and allow yourselves to continue to hate the left.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Project much, Widget? Keep flailing around there, and we'll continue the discussion.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"As ABC producer Maddy Sauer has described, Foley decided to resign not after an ultimatum from Speaker Hastert, but after ABC called his office on Friday morning and read Foley staffers the instant messages they had obtained. According to Sauer, Foley’s office called ABC an hour later and said the congressman would be resigning."


Maybe someone could explain to me why this stuff is important in the least? I'm not getting this BFD that's being made over this fine point.

I mean, there was an hour's lapse between the time that ABC called Foley's office, and the time they returned the call to ABC, right?

So nobody here knows what sort of exchange there may have been between Foley and Hastert, correct? It's entirely plausible and even quite likely that prior to Foley's office returning ABC's call, the Speaker was notified of the IM scandal and of Foley's obvious need to resign his position. So where is this descrepency in a timeline that is being claimed?

Worst case scenario, imo, is that the Republicans were trying to make Hastert look like he had more of a direct role in getting Foley to leave than he actually did. I'm sure that upon Foley's learning that the IMs were about to be made public, he didn't need any kind of a nudge from Speaker Hastert or anyone else for that matter.

So perhaps, for whatever reason, they're somewhat embellishing what Hastert may have said to Foley, but I think that's probably the extent of it. All this fuss seems pretty irrelevent to the facts of the case, which, in due time, will all be made public for everyone to scrutinize.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Hastert said he didn't know about the IMs until after the ABC report. Therefore, as he initialy said, he didn't have a chance to ask Foley to resign.

Now, those protecting Hastert are creating a fictional timeline. It's not embellishing, it's lying.

that's the problem. Why must people lie to protect Hastert?

10:33 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"Hastert said he didn't know about the IMs until after the ABC report. Therefore, as he initialy said, he didn't have a chance to ask Foley to resign."


Rob, according to the quote, what Hastert actually said was, "when (the instant messages) were released, Congressman Foley resigned.

He most likely meant when ABC informed Foley's office about the IMs, not necessarily when the report aired on TV. I don't see anyone messing with the timeline.

You're examining every word because you so badly want to believe that someone lied here. He was probably just careless in the way he said it.

Whether Foley resigned without a push or a word from Hastert, or whether they discussed it first and Hastert made it clear he had to go, what's the difference? He's gone. This is getting ridiculous.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Rob, I found this in a very lengthy article about the Foley business, written by "Newsweek"'s Evan Thomas. It sheds a little more light on the sequence of events. Hope you'll accept liberal Evan Thomas' reporting and realize that there was no lying about any timeline.

Foley was having lunch at his Capitol Hill town house with his old friend and former aide Kirk Fordham and other campaign advisers when they heard about the ABC inquiry. The congressman had already responded to the earlier, more benign e-mails with a statement brushing them off and accusing his Democratic opponent of smear tactics. On the phone, Foley told a friend, "It's worse. There are new e-mails and they're very graphic." Foley knew he was finished. Fordham walked over to GOP headquarters and shared the information with Reynolds and Hastert, according to a source who was present (and asked for anonymity given the delicacy of the situation). Fordham brought back a draft resignation letter; Foley signed it that evening. Fordham tried to win Foley some cover by offering ABC's Ross an exclusive on Foley's resignation if Ross agreed not to print the seamier messages. But Ross wasn't buying. Foley signed a short resignation letter and was in his car, a BMW, driving south for Florida by that evening.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Forgot the URL for those who might care to read the entire story.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15178112/site/newsweek/

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Rob, I found this in a very lengthy article about the Foley business, written by "Newsweek"'s Evan Thomas. It sheds a little more light on the sequence of events. Hope you'll accept liberal Evan Thomas' reporting and realize that there was no lying about any timeline.
On what basis do you call Evan Thomas liberal? Simply because he's a reporter? Lots of reporters work hard at their jobs and try to weigh things as evenly as possible, but no matter what, they're just blasted as "liberal media blah blah blah" by conservatives. Well, fuck that. Having a "liberal bias" does not mean "story didn't honor the glory of the conservative position."

Meanwhile, the question isn't whether Hastert knew about the IMs in the hour or two before/after Foley resigned. The real story, that people are trying to get to, is whether there were enough cluees and enough people who knew about the inappropriate emails or inappropriate conduct by Foley in the YEARS leading up to all this and did nothing, including Hastert's chief of staff.

Hastert may have indeed pushed Foley out the door at the last second, when his position was untenable anyway. That's not the problem. The problem is, what was done in the months/years before that. Anything at all to protect the pages from a predator? Anything??

8:54 AM  

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