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This latest round of behavior on the part of the House GOP leadership is astonishing. I don't know what they've got left to hide, but they apparently think it's something big, something worth a continuing stonewall even now, because Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Tom Reynolds and the other GOP House leaders are trying to put multiple bullets in anything that looks like it even might lead to an actual investigation.

Boehner blocked Pelosi's call for an investigation, instead shunting it to the Ethics Committee which hasn't yet "decided" what they're going to be doing about it; Hastert nobly calls for the DOJ (after an investigation was already announced) to investigate everyone except the House leadership; now Hastert is going to "deal with" the problem according to his own rules, without actual investigation of any sort but the exclusively Republican kind.

Here's the latest statement from Dale Kildee (D-MI), the (only) Democrat on the House Page Board, and he is furious:

In my 21 years as a Member of the House Page Board, every decision has been made on not just a bi-partisan basis but on a non-partisan basis, with our main concern always being the safety and wellbeing of the young teenagers who serve the U.S. House as pages.

I was outraged to learn that the House Republican leadership kept to itself the knowledge of Mr. Foley's despicable behavior toward the House Pages.

I am now equally outraged to learn that Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert announced today that there will be changes in the policies of the House Page program. Once again, I was not informed of the meeting today, nor was I consulted in any way about any proposed changes.

And once again, the House Republican leadership is following the same pattern of unilateral decision-making that caused this problem in the first place in the Mark Foley issue. Speaker Hastert's announcement this afternoon is yet another example of the House Republican leadership being more concerned with finding political cover for themselves than with the safety and wellbeing of the House pages.

You know, this is a very basic issue. The House leadership knew about -- and covered up for -- a child sex predator inside their very building. There's no goddamn "spin" that's going to make that go away. And in talking with other parents, I have to tell you -- anyone who is a parent is out for blood on this one. We can "disagree" over whether or not America should torture prisoners. We can "dispute" whether or not the President should be allowed to classify American citizens as "terrorists" based only on his own say-so, and lock them away without evidence or trial. We can "argue" over whether or not Tom DeLay's money laundering and the money laundering that has a goodly portion of the rest of the Republican House locked in ongoing scandal and indictment was only accidentally criminal, or astonishingly criminal.

But in the end, at the end of it all, you don't FUCKING COVER UP FOR A CHILD SEX PREDATOR. No. Matter. What.

What part of that do these people still not understand? I'm straight-up serious, here -- how do you get to the point where you are that depraved, that you think a man soliciting sexual information and meetings from sixteen year old kids over the internet -- and meeting them in person -- is "just another scandal"? Tony Snow? Brit Hume? Any of you folks, you wanna take that one on?

Hastert had better figure out damn quick that the rest of the country isn't messing around on this one. I don't know exactly how he got his GOP-style version of "morality" so twisted and decomposed that even this doesn't faze him, but he had better at least have the common sense to stand the hell out of the way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 01:37 PM PDT.

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