Monday, June 1, 2015

Karma Gets You

From the Washington Post, Orin Kerr notes:

If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy.


I don’t think the situation with the former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is as much a “gotcha” moment as it is just karma.  Mr. Hastert, like all of his Republican colleagues at the time, was anti-gay and publicly prudish enough about the private activities of others such as the president that he could get up on his high horse and cast down judgment while firmly keeping the door on the closet locked.  They might as well stood in the well of the House and said “If there’s anyone out there who knows anything about our past that might be embarrassing to me, now’s the time.”

Karma may not be instant, but it is inevitable, whether it’s in the form of Larry Flynt or just the passage of time.

7 barks and woofs on “Karma Gets You

  1. Hastert’s missteps definitely fall into the “live boy” grade of scandal.

    Interesting that, when interviewed about Clinton and about Gingrich, Hastert referred to each as a “tragedy” (not crime, and certainly not High Crimes and Misdemeanors).

    While there’s a lot more focus on the private lives of pols in recent years than in much of history prior to the birth of the Investigative Journalist™, situations like Hastert’s – where not only were there serious misdeeds, but public statements that reflected negatively on current public policy – definitely merit the higher level of scrutiny.

  2. What I find really interesting is that Hastert actions are definitely, shall we say, unacceptable, but nobody seems to focus on the “victim’ who tried to blackmail and extort $3.5 million. Both are trash to say the least and both should be prosecuted, one for being a predator and the other for extortion. How did this come to light anyway?

    • Since it took place sometime during his teaching career (1960’s and ’70’s), the statute of limitations have run out on prosecuting Mr. Hastert. It may not be a case of extortion, either. It is legal to pay someone to keep quiet about something if there’s no legal liability, and we don’t know if it was a mutually agreed-upon deal. Until we know all the facts, it’s pure speculation, and you prosecute the crimes you can prove.

  3. I cannot help but recall Henry Hyde’s breathtaking self-righteous indignation when confronted with his own past of an extra-marital affair.

    • He called it a “youthful indiscretion.” He was 41 at the time. Yeah, that’s “youthful” if you’re a tree.

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