George Will is no longer amused by the Republican Party’s hijinks. This column blasts Mark Foley and Dennis Hastert for scandal and coverup, respectively.
Foley, who has entered alcohol rehab, says he takes “responsibility” for what he has become as a result of abusive priests and demon rum.
Having so quickly exhausted the Oprah approach, the Foley story moved on to who knew what, and when. That drove Speaker Dennis Hastert to the un-Oprah broadcasting couch on which Republicans recline when getting in touch with their feelings. To Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million receptive listeners, Hastert, referring to Republicans as “we,” said:
“We have a story to tell, and the Democrats have — in my view have — put this thing forward to try to block us from telling the story. They’re trying to put us on defense.”
It is difficult to read that as other than an accusation: He seems to be not just confessing a coverup but also complaining that the coverup was undone by bad manners. Were it not for Democrats’ unsportsmanlike conduct in putting “this thing” forward, it would not be known and would not be disrupting Republicans’ storytelling.
Ah, if it weren’t for “those meddling kids,” Hastert would have gotten away with it. I’m shedding a tear. No really, it’s trickling down my cheek right now.
Lots more good and well-deserved criticism in the column, but the real money paragraph is this one, excerpted from Ryan Sager’s book, “The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party“:
“Whereas conservative Christian parents once thought it was inappropriate for public schools to teach their kids about sex, now they want the schools to preach abstinence to children. Whereas conservative Christians used to be unhappy with evolution being taught in public schools, now they want Intelligent Design taught instead (or at least in addition). Whereas conservative Christians used to want the federal government to leave them alone, now they demand that more and more federal funds be directed to local churches and religious groups through Bush’s faith-based initiatives program.”