The Accidental Speaker Faces down Executive Power

Dennis Hastert swaggers, or staggers, into the Capital Building. He casts a long shadow, in the same way Ariel Sharon casts a shadow over Israel, in the same way William Howard Taft does over American history, in the same way…

Okay. None of that is fair. I could care less about Dennis Hastert’s girth.

Maybe there is something a bit off about an agency tucked into the Executive Branch peeling its way into the Legislative Branch. See, there’s this sham in our political system. Close your eyes and I can almost make the case that the very act of Representation in Government is a Corrupt enterprise, which means that there are 435 Corrupt House members. It’s easy enough to pry one loose if an executive branch so desires, and open up a bit of light to the Legislative Sausage Creature.

None of them, save one, are William Jefferson of Louisiana, who is a product of Louisiana politics which goes like this:

I am not going into any kind of tirade on this but from my youth [in the south] to my middle years [sometimes in the south] to my old age [in the south], this subject has always been one of those constants of Nature; Louisana + politicians = corruption. Never any middle ground, always the same, day in and day out, year in and year out; they are bought and sold like a not-so-cheap Commodity such as corn, sugar, soybeans, bananas, etc, and it is always only too easy to find one waiting somewhere with his hand out. Speaking of their ethics and honesty is about on the same level as speaking of a woman who is a little bit pregnant; somehow you know the very statement itself is rediculous as a use of words. In no way does this speak to the honesty and ethical conduct of any other politician, it is just that in Louisana it is so open and notorious that one wonders how it even made the front pages in Washington DC.

I imagine if you want to make sure to ensnare and entrap a Democratic politician, you go to two places: Chicago and New Orleans. But I suppose there are always short interims where a short-lived backlash temporarily breaks the Machine, and at this precise moment I’d hope someone else can slide into place: the ravaged city of New Orleans does not William Jefferson representing them at this time. The Congressional Black Caucus’s defense of him notwithstanding.

As per Dennis Hastert’s cries of foul, he douth protesteth too much. All of a sudden this weirdly cohesive Republican tightly wound Federal government cracks a bit. And to what? Dennis Hastert chooses this moment to make a stand against Executive Power? THIS? William Jefferson’s corruption? There was a commentator on CNN the other day who mused abot this: they’re keeping the phone records without a warrant ordinary citizens and you defend that — but with a warrant they go after a Congressman and then — then you cry foul?

Sure. ABC News says he’s implicated and under investigation. Hastert wants a retraction. We go from there.

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