Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, May 29, 2015

This Hastert Mess is Somehow Shocking and Unsurprising

If you asked me ten years ago if I thought there would be a corruption scandal regarding Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, I'd have been diffident about it, and assume it would be just some kind of simple pay-to-play grifting of something. The news that Hastert, who had left Congress and was until just lately a lobbyist, just never stood out to me as being awful. There are some figures in politics you can, well, I won't say hate. Extremely dislike, I guess. Tom Delay was like that. Newt Gingrich was like that. Hastert wasn't "that guy"--he really came off as a basic model conservative who wasn't about ego but about doing his job in Congress.

But even if his personality wasn't an outsized issue, when I got to reading into the structured withdrawal and payment arrangement and the hint that the recipient was a person in Yorkville, where Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach, I'm afraid the "what" the payments were for struck me as being very obvious because the amount was so high. What would an ex-pol and current lobbyist find so damaging?  The old saw of the "dead girl or live boy."  Once you put that together, all you wonder about is how young and how many.

It seems like there is more than one. This is disturbing news, because, as a coach and gym teacher, he had access to a lot of underage people, and we know recidivism is high with persons with a paraphilia for sex with the underage.

The point being one just never knows. This is a wretched thing for his family and those he may have harmed. And I'll point out, for himself.  He knew it was wrong, enough to be guilty and shamed enough to pay out because of it. But what he had done, that had to be covered up, somehow hadn't struck him as wrong enough at the time.

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