Okay, this isn’t an infidelity story, but a freakish double life story. Is anyone following the spectacular fall from grace of former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert? Who is being brought up on charges that he was funneling $3.5 million in hush money to a former student of his in Illinois who he allegedly sexually molested when he was a high school wrestling coach.
Shocker, that the guy had an abysmal voting record on gay rights. Once again, the Mr. Family Values was anything but. And perhaps this is an infidelity story as well as a sexual abuse story, because rumors around D.C. were that he’s been living with and having an affair with his male chief of staff for years.
How sick is this evil fuck? He went around crusading against the sexual abuse of children. Oh, and how did he get millions to pay off his victim? As a lobbyist promoting candy-flavored tobacco for e-cigarettes, reducing government regulation of coal mining, and any other agenda that would line his pockets.
This was the guy who supposedly “had no skeletons” as the New Yorker reports:
One can put that in the category of proffered hypocrisies. When the news of the indictment broke, many accounts stuck to the theme that every last person who knew Hastert was shocked—during his fast rise in Congress, he was supposedly known, as the Washington Post put it, for having “no skeletons” in the closet. That this might have been the case, even though Hastert was known to have made millions of dollars on a deal involving land bought cheaply and sold, at a striking profit, after he had pushed plans through Congress for a nearby highway, says something about what counts as a skeleton in Washington.
Hastert became Speaker because Newt Gingrich had just crashed and burned, and because the next in line, Bob Livingston, worried that, in the wake of Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky-related impeachment, his own extramarital affairs would come out. Hastert lost the job when he mishandled the scandal that erupted when Representative Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, was discovered to have sent sexual messages to teen-age male congressional pages. Hastert’s clumsiness on that count, and his failure to protect the pages, seems easier to explain now. And his many protestations that he might not be worthy of the Speaker’s job—he told reporters that he took it only after praying on it—look less like humility, if they ever did. After leaving Congress, Hastert made a great deal more money as a lobbyist, a business in which one of his two sons was already engaged while Hastert had been Speaker. (Hastert has been married since 1973.)
My take away in all of this is just the same motif I see in cheating scandals — entitlement. I’m entitled to abuse you. I’m entitled to the public’s trust. I’m entitled to make money off that trust. I’m an exception. If I’m a homosexual, then I’m Very Different than the homosexuals I work hard to disenfranchise.
Roy Cohn: [Ethel Rosenberg] came this close to getting life. I pleaded till I wept to put her in the chair. Me, I did that. I’d have fucking pulled the switch if they let me. Why? Because I fucking hate traitors. Because I fucking hate communists. Was it legal? Fuck legal! Am I a nice man? Fuck nice! They say terrible things about me in The Nation? Fuck The Nation! You want to be nice or you want to be effective?! You want to make the law, or be subject to it? Choose!
If you’re going to be a hypocrite, be a powerful one.