Nate Jackson / Apr. 12, 2016

Hastert Finally Faces Justice

Unlike Democrats, he might actually pay for his sins.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican, faces charges of sexually abusing at least five teenage boys during his tenure as a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in the 1970s and ‘80s. Mounting evidence indicates not only his guilt, but his long and expensive efforts to cover up the crimes. And then he ran for the House, eventually rising to become speaker in 1999.

Investor’s Business Daily sums up the problem:

Hastert apparently was a criminal and yet instead of owning up to his sins and crimes, which could have helped with the healing process for those he allegedly molested, ‎he led a make-believe life and thus was guilty of another misconduct — a severe abuse of the public trust. He apparently covered up his gross misconduct with payments to keep one of his victims silent. He called himself a man of conservative values when his actions were the opposite and by doing so he besmirched those values that he says were his guiding light.

Some Republicans who knew Denny Hastert and served with him in the House say they are “saddened” by the news. Yes, this is a sad story. But the more proper response is to be horrified and angered. How dare Hastert accept the position of speaker of the House — a perch that is two heartbeats away from the presidency — knowing as he certainly did at the time that he was morally unfit for such an office.

Given that Hastert is a Republican, at least he won’t sidle off into a lauded retirement like alleged rapist Bill Clinton. Or serve in the Senate until his death, like Ted Kennedy did despite killing a young woman 40 years earlier. But it’s galling nonetheless to know he led the GOP for any time at all.

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