The word on Capitol Hill this morning is House Republicans are increasingly irritated with Speaker Denny Hastert over his stand in the William Jefferson corruption case. First, they think Hastert is wrong on the law — that the Constitution does not, in fact, give members of Congress a right to use their offices to hide evidence of felonies. Second, they're mad about Hastert's handling of the politics. "We had a chance to even the score on the ethics thing," says one GOP aide, mindful of months of Democratic "culture of corruption" attacks. "There's no way we're going to win it, but we could have fought it to a draw." Now, that chance is gone, thanks to Hastert. "Members are ticked off," says the aide. "There's $90,000 in William Jefferson's freezer, and that's not the story."
Hastert's mishandled the law and the politics of the situation to the detriment of his party. All he needed was a a little common sense.
More evidence that the GOP has become what they campaigned against in 1994.