For the past day, I have been reading about the end of "The Hastert Era" in the words of the Politico and about the significance of that "era."
The only reason that Hastert has any significance is that he served as Thomas Dale (at right) lieutenant during nearly his entire record breaking tenure as Speaker of the House.
As the Politico article does point out:
DeLay, who is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department over his ties to imprisoned former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, helped propel Hastert to the speaker’s chair in 1998 when Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) stepped down. At the time, Hastert was DeLay’s lieutenant, leading Democrats and Capitol Hill watchers to question Hastert’s independence.Hastert went from being DeLay's second in command to being one of the least known Speakers of the House in the history of the House of Representatives. DeLay would probably have become Speaker of the House except that all he really cared about was building up his lobbying project and using divisive indimidating tactics to ram friendly legislation through the House. Dennis Hastert was the friend in whom DeLay could depend to run the House in a manner appealing to him. Hastert blindly followed DeLay into a land of corruption and bad governance. He was at the helm during every corruption investigation currently being conducted and was even a part of the leadership that ignored the warnings coming from Mark Foley's office.
The only significance in Hastert stepping down (as Nick explained earlier today) is that his is yet another seat Democrats could pick up. Dennis Hastert does not deserve any of the attention that he is being afforded today, he will rightfully be a blip in the history books and the collective memory of Americans.
This was cross-posted from http://poli-think.blogspot.com