TWO DAYS AGO, LIEBERMAN CRITICIZED THOSE CALLING FOR HASTERT'S RESIGNATION: According to the 10/5/06 New York Times, Lieberman refused to call on Hastert to resign, and instead attacked those calling for his resignation as partisan. Lieberman issued a statement saying Congress should take its time in dealing with the situation, even though major news agencies have reported that this scandal has been covered up for months or years. Similarly, Lieberman on Don Imus's radio show refused to call for Hastert to resign.
LIEBERMAN YESTERDAY AGAIN CRITICIZED THOSE CALLING FOR HASTERT'S RESIGNATION: In remarks in Torrington yesterday, Lieberman again reiterated his attacks on those calling for Hastert's resignation, saying, "Right now I’d say this thing is spinning out of control, it’s become another partisan frenzy in Washington, that’s the wrong way to go at it."
Lamont, of course, is calling for Hastert's immediate resignation.
Democrats nationwide are benefitting from the Foley scandal, and this seems to be what Lamont is doing here. But maybe there's a legitimate gripe.
Lieberman said the following during the Lewinsky scandal:
In choosing this path, I fear that the president has undercut the efforts of millions of American parents who are naturally trying to instill in our children the value of honesty. As most any mother and father knows, kids have a singular ability to detect double standards. So, we can safely assume that it will be that much more difficult to convince our sons and daughters of the importance of telling the truth when the most powerful man in the nation evades it. Many parents I have spoken with in Connecticut confirm this unfortunate consequence.
If Hastert knew about Foley and covered it up, as is seeming more likely, then calling for him to take responsibility by resigning isn't just a partisan attack. He's the third-most powerful man in the country, and he seems to have lied or stupidly ignored the facts about this case.
Is that double-standard coming back? Imagine a high school principal knowing about a teacher who had relationships with the students. Imagine that the principal ignored the situation, perhaps only telling the teacher to knock it off. Wouldn't we want that principal fired?
I suppose the opposing argument is that we should deal with this with a level-headedness that wasn't practiced by anyone in 1998. I think it's too late for that.
Perhaps this is the opening the Lamont campaign has been looking for. If they can portray Lieberman as someone who is going easy on Hastert, then maybe they can start picking up a few points in the polls. Democrats nationwide are taking advantage of this situation. It remains to be seen whether it will put them, Lamont included, over the top next month.
I neglected to include Lieberman's response to Lamont's attacks:
“First, Joe Lieberman put out a strong statement on Sunday condemning Foley’s behavior as immoral and reprehensible, called for an independent investigation into the House leadership’s handling of the
matter, and said that if anyone knew about Foley’s predatory behavior and failed to do anything about it, they should be held fully accountable. (http://www.joe2006.com/blog_details.asp?id=85)
“That was three full days before Ned even bothered to make a statement on the matter. It is quite telling that Ned had nothing to say about this national outrage until he could find a way to attack Joe Lieberman about it — and that most of his statement focused on condemning Joe Lieberman instead of Mark Foley.
“Second, today on the Chaz and AJ morning radio show on WPLR, Joe Lieberman explicitly said that it if we learn that Speaker Hastert knew about Foley’s predatory behavior and did nothing to stop it, then Hastert should resign.
“In that interview and in his other comments on the matter, Senator Lieberman has argued that we need an independent investigation to determine not only what Speaker Hastert knew and did, but what other members of the House leadership knew and did, so that they would be held accountable as well if they ignored or covered up Foley’s behavior.
“Third, during his appearance Wednesday morning on the Imus in the Morning Show, Joe Lieberman clearly and forcefully denounced the House Republicans for being too partisan in their response to public criticism of their handling of the scandal.