Another imaginary interview with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:
Interviewer: Thanks for meeting with me again Mr. Speaker. I just need to clear up a few more things . . .
Hastert: Well, don’t waste my time! Let’s get on with it. I’m very busy attending to the people’s business you know!
Interviewer: Yes sir. Actually, that’s what I wanted to ask. There have been some questions raised that maybe you weren’t attending to the people’s business in a responsible or timely fashion in dealing with Congressman Foley of Florida . . .
Hastert: (Interrupting) Now wait just a damned minute! That’s what I mean. You folks in the media are on some kinda witch hunt or something. And another thing, the Democrats have - in my view have - put this thing forward to try to block us from telling the story. They’re trying to put us on defense! It isn’t gonna fly though, let me tell you that!
Interviewer: Yes sir, But, isn’t it part of your job to oversee things in the House, and part of that includes the welfare of all the teenage pages?
Hastert: Yessir. And that’s just what I did. The minute I heard that little fairy from Florida was after those boys I jumped right in and took some action. I’ve got nothing to hide! I did my job by golly and I can prove it!
Interviewer: And, what action was that Mr. Speaker?
Hastert: Well for one thing I turned it over to my aides for action. I’ve just assumed they took the proper action.
Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker, those were some fairly serious concerns. Shouldn’t you have done some follow-up? Isn’t that in your job description?
Hastert: Watch it boy! Well by God, if you can’t trust your own aides. who the hell can you trust? I mean my people were charged with looking after this issue. If I find out they dropped the ball, well you know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna discipline ‘em. I’m gonna fire me some butts! I’ll put some in jail if I have to!
Interviewer: Well Mr. Speaker, does that shoe fit you as well? I mean if the Congress finds out you yourself dropped the ball, shouldn’t you be fired - or resign?
Hastert: I already told you to watch it Boy! Hell No and double hell no! I’m the Speaker of the House for Christ’s sakes! For one thing I can’t be fired. Just remember this entire administration is controlled by Republicans - of which I am one I might remind you - and they’re not gonna fire the top dog in the House!
Interviewer: Well, with all due respect sir, that’s exactly what the public is saying: That since Republicans are in control of everything, there’s no hope of getting any fairness in this process if you won’t go after the bad guys. Can the Republicans be trusted to discipline one of their own after all is said and done?
Hastert: Well yes, of course we would if we found out anything was wrong. But that’s just the thing. So far all we’ve got are a bunch of accusations coming out of some traitorous left field. There’s no proof we did anything wrong, and in particular, there’s no proof I myself did anything wrong.
Interviewer: Well sir, that’s another thing the public is saying. They are saying you didn’t do anything when you should have. They are saying you ignored a problem for partisan reasons. They’re saying you didn’t do anything because there’s another Republican involved. They’re saying you knew about the problem with Foley and the pages for years . . . .
Hastert: Now, hold on just a damned minute! I’ve already told you I didn’t find out about this stuff until just the other day . .
Interviewer: (Interrupting) . . . and you just ignored it. Other Republicans are attesting to this, and more than one too!
Hastert: Well by God I’m telling you they’re just a bunch of damned liars! I don’t care if they are Republicans!
Interviewer: Some of your own aides are saying these things Mr. Speaker!
Hastert: Well it looks like I may have to clean house! If there’s anything I can’t stand it’s an aide who won’t lie for his boss! I’m telling you, I don’t care how many of ‘em claim I knew about this in ‘03 or ‘01 or ‘99 or whatever the damned year it was. I ain’t gonna admit I to it no matter what. My job is too damned important to the country to let a little scandal ruin my career. Somebody else - maybe several other somebodies - are gonna have to take the blame for this. I myself am not to blame!
Interviewer: Well Mr. Speaker, most of the country now disagrees with you. Most of the public now believes you’ve let partisan cynicism rule you and you have ignored this problem in order to protect the Republican party.
Hastert: Balderdash! Republicans are in charge and we’re gonna save this country from the terrorists! All this is is just a plot to wreck the country. And, it sure looks like the plotters are after me on behalf of the terrorists, me, the Speaker of the House! - why I’m gonna pull out all the stops. It will be me and the Republican Party against those enemy combatants. And let me tell you we are now armed! We’ve just passed the Military Commission Act and the president has signed it into law! We can declare anyone we want an enemy combatant and hold them indefinitely, without charges and incommunicado forever if we want to. Ain’t a damned thing they can do either!
Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker - you can’t just declare anyone you want to an enemy combatant . . .
Hastert: (Interrupting) Like Hell we can’t! The president can declare, or he can appoint whoever he wants to to declare someone an enemy combatant! No limits to it if the president or his people decides someone is a danger to this great nation! That’s what the act was passed for - to protect this country from those who would do us harm, like the traitors who want to trash the Republican Party over some little Florida fairy’s pederast dalliances. We won’t tolerate it! Nosiree!
Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker, just because someone questions the administration doesn’t make him an enemy combatant . . .
Hastert: (Interrupting) Oh Hell yes it does! Questioning this administration is exactly the same thing as disloyalty to the country after 9/11. Nay sayers are all traitors, and they will be dealt with accordingly. We are just not going to tolerate disloyalty to the president or to the Republican party!
Interviewer: Yes Mr. Speaker with all due respect, the Republican Party is not the same thing as the United States of America. The Republican Party is not our nation - it’s a political party! You can’t equate them.
Hastert: Who says we can’t? We’re in charge of protecting this great country and we’ll do what’s good for the country the way we see it. Anyone who disagrees can just go cut bait. Unless he or she wants to mouth off about it. Then we’ll deal with ‘em. That Military Commission Act gives us the tools to handle those traitors.
Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker aren’t we becoming just like the old Soviet Union under the Communists? They imprisoned and ‘disappeared’ folks who disagreed too . .
Hastert: (Interrupting) Hold on! Hold On! You’ve gone ‘way too far now! You can’t compare this administration to the Communists! I’ll have your smart ass thrown in jail forever! No one will ever hear from you again!
Interviewer: Oh no Sir! I didn’t mean it that way! I was just trying to do my job and draw a word picture! I don’t mean to be disrespectful or anything . . . or, heaven forbid disloyal . .
Hastert: Too late you pinko jerk! I’ll show you how we deal with traitors! Guard! Security! Security! Get in here! Someone’s let a terrorist in the building!
Interviewer: Oh my God Sir! I was just trying to ask some questions for my paper! Please Sir. Please, please don’t overreact!
Hastert: Oh Boyo you’ve really gone and done it now! I’ll show you over reaction . . .!
(Over his shoulder to the security guards now gathering at the doorway to Hastert’s office): There he is boys! There’s the terrorist who thinks he can just waltz in here and ask any damned thing he likes. Take him away! And, don’t worry about being gentle with him either if you value your jobs. Get this slimy pinko out of here now!
Interviewer: Oh please! No! No! No!
Security Guards: Thump! Thump! Kick! Thump! Kick! Thump! Zap! (Taser), Ziiitz! (Taser)
Interviewer: Ohhh, ohhhh!
Hastert: Good work boys! Take this traitorous SOB down to the Rendition Embarkation Center right now! Gimme his notebook and tape recorder!
Security Guard: Yessir! You got it! Say, you want I should grab you some joe on the way back up Sir? Cream & double sugar, right?
Hastert: Yeah, an’ three or four of them jelly rolls too!