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Betrayal of Trust

Dennis Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House ever. He was second in line, after the Vice President, to assume the presidency in an emergency. But before he became a politician, he was a high school wrestling coach.

And during that time, he sexually abused at least four of his students, all males. The youngest was only 14 years old. That’s right, one of the most powerful men in the world was (as the judge put it) “a serial child molester”, who took advantage of his power as coach over children. During his time as coach, Hastert would even sit in a recliner chair in the locker room with a direct view of his students in the showers.

As recently as a year ago, Hastert lied to the FBI about the abuse, and accused one of his former students with extorting money with a bogus sex-abuse claim. Which only brings up the question that if Hastert was willing to pay millions of dollars in hush money, who else could have extorted one of the most powerful people in our government, and what would they have wanted from him?

The statute of limitations ran out on that crime a long time ago, but Hastert was caught trying to pay off millions of dollars to one of the students he abused in order to cover up his crime. On Wednesday, Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and is required to undergo sex-offender treatment.

It is worth noting that while he was Speaker of the House, Hastert pushed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and opposed hate-crime legislation that would include gays.

If this had been an isolated incident, it would be horrible enough. But the Republican Speaker of the House before him was Bob Livingston, who resigned after it was revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair. The GOP Speaker before that was Newt Gingrich, who also admitted that he was engaged in an affair with a Congressional aide.

And these three people: Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston, and Dennis Hastert, were the main three people responsible for the impeachment of Bill Clinton for having an affair while he was president. Whatever you may think of what Bill Clinton did, the hypocrisy of these three men is staggering.



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    Family values, indeed.

    “who else could have extorted one of the most powerful people in our government”

    Great point, here. I assume, among others: the less-magnanimous among the ultra-wealthy, major industries, and probably some hate groups pushing the anti-LGBT side of the agenda.

    This raises another general question, though: why is there a statute of limitations on sexual abuse of a child? Given the recent prevalence of these cases, I think that bears some reconsideration.

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  2. Wildwood wrote:

    There should be no statute of limitation on child abuse of any kind. I’m curious about the person blackmailing him. Could they be subject to blackmailing charges?

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  3. PATRIOTSGT wrote:


    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Whoa, how did we start blaming one of the victims? And in this case, it doesn’t qualify as blackmail. It is a settlement for the pain and suffering caused by the abuse.

    Simple analogy. Somebody famous drives drunk and crashes into your car, causing you to spend time in the hospital and have nightmares. They don’t want this to become public, so they offer to pay you for your “pain and suffering”, with a condition that you don’t reveal what happened publicly.

    In fact, in Hastert’s case, that person never received all the money that was promised to them, and is considering suing for the rest (now that it has become public).

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  5. Ralph wrote:

    I miss the good old days of GOP hypocrisy, when all we (thought we) had was Larry Craig’s “wide stance” or Mark Foley hitting on his page boys, while working tirelessly with Hastert against LGBT rights. Irony so thick you couldn’t dent it with Valerian steel.

    At least we still have a real man like The Donald, wondering whether his infant daughter’s tits will rival his mother’s some day…
    or later publicly fantasizing incest.

    And even after he loses, we’ll always have the NC and MS troglodyte legislators demanding our birth certificates before we pee. So regardless, there’s still plenty of “con” in the conservative movement (no pun intended) promising more good times a-head! OK, that was a pun.

    Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink
  6. Wildwood wrote:

    I was not blaming the victim. I was not aware that this was a legal settlement deal and I have seen prosecutors charge people who should not be charged more than once. Particularly if they are not going along with the prosecutors needs for a conviction. I was just concerned that he might end up in trouble that he does not deserve.

    Friday, April 29, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ah, I see. Sorry!

    I don’t think it is a legal settlement at this point, but it could become one.

    Friday, April 29, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink