There were a great number of thing wrong with this interview on MSNBC, one being the fact that host Thomas Roberts and his producers thought that the public needed to hear from the corrupt former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert about the need for bipartisanship during these fiscal negotiations. Another is Hastert being allowed to get away with this statement:
ROBERTS: But sir, if you were able to hold the line on spending limits, then why would you go ahead to oversee two unfunded wars?
HASTERT: Look... the wars happened. I don't know if you were around at 9-11 but we lost 3000 people, but we ended up in Afghanistan. We also ended up in Iraq. You know, we can go back. History will tell us whether we should have been in Iraq, but at the time, we thought that was the right decision. We were not going to expose this country to that type of threat and we haven't had it since then.
Roberts just completely let Hastert off the hook here without an ounce of follow up. First off, he didn't answer the question about why they didn't see the need to pay for the two wars that they didn't want to put on the books to show the hole they were blowing in the budget. And second, it's just shameful that a politician is still being allowed to use 9-11 to justify invading Iraq.
And as far as Hastert and anyone wanting his advice on how someone should govern now, here's more from our archives on him, and he received the honor of being listed by Rolling Stone as one of the The Ten Worst Members of the Worst Congress Ever in Tim Dickinson's article which was originally posted in their Nov. 2006 issue. Here's a portion of that report:
The Highway Robber: Dennis Hastert (R-Ill)
Hastert could well be the weakest House speaker in history. Tapped by Tom DeLay to serve as the mild-mannered frontman for the GOP leadership, the former wrestling coach ceded most of his power to the now-disgraced majority leader, allowing Republicans to treat the Capitol as their private piggy bank. Last year, Hastert got in on the action himself, secretly inserting $207 million into the budget for the "Prairie Parkway" – a highway that will speed development of 210 acres he owns in Illinois. Before the year was out, Hastert sold part of his land – soon to be the site of a sprawling subdivision – for a profit of $2 million.
"Here's a guy who saw a chance to profit from his official acts and took it," says Bill Allison, who uncovered the late-night earmark as a senior analyst for the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group. "Most of us aren't speaker of the House, and most of us don't have a $200 million earmark running through our back yard. Hastert does, and he made a fortune from it."
The speaker at least functions as a bipartisan defender of congressional corruption. In February 2005, he purged the chairman of the House Ethics Committee for daring to admonish DeLay. And after Rep. William Jefferson's offices were raided by the FBI last spring, it was Hastert who lodged the strongest protest on the Louisiana Democrat's behalf.
Bipartisanship! Ain't it grand?