Skip to comments.The Hastert (non-)legacy
Posted on 03/09/2008 1:12:22 PM PDT by jdm
The retirement of Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the House, has led to the loss of his seat from the Republican ranks. In a low-turnout special election, political newcomer Bill Foster beat Jim Oberweis to win the seat for the Democrats. The loss leaves the GOP looking even more impotent in Illinois than ever before (via Memeorandum):
In a stunning upset Saturday that could be a sign of trouble for Republicans this fall, a little-known Democratic physicist won the special election for a far west suburban congressional seat long held by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Rookie candidate Bill Foster scored a comfortable victory over Republican dairyman Jim Oberweis, who lost his fourth high-profile contest in six years, after an expensive and highly negative contest.
Foster had 53 percent to Oberweis 47 percent with all of the unofficial vote counted.
Only 20% of the electorate went to the polls in this special election, which marred Governor Rod Blagojevichs efforts to generate more enthusiasm for voter participation. That wound up being the only failure for the Democrats in replacing Hastert. The Republicans tried running a three-time flop in the election rather than looking for a fresh face, and at the moment appear to favor giving Oberweis a fifth shot at the brass drain.
What is going on in Illinois with the GOP? Barack Obama might not have had the standing to run for President this year if the Republicans in the state could have found a credible candidate to oppose him. Instead, they drafted Alan Keyes in a carpetbagging candidacy for the Senate in 2004, turning the race from tough to a laugh riot. Now they cant find anyone to beat a chemistry teacher in a district that has been solidly Republican for decades.
Some of the blame has to fall on Hastert himself. His run as Speaker got marred by corruption and massive increases in pork-barrel politics, two themes not without their connections. He personally benefited from pork legislation that increased the value of land he owned as part of a trust. He also fought to protect William Dollar Bill Jefferson from an FBI investigation into bribery and corruption rather than take a more reformist stance that demanded transparency and clean government.
Hasterts actions created the legacy we see now: no legacy at all. Although he doesnt deserve the blame for the collapse of the GOP in Illinois, he deserves at least some of the blame for leaving his constituency in a mood for this kind of change. Its a lesson that the current House GOP caucus needs to learn, and learn quickly, if it wants to avoid losing even more ground in November.
Except for McCain.
hey, he gave us a ban on internet poker /sarc
As much as I agree with Obie on alot of things he has to give up this thing of holding public office.
He wants to hold office no matter what it is. He should just let it go. Maybe if the dog catcher job opens in St Charles Il he will run for it
The Repubs have basically given the Congress and the White House to the libs through incompetence, pathetic politics, and political weakness to say the least.
For conservatives, the issue after this election will be to figure out how to combat socialism and a broken economy, which the socialists will greatly damage.
Hastert as an an agreeable buffoon.
A true RINO who tried to get along instead of sticking it to liberals.
Glad he is gone to play shuffleboard in some rest home.
Wish he had shown as much leadership and effort on immigration as he did in protecting William Jefferson’s office papers from inspection.
Actually, he's 'Retired' in quite nice surroundings at his expansive farm made all the better by the land deals he was able to get done while in office. I think he also has a place in D.C. where he still tries to extract a little wealth from the trough he once filled so well.
In other words, just your run of he mill, self enriched and self interested Republican/Democrat (Choose either one)
GOP hasn’t really lost anything. No difference between a RINO and a demorat.
It's not looking good. That was a traditionally Pub district and Oberweis was a real conservative who was very strong on stopping illegal immigration.
Jim Oberweis is actually ZERO for six in elections. The guy couldn’t get elected dog catcher.
The ‘pubbies keep treating politics as a playground for the idle rich. The are incapable of leading ants to a picnic. Jim Oberweis raised candidate incompetency to a historic new level.
Unless they figure out that politics is a game of smash mouth and get as hard and as far to the right as possible, it will be a 43+ state, 60+ Senate seat, 350+ House seat blowout come November and the ‘pubbies can join the Whigs, Know-Nothings, and Bull Moose parties on the trash heap of history.
All that is left now is for McLame to pick Charlie Crist (Gay - FLA) as his running mate.
I don’t want to hear about “moderation,” “bipartisanship,” and “comity.” The lamestream media that keeps calling this worn out tune is in a financial death spiral, all but irrelevant, and terrified of any real Conservative. (I wish I could find a mutual fund that only invested in shorts and puts on the broadcast networks and daily newspapers.) The only time I want to see a ‘pubbie reach across the aisle is to clean someone’s clock. The only way I want to negotiate with demonRATS is with my knee in their chest and my knife at their throat.
If the ‘pubbies had any clue as how to win, earmarks would be permanently ended. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson (Bribery), Cynthia McKinney (Assault of a Federal Officer), and Sandy Berger (Treason, Theft of classified documents), would be in Federal prison for a minimum of eight years. In those inner-city precincts that consistently and magically have voter turnouts greater than 100%, there would be a construction boom on prisons to hold the felons convicted of voter fraud.
Clinton and Obama are fatally flawed as candidates. Any party serious about winning would already have gone relentlessly negative on them and just eviscerated them. Politics is not about “WIn-Win,” it is about “No Quarter.” Instead the Stupid Party is going to continue to try and “”out-Socialist the Communists” to win,
The Republican Party is nothing more than a jobs program for the brain dead.
A politician retired from public office sucking off the teat of lobbying.
Still I like to think of the big dummy sitting around drooling
and crapping in his pants.
The worst GOP Speaker in history.
The ultimate slap was when he opened up his fat mouth in support of that crook Jefferson who hid the cash from a bribe in his freezer.
Screw you Hastert.
The republican party is the most inept organization going. They had no business losing that seat in a largely republican district. In NY we just lost a senate seat in a 2:1 repub district which puts the RATS within 1 seat of getting control of the state senate. The repub leaders sit on their butts and let it happen.
Good article and thread. Thanks for posting.
The U.S. will become politically what Spain already is.
When people make careers out things that were intended to be temporary, such as being a politician, they tend to put their hands in the cookie jar and do more damage than good. Such is the story of Dennis Hastert. He was in D.C. too long.
Spain may toss the Socialists quite soon, actually.
Nevermind, spoke too soon. :-(
I thought they were toast. Europe is doomed. At least Spain’s socialists have the honesty not to call themselves “democrats” though.
At least the positive in the Spanish elections is that, if I read it right, the opposition gained seats. Might be similar to our 1996 elections.
Looks like a wash from the last election. And the socialists never did lose their lead in the polls.
Hopefully Italy will do the right thing next month.