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Stop the presses! A major discovery has been made: Dennis Hastert, the house speaker, has shown signs of having a pulse! Surprised experts say this might mean that Hastert is not just a bloated, papier-mâché, political puppet after all – he might have capacity for independent thought.
Dennis – the laconic, doughy, somewhat comical congress critter from Illinois – was lifted into the speaker’s chair in 1999 by Tom Delay. Ever since, DeLay and the Bush White House have pulled Dennis’s strings and given him his lines, which he dutifully performed.
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But Dennis recently had a rebellious spasm. What jolted him to life was the FBI’s raid of a congressman’s office as part of a bribery investigation. This infuriated the normally lifeless Dennis, who complained loudly that breaking into a member’s office is an intolerable crossing of the constitutional line that separates the executive and legislative branches. Moving his own mouth, Hastert said he was standing up to sustain congress’s independence from executive powers.
Holy Tom Jefferson – what a joke! Hastert and the other congressional leaders (including Democrats) have been total constitutional wimps for the past five years as the Bushites rolled over any pretension of legislative branch independence. For example, Bush has run a massive, four-year, spying program against millions of Americans in direct defiance of a law passed by congress – but not a peep of protest from Dennis about this. Indeed, again and again, congressional leaders have either meekly bowed or enthusiastically applauded as Bush & Gang have erected an imperial presidency that emasculates the historical lawmaking and oversight roles of congress.
This is Jim Hightower saying… The Bushites should not be ransacking congressional offices – but that’s the least of their imperious intrusions. Until congress has the spunk to stand up for the rights and liberties of all, don’t expect us to weep for Dennis.