Honor And Resignations
Mike Taylor provides this analysis of the punditry's demand for the resignation of House Speaker, Dennis Hastert:
The article "Whatever Happened To Honor", deftly written by Paul Greenberg, brings to mind a "Swinging Sixties" embarrassment involving a high-level British government official and a young woman of less than pure reputation. The "Profumo Affair" was a classic sex scandal involving powerful men, attractive teenage women, London sex parties, illicit drugs, secret assignations, payoffs and even international espionage. I've never read a Sidney Sheldon novel, but I imagine the Profumo Affair could serve as the plot for any of his best-sellers.
Mr. Greenberg suggests that, in light of recent Republican disgraces, someone ought to do the honorable thing and resign. He calls out Denny Hastert and Donald Rumsfeld for their failing to prevent the Foley Follies and Abu Ghuraib respectively.
I might call for the resignation of these men as well, were they to be personally involved as much as John Profumo was involved with his teen aged mistress. Profumo was British Secretary of War when he was sleeping with Christine Keeler who was also sleeping with a Soviet attache. All this was going on in London at the height of the Cold War. The opportunities for blackmail were abundant and the stakes were high.
As far as I can tell, Hastert witnessed some odd e-mails shared among congressional pages and a closeted homosexual Congressman. Hastert didn't write the e-mails, and if he is to be believed, didn't know anything about the more lurid e-mails that have since come to light. When the more damaging e-mails were revealed, Hastert forced Foley out of the Republican Caucus and out of the Congress.
Donald Rumsfeld didn't stack up those Iraqi prisoners himself. He didn't hold the chain of the dog used to intimidate detainees at that infamous facility. Upon learning of the goings on at Abu Ghuraib, Rumsfeld ordered an investigation. Courts martial have since been handed down.
I believe both men acted responsibly in both instances and I fail to see the lack of honor that Mr. Greenberg describes. Profumo, by his own actions, created a political firestorm. Profumo had full knowledge that he was doing could cause great harm to himself, his party and his country. Of course, Profumo should have resigned and he did.
Mr. Greenberg may have a romantic notion that falling on one's sword is always the right course when things go wrong. Perhaps he sees ultimate sacrifices as a way of redeeming his political party. If such were the case, there wouldn't be any politicians or generals left in this world. Responsibility means you take the correct action at the appropriate time.
Here are the three rules for resignation, as your humble correspondent sees them:
If you are directly involved, doing what you know is the wrong thing, resign.
If you are covering up something someone else has done, resign.
If you start an investigation, finish it and follow through as justice dictates.
If you start, and then stop because you don't like where the evidence is leading, resign.
Here are recent scandals and how each rule should have applied:
William Jefferson Clinton and his perjury in the Paula Jones trial.
Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and William Jefferson Clinton and the Whitewater affair, the Rose Law Firm papers, the Juanita Broderick rape allegation, Sandy Berger and the 9/11 Commission papers removed from the National Archives and "accidentally" shredded.
As you will recall, the Republican on this list resigned and the Democrats have been richly rewarded. Bill and Hill are treated as rock stars by the press and members of the United Nations. (Sure, it's an incomplete list. I could easily add Oliver North to either #2 or #3... he's doing well despite breaking the law.)
I could also add the staff of Newsweek under #3. They knew of Bill Clinton's cover up of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and how it would impact the Paula Jones' trial... and they "spiked" the story hoping it would just blow over. Only after it appeared on "The Drudge Report" did Newsweek run the Lewinsky story. Nawww, there's no bias in the main stream media... but that's another story.
Here's my rejoinder to Mr. Greenberg: the actions of Mr. Hastert and Mr. Rumsfeld don't rise to the level of required resignation. Their resignations would not purify the Republican Party. Their resignations would not redeem Republican reputations among the press at large.
Certainly, their resignations would fuel the fires of the Democrat re-election efforts. Rest assured, the main stream media would continue demonize both gentlemen. As a result, we'd be assured that the next Speaker of the House would be a San Francisco liberal. Those are the stakes in 2006. Resignation is not the honorable thing to do, in these cases.
Skip March asks:
Why isn't there an outcry from the MSM for Harry Reid to resign at least his Minority Leader post with the recent revelations regarding his real estate dealings. Geez...he hung up on the AP reporter when he called to inquire....that should raise some suspicions maybe even outrage. Possibly Dingy and his Dems threatened the AP with some form of censorship. To Mike's point, he actually failed to report the transaction (in the millions of dollars by the way)....not something you are likely to forget happened. While Hastert didn't write any of those e-mails
My comment is:
As you know, the MSM is part of the Dem machine and will do nothing to undo the momentum they have developed since Foley. We hear time and again that they will follow any story for the sake of selling papers or getting viewers and they trot out their supposed coverage of the Clinton Lewinsky affair as an example of this. Today, they are all part of the Bush Rage anti-conservative axis that will do nothing to hurt their cause. Remember it was the blogs that aired the Rather fraud. It is up to the alternative media to put the pressure on the Reid corruption story.