Various speakers of the House of Representatives have gotten into trouble in the past. Democrat Jim Wright, amid allegations of financial impropriety, resigned his position. This was after one of Wright’s main aides, John Mack, was convicted of an exceedingly violent crime against a woman who refused to lie down for him. Though sentenced to fifteen years in prison, Mack was paroled in just twenty-seven months and, yes, was given a job by Wright. Once the media got a hold of this, Mack resigned.
Then there was Newt. He also resigned as Speaker after an historically poor showing by the GOP in 1998. This was preceded by his becoming the first Speaker of the House to ever be reprimanded by Congress. Some records you’d rather not have. And, of course, he has had a colorful love life with two affairs leading to divorces and subsequent marriages.
Some of Newt must have rubbed off on his party. His chosen replacement, Bob Livingston from Louisiana, never even made it to the post. After calling for Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Livingston admitted having an affair and quit the Congress. His replacement? David Vitter. Vitter went to do at least two noteworthy things. He would become senator and then he would admit he was involved in a prostitution ring.
But then some normalcy and calm returned to the Speaker’s chair in the person of Dennis Hastert. Hastert was an affable, roly-poly gentleman from downstate Illinois. He did an admirable job as Speaker until the Republicans lost the House to the Democrats. He later retired well respected and liked and free from scandal. Until now.
And this one doesn’t seem likely to be in the same category of the aforementioned Congressional scandals. This one gives you a sick feeling inside.