10/05/2006 03:50 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Foley Fiasco Was All About Salvaging a Seat

If you always wondered how far politicians would go to keep the committee chairmanship, the mahogany-walled office lush with staff, the warm car purring at the curb, look no further than the majority in Congress.

Watch as U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner and others in the know try to blame each other for leaving congressional pages to the attentions of Representative Mark Foley. Stare at the spectacle of every man for himself. And admire the efficiency of Republicans: It took Democrats 40 years to love power for power's sake and do anything to keep it. The Republicans managed it in less than a decade.

Hastert told talk-show host Rush Limbaugh that it is partisan Democrats who are calling for his head. Actually, it's so much worse for him. Most of those beating the drum to sideline the speaker are members of his own party hoping that a ritual sacrifice will satisfy voters in time for Election Day. Boehner told a local radio station that not only was Hastert told about Foley's inappropriate contact with a page, but that the responsibility to do something was squarely ``in his corner.''

With his colleagues all but calling him a liar, Hastert gave an interview to CNN in which he allowed that well, yes, he might have been told, but that it was ``in the context maybe of a half a dozen or a dozen other things... that might have affected the campaign,'' so he ``just didn't remember that.''

Read the whole column here.