Nation: The Only Thing Speaker Hastert Has To Fear Is Fear Itself
From the news wire, March 11, 2006:
Some Republicans wary of Bush tie as election looms
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
…Asked whether Republicans could best hold onto the House if they distance themselves from Bush, (House Speaker Dennis) Hastert said: "What we're going to do is what's good for this country."
“Dennis! Dennis! The dinner guests are starting to arrive! Did you comb your hair, like I asked you to?”
A tremulous voice answered from upstairs:
“What we're going to do is what's good for this country!”
Mrs. Hastert shook her head and sighed, but she managed to force a smile just as she opened the door to the first arrivals.
“Hi, you two!” squealed Mrs. Hastert, and hugs and kisses were exchanged. Then Mrs. Hastert called over her shoulder and up the stairs: “Dennis! Look who it is, it’s the Addisons! Remember them?”
“There are lots of tremendous successes in this administration,” Hastert called back.
The Addisons looked puzzled.
“I guess I should warn you,” sighed Mrs. Hastert. “Dennis isn’t his usual jolly self these days. The boys in Congress are all in a panic about something this year, I don’t know what it is, re-elections or something, and I think it’s starting to get to poor Denny.” She took Mrs. Addison by the arm and led her into the living room. “Confidentially, that’s part of the reason I’m throwing this dinner thing, I hope it will take him out of himself just for the evening, see a few old friends.”
She put a cocktail in Mrs. Addison’s hand and then yelled back at the stairs: “DENNIS! Get out from under that bed and down here this instant!”
“America is finally back on track, and we’re going to keep it that way!” came the far-away cry.
“Come down here this instant, or I’m calling Tom DeLay and giving him your new private cell number!”
There was a rustling from above, and the sound of an end table being knocked over. Then the Speaker of the House emerged at the top of the staircase. He grasped the banister tightly and began his careful descent.
“How’s it going, Denny, old boy?”
Hastert’s eyes darted from side to side. “America’s…families...” His voice trailed off.
“Well…that’s fine. Did you get in any golf this weekend?”
Hastert swallowed, hard, and said: “Things are moving in the right direction again. We’re going to do what’s right for the American people.”
“Now Dennis, stop talking a lot of nonsense and get the door, don’t you hear them knocking?”
Hastert nodded but muttered something about “building on the momentum of the last few years.”
He opened the door. “Hi, Speaker Hastert! We’re you’re new next door neighbors, the Purleys, thanks for having us over. Say, is it okay if I call you Dennis?”
“Historic progress has been made in recent weeks,” replied Hastert.
The Purleys looked puzzled, but Mrs. Hastert beckoned them into the living room. “Don’t mind what Dennis says, he’s not himself today, he’s all upset about politics again. Watch this: Dennis, what’s the capitol of Illinois?”
Hastert gulped; he knew this one. But all he could bring himself to say was: “What we're going to do is what's good for this country.”
“See what I mean? All he can talk is politics, politics, politics.”
Mr. Purley nodded. “Hey, Dennis, I don’t know much about politics, but I heard a lot of Republicans who are up for re-election are deserting Bush this year, is that right?”
Hastert’s eyes bulged, and his face began to turn purple. His jaw dropped, and it worked silently for a moment--and then Hastert clutched at the side of his head and gasped, hoarsely:
“F-F-FUCK!!” And at that moment he dropped stone dead to the floor, the victim of a stroke.
“Well,” said Mr. Purley, after taking a sip from his drink, “That’s not really a direct answer to my question, is it?”