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May 20, 2004
Hastert v. McCain

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert gives a beautiful example of what many Republicans think of politicians who speak their minds in a non-partisan way. You know, people like John McCain, and ... umm ... yeah.

This is a brilliant strategy for Hastert and the other Republicans, considering, you know, how unpopular John McCain is with ordinary people.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a rare public swipe at a fellow Republican, House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday questioned the GOP credentials of John McCain, a U.S. senator who has often challenged party orthodoxy.

Talking to reporters, Hastert pretended not to know who McCain was when asked about a recent statement by the GOP senator from Arizona.

As other House GOP members stood behind him laughing, Hastert, R-Illinois, then expressed doubt that McCain was indeed a Republican.

The exchange started when a reporter asked: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."

Hastert: "Who?"

Reporter: "John McCain."

Hastert: "Where's he from?"

Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."

Hastert: "A Republican?"

Amid nervous laughter, the reporter continued with his question: "Anyway, his observation was never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes and his question was, 'Where's the sacrifice?' "

Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."

The first part you could plausibly dismiss as a joke.

His response to the quote from McCain, though, is a beautiful little piece of bullshit art. Notice how he doesn't even come within sight of the substance of McCain's question, but in one deft move manages to strongly imply that the Senator from Arizona -- who was a prisoner of war -- doesn't understand the sacrifice made by wounded soldiers.

It's almost too ridiculous to be real. McCain asks how we can justify spending ourselves into oblivion and cutting taxes while trying to fight an exceedingly expensive and no-end-in-sight-erific war, and Hastert responds, "Look! He doesn't care about the dead and wounded soldiers! I made this connection by using a word in my sentence that he used in his, conclusively showing that he meant what I said he meant. He said sacrifice -- his word, ladies and gentlemen! You heard him! He doesn't think the soldiers are sacrificing anything!"

It's hard to imagine any sizable percentage of our citizens being stupid enough to fall for this horseshit, and yet, it seems to be the case. And the fact that he would say these things about possibly the most popular person in Congress on either side shows how completely out of touch with anything even approaching reality these nincompoops are.

McCain released a written response, using 4 sentences to completely demolish the idiots:

"The Speaker is correct in that nothing we are called upon to do comes close to matching the heroism of our troops.

All we are called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility. Apparently those days are long gone for some in our party."


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