Rich Galen

  • I don't care how many times the news programs, papers and magazines tell us the blowout last night was because of the Iraq war.
  • It wasn't.
  • It was because the American public has decided that Republicans are no longer good stewards of the US Congress and threw them out.
  • The Republican Leadership has allowed the Members to engage in self-dealing on an unprecedented scale. Whether it was trips paid for by lobbyists; hiring family members at high salaries to plan parties; steering consulting business to former staffers; or outright bribery, Members of Congress have been developed a sense of entitlement which would embarrass most of us.
  • The Republican Leadership has allowed the Members to spend too much of our money on projects most of us don't care about, don't need and, if we knew about them, wouldn't want.
  • These are "earmarks" - the business of demanding that Federal agencies spend hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to placate favored friends, businesses, donors and/or lobbyists which became the norm among members of the Appropriations Committees.
  • Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee chairs are known as "The Cardinals," which indicates their high status as first amongst equals. It was a title they have embraced. It was a position younger Members aspired to. Get a position on an Appropriations sub-committee and your fund-raising problems are over.
  • Maybe it was always thus, but we expected better of the inheritors of the Gingrich Revolution.
  • The Mark Foley matter was not the norm, but it became the shorthand for everything a majority of Americans thought had gone wrong with the Republican Leadership in the House.
  • We have been told the House Leadership only knew about the e-mails, but didn't know about the instant messages until they became public and we all found out about them.
  • A. If it takes that long to explain something, you've already lost the argument and,

    B. The House Leadership has done nothing to give us any confidence they were telling us the truth.

  • The Republican members of the House Leadership couldn't get their stories straight. They couldn't remember who had told what to whom or when. All we knew was that it looked very much like they - either by themselves or through their staffs - were protecting a potential pedophile, allowing him to continue to prey on House Pages.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at