Payback happens all the time in politics. But choosing Hastings as chairman of anything -- let alone a committee as important as Intelligence -- is just plain wrong. This committee has oversight on the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Armed Forces Intelligence. Hastings shouldn't be allowed near anything having to do with such vital national security matters. It's amazing he's even in Congress with his record.
While a federal judge in Florida -- and only two years after being appointed to the bench by President Jimmy Carter -- Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for giving a lenient sentence to two men charged and convicted of racketeering.
He was acquitted of the charge of bribery in a Miami court after an alleged accomplice went to prison rather than testify against him. But in 1989 the Democratic-controlled House took a look at the evidence and impeached Hastings for bribery and perjury by a 413-3 vote. The Senate -- also Democratic controlled -- convicted him on eight articles of impeachment and removed him from the bench. Pelosi voted for Hastings' impeachment.
The problem was the votes to impeach and remove Hastings from the bench failed to include a proviso that would exclude Hastings from ever again seeking public office. He ran for Congress in 1992 and was elected in his newly created minority district, taking a seat in the very House that had impeached him.
Should Pelosi actually follow through and give Hastings the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, it would turn the House of Representatives into Theater of the Absurd.
Well, I'm thinking that we don't need help from Hastings in turning the new Congress into a Theater of the Absurd. But this certainly digs them further into the muck, huh?
Anybody feeling like they'd like to just sleep through the next two years?