Consider four hypothetical situations – each building upon the previous one:
You are the head of a legislative body and you learn one of the legislators in your party has done something very inappropriate. Do you: (a) reprimand your colleague; or (b) cover it up?
When the offending behavior is made public and a member of the press asks why you failed to take action earlier, do you: (a) admit your failure and apologize; or (b) lie about when you found out?
When the truth becomes known about when you found out, do you (a) acknowledge your continued lack of leadership and integrity; or (b) make light of the whole thing?
When all hell breaks loose, do you (a) finally concede that you have let the public down; or (b) blame someone else?
Now if you answered (b) to all four questions, you have aced the Hastert Test and you are well suited to be a leader in today’s group of Washington Republicans!
Update: Michael O’Hara has more on how the GOP “takes responsibility”.
Update II: Hastert takes responsibility but no blame:
Shorter Denny Hastert: I accept complete responsibility, but no blame. I’m deeply sorry, but I didn’t do anything wrong. The buck stops here, but it isn’t my fault