The right-wing Washington Times is calling for Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation for failing to properly investigate then-Rep. Mark Foley.
This does not appear to be a consensus strategy among Beltway conservatives. The National Review is defending Hastert. The White House tried (clumsily) to downplay the scandal instead of feeding the public outrage.
It's possible that the Republlican Party may come around to the W. Times' thinking. When leaders cease to be of use to them, they readily throw them under the bus.
When Newt Gingrich contributed to a loss of House seats in '98, he was forced out. And Trent Lott's segregationist fantasies weren't worth defending.
Whereas the GOP defended Tom DeLay for months, because his ability to bring in corporate cash was seen as essential to the party's long-term prospects.
The low-key Hastert is no DeLay. He may be seen as replaceable.
(Although, Republican leaders may be concerned the other potential Speakers would do a worse job maintaining party discipline.)
A quick disposal of Hastert may suck the oxygen out of the story, as he's the biggest (though not only) scalp to get.
The Washington Times is clearly betting that's the best way to get the scandal off the front pages well in advance of Election Day.
But a fight among Republicans over the welfare of Hastert is probably the last thing they would want, because that gives the story more oxygen.
Thanks to the Washington Times upping the ante, Republicans have to think fast: is Hastert worth it?