Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said any leader who had been aware of Mr. Foley’s behavior and failed to take action should step down. “If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem, they should not serve in leadership,” Mr. Shays said. ~The New York Times

As of right now, that would definitely include the head of the NRCC and the Majority Leader.  It presumably would also include the Speaker, his denials of prior knowledge notwithstanding (Reynolds’ new statements about Hastert’s knowledge of the affair are definitely of the, “I’m not going down alone for this one!” variety).  It is reasonable to say that the Speaker “should have known” about a serious ethical lapse by one of the Members–unless, of course, they think trolling the Internet for minors does not consistute a serious ethical lapse.  If they knew about this, as it seems they did, and they did nothing (which, in a majority that altered ethics rules to make life easier for Tom DeLay, is not that surprising), chalk it up to just one more example where holding onto power trumped everything else.  The leadership could have forced Foley out when it found out about the correspondence; it could at least have stripped him of his position heading the relevant caucus.  The best response, both ethically and politically, would have been to ask for his resignation and have a special election last spring so that you could make it clear that the majority party abhorred this sort of conduct while giving Foley’s replacement a fighting chance to win the election.  Now they have shown their relative indifference to unethical behaviour (again) and will probably end up losing the seat.  Someone remind me again why the party that endorses torture, arbitrary executive power, illegal searches and surveillance and aggressive war and shrugs at the ethical corruption of its members is fit to govern.