REPUBLICANS AND NATIONAL SECURITY….House Speaker Dennis Hastert has decided not to extend the May 27 deadline for the 9/11 commission to finish its work. The commission had previously asked for a 60-day extension because they were having trouble getting the documents and interviews they needed from the Bush administration.

Here’s the explanation from Hastert’s spokesman:

He thinks the report is overdue and we need to get the recommendations as soon as possible. He is also concerned it will become a political football if this thing is extended and it is released in the middle of the presidential campaign.

Aren’t you supposed to at least pretend that you’re motivated solely by what’s best for the country? But here we have Hastert’s spokesman blithely admitting in public that he doesn’t want to let the commission do its job properly because it might be politically inconvenient for the president.

They don’t even have the good grace to lie about this stuff anymore. Jeebus.

UPDATE: There were actually two ridiculous things about this story and I decided to limit my post to this one. Josh Marshall regales us with the other.