I suppose all of you have now heard that my senator, David Vitter, has admitted to being on the D.C. madam’s phone records. Words cannot describe my disappointment; with some missteps, Vitter has been a shining star in the GOP. Most recently, he led the fight on immigration against President Bush, and undoubtedly contributed to killing the wholly flawed bill. On virtually every other issue, he’s a reliable, conservative vote.
But now Vitter has placed himself into a Clintonian scandal. He sought out tawdry extra-marital sex with hookers, and previously lied about it through his teeth to his cons[t]ituents.
The Times-Picayune has more on the Louisiana madam making claims that Vitter was a client on Canal Street.
The New York Times is gloating, but the criticism isn’t relegated to the Left.
It was Republicans in Vitter’s home state who first exposed his alleged use of prostitutes five years ago (via The Daily Advertiser, which has much more on the potential political fallout):
Christopher Tidmore of Metairie, now a Republican candidate for the state Legislature, wrote the Louisiana Weekly article five years ago about Vitter’s relationship with Canal Street brothel prostitute Wendy Cortez. Vitter continuously denied any relationship. Tidmore said Vitter has tried to sabotage his career since he wrote the article.
“For five years, David Vitter conducted a pattern of lies. Now, we know it was to conceal a pattern of behavior,” Tidmore said. “He has to strongly consider his next action because his remaining in office will be very damaging to the people of Louisiana and to the State Republican Party.”
Another of Vitter’s disappointed constituents, blogger Laura at Pursuing Holiness, has a thoughtful post weighing whether Vitter should resign:
I’m disappointed that he’s committed what he rightfully classified as a sin. I’m dismayed that he may have broken the law, and I’m waiting to see what legal repercussions there may be for that. What shocks me is his poor judgment. I don’t expect an elected official, even a Christian, to be more moral than I am, but I DO expect him to have better judgment and self-control. Naive of me, doubtless, but I’d rather have high standards than low ones.
As to whether he should resign – the politicians and pundits are naturally lining up along party lines. Democrats are calling him a hypocrite, Republicans are invoking Clinton. Whatever… other people’s bad behavior doesn’t excuse our own. I’m withholding judgment for the moment to see how it shakes out – if laws were broken, were they felonies or misdemeanors, and so on. That there should be consequences for this is indisputable. What those consequences should be is very much up for debate.
A Hot Air commenter posts this reminder:
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Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) first got his start in Congress after replacing former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), who “abruptly resigned after disclosures of numerous affairs” in 1998. At the time, Vitter argued that an extramarital affair was grounds for resignation:
“I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess,” he said. [Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 12/20/98]
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