Dick Polman wondering why Republicans are calling for the resignation of Senator Craig, but not for that of Senator “My Number Was in the Washington Madam’s Phone Logs” Vitter:
1. Whereas Vitter engaged in illicit straight behavior, Craig was seeking to engage in gay behavior. And whereas the Republicans are demonstrably concerned about how gay behavior might impact traditional family values, they are clearly not so concerned about the impact of heterosexual adultery on traditional family values. As Pat Buchanan noted last night on MSNBC, grassroots Republicans, when assessing the severity of sex scandals, are “especially against homosexual activity.” And as social conservative Ross Douthat explained yesterday, “it is easier to demonize gay people” than to talk about “heterosexual divorce rates.”
2. And this is really the crux of the matter. It’s fine for Republicans to display moral outrage against Larry Craig, and demand that he quit, because they know that the Republican governor of Idaho will merely tap another Republican as a replacement, and that therefore the Republican Senate tally will remain at 49. But if they were to bail out on David Vitter, and force him to quit, they would pay a political price. The Democratic governor of Louisiana would tap a Democrat as a replacement, and thus enhance the Democrats’ slim Senate majority.
Which prompts a serious question: If Republican Larry Craig was representing a blue or purple state, with a Democratic governor at the helm, would his colleagues be waxing indignant and demanding his resignation?
Or is the current display of umbrage merely an exercise in no-risk rectitude?
Gosh, how easy it is to ride a moral high-horse when doing so poses no risk to one’s own power and position.
No more moral courage than a Barbie Doll.
I think I shall throw up now. The hypocrisy is sick-making.