Sen. David Vitter, D-LA

Serious sin

The Vitter end of a rising conservative star

We've seen this movie so many times before: Bible-thumping, moralistic, holier-than-thou, family-values conservative politician goes down in flames, done in by indulging in the very behaviors reviled in others.

This remake of the movie stars Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Vitter, elected to the Senate in 2004 and the first Louisiana Republican to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction. He previously served two terms in the House, where he won the seat vacated by Rep Bob Livingston (R-LA) who was forced to resign after publicity about his marriage infidelities.

little black book

Vitter's phone number turned up in the little black book of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, known as the D.C. Madam. Vitter admitted to being her client immediately after her phone records were released. In 1998, during the Clinton impeachment, Vitter's wife was asked about straying politicians, and she replied, "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me. I think fear is a very good motivating factor in a marriage." Could this explain why Vitter has not been seen publicly since admitting his "serious sin"?

Vitter had been on a fast track to conservative stardom. He was one of the staunch obstructionists who brought down immigration reform and was working on the Giuliani campaign in the south.

Oops there goes another hypocrite down!

What's curious to me is why it conservatives are so prone to this hypocracy. At the risk of practicing philosophy without a license, it must have something to do with letting belief in the perfectability of man turn into belief in the perfection of man. In this way, the sin of lust, for conservatives, becomes the sin of pride. The arrogance of being so certain of being right and superior blinds them to their own fallibility.

Who else's phone numbers will turn up in the D.C. Madam's little black book? Word has it that Larry Flynt, who exposed Bob Livingston and other politicians during the Clinton era, is offering a million dollar reward to anyone who can provide documented evidence of illicit relations with a national politician. I can hardly wait!

Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich