Carol Platt Liebau: Our two terrible Senators.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our two terrible Senators.

Echoing what both Carol and Hugh Hewitt have said, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho ought to resign from office immediately. So should Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.


From a partisan standpoint, of course, this represents a net loss for the Republicans in the Senate, as Louisiana's Democratic Governor will assuredly appoint a Democrat to replace the Republican Vitter. But Louisiana is trending Republican, so the seat will be made good in time; and more important, it's the right thing to do. One of the many baleful effects of the Clinton years was the promulgation of the idea that character, and especially sexual propriety, is irrelevant to one's public life. This is utterly false, and it is profoundly disappointing to see Republicans, caught in scandals of their own making, resorting to this left-wing trope.


This does not mean that we ought to be dour, relentless, unforgiving, or prudish in our assessment of public figures. People err, people sin, and yes, people break the law. (I'll admit to all three, although not all at once!) This is merely to be human: even if my mistakes differ in kind, I cannot claim to be a better man than our two terrible Senators. But when we sin, we are called upon to repent, to confess, to make amends, and to accept consequences. We are furthermore liable for the offices and the stations we seek. There is no evidence that Craig or Vitter have done any of these things, and certainly not by the lights of a United States Senator. It is, admittedly, a lot to ask of a man to do them in public -- but we know that Craig, at least, sought to use his office to avoid the law, having shown his Senatorial business card to the arresting officer, so our sympathy should be limited on that count.


In the end, these are men to whom we entrust a Constitutional office, and those offices should be filled by men of character. If Craig and Vitter were truthful, forthright, and penitent, it would be one thing. But they are not. And thus, they should go

3 Comments:

Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

What would have been the result if the Senator in question was a Democrat and was pro-homosexual?

For starters, you would still have the actual breaking of the law to contend with which, in my books, automatically disqualifies anyone from being in a high office.

But, on the other hand, the pro-homosexual Democrat was at least practising what he preaches.

The issue with Senator Craig, along with someone like Tad Haggard, is that they are public conservatives who wear their ethical and moral beliefs on their sleeves. Of course there is nothing wrong with wearing your beliefs like this... unless, of course, you are secretly acting against them.

Both Craig and Haggard (and others) have damaged the conservative movement because it is increasingly seen that there are a lot of hypocrites in it. If the conservative movement is to survive and regroup, it needs to enlist candidates who have nothing to hide and who practice in the bedroom / motel room / public toilet that which they preach on a public platform.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Joshua Trevino said...

Was Craig a prominent social conservative leader? If so, I missed it. He certainly was terrible on immigration.

But agreed that these guys make conservatives look like hypocrites. It's wretched.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

Sen. Craig's constituents will no doubt deal with him as did the late Rep. Studds' and Rep. Franks' constituents. However, what plays in Boston may not play well in Boise. Dealing in hypocrisy is a trait that should send every politician guilty of it back home.

10:27 AM  

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