why was Craig taken down and Vitter not?

(but right, even laudable, if I paid women for quickies)

The Republicans have trashed and now unceremoniously sacked one of their very own worthy gentlemen for soliciting consensual, uncompensated sex with another person. Senator Craig was forced to resign only days after his sensational misstep (with another man) was reported in the media.

A year ago another model Republican, Representative Mark Foley, was hounded out of office for a peccadillo even less "awful" than that committed by the married-with-three-children Senator from Idaho. Foley, an unmarried man, sent suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to young adult men who had formerly served or were at the time serving as Congressional pages.

A third Republican luminary, Senator David Vitter, admitted early in July to regularly soliciting the services of a female prostitute. There has been no investigation and no movement to oust Vitter from his elected position or party responsibilities, and in fact on his return to the senate floor later in the month Vitter was greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers.

Why is there such a difference in the way their colleagues treated these three members of Congress? Craig and Foley happened to be of what their former friends would call the homosexual "persuasion" but Vitter seems to be fixated on the role of lusty heterosexual.

Oh, there is the thing about the toilet venue of Craig's ruinous flirtation (Americans are obsessed with potties - all potties) and also the extraordinarily-significant fact that should Vitter resign his seat it would be filled by a Democrat named by the Democratic governor of Louisiana. Unfortunately for Craig the Governor of Idaho is a Republican. Foley's was an interesting case: It suggests that here the Republicans' sincere bigotry might have gotten the better of them since their hand-picked candidate to replace the homo failed to make it in the election which followed his resignation. Of course it could also have been the product of an excessive self-confidence, one which wouldn't have survived the last year of spiraling Republican disasters.

Of course I'm not going to contrast any of this with the Democrat's treatment of Jerry Studds and Barney Frank [neither lost his job], the Republican attitude toward Presidential sex, or toward Congressional corruption involving real crimes with real victims. And while I'm not speaking of real victims, I'm not going to speak about the real, countless, world-wide victims of the first eight and one half years of this Republican administration.

"Hypocrisy" is far too mild a word for this stuff.

[image by Tom Toles via Washington Post]

Agreed!!! Even tho Senator Craig's political philosopy is anathema to everything I believe in, I have a very uneasy feeling about this rush to expulsion....Yes he is a hypocrite as are most politicians, alas, but politics is a maneuvering game of power plays.

What about Ted Stevens and other politicians who fleece the public out of millions of dollars and by so doing there is a trickle down effect for ordinary folk.

I agree with your analysis but need to question whether Senator Vitter did anything wrong either – I don't know the case but it seems to me there's nothing inherently wrong with using the services of a sex worker, per se?

Apropos of that, I might mention that Sydney's (legal) brothels are gearing up for a busy week while your President, his entourage of flunkies, and a crowd of assorted APEC types are in town.

Oh no, Paul. I certainly never meant to suggest in the case of any of these men that either their sexual inclinations or their exercise should be regarded as objectively wrong, but rather that the response of their colleagues of the Republican persuasion and practice was wrong (absurd, specious, self-serving, sanctimonious, dishonest, cynical) on any level.

But I should point out that only in the case of the two Republicans did an alleged violation of what we are told are our community standards involve a significant other, and in fact for Republicans, the only significant form of significant other - marriage partners. I think that after hearing the news of the senators' respective patterns of sexual outsourcing certainly the state of mind of their wives and children was somewhat less equanimous than that of you or I.