Tag Archives: David Vitter

Louisianans try a new way


Edwin Edwards once was, shall we say, a colorful Louisiana politician.

When I think of the former Democratic governor I think of two quotes attributed to him. One was that the only time he’d ever lose an election is if he got “caught with a dead girl or a live boy.” Another alleged Edwardsism goes that the people of his state not only expected their politicians to be crooked, they “demanded it” of them.

Well, today the voters of the Pelican State showed a different side of themselves. They rejected Republican candidate David Vitter’s bid to become governor and elected instead a Democratic state senator, John Bel Edwards … no relation to the infamous former Gov. Edwards.

Vitter, you see, is a sitting U.S. senator who in 2007 was caught fooling around with a prominent District of Columbia madam. His name appeared in some hookers’ black books.

His tawdry conduct became part of Edwards’s campaign strategy.

In deeply conservative and Republican Louisiana, Vitter was thought to be the prohibitive favorite to become the next governor, replacing Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal. Then Edwards, a former Army Ranger who had served in Iraq, launched a vicious attack ad that accused Vitter of “choosing prostitutes over patriots”; the ad took aim at Vitter’s Senate votes against veterans benefits.

Vitter’s campaign sought to portray Edwards as a liberal in the mold of President Obama, hoping that the president’s unpopularity in Louisiana would — if you’ll pardon the pun — turn the trick.

It didn’t.

I am heartened, though, to see that Louisianans decided they’d had enough of Vitter’s foolishness. They turned their back on a well-known incumbent senator who had sought another office back home — in the state that knows him well.

Perhaps, it turns out, they know him a little too well.

Senator’s past may haunt him

I love it when high-and-mighty U.S. senators try to throw their weight around and then find out their own misdeeds may be used against them.

David Vitter, R-La., may be the latest lawmaker to learn that harsh lesson.


Vitter is pushing a tad too hard to abolish the Affordable Care Act to suit some Democratic senators who are infuriated with his tactics on the Senate floor. So, in the spirit of hardball Louisiana politics — with which Vitter no doubt is familiar — the Democratic caucus might resurrect Vitter’s admitted prostitute solicitation to derail his effort to defund the ACA.

POLITICO reports that Vitter is insisting on a vote to repeal federal contributions to pay for lawmakers’ health care coverage. Democrats are angry enough at the conservative Republican to consider their own amendment which would include senators who solicited prostitutes, a la David Vitter.

“Harry Reid is acting like an old-time Vegas Mafia thug, and a desperate one at that,” Vitter said in a statement to POLITICO, referring to the Senate majority leader. “This just shows how far Washington insiders will go to protect their special Obamacare exemption.”

It seems a bit weird for someone such as Vitter — who consorted with hookers — to throw around terms like “Mafia thug” when talking about a leading Senate colleague. The Senate Ethics Committee didn’t take any action on Vitter’s extracurricular activity back in 2008 because it occurred before he became a senator. Vitter did apologize profusely for his behavior.

Still, I am inclined to invoke the old adage about the common color of kettles and pots.

Scandals know no partisan bounds

A word of caution is due to Republicans here and across the country as they watch the struggles of three well-known Democratic politicians.

Let’s not gloat, folks.

Anthony Weiner wants to run for mayor of New York. Bob Filner already is mayor of San Diego, Calif. Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, now wants to become NYC’s comptroller. All three of them have made headlines for (in order) sending text messages and videos of a certain functional body part to women; groping and speaking hideously to female staffers; consorting with prostitutes.

Some Republicans are relishing the troubles that have befallen these Democrats. One noted conservative columnist and Fox News TV commentator, Michelle Malkin, recently tweeted about how silent Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other Dems have been about Filner’s difficulty; I responded to her with a tweet that advised her to cool the “partisan perv” talk.

The record shows that Republicans have endured more than their share of sexually related difficulties. To wit:

House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s extramarital affair with a staffer while he was blasting President Clinton for his own marital misbehavior; U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana becoming involved with a call girl; U.S. Rep. Mark Foley’s email flirtations with underage congressional pages; U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s marital infidelity; U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest (and this is my favorite scandal) for making indecent sexual advances to others inside a men’s restroom at a Minnesota airport.

Let’s stipulate that all three men now caught in the sexual perversion vise — Weiner, Filner and Spitzer — deserve every bit of the scorn they’re getting.

Misbehavior by male politicians, though, hardly is a partisan endeavor. Pols from both parties in recent years have garnered their share of infamy.