But what takes the cake is E.J. Dionne's column in WaPo, recognizing both Vitter's immorality and Vitter's hypocrisy, and still saying Vitter should be let off the hook because we need to respect the wall between public and private lives. In this, I respectfully disagree with Booman and wholeheartedly agree with Carpetbagger. Vitter and his fellow "family values" moralists are the ones instructing the rest of us what is moral and what isn't and that our private lives are up for public debate and judgment. Further, Vitter himself inserted his family into the public sphere by having his wife and kids star in his campaign commercials. Vitter has invited every bit of scrutiny he has received. And the thing of it is that all anybody is suggesting is that Vitter be held to the very same standard to which he himself has urged for other politicians, discussing things like "moral fitness to govern." And all of that is before even getting to the fact that soliciting a prostitute is a crime and, as much as some Republicans might scoff at the notion, the rule of law still applies to them. Anybody know the statutes of limitations in Washington D.C. and Louisiana on soliciting?
On the lighter side, Letterman and Leno are having their fun with Vitter, doing a better job than the mainstream media of highlighting Vitter's hypocrisy:
"Well now more problems with this Vitter guy. You gotta go on his website, he's like Mr. Religious, Mr. Family Values. Well now a second madam has come forward and told the Associated Press that he was also a customer at her brothel. This guy was cheating on his hooker with another hooker." --Jay Leno ...(HT: Rhode Island's Future)
"They have prostitutes in Washington D.C., and it now turns out that senators and congressmen and important, powerful people are dating the prostitutes. ... And there's a senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, admitted he's been dating prostitutes. And he was very generous with one girl, he paid her with a new highway project in her home state. ... One thing I'll say for this guy from Louisiana, this David Vitter, at least he went to a professional and left the congressional pages alone." --David Letterman
At least two political newcomers plan to run against the state's senior senator when he seeks a second term in 2008. Also, state Rep. Jeff Duncan and former U.S. Rep. Tommy Hartnett said Friday they are considering entering the race. ...These names are in addition to names already being discussed including SC-GOP Chair Katon Dawson and Ambassador and former state Speaker of the House David Wilkins. Of the lot, it's suggested that Dawson would give Graham the toughest challenge, but an Ambassador or former Congressman would certainly offer some weight. At the very least, a few primary challengers would offer three benefits, even in electoral defeat: 1) it would force Graham to spend some of his bankroll; 2) it would offer a steady stream of anti-Graham barbs; and 3) it could deflate GOP enthusiasm for Graham in a general election, all softening him up for a viable Democrat like Robert Barber Jr. for instance.
Graham's support of the failed immigration proposal has drawn criticism from many within the GOP. "I would say that was the substantial issue," said Greenville computer specialist Tim Carnes, 49, who plans to run against Graham. ...
Also in the race is John Cina, a retired Air Force veteran from Summerville, and Gary McLeod, a perennial candidate for the 6th Congressional District.
Cina, 59, said he has no political experience. He served 33 years in the military and has talked about running against Graham since January.