Sex-for-Pay is OK with WaPo
In case anyone thought The Washington Post was opposed to paying for fantasy sex, please let me highlight two Tuesday WaPoO chatz. Naively, I expected either Michael Fletcher, WaPo White House Reporter, or Eugene Robinson, Opiner, to take a stand against sex-for-sale. Apparently, among the Beltway chatterati, it’s OK to violate marriage vows and pay for a fantasy with a lady, while bloviating about the Sanctity of Marriage.
First, I asked Michael Fletcher a question Tuesday morning:
San Francisco, Calif.: Hi Michael, thanks for taking questions today. Won’t Senator Vitter have to resign his seat? He was elected to the House in the wake of the would-be-Speaker’s infidelity, and now his family values rhetoric appears entirely hollow. I can’t imagine that the GOP caucus will want to keep someone on Ms Palfrey’s list in their midst.
Michael Fletcher: It seems unlikely that Sen. Vitter will have to resign his seat, at least given what we now know. What he faces, though, is a huge political problem. As a conservative politician who has forcefully denied this kind of behavior in the past, he has a lot to explain to voters, it seems to me. But he has asserted that he has received forgiveness not only from his wife but also from God Himself, so maybe the voters of Louisiana will follow.
Later the same day, I asked opinion columnist Eugene Robinson essentially the same question.
San Francisco: Hello, Mr Robinson, thank you for taking my question. Will Sen. Vitter have to resign his seat? He was elected to the House in the wake of the would-be Speaker Livingtons’s infidelity, and now his family values rhetoric appears entirely hollow. I can’t imagine that the GOP caucus will want to keep someone on Palfrey’s list in their midst.
Eugene Robinson: You’re referring to the fact that the Louisiana senator’s phone number was found on the D.C. Madam’s notorious list. I’m not sure Sen. Vitter will be forced out over this. His state is notoriously forgiving of sin — heck, they reelected William Jefferson after $90,000 was found by the FBI in his freezer. And it’s not as if he were chasing underage Senate pages.
The Bush Administration has entirely ignored Louisiana’s post-Katrina plight. Does the Beltway chatterati now claim that Louisianans always forgive sin? Are DeeCee pundits and reporters willing to forgive Senator David Vitter his whoring because Louisianans deserve no better representation? Don’t voters in Louisiana deserve a Senator with integrity? Or is whoring OK in DeeCee — because Washingtonians figure it must be OK in Louisiana?
This inside-the-Beltway acceptance of Senator Vitter’s whoring is shameful. Yet again, the well-fed and the well-housed claim that Louisianans deserve no better than they’ve got. Is DeeCee willing to forgive Senator Vitter’s whoring because his “state is notoriously forgiving of sin?”
Hasn’t Washington learned that Louisiana deserves a break they can’t get from DeeCee? If DeeCee pundits can’t take a stand against buying sex — especially by a Family Values Republican — what hope do Katrina survivors have for a fair hearing in the nation’s capital?
Where’s the outrage?
UPDATE: Who is surprised that Howie Klein has detail from the Louisiana front?
UPDATE II: Chris Cillizza weighs in that “Louisiana is a state not unfamiliar with political scandal,” and presumably therefore undeserving of better than Vitter:
The sheer number of Louisiana politicians who have come under investigation from either state or federal authorities has, frankly, numbed the state’s voters to scandal. A story like this could be absolutely devastating to Vitter in a notorious good government state like Wisconsin or Minnesota; in Louisiana, it might well pass for standard fare.