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Assessing Sen. David Vitter's Political Future

Sen. David Vitter's (R-La.) acknowledgment late Monday that his phone number was among the scores listed in the so-called D.C. Madam's phone records has set off wild speculation about whether the revelation will cripple his political career.

That speculation grew with a report in yesterday's New Orleans Times-Picayune that quoted a former former brothel owner as saying Vitter had frequented her Big Easy establishment. Later in the day, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt said he had uncovered evidence of Vitter's ties to five New Orleans prostitutes.

It's hardly surprise, then, that a story popped late Tuesday night quoting a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee calling on Vitter to resign.

In other words, the feeding frenzy is on.

Vitter has hunkered down, avoiding all press inquiries and public appearances. He's clearly hoping to ride out the negative press and wait for some other story to come along that sweeps attention away from him. Those who have watched his rapid rise in Louisiana politics believe that a resignation is far from Vitter's mind at the moment.

Vitter began his career in the Louisiana state legislature where he was first elected in 1991. He left that body in 1999 to run in a special election for the seat being vacated by Rep. Bob Livingston (R), who, ironically, had been driven from office (and the top role in the U.S. House) by an affair of his own.

Vitter sought to continue his quick political rise by running for governor in 2003, but he dropped from that race citing family problems. At the time, he denied his decision had anything to do with rumors about his frequenting of Louisiana bordellos. "My wife and I have been in counseling for a few months now," Vitter told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser in May 2002. "Running for governor requires a lot of travel, fund-raising and pressure. We've decided to put family first."

But one year later when Sen. John Breaux (D) decided not to seek reelection in 2004, Vitter quickly jumped into the race. The rumors that had dogged him during his short bid for governor didn't reemerge, and Vitter won easily -- becoming the first Republican to be elected to the Senate from Louisiana since Reconstruction.

So can Vitter survive the D.C. Madam mess?

He has three major factors in his favor.

First, he is not up for reelection until 2010. That means he has roughly two-and-a-half years to rehab his image before he has to face voters. Three years is a long time in politics, and while the issue seems like a silver bullet for Democrats (or a possible GOP challenger) now, it might not be so potent down the road.

Second, Louisiana is a state not unfamiliar with political scandal. The most prominent example was four-term Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), whose campaign slogan in his 1991 reelection race against former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke (R) was "Vote for the Crook, It's Important." Edwards won that race, only now he is incarcerated after being convicted in a racketeering case.

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.

Third, the Louisiana Democratic Party is in dire straits. Their strongest candidate for governor this year -- state Sen. Walter Boasso -- was a Republican until a few months ago. Vitter's 2004 victory, coupled with Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's (D) struggles in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, have created a power vacuum. Old hands like Breaux seem inclined to stay out of the fray as evidenced by his decision not to run for governor after Blanco stepped aside. A fresh face like former Rep. Chris John saw his image badly tarnished by the less-than-stellar Senate campaign he ran against Vitter in 2004. As the old saying goes, you don't beat something with nothing.

Still, this situation remains extremely fluid. Vitter's style -- somewhere between hard-charging and downright irascible -- has rubbed a number of people the wrong way during his political career, and this is the perfect situation for someone with an ax to grind to do so. The story appears to be spiraling out of control for Vitter, who can only hope to keep his head down and hope it passes. The more revelations like those we saw yesterday, the less chance there is of that happening.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 12, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: McCain's Iowa Team Hit By Resignations


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Posted by: cahniqdm jhgnesid | August 14, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: vwjfioka qudkz | August 14, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Vitter will hang on to power because he's a politician. Furthermore if he did resign the governor would appoint a Dem to fill his seat. That would have ramifications in the closely divided Senate.

Vitter has been on an upward trajectory for some time. I think he was looking for a VP slot when he promoted Rudy in the South. (A Southern conservative would be just what Rudy needed). However, any further ambition is finished. He will doubtless hold on to his Senate seat in a scandal ridden state. But he won't climb any higher...

Posted by: JayPe | July 16, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton has convinced me that what goes on in his private life should not matter. Now if this were a Democrat, the issue would have been DOA. However, since it's a Republican, kick it around for a few more days, then let it die.

Posted by: AJP | July 15, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Dieterman, I stand by my statement of condemnation upon adulterers, homosexuals and fornicators. These actions are sin, and I have no problem stating it. If you have problems with that, tough. I could care less. There are about 25% of American's who agree with me and will vote this way. We know what we believe, and we voice it. We have the same rights to vote our beliefs as you do to vote for what sounds good at the time, being that you liberals have no real belief in anything. That being said, I stand on conviction when saying that Vitter should resign because of these actions. Do you think he should resign over this or not Dieterman? If so, why? Is not, why not? Or do you just not know what to believe for lack of core principles in your life?

Posted by: reason | July 14, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

David Vitters Must Resign Now!

This past week we not only learned that LA. U.S. Senator David Vitter's name appeared on a D.C. call-girl list of phone numbers but that he is also alleged to have done business with a prostitution business right in his own home state. This Bible thumping, family values hypocrite ran on a campaign of moral values, knowing that he himself, was living a deceitful lie and it's time for him to go!

Enough of these lies from dirty, low down people that pass laws and judgment of other people...laws that often send people to jail or prison and destroy careers & families.

Senator David Vitter must go! And we have placed an online petition demanding that he resign.

Please pass this petition link on to anyone you know that can add their name to the list of those demanding he pack his bags and go back home and pray his wife doesn't do the Lorena Bobbit routine she promised if "her husband" ever pulled a stunt like this!

Sign the petition and please pass it on to every individual you know whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

The petition can be found at:

In the interest of honest, fair disclosure & to protect myself from reprisal, I am using an alias name (AKA) because I am involved in other political causes. I have considered running for public office many times and have come to the conclusion that a few misdemeanors on my own record would be a barrier to public service. Rather than run, I direct my energies to helping others with more distinguished records get elected. If public office is beyond the reach of some of us with not-so-perfect records, surely lying, cheating, two-faced hypocrites like Senator Vitter should have the common decency to step down when caught.

I ask you to help me ratchet up the pressure this week and put the heat on Vitter to Resign Now!

Thank you,
David Jacobsen
Concerned Voter Tired of these Hypocrites

PS: If you know of other Party, websites & blogs, please feel free to copy and paste this message across the State of Louisiana

Posted by: Davidjac | July 14, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The sign of MaCain's setback in his campaign is a sure voice of America people's disapproval of the war in Iraq. Although a crucial stepback in McCain's compaign, there are still more important issues concerning America and the world today that needs to be addressed. As to date, $450 billion dollars has been spent on the meaningless war in Iraq. Americans are put more at risk for violence since the start of this war. And our attention of preventing and stopping international terrorism has lead us into a war under false pretenses and meaningless as this one. More importantly the government has allowed extreme poverty to grow in America and in Iraq with thousands of refugees and people under extreme financial distress. The US is part of the UN's Millennium Development Project, which has the goal of eliminating global poverty. However by examining the conducts of our government, no poverty is reduced. Rather, poverty has increased. According to the Borgen Project, whose goal is to fight global poverty, it only takes $19 billion dollars annually stop world hunger and poverty. However, more than $340 billion dollars has been put into the Iraq war at a rate of $2 billion dollars per week. Our government needs to realize that it is indirectly funding poverty, violence and hunger, the three things that it pledged and vowed to eliminate. It is time for a change.

Posted by: mstessyrue | July 12, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Liberals NEVER cease to amaze me. So now, since you've said that sex lives shouldn't matter, it's HYPOCRISY. May I have your comments on the hypocrisy of:

Nancy Pelosi, relative to "the most open and honest Congress...." and earmarks.

Nancy Pelosi, relative to "the culture of corruption" and backing Murtha for Majority Whip, Jefferson for his committee, etc.

All Democratic Reps and Senators who were around in 1998, voted for acquital in the impeachment of Clinton, and made press statements last week condemning the commutation of Libby's jail term.

Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, and every Dem who talked about the "mandate for change" from the 2006 elections, but voted for continued troop funding because they are afraid to lose the next election.

I could go on and on. Hypocrisy is the staple of the modern Democratic party.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

What did Jeffrey Dahmer ask Vitter's wife?

Gonna eat that?

Posted by: Rick | July 12, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think razor back answered his own question in the first paragraph

Posted by: dave | July 12, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The main reason why I don't think Senator Vitter will resign will resign is that it would be a seat give-away to the Democrats, thanks to Governor Blanco. Considering that Bobby Jindal is very likely to win election as state governor in October, there's impetus to hold of resignation until his seat could be replaced with a Republican. Personally, I think things should probably play out a bit more before any dramatic moves on Vitter's part.

What makes me very indignant is the fact that that sleazeball Larry Flynt is revelling in all this. Something about his breaking this story turns me way off and makes me feel a bit sorry for Vitter - but only a bit. Senator Vitter has proven himself hypocritical and shown that he's not above politics as usual in the Pelican State.

Posted by: Steve | July 12, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

When Vitter campaigned using a tv ad promising to restore the Social Security lockbox ten years after that notion had been put to rest, I knew that he was likely to succeed in his Senate race. Politicians like him know very well how the electorate in Louisiana think that politics is just another meaningless spectator sport. They know how dumb we are and how to tell us lies. Edwards was at least honest with his sexual exploits,"the public expects it of me," he said. Vitter's hypocrisy will not go well with the family values crowd who think that there is little else matters. Louisiana has crept to the right for a long time probably reflecting their disgust with the Edwards era. They have gotten little for their investment and the level of support for the Republicans has no depth. If the Democrats or independants can find interested and interesting candidates and the National Party can produce someone with coattails, another sea change may be coming soon!

Posted by: Charles Bowman | July 12, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"The story appears to be spiraling out of control for Vitter, who can only hope to keep his head down and hope it passes."

Keep his head down. Heh. That's funny.

Posted by: Wally | July 12, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain dislikes wearing 'gay sweaters.'
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly is complaining about his aides forcing him to wear "gay sweaters" in order to look younger:

According to one insider, the knit-picking was the crescendo of a tirade by the Arizona senator, in which he blistered aides about the minutiae of the campaign. ... McCain reportedly declared his frustration with being told to don the perceived homosexual outerwear in order to look younger and more approachable.

Posted by: teehee | July 12, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

'We know that Syria is also resupplying weapons (some originating in Iran) to Hezbollah as fast at it can so they can once again be aimed at civilians throughout northern Israel.'

Umm, no we don't zouk. That's just the latest propaganda being to cover up Rumsfeld's disastrous mistakes in the invasion/occupation, but of course a dummy like you will eat it up with a shovel.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Vitter is making himself scarce. Maybe not. Maybe his wife kept her promise and he's busy trying to find something.

Posted by: James | July 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Imports from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members rose to a record $14.6 billion in the latest month."

Thanks George.

Posted by: F&B | July 12, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the hypocrisy issue, here's another difference between Edwards & Vitter:
Edwards' core supporters LIKED the fact that he was good-time ladies man. So if he went a bit too far, it wasn't such a big deal.
Vitter's core supporters, on the other hand, won't be amused in the least about his phone number turning up.

Posted by: LaExpat | July 12, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

reason - You write that homosexuals shouldn't serve in government and you also condemn Vitter's conduct. Well, reason, your kind of anti-gay bigotry is what leads to the election of sanctimonious hypocrites like Vitter. Get a clue.

Posted by: Dieterman | July 12, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Talking with Blitzer, Moore said he had a policy of doing only live interviews, never taped ones. The reason: Editors can do what they want with tape, shaping the material any which way.

I am completely sympathetic to this, but I thought it was extremely rich coming from Moore: Shifty editing is his stock in trade. He is a master manipulator of tape. You should see what he does to Rep. Billy Tauzin in Sicko!

In all likelihood, Moore doesn't want to be edited because he knows, from his own practice, how editing can work.

Posted by: Jay | July 12, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

As clear as a glass of water from the Tigris. [Denis Boyles]

Here's how US News is headlining its advance coverage of the interim Iraq progress report:

At Least Half Of Iraq Benchmarks Unmet

That "half-empty" take will be repeated ad infinitum over the next 48 hours or so. The Iraqi glass can never be half-full, of course. Something about the water in Baghdad.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Vitter is a fundamentalist and does what all fundamentalists do, lie, fundamentaly of course. (For the blogger that did not know Profumo, try looking up Christene Keeler or Mandy Rice Davies)

Posted by: | July 12, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

200 Suicide Bomb Vests Captured in Truck from Syria [Tom Gross]

Somewhere in Syria, there's a factory mass-producing suicide bomb vests.

The Associated Press reports that Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed that 200 explosive belts were captured in a truck crossing into Iraq from Syria yesterday. There is no doubt they were designed to murder as many ordinary Iraqis as possible.

Today also marks the first anniversary of Hezbollah's attack on Israel that triggered last summer's Hezbollah-Israel war.

We know that Syria is also resupplying weapons (some originating in Iran) to Hezbollah as fast at it can so they can once again be aimed at civilians throughout northern Israel.

Posted by: thought this was a civil war | July 12, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

One Senate aide summarizes: "The media is going crazy about the 'growing rift' in the GOP. But on the Webb vote yesterday, seven Republicans voted with the Democrats. Oddly enough, that's the same number that voted with the Dems in the spring. And even though some are growing impatient, the high-visibility critics -- Lugar, Domenici, etc. -- haven't turned around and voted with the Democrats this week."

So don't give up on the war yet. The Senate doesn't speak in anything like unison yet. There are senators who are not in surrender mode -- maybe even enough of them to let the general do his job

Posted by: Kathryn | July 12, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The unremarkable interpretation that the vice president is to be treated like the president himself, when it comes to an executive order on classification practices that the president is free to repeal or modify at will, is not the stuff of a constitutional crisis. It's not even unprecedented. In a 1994 legal memorandum, assistant attorney general Walter Dellinger reached a similar conclusion about Vice President Gore, determining that the vice president's office is not an "agency" for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. Dellinger's opinion pointed out that "the Vice President has no constitutional or statutory responsibilities as an executive branch officer," and that therefore general references to executive-branch entities are not sufficient to include the vice president.

Dellinger's 1994 memorandum wasn't met with accusations that Al Gore was "above the law." That's because, back then, a media reaction wasn't being stoked and scripted by Rep. Henry Waxman, the combative California Democrat

Posted by: Kate | July 12, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If it's moral failings and worse you're looking for, look no further than the report today by Woodward in WaPo. It turns out Bush and the Iraq Study Group knew last November that the Maliki government couldn't succeed.

Hundreds of lost lives of our troops and over a hundred billion of dollars later, Bush is still staying the course, unwilling to listen let alone learn.

In the Senate, an attempt to put curbs on Bush has gone down to a GOP filibuster.

If you're looking for moral failures, look no further than Congress.

I'm not interested in the sex lives of our "family values" politicians.... their moralistic preaching and finger pointing.

These sex-circus events keep the masses diverted while our government picks our pockets and curtails our freedoms.

Politicians count on short memories and long terms.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 12, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

funny, I never see Rs defending that behavior. Only Ds when they do it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The Vitter adultery issue concerns me. Republican, Democrat, something else...I don't care who commits adultery it is sin against God. I said it about Clinton, and am now saying it about Vitter, the moral decay of this nation is coming from the inside out. It is a travesty to have premier politicians in Washington DC as fornicators, adulterers and homosexuals. Vitter should be ashamed, and he should resign. However, this will likely not happen b/c anyone who would go out and take such actions as these has no moral decency. That being said, there should be a strong challenge from the right in a primary in 2010 against Vitter in La. Now we really see why he has endorsed Rudy Guiliani for President, huh? They both have horrible marriage woes, and have both taken advantage of being in places (NYC and La) in times where people needed leaders (WTC and Hurricane Katrina) and profiting off those incidents. I can truly say I hope he asks God for forgiveness. But, if he does, that means he will resign and thank God if he's able to keep his marriage in tact.

On a personal note, it angers me that conservative's/liberals in this room blasts a member of the other party and defends a member of their party for the same action. I say to you who do this that you are just as shameful and hypocritical as the politicans caught in the wrongdoing.

Posted by: reason | July 12, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

So we have social conservatives that supposedly have standards but tend to fall short of them. And we have Louisiana - a place that if you have not visited or lived there, you would have trouble grasping just how blase people are to the things that happen there and to just how much corruption you can fit into a state. I don't know if this scandal is a product of a social conservative gone bad or just a day in the life of Louisiana. I think CC is right when he highlights the three reasons that it is probably not the end of the line for Vitter. There is always somebody with an axe to grind against a politician - especially a Louisiana politician.

Posted by: Dave! | July 12, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, do Minnesotans describe themselves as "notorious" for good government, or for anything at all?

"NOT notorious" is how I would describe people who say their orgasms are "not too bad".

Actually, in fairness, y'all are "noteworthy" for good government. CC, take "note", please.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Video: Iraqi Insurgents Use Media To Spread Message

The Iraqi insurgency has bedeviled U.S. forces for years now -- driving American casualties over 3,600 dead.

The insurgency has turned to using the technology at its disposal -- including an array of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which are the roadside bombs that are the biggest killer of American forces.

Now, according to a new study, the insurgents have turned to using media for their purposes.

Watch this video report now:

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I recall a certain conservative boast - something to the effect that they took responsibility for their actions. Except when they can hide behind God and Family, I guess. Or Terrorists.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's another good example of why, and I say this with genuine sadness, we can't trust our current President to level with us about terrorism or national securtiy:

"The latest official threat assessment reporting that Al-Qaeda is making a comeback presents a mixed bag for the White House.

Blaring headlines about the terror network's resurgence neatly underscore Bush administration efforts to stir up public fears, which US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff seem to be doing recently in saying he had "a gut feeling" that Americans face more attacks this summer.

But read a little further into the National Counterterrorism Center's report on Al-Qaeda's status and something not so favorable to the White House position emerges. The terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks are not primarily re-grouping in Iraq, as the Bush administration constantly claims, but instead the assessment concludes that their real base of operations is along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

If anything, this report supports Bush critics who say the war in Iraq diverted critical resources away from the fight against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan."

Hmmm, sort of puts a dent in the whole "we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" BS, doesn't it. Apparently over "there" didn't and doesn't mean Iraq. Shocking.

Posted by: Colin | July 12, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I am the only dimwit permitted to ruin this blog for the day. I have been doing it for some time now and won't give up my spot. Keep out imposter.

the real ignoRANT coward

folks, please ignore that fake ignorant coward. He is not me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

'Just something to keep in mind from your reporter here. Iraq: 20 million people. Iran: 70 million people. Pakistan: 170 million people. And Pakistan is the one with the precipitous situation for its military government, widespread sympathies for the Taliban and Islamic jihadis, and the historical relationship with the UK whose citizens have easier access to US visas and entry. Oh yeah, and the bomb. Perhaps it's a good thing the USS Stennis carrier group is sailing back from the Persian Gulf to Hawaii. Sometimes, you don't get to choose your enemies, but they choose you.

Update: The new threat assessment, "Al Qaeda Better Positioned to Strike the West," will be briefed to the White House today. LAT: "Its conclusions will be incorporated into a more comprehensive and formal National Intelligence Estimate that is scheduled to be released this summer after two years of preparation."

I guess it's time for bush to go on vacation for a month now. Feeling safer yet? Hint: stay out of tall buildings and subways. Find a nice cave.

Posted by: Laura Rozen | July 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he was on a secret undercover mission like William Jefferson. Or was simply lying about s*x, like that other william Jefferson......

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that "Social Conservative' was code language for 'Sexual Pervert'?

Posted by: Sam | July 12, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

3 posts in a row from The Dimwit.I see the blog is ruined for the day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

'If Dems could be trained, this would be ideal work for them. giant american rats.'

noon -- right on time for the dimwit zouk to come on duty for the RNC.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think since the Dem congress hasn't lived up to their campaign promises, the benchmarks, their funding should be revoked.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who's idea it was for a gay debate? Had to be Edwards.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

For the past 10 years, a group of Belgian researchers based in Tanzania have been training a species of giant African rats to sniff out land mines and unexploded ordnance.

If Dems could be trained, this would be ideal work for them. giant american rats.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - You flatter Thompson. He looks more like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Posted by: Dieterman | July 12, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

We are accustomed to Social Conservatives turning out to be hypocrites. My take: in future when I read or hear someone described as a Social Conservative that person will go on to my watch list for sexual deviates.

Posted by: Alan | July 12, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What part of HYPOCRISY don't conservatives understand? Maybe it's just too hard for the bible yahoos to spell.

Posted by: Dieterman | July 12, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

He should take the "Democrat Fix" and enroll in some sort of rehabilitation program. That usually has Democrats "praying for his recovery" and will give him enough time for the heat to wear off!

Posted by: AJP | July 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

He should take the "Democrat Fix" and enroll in some sort of rehabilitation program. That usually has Democrats "praying for his recovery" and will give him enough time for the heat to wear off!

Posted by: AJP | July 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

afam, do u think he's at home recuperating from his surgery?

Posted by: ^ | July 12, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

After reading comments that Mrs. Vitter made about what she would do if the good Senator ever cheated on her (ala Lorena Bobbitt), voters and elections are probably not on his mind right now.

Posted by: afam212 | July 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra: the quote from Nixon about Thompson not being too bright will be written on his political gravestone. He is toast.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

$500,000 earmark was approved for Barracks Row in Washington, D.C., to beautify a little triangle-shaped park that houses a D.C. Metro station. The park is about eight blocks from the Capitol building in a revived neighborhood where real estate prices have been soaring.

Why federal taxpayers are spending half a million dollars to plant flowers in this city park could be the subject of a great debate. But what I wanted to know is why a congressman from California had his name attached to the earmark.

Representative Jerry Lewis, a Republican from the California desert, is the source of the Barracks Row earmark. In a House floor debate, he talked about the great history of the neighborhood, its attachment to Marine barracks not far away, a diverse community, and how his love of the city of Washington spurred him to support the revitalization of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Left out of his speech was one tiny fact I thought might interest you. Jerry Lewis and his wife own a $943,000 town home just three blocks away from the soon-to-be upgraded park.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Rumor has it DC brothels are now running a David Vitter special: Show your Capitol ID and get half-off a one-hour session.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 12, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

'Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson might be another fresh face. "I think there is a disconnect right now between the people of this country and Washington like I have never seen before," Thompson has said.'

The laughable MSM -- Thompson a 'fresh face' -- a guy who looks like a worn-out baseball mitt? And a neocon insider since he was a mole for Nixon?

Posted by: Cassandra | July 12, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Howie.

I think an old expression should be modernized to "Methinks the Republican doth protest too much."

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 12, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

These stories will never stop as long as voters, gullible Southerners in particular, keep buying into Republican sanctimony. In the mean time I wish Larry Flint a long and happy life.

Posted by: James | July 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

'Bush: Benchmarks report 'cause for optimism'

Iraqi government doesn't meet a single benchmark so bush moves the goalposts again and says 'cause for optisim'

batsh*t crazy

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody else think that the NIE on Qaeda will lead to rough waters for Republicans? They've based all of their arguments on their ability to fight terror, and now Osama's back to pre-9/11 strength. Bad news.

Posted by: mpp | July 12, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Small point: EWE's campaign slogan in 1991 was NOT "Vote for the Crook, it's important."

That was a gag bumpersticker and t-shirt that was going around (I've still got one).

Edwards always carefully played with his reputation for scandal, giving a wink and a nod about allegations or rumors, without ever directly admitting anything. I don't recall that his signs said anything more than "Edwards '91" on them.

That was a wild race and certainly one I'll never forget.

Posted by: Former Louisianian | July 12, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Bush didn't break much ground with his war speech Tuesday, and Slate's Fred Kaplan is distinctly unimpressed:

"It was, even by his standards, an unusually rambling speech, alternately folksy and haranguing, most of it about the virtues of tax cuts and private health care. A half-hour passed--and the cable news channels cut away to an incident at the Oakland airport a couple of times--before he came to the main point, the reason they were carrying the speech live: to articulate his latest views on Iraq.

"And the startling thing about these views is that they haven't changed a bit.

Posted by: what will we do when he starts weeping on camera? | July 12, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"The agony of Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) -- a self-proclaimed social conservative exposed Monday night as a customer of an escort service -- is one more float in a long and flamboyant parade of sexual follies and scandals served up by his generation of congressional Republicans. Previous attractions include former House members Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Bob Barr, Bob Livingston and Mark Foley . . .

"The modern social conservative movement grew in large measure as a reaction against the dominant cultural developments of the 1960s and 1970s. Traditional values advocates opposed casual sex, divorce, tolerance of alternative lifestyles and the supposed liberal mind-set that dictated (in the famous phrase), 'If it feels good, do it.'

"Many of this year's crop of candidates, however, have been enthusiastic beneficiaries of the sexual revolution and the more lenient cultural mores it ushered in.

"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Sen. Fred Thompson and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have all been divorced -- twice in the case of Giuliani. All have gone through phases in their lives in which they were known for fast-lane social lives."

Andrew Sullivan finds the revelation unsurprising:

"Why is one not exactly gob-smacked to find that a leading Republican Christianist was once a client of the DC Madam? I mean, a leading evangelical opponent of gay equality, Ted Haggard, was hiring a male hooker. We had the leading Republican campaigner against hooking up with minors online . . . hassling adolescent pages with IMs. We had Newt Gingrich committing adultery while impeaching Clinton. Why should we expect anything different from senator David Vitter?"

Posted by: Howie | July 12, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Stay under the radar...avoid the "Apology Tour" that Don Imus went on, which only put his career in the fast lane for termination.

Silence is Golden.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Mums the Word

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Posted by: Undercover Senator | July 12, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

And of course, as any married man knows:

When you engage the services of a hooker, you're not paying for the sex. You're paying for her to leave.

Posted by: JD | July 12, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Help me out, Profumo; what don't I get?

Of course cheating on your wife is wrong. My point was, it's more damaging politically when it's done by some Repubs than most Dems, based on what they profess to be important.

Now, whether prostitution SHOULD be illegal? IMHO, no, not if it's consensual, everyone's over 18, etc. The Government has no compelling interest to intefere in the oldest commerce around. But long odds of that change ever happening, outside of Nevada.

Posted by: JD | July 12, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a bill backed by U.S. House of Representatives Democrats that would slash subsidies paid to college student-loan companies such as Sallie Mae, Citigroup and Bank of America.

Expected to come up for a House floor vote on Wednesday, the House bill and a similar measure in the Senate have been attacked by the $85 billion student-loan industry, but championed by industry critics, including student groups.

The White House said late on Tuesday that if the House bill went to President George W. Bush "in its current form, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."

Rep. George Miller, chief sponsor of the measure, said in response: "It's unfortunate that the president would let a veto stand between millions of students and the college financial aid they so urgently need."

The California Democrat said, "This year, Democrats made a commitment to helping students and families pay for college, and we are delivering on that commitment."

Well of course Bush will veto it. He can't stand the idea of students getting aid, rather than gigantic taxpayer subsidies to industry giants.

Posted by: Sandy | July 12, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

WaPo today: Six years after the Bush administration declared war on al-Qaeda, the terrorist network is gaining strength and has established a safe haven in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan for training and planning attacks, according to a new Bush administration intelligence report to be discussed today at a White House meeting. So we launched a war of choice, and spent thousands of lives and billions of dollars, for what?

Posted by: Professor Bainbridge | July 12, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The Government Accountability Office tested the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and found that a fake company with fake names and fake credentials was able to secure real licenses to buy real radioactive material.

The undercover operation involved an application from a fake construction company, supposedly based in West Virginia, that the investigators had incorporated even though it had no offices, Internet site or employees. Its only asset was a postal box.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials did not visit the company or try to interview its executives in person. Instead, within 28 days, they mailed the license to the West Virginia postal box, the report says.

That license, on a standard-size piece of paper, also had so few security measures incorporated into it that the investigators, using commercially available equipment, were able to modify it easily, removing a limit on the amount of radioactive material they could buy, the report says.'

The most staggeringly incompetent administration the world has possibly ever seen...

Posted by: boggles the mind | July 12, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy and morality issues are obvious. Careful scrutiny of Vitter's email to AP could be interpreted that he did not tell his wife until the fan started to stink.

What is transcendent for me are the crime issues. Buying sex is illegal but I suspect the statute of limitations has run on any "John" offenses.

If Senator Vitter paid $300 an hour for sex to RICO brothels (WaPo denied my word of choice) it is likely that part of that taxpayer money helped put crack cocaine in the hands of children. Prostitution is not always a victimless crime.

I am not easily given to schadenfreude but I have little sympathy for Vitter. I feel for his family. Elmer Gantry

Posted by: Elmer Gantry | July 12, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, July 11 -- In an astonishing heist, guards at a bank here made off with more than a quarter-billion dollars on Wednesday, according to an official at the Interior Ministry.

The robbery, of $282 million from the Dar Es Salaam bank, a private financial institution, raised more questions than it answered, and officials were tight-lipped about the crime. The local police said two guards engineered the robbery, but an official at the Interior Ministry said three guards were involved.

Both confirmed that the stolen money was in American dollars, not Iraqi dinars. It was unclear why the bank had that much money on hand in dollars, or how the robbers managed to move such a large amount without being detected.

Posted by: it's your money, folks | July 12, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The Hustler guy is doing a great job with the exposing of these caracters. The little known story is Vitter was supposed to be doing the same thing with a number of madams in La. Surely this will hurt him, although not for what he did, but for the hypocrite he is.

Posted by: lylepink | July 12, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

If vitter resigns, what is the process to replace him?

Posted by: MI repub | July 12, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Gee Chris Cilizza, your phrasing "a notorious good government state like Wisconsin or Minnesota" is a little strange.

Why not "a renowned good government state"?

Is there some reason you find "good government" displeasing enough to use a word as negative as "notorious"?

Your usage here is a little beyond tongue-in-cheek humor... to me, it crosses the bounds.

Posted by: Golgi | July 12, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

(Overheard in the GOP locker room)
"Now, I may just be a rat, but this ship is sinking! Which way to the lifeboat, Captain Reid?"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

On Capitol Hill, where the Senate is debating Bush's Iraq strategy, an early vote on legislation fell victim to a Republican filibuster. But two more lawmakers, Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) and Chuck Hagel (Neb.), joined the growing ranks of Republicans who have broken with the administration, saying they would support Democratic efforts to begin U.S. troop reductions.

National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley met with key Republican lawmakers yesterday in an effort to stop the defections, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice placed phone calls. At least eight GOP senators have now said they favor one or more of several proposed amendments to a defense policy bill that would require a troop drawdown.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

'Vitter, meanwhile, stayed out of sight Wednesday. For a second straight day, the Louisiana Republican was a no-show in the Capitol, missing votes on Iraq policy and leaving colleagues unsure of his whereabouts or his return.

On Tuesday he missed a committee hearing and a lunch for GOP senators attended by Vice President Dick Cheney.'

If you can't do your job, quit.

Posted by: Sam | July 12, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the analysis on Vitter, Chris. You've put it all in perspective for a lay-politics follower like myself.

Posted by: Andre in Brooklyn | July 12, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

MI repub - Rudy does not claim to be a moral leader. He was however willing to shill for votes at Liberty University and that conservative Christian conference... and any time holier-than-thou phonies like that are given a seat at the table, I ask for the check.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Profumo, you raise an interesting point for me, an employers' attorney.

"And if you were an intern or staffer who didn't blow the president, wouldn't you have a discrimination case, since the woman who did got lucrative job offers at the UN and elsewhere?"

The answer is "No", because Congress exempted itself and the President from the very employment discrimination laws that would have created a problem for one of my clients.

Sam Nunn, John Danforth, and Warren Rudman were among a group of Senators who wanted Congress and the President INCLUDED in the definition of an "employer", but that never happened.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 12, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Besides, it happened almost ten years ago. The Iraq war is still happening, troops are still dying, we're still not winning, and we're still losing money, soldiers, international prestige, etc. at a ramp rate.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be no mention in the press of the current use of the filibuster by Senate Republicans. In the previous Congress, as I recall, there was much criticism of Democrats for suggesting that they might filibuster Bush's Court appointments.

But Republicans have stopped ordinary legislation at least twice in the last week by threatening extended debate. But where's the mention of it in the press? In the NYT story this morning about the amendment to give troops more time at home, the f-word only appears in the second to last paragraph. shouldn't they be called on this?

If anything it's worse than this as Senate Republicans have been filibustering just about everything. Everything on Iraq certainly. If this isn't 'obstruction' what is?

It's frightening just how how sold-out to republicans the national press is. Even Ann Coulter says, 'they belong to us now.'

Posted by: Shameless | July 12, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Bokono says " But as soon as you make the moral/immoral conduct of a candidate in his/her private life a deciding factor, you're standing in a glass house with a big ol' pile of stones."

I agree that we don't elect people on their moral conduct. However, when one professes to be moral leader, this prism certainlz applies.
On that matter, neither Clinton or Rudy claims to be one.

Posted by: MI repub | July 12, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Profumo -

IT'S JUST SEX. Get over it!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

What Blarg & JD still don't get is that something can be legal, but very, very wrong. Unfortuantely, Yale-educated Clinton (and his barrister and non-barrister defenders) never make that connection.
It's also possible that there are, shades of George Costanza, some prohibition (again, not illegal; but....) against sex in a federal office? And if you were an intern or staffer who didn't blow the president, wouldn't you have a discrimination case, since the woman who did got lucrative job offers at the UN and elsewhere?
The Clinton scandal, like an NBA player stopped for speeding and then some, wasn't just about the initial offense- it was the perjury, the witness intimidation, the ponitificating (like the 9mm, the pot, the outstanding warrants).

Posted by: Profumo | July 12, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If his lockstep support of President Bush and this foolish war won't sink him, or his blowing through all the money he's raised, well, violating federal criminal law and Senate ethics rules just might:

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, Senator John McCain ducked off the Senate floor, entered the Republican cloakroom and took out his mobile phone. Just hours after accepting the resignation of his two top campaign aides, he was making a conference call to his top fund-raisers to urge them to keep up the fight.

The call, however, may only have exacerbated an already tough week for Mr. McCain. Senate ethics rules expressly forbid lawmakers to engage in campaign activities inside Senate facilities. If Mr. McCain solicited campaign contributions on a call from government property, that would be a violation of federal criminal law as well....

Posted by: HEY CC-- check it out | July 12, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Heh heh... you said "briefing." Heh heh...

Posted by: George W. Bush | July 12, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

USA Today leads with a previously unreleased Army investigation that says Iraqi police cooperated with the insurgents who carried out the daring January attack in Karbala that killed five U.S. service members. Among its findings, the investigation concluded that Iraqi police disappeared from the scene before the attack, and insurgents had inside information because they knew how the Americans would defend themselves as well as where to find U.S. officers. In case anyone needed it, the report served as a stark reminder of how militants have been able to infiltrate Iraqi security forces.

Posted by: - | July 12, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr. President, have you been wearing the uniform without full briefing from me?

Posted by: Karl | July 12, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What do you think Bush would do if he got another memo saying "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."? do you think he would have take it more seriously than he did the last time? And if he did, what would he do about it? Other than recommending more troops to Iraq, while simultaneously blaming the Democrats?

We made a tragic mistake in November of 2000.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

David V., thank you for getting me out of the headlines. Now I can go back to my honey.

From L.A., muchas gracias

Posted by: Now can I keep my wife's name? | July 12, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Karl doesn't usually let me wear the uniform, heh heh...

Posted by: George W. Bush | July 12, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The Los Angeles Times leads with "three top U.S. intelligence officials" saying that al-Qaida has been gaining strength recently, primarily due to its ability to operate freely in Pakistan, which increases the risk that the terrorist network will carry out an attack in the United States.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I made a mistake. It's just that I really like sex. Especially when I am wearing a police uniform.

Posted by: David Vitter | July 12, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

He forgave me but my wife, not so much.

Posted by: WITHHELD | July 12, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Vitter, take your Jesus cross and ram up your.... and then go tell your children how to act like little angels, just like you. What did God say to you when you asked him and your wife for forgiveness?

Posted by: dimbulb | July 12, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It strikes me that we are in an eerily similar situation to 1999 and 2000.

-- The United States is fully aware of Al Qaeda training camps operating openly, with links to cells and operatives in Western Europe elsewhere;

-- Our government is picking up increasing signs of communications, movements of money, and other signals indicative of planning for future attacks;

-- An internal debate is occurring over whether to take action against those training camps, including military strikes; while those who are forward leaning are pushing for more aggressive risk-taking, others are cognizant of not wanting to violate sovereign territory and risking large civilian casualties;

In 1999 and 2000, we were talking about Afghanistan. Today, it is Pakistan. The Clinton Administration was savaged after 9/11 for "treating terrorism as law enforcement", excessively taking into account the diplomatic sensitivities of other nations, and too much regard for civilian lives when we could have killed the bad guys with a missile strike. The Bushies said that would not happen on their watch.

So why is it happening again? At least the Clintonites did not have "the lessons of 9/11" as a backdrop.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

MI repub says, "What Vitter did is immoral... Any person be a republican or a democrat or an independent should demand that we have leaders who can see right or wrong and follow that.
On other note, don't blame Rudy for not coming on hard to his guy. He loved more than one person (!) while married to one."

-So was what Rudy did "immoral"? (here I refer not only to his shameful treatment of two wives - so far - but also his shameless exploitation of 09.11, including the references he has made to the firefighters who most definitely do NOT support him.) I actually agree with you - in his personal life, Bill Clinton was a $h1t. I was able to support him anyway because 1)the alternative would have been worse and 2)I didn't vote for him to be my moral compass. I voted for him to manage the government in Washington.

But as soon as you make the moral/immoral conduct of a candidate in his/her private life a deciding factor, you're standing in a glass house with a big ol' pile of stones.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 12, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.

For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give what one panel member called a "Churchillian" vision of "victory" in Iraq and defend the country's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

Later that morning, around the same conference table, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden painted a starkly different picture for members of the study group. Hayden said "the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible," adding that he could not "point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around," according to written records of his briefing and the recollections of six participants.

"The government is unable to govern," Hayden concluded. "We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function."

Posted by: 'churchillian' LOL | July 12, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, no matter how quickly U.S. troops are reduced in those countries over the next few years, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The Bush administration and Congress have allocated $577 billion to the conflicts through the end of the current fiscal year, but that amount is only a small down payment, the report suggested in examining the impact of various deployment scenarios.

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If today's troop level -- roughly 180,000 -- is cut by 85 percent by 2010 and remains at that level through 2017, the total cost of the two conflicts would be an additional $472 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office figures. If U.S. troop deployments were cut more gradually -- to 75,000 soldiers, or by about 60 percent, by 2013 -- the additional costs would be nearly $600 billion. Keeping troops at that level for five years beyond that would cost $300 billion more, the report said.

The report points out that the costs of the Iraq war in particular have been increasing rapidly with this year's expected tally of $135 billion amounting to a 40 percent increase over 2006. It notes that the average cost of a single U.S. soldier in Iraq last year was $390,000, up 22 percent from the $320,000 it cost in 2003.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

This is a hypothetical scandal for you English. This non-story has no lasting political effect in Louisiana. Fix the levees and let this non-story die.

Posted by: James in B R | July 12, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The most important debate of this generation is occuring now in the United States Senate. Senator Vitter needs to quit hiding and go to work. If he can't show up for work because he's hiding from the press, other Members, staff and associates, and most importantly his constituents, then he should resign immediately.

And for you GOP apologists: Maier "said she decided to name Vitter as a client because she was angry" that the DC allegations "made him look like a one-dimensional adulterer." Maier: "All I wanted to get across when I saw the paper this morning is this b---- -- she calls herself a madam -- she's gonna throw this number out without a face, and without telling people what good he's done." She said her women "considered Vitter a decent man." Maier: "His wife should be very proud of her husband irregardless of what he's done. ... He was not a freak. He was not into anything unusual or kinky or weird." Maier also "said he favored one prostitute named Wendy Cortez" Maier also told AP that Vitters' visits weren't "all about dirty, rauchy, crazy sex." Maier: "In fact, he just wanted to have somebody listen to him"

Posted by: DCBuckeye | July 12, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh Dems, you should also ask your leaders to follow the example :)

Posted by: MI repub | July 12, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

What Vitter did is immoral. However, people who defend him must answer why defend him?
I hated (more like disliked) Clinton and supported his impeachment by calling and writing to my congressman. Any person be a republican or a democrat or an independent should demand that we have leaders who can see right or wrong and follow that.
On other note, don't blame Rudy for not coming on hard to his guy. He loved more than one person (!) while married to one.

Posted by: MI repub | July 12, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

At the very least, if Vitter wants to keep his seat, he should stop wailing about sin and repentance. I would have had far more respect for him - and for Clinton, for that matter - if he had just said, "Yes, I made a mistake. It's just that I really like sex." and just left it at that. Phony moralizers are almost invariably the ones most likely to be guilty of the moral transgressions that REALLY count. For me, sex just doesn't rank as high as (for example) stealing an election. or deceiving the country in order to play Army. or promising to rebuild New Orleans, then doing little to nothing. Or reneging on international commitments made by those far smarter than you are. I could go on, but I'm sure you see my point.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 12, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is gathering and sorting information about Americans to help search for insurance cheats and crooked pharmacists, according to a government report obtained Tuesday.

Records about real estate transactions, motor vehicle accidents and complaints about Internet drug companies are being searched for common threads to aid law enforcement officials, the Justice Department said in a report to Congress on the agency's data-mining practices.

In addition, the report disclosed government plans to build a huge new database on all manner of financiail transaction to assess the risk posed by people identified as potential or suspected criminals.

The chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the Justice Department said the database was "ripe for abuse." The American Civil Liberties Union immediately derided the quality of the information that could be used to score someone as a criminal threat.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It's "dire straits", dear, not "straights". Furthermore, Governor Edwards never had to pay anyone for sex. Vitter is much more dangerous for our beleaguered state in bed with the current Republican regime. Those guys are perfectly willing to sacrifice Louisiana's Katrina victims in order to do battle with our Governor and Senior Senator. Vitter does the bidding of his masters to further his own political ambitions, wrapping himself in Flag and Bible. That's the real sin of David Vitter.

Posted by: susan saunders | July 12, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It's "dire straits", dear, not "straights". Furthermore, Governor Edwards never had to pay anyone for sex. Vitter is much more dangerous for our beleaguered state in bed with the current Republican regime. Those guys are perfectly willing to sacrifice Louisiana's Katrina victims in order to do battle with our Governor and Senior Senator. Vitter does the bidding of his masters to further his own political ambitions, wrapping himself in Flag and Bible. That's the real sin of David Vitter.

Posted by: susan saunders | July 12, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Despite knowing that alternatives existed for providing vehicular armor kits to the Army and Marine Corps, Pentagon procurement officials awarded over $2 billion in "sole-source" contracts to two big defense companies that had difficulty delivering the armor on time, according to a June 27 Defense Department Inspector General report. At the time the contracts were awarded to Force Protection and Armor Holdings, senior officials argued for competitive bidding:

Force Protection, Inc., did not perform as a responsible contractor and repeatedly failed to meet contractual delivery schedules for getting vehicles to the theater. In addition, (U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command) Life Cycle Management Command and Marine Corps Systems Command decisions to award commercial contracts to Force Protection, Inc., may have limited the Government's ability to ensure it paid fair and reasonable prices for the contracts.

As for Armor Holdings -- which, by the way, is being purchased by the much-investigated BAE Systems -- delivered to TACOM armor kits with "missing and unusable components" and missed several shipment deadlines, resulting in "increasing risk to the lives of soldiers." According to the IG report, Simula didn't qualify under the Federal Acquisition Regulation as a "responsible prospective contractor," but it got its contracts anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Let me remind you hypocrites [and there are no bigger hypocrites in the world than modern republicans] that Vitter said Clinton should be removed from office for what he did. But I don't see Vitter quitting, do you? Scumbag. And here's another one. Is there a single repug who isn't a creep, a swine, a low-life perv? I doubt it:

TITUSVILLE - Rep. Bob Allen was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a local park after offering to perform a sex act on an undercover officer in exchange for $20, police said.

Allen, R-Merritt Island, was booked into the Brevard County jail in Sharpes on a charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a $500 fine.

He was released a few hours later after posting $500 bail, according to a jail spokesman. The legislator, who was first elected in 2000, could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 12, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I see Blarg beat me to my point, 2 minutes earlier....

Posted by: JD | July 12, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I think the main issue here, is that if you're a politician and you're going to make your bones around one or two main causes, don't be caught being a hypocrite.

For example, if the righties are going to stress morality, family values, etc., you've got Vitter and whats-his-name, Livingstone, getting caught - far more powerful than a lefty, whose constituency may not care that much for that brand of morality. Same on the left: if Al Gore is going to rail against the damage tobacco causes families, don't be discovered taking tobacco subsidies, or grow it on your farm, etc. (This works for any signature issue: profligate spending and earmarks on the right, global warming and multiple mansions/private jets on the left).

Posted by: JD | July 12, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Vitter was known for moralizing about sexuality. He was a "family values" politician, who campaigned on a defense of traditional marriage. The whole time, he was violating his own marriage vows with a prostitute. He preached sexual morality, but he himself was sexually immoral. He's a hypocrite.

Clinton didn't moralize about sexuality. He didn't excessively talk about family values or traditional marriage. He didn't create a false persona of a loving, moral family man. And his affair with Monica Lewinsky wasn't actually illegal, unlike Vitter's affair with a prostitute.

Republicans don't seem to understand what hypocrisy means. I'm reminded of the Ted Haggard situation. An anti-gay preacher was revealed to be gay. Democrats laughed. Republicans whined that it's wrong to attack someone for their sexuality. But Haggard wasn't attacked for his sexuality, he was attacked for hypocrisy. Being gay isn't a bad thing. Being gay while you constantly tell everyone that homosexuality is evil, on the other hand, is hypocrisy. Just like preaching the defense of marriage while banging a hooker on the side.

Posted by: Blarg | July 12, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, New Orleans isn't exactly a hotbed of political altruism. It's more like a hot bed.

Posted by: JD | July 12, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The real question should be more substantive. Vitter has emphasized abstinence education and opposed teaching high school students about contraception. But if he, as a married man with a beautiful wife, cannot abstain from non-marital sex, how can he expect that 100% of teen-agers would abstain from any sex at all? Doesn't his own behavior indicate that it might be useful to provide contraceptive education to students since some will stray and isn't contraception a great way of avoiding abortion?

Posted by: pro-sex ed | July 12, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I can only hope that his wife follows through on her threat.

Posted by: John Paul | July 12, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

At least Vitter has yet to violate the absolute stake in the heart of a political career: don't get caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. He will probably ride this out in the near term. If his marriage has a Giuliani style meltdown in the press by 2010, he will be toast. If not, he should be reelected depending upon the political opposition, and the change in climate before the end of the decade. The BIG EASY didn't get that name for nuttin...............................

Posted by: L.Sterling | July 12, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

For those who have not seen them Walter Boasso's ads are some of the best I have ever seen and are drawing a lot of attention down here. Would like to know who made them.

This guy is getting his name out in big way and could be a position to pick up the ball if the Vitter stumble spills over to Jindal. Check out the ads if you haven't already.

Posted by: Paul in N.O | July 12, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

It's irrelevant to Razorback that unlike Clinton, Vitter was acting hypocritically, and also unlike Clinton was committing crimes (whether it should be a crime being another matter). The Republicans did everything they could to get Clinton for lying during a political witchhunt enabled by a very questionable Supreme Court decision, so why shouldn't Vitter's enemies do everything they can to get his sanctimonious ass?

Posted by: newageblues | July 12, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

straits. Like the Strait of Gilbratar. The Louisiana Democratic Party then finds itself "in dire straits".

Posted by: Matt | July 12, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

This exchange occured yesterday:

"Loudon Voter says:

Razorback: Unlike Clinton, this pig Vitter has built his career on public moralizing about sexual matters. So public discussion of his proclivity for banging hookers (a crime, by the way, unlike Clinton getting BJs from Lewinsky) is quite appropriate."

To which I responded:

"Of course. Its obvious. Fair game for R's but not for D's. How rational.

Does it also follow that someone who moralizes about how they have a superior sense of compassion should also be held to a higher standard when they commit an act that shows a complete lack of compassion towards the 2 people they public profess to have the most compssion for? That would be Bill Clinton moralizing about compassion while treating Hillary and CHelsea like crap?"

It will be interesting to see if any liberal who posts on this blog can articulate a rule which can be applied to politicians of any ideology when it comes to what is and isn't a private matter.

Lefties, can you do no better can you do not better than "questionable conduct is private for politicians who agree with me, but is not private if done by a politician who disagrees with me".

Posted by: Razorback | July 12, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious post, Mark.

CC says "wild speculation about whether the revelation will cripple his political career." It's hardly WILD speculation and heck, it's a fact, not speculation at all. It won't help and and it will hurt his political career. Will it force him to resign? Will he lose his seat over it eventually (2010?)? Those are speculative statements.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 12, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

In Texas we think of Louisiana as so wide open that we are surprised Vitter did not say
how much the threesomes meant for the health of his marriage. But, alas,the veneer of Baptist denial of that sexuality that might lead couples to the sin of dancing is no longer confined to Waco and Louisiana just may not be any fun at all after this.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 12, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

In response to a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking public disclosure of e-mail messages he exchanged with the state union president who is also a former companion, Mr. Corzine said he had decided simply to stop using e-mail. He has insisted that his e-mail messages from a private campaign account to the union leader, Carla Katz of the Communications Workers of America Local 1034, are private, and therefore insulated by executive privilege.

Email covered by executive privilege? Isn't that an interesting theory.

Posted by: LiberalHypocrit | July 12, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I generally agree with your analysis, Chris. Even though this mini-scandal could be potentially fatal, the Democrats won't be able to capitalize on it by nominating a shadow candidate.

Obvious hypocrisy aside, I think Sen. Vitter's woes shine light on a different problem for the GOP in terms of how different wings of the GOP are at odds with each other. You can read more about that at

Good post, Chris. And exactly what IS it with Louisiana politicians?

Posted by: The 7-10 | July 12, 2007 6:52 AM | Report abuse

This issue will be forgotten by the time football mini-camp begins. Although it's way out of line for a public official to behave this way, you hit the nail on the head with your three examples of why he will survive this. Unfortunately, this is "small potatoes" today and we are jaded by so much wrong doing. Esenttially, he got out in front of this and apologized, first....Game over!

Posted by: Tom | July 12, 2007 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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