Claims to fame: Junior U.S. Senator from Louisiana; former U.S. House rep; anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-safe sex, abstinence-only crusader; anti-science creationist; anti-United Nations, warmongering globalist; anti-SCHIP gun nut; Southern regional chairman of Rudy Giuliani‘s 2008 Republican presidential campaign; real “family values” family man; hothead; adulterer; diaper-wearing hooker’s john
We say: neither. See, we have nothing against safe, sane sexual activity of any flavor of kink between consenting adults. We do, however, have a big problem with a self-righteous, moralizing hypocrite who demonizes gay and lesbian Americans under the guise of preserving the “sanctity of marriage” while trampling all over the sanctity of his own marriage… and then lying about it, repeatedly.
No, ’twasn’t the sex, nor the diapers; we say it was the continuous gay-bashing — followed closely by Vitter’s condemnation of Bill Clinton as “morally unfit to govern”… which, curiously, doesn’t seem to apply to Vitter himself in the strange, dichotomous world of “sin and redemption” theology.
“[T]o recap,” wrote Glenn Greenwald, “in Louisiana, Vitter carried on a year-long affair with a prostitute in 1999. Then he ran for the House as a hard-core social conservative family values candidate, parading around his wife and kids as props and leading the public crusade in defense of traditional marriage.
“Then, in Washington, he became a client of Deborah Palfrey’s.”
The Times-Picayune spelled out the details on July 10, 2007, while Mary Ann Akers explained exactly how Vitter’s cover was blown: Dan Moldea, “the gumshoe Washington-based reporter who moonlights as an investigator” for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, was working “to expose ‘hypocrites’ on Palfrey’s client list.”
If that isn’t enough to convince you that David Vitter is a slimeball to the nth degree, there’s always his frightening temper, resulting in an assault on a woman (and fellow Republican) — or there are his apparent ties to David Duke, and related dirty tricks. See “There is a house in New Orleans,” Mary Jacoby, Salon.com, October 29, 2004.
• Vitter is one of the great Queens of Denial. Noted ABC News in mid-2007: “On Aug. 30, 2005, the day after Hurricane Katrina hit, Vitter erroneously told the public that, ‘In the metropolitan area in general, in the huge majority of areas, [the water is] not rising at all. It’s the same or it may be lowering slightly. In some parts of New Orleans, because of the 17th Street breach, it may be rising and that seemed to be the case in parts of downtown. I don’t want to alarm everybody that, you know, New Orleans is filling up like a bowl. That’s just not happening.’”
Some current polls may suggest that people are turned off by the whole Clinton mess and don’t care — because the stock market is good, the Clinton spin machine is even better or other reasons. But that doesn’t answer the question of whether President Clinton should be impeached and removed from office because he is morally unfit to govern.
The writings of the Founding Fathers are very instructive on this issue. They are not cast in terms of political effectiveness at all but in terms of right and wrong — moral fitness. Hamilton writes in the Federalists Papers (No. 65) that impeachable offenses are those that “proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”
— David Vitter
October 29, 1998
I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess.
— David Vitter
on Bob Livingston’s resignation
to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 20, 1998
I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.
— Vitter’s wife, Wendy, to the Times-Picayune, 2000
…on whether or not she could forgive her husband for an extramarital affair (as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston’s wife had)
This wasn’t in response to any dramatic issue or event, but to the cumulative stress from working in a high-pressure job, living in two cities, building a house, raising four young kids including a newborn, having our campaign activities based at home and traveling the state considering running for governor.
— David Vitter
…explaining why he and his wife had entered counseling for marital problems, and why he was abandoning a gubernatorial run… a week before he was forced to confront the Canal Street brothel allegations (which he denied, of course, calling the story “a rumor and attack campaign”)
(“The irony,” wrote Kos two and a half years later, “is that Vitter dropped out of that governor’s race last year because of an affair with a prostitute and has an illegitimate child with another woman. No big scoop — this is all out in the open and well-known in the state, yet Vitter is still running on a ‘family values’ platform and obviously getting away with it.”)
This is a real outrage. The Hollywood left is redefining the most basic institution in human history, and our two U.S. Senators won’t do anything about it.
We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts’s values. I am the only Senate Candidate to coauthor the Federal Marriage Amendment; the only one fighting for its passage. I am the only candidate proposing changes to the senate rules to stop liberal obstructionists from preventing an up or down vote on issues like this, judges, energy, and on and on.
— David Vitter
Statement on Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage
I’m proud to join Matt and the entire Alliance for Marriage in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment and other pro-family, pro-marriage initiatives that we are pursuing in the Congress. Matt, I think your group, including the representatives here today, illustrate what a broad and deep consensus this is in the country — that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. … Your group recognizes a central truth from throughout human history, that marriage is the most important social institution in human history and is the most significant factor in terms of minimizing all sorts of social ills. We go on the floor of the Senate and debate domestic problems, drug use, crime, illegitimacy, all of these things, and yet the single biggest factor in all of those problem areas is the single question: “Is there a mom and a dad at home helping bring up kids?”
— David Vitter
Alliance for Marriage Press Conference
May 25, 2006
I don’t believe there’s any issue that’s more important than this one. I think this debate is very healthy, and it’s winning a lot of hearts and minds. I think we’re going to show real progress.
— David Vitter
on the importance of a constitutional
amendment to ban same-sex marriage
This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there — with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.
— David Vitter
July 9, 2007
Memorable pre-scandal observation:
Louisiana Senator David Vitter, speaking at a Lafayette Parish Republican Executive Committee luncheon, referred to hurricanes Katrina and Rita coming through the same areas as a same-sex marriage.
In his statements at the luncheon, Vitter referred to the impact of both hurricanes on the Lafayette area. “Unfortunately, it’s the crossroads where Katrina meets Rita,” said Vitter. “I always knew I was against same-sex unions.”
. . .
In response to the comments by Vitter, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese sent the following letter to Vitter:
… Katrina and Rita caused devastation and despair for millions of Americans, including gay Americans. There simply is no way to make a joke out of this kind of disaster.
Either you need a new speechwriter, or your sense of humor is really off the mark. Your state is home to almost 9,000 same-sex families, according to 2000 U.S. Census data. These constituents also faced devastating losses caused by the hurricanes, and I doubt they found any humor in your jokes.
More than 1,100 rights, responsibilities and protections are denied to same-sex couples without the right to marry. That means the same-sex couples who lost loved ones in the hurricanes will be unable to receive Social Security benefits as other spouses will. They won’t get tax-free access to their spouses’ pensions. For families already facing hardships from the hurricanes, they have these obstacles and more to confront. The last thing they need is their elected officials mocking their misfortune.
At the very least, the people of Louisiana are due an apology.
Louisiana Senator Compares
Hurricanes to Gay Marriage
October 18, 2005
Memorable post-scandal observations:
David Vitter stands aside other Towering Icons of the Great Social Conservative Movement, those moral stalwarts who are defending The Institution of Traditional Marriage in our country — he stands with Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Fred Thompson, and Vitter’s chosen presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani…
As always, it is so striking how many Defenders of Traditional Marriage have a record in their own broken lives of shattered marriages, multiple wives and serial adultery. And they never seek to protect the Sacred Institution of Traditional Marriage by banning the un-Christian and untraditional divorces they want for themselves when they are done with their wives and are ready to move on to the next, newer model. Instead, they only defend these Very Sacred Values by banning the same-sex marriages that they don’t want for themselves.
— Glenn Greenwald
Sen. David Vitter, a leading
Christian social conservative
July 10, 2007
Perhaps Vitter ought to revisit the issue of whether the absence of moral fitness is a firing offense for a public official.
A Blast from Vitter’s Past
July 10, 2007
If Deborah Jeane Palfrey is being prosecuted for racketeering, then, shouldn’t Vitter implicated as an enabler? What is good for the gander, is good for the goose.
It takes two to racket.
It is also a racket that the woman gets legally swatted but not the John, or the David.
— Stephen Sabludowsky
David Vitter, Resignation and Prosecution
July 10, 2007
But… you have to understand. Dressing up like a school boy and getting a spanking from a woman in a nun’s habit wouldn’t be half as much fun if you didn’t first run around telling everyone else it is wrong, wrong, wrong, to dress up like school boys and get spankings from women in habits.
— Comment from “jake”
David Vitter has a long history of voting against the sexual freedom of other people, and against rights for loving, faithful families that center around two people who happen to be of the same gender. Vitter votes to deny homosexual couples equal marriage rights, using the excuse that homosexuality somehow threatens the sanctity of marriage. Yet, at the same time, Senator Vitter has been running around abusing the sanctity of his own marriage. Homosexuals were not to blame for that. David Vitter was to blame. …
The public offense of Senator David Vitter is not his extramarital affairs, or his use of prostitutes. That’s all between David Vitter, his wife, and the local police.
The public offense of Senator David Vitter is to deny equal rights under the law to many American families, and to refuse government support for programs that help people plan their families and maintain them in healthy ways. David Vitter’s offense is to promote an anti-family agenda, and placing it into the disguise of conservative Christian religion, all the while betraying the requirements of that religion.
Vitter has cheated on the American people. That’s the affair that matters.
Bitter on Vitter
September 12, 2007
Suggested Bible reading for Mr. Vitter:
But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: