More Republican Hypocrisy
In the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus takes aim at Sen. Vitter and her Post colleagues. Marcus complains that many in DC, including Post writers E.J. Dionne and David Ignatius, are calling Sen. Vitter's tryst with a hooker a "private matter." Yet the DC Madam is facing serious prison time. Marcus thinks this is just wrong.
But Vitter didn't just cop to a "very serious sin." It's a fair inference that he committed a crime. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "D.C. Madam" in whose phone records Vitter's number turned up, is facing federal charges of running a prostitution ring.
Do my colleagues bemoaning the loss of privacy think those charges should be dropped? Dionne says we should "grant Vitter our collective absolution and move on." Does he want to do the same for Palfrey? What makes Palfrey "fair game" for prosecutors, in Ignatius's words, but puts her client list off-limits?
Perhaps my colleagues are sexual supply-siders, uninterested in the demand part of the prostitution equation.
Ouch! For my money, Marcus is right. Vitter didn't just commit a sin, he committed a crime. It's not nearly as grave as briebry (I'm looking at you, Mr. Money In The Freezer) but it is still a crime. If he gets a free pass, shouldn't Palfrey get one as well?
But my favorite part of the article is the end, where Marcus shines her bright light on one last bit of GOP hypocrisy.
One man who has understood the importance of dealing with the demand side is former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who went after prostitution in the city by
targeting customers as well as prostitutes. Under "Operation Losing Proposition," Giuliani's police arrested johns and confiscated their cars. He didn't wring his hands over their lost privacy.
So what does Candidate Giuliani say now -- now that his own marital missteps are campaign fodder, and his southern regional chairman is David Vitter? At a town meeting in New Hampshire last week, Giuliani sounded like my fellow columnists. "I believe," he said, "it's a personal issue."