GOP Moral Relativism: Sen. Craig Must Resign But Sen. Vitter Can Stay

The clamor for Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig to resign is growing by the minute among Republicans in Washington. The senator’s inadvertent self-outing in an airport men’s room in June has rendered him too morally impure to remain in the GOP.

So what are the moral dictates behind the decision that Craig should go but Vitter can stay? There aren’t any. It’s all politics.

But when it was revealed in July that Sen. David Vitter’s number appeared in the D.C. Madam’s call list, these same Washington Republican elites readily accepted his apology for his “sins.” No one among the capitol’s conservative elite called for Vitter to step down.

Whatever happened to the Republicans’ vaunted “moral absolutism” on matters like these?

We have two Republican senators, both vocal supporters of “family values” — both have admitted to engaging in illegal activities. One pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from an undercover cop, the other got nabbed paying for sex, allegedly had a child with a prostitute and reportedly has a fetish for diapers.

So what are the moral dictates behind the decision that Craig should go but Vitter can stay?

There aren’t any. It’s all politics. The governor of Vitter’s state is a Democrat, and she would be eager to replace him with a Democrat. The governor of Idaho is a Republican, so his seat is safe. It’s that simple.

Sure, there’s a sexual component. Vitter is straight. Craig is not. But even the unseemly particulars are parsed through the prism of fratboy logic:

Vitters’ supposed diaper fetish — well, we knew he was weird. The out-of-wedlock prostitute baby-mama — hey, shit happens.

Elderly male anonymous sex in a bathroom — that’s just gross.

On a legalistic level, Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but Vitter admitted he had a role in a crime that was part of a racketeering investigation into the D.C. Madam’s enterprise. As one Louisiana writer put it, it “takes two to racket.” By any measure, racketeering is a much more serious crime than soliciting sex in a men’s room.

In the 1990s, Republicans blamed the America’s ills on the moral relativism of the 1960s’ generation and promised that if voters gave them the reigns of power, they would lead the country back to the straight and narrow by making clear judgments about what is right and what is wrong.

It didn’t work out that way, not hardly. And look who are the moral relativists now.

O! The hypocrisy.


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  • August 31, 2007 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t you think the difference is that Vitter is straight (yet kinky) and Craig is gay?

  • me
    September 4, 2007 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Craig, Vitter, who cares? Bush is a lying war criminal, and no one asks him to resign, not even the SPINELESS DEMOCRATS.

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