Paul  Weyrich

Perhaps it is time to say something about U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). It seems that not only was he a client of the so-called D.C. Madam but that he frequented a brothel in Louisiana. We are not certain of the latter because Senator Vitter has been unavailable since he admitted that he had committed a grave sin.

Senator Vitter is a brilliant fellow. In 2004, a good year for conservatives at the ballot box, Vitter won the Senate seat which had been held for three terms by Senator John B. Breaux (D-LA). Ironically, Vitter was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives when longtime Congressman Robert L. (Bob) Livingston (R-LA) resigned instead of becoming Speaker of the House. Livingston had challenged former Speaker Newt Gingrich and claimed he had enough votes to win the position. When it was disclosed that Livingston had cheated on his wife of many years, he resigned. It seems that Vitter's unfaithfulness occurred before he became a senator.

Former Secretary of State Edwin W. Edwards currently is serving time in federal prison after having bragged that he was a crook. As I write this Commentary, Representative William J. Jefferson (D-LA) is facing multiple charges of corruption. He claims that he can answer all charges, including those concerning the $90,000 found in his freezer by federal agents. Jefferson is innocent until proven guilty. He was able to win re-election by a comfortable margin after the charges were made against him. There is no indication that Jefferson's problems are in any way related to Vitter's. I merely cite him to illustrate that Louisiana seems to elect public officials who have problems.

Back to Senator Vitter. HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt has claimed responsibility for Vitter's confession. Flynt enjoys pointing out the immorality of Republicans and has been doing so for years. A dear friend of mine told me that she can tolerate Vitter, as he is a weak man and who among us has not done something we regret. But this friend went on to say that she doesn't want to live in a world where Larry Flynt is judge and jury, considering what he has done with his life.

That is exactly how I feel about the situation. Vitter has a weakness. We are all sinners. Scripture says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Vitter claims that he has received God's forgiveness. We have a merciful God.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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