Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
|Since Spitzer resigned, Vitter should, too|
Since New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer announced his decision to resign from office in the wake of the revelation that he solicited the services of a prostitute, U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana should tender his resignation, too.
That seems to be the fair course of action for Vitter to take since his brethren in the Republican Party took it upon themselves to exert their moral authority in calling on Spitzer to quit. Republicans, including elected officials and paid hacks, demanded Spitzer step down not long after news surfaced that the FBI possessed a wiretap of the governor soliciting a "hooker" to catch a train from New York to Washington to engage him.
Apparently, Spitzer, Democrat, became embroiled in this mess last year when his name popped up amid an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS was looking into a high-end prostitution ring concerning a call-girl company called Emperors Club VIP.
In an affidavit filed last week in federal court in Manhattan, Spitzer was referred to as "Client 9." Client 9 personally made telephone calls to Emperors Club VIP to arrange a fling at a hotel in Washington.
According to the affidavit, Client 9 paid $4,300 for his tryst with a "petite, pretty brunette." He also picked up the tab for the hotel room, train tickets, cab fair, room service and the minibar.
In the meantime, let us recall the events of 2007 when we learned that the name of the distinguished junior senator from Louisiana—Vitter—appeared on a list of clients belonging to the so-called "D.C. Madame," Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Palfrey operated a call-girl service in our nation's capital; Vitter was one of her customers.
Vitter also was linked to a prostitute in New Orleans. Her name is Wendy Cortez.
Vitter denied having a relationship with Cortez, though it should be noted that Cortez provided graphic details of her rolls in the hay with the senator. Cortez said Vitter ended their relationship when she informed him that her real name was Wendy. Apparently that was a bit too much for Vitter to handle—emotionally or mentally—since his wife's name is Wendy.
In calling on Spitzer to resign, Republicans said the governor was a hypocrite. They pointed to his gubernatorial campaign, which he waged on a platform touting his accomplishments as attorney general in New York. As New York's AG, Spitzer racked up a series of convictions stemming from investigations of corruption on Wall Street.
Thus, he earned the nickname "Mr. Clean."
How, then, Republicans asked, could Spitzer continue to serve as governor since he apparently broke the law by paying for a prostitute?
How, Republicans asked, could Spitzer serve as the leader of the Empire State since he violated that sacred trust, which supposedly exists between a man and his wife?
That brings us back to Vitter.
When Vitter campaigned for the Senate in 2004 he enjoyed the unfettered support of the so-called Rapture Right in Louisiana, casting himself as the family values candidate. The state GOP was unified in its support of Vitter, too.
Vitter was elected in the primary election among a crowded field of candidates, riding the coattails of a then-popular president, George W. Bush.
Finally, the Religious Right, or the Religion-On-Their-Sleeves-Right, had elected one of their own to the Senate.
Or so they thought.
In doing his best to keep up appearances, Vitter took the floor of the Senate on at least one, notable occasion to speak glowingly about the sanctity of family and marriage.
It was memorable a moment.
The shallow thinkers were proud; their boy was speaking their language.
Little did they know that their boy had a fetish for paying for sex and whatever else it was that took place behind closed doors between Vitter and one of his hookers.
Yet, that raises the question.
Since the Republicans were hell bent on calling for Spitzer to resign, what are they going to do with Vitter?
There is a limit to the hypocrisy that the American people can stomach.