Saturday, July 14, 2007

Prayers for Vitter: GOP equivalent of 10-foot pole

The answer to the question of "what would Jindal do" (WWJD) about the L'affaire Vitter came Friday when Guvna Wannabe issued what he no doubt thought was a Solomon-like statement on his erst-while mentor and predecessor's peccadillo.

Here's the statement, in full:

"While we are disappointed by Senator Vitter's actions, Supriya and I continue to keep David and his family in our prayers," Jindal said. "This is a matter for the senator to address, and it is our hope that this is not used by others for their own political gain.

Bobby! Where's the love, bro??? I mean, you hustled your family off to Metairie after Vitter announced his intention to run for the Senate. He handed you his seat. He endorsed you for governor in 2003.

Like the old Tonto and Lone Ranger joke, Jindal's apparently trying to put some distance between himself and his ex-climbing buddy. "What do you mean 'we,' kemosabe?"

Also, don't you just love the bit about hoping this "is not being used by others for their own political gain. Mr. Kettle, why are you saying those mean things about Mr. Pot. No, if anyone is going to use the Vitter implosion for their political gain that is Jindal's job.

It'll be fun to watch Jindal dodge reporters' questions about Vitter on his Monday statewide swing formally announcing his candidacy for governor. No reporter worthy of carrying a pen and paper will be able to avoid asking Jindal to clarify his statement on Vitter. After all, Jindal -- like Vitter, has based a substantial piece of his political career on ostentatious moral posturing. How can he possibly be allowed to let matters stand with a 'well, David's in a jam' statement. The man, after all, says he wants to set the moral and ethical tone for the state as Governor.

Then, there is the statement of 7th District Congressman Charles Boustany:

Boustany said, "David and his family are going through a difficult time, and my thoughts and prayers are with him."

Wow! Now, there's a warm embrace — not! Boustany probably speaks in warmer terms about his his wife's uncle than he does about Vitter.

Saying they are praying for Vitter and/or his family is the verbal equivalent of a 10-foot pole being used by a couple of frightened Louisiana Republican congressmen attempting to fend off the taint of Vitter's scandal.

No, no signs of courage or principle (other than survival) among those two.

One Republican who has remained absolutely silent on this matter is one of Vitter's longtime enemies — former Governor Mike Foster. Foster and Vitter clashed bitterly when Vitter was still a member of the Louisiana House. And, it was Vitter's work as a congressman (on behalf of Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed) fighting the Jena Choctaw Tribe's quest for a casino license from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that prompted what appeared to be the last round of the Foster-Vitter wars.

My guess is that Foster's silence is one of deep contentment. If, however, the ex-governor should turn up with an injury any time in the near future it will probably be the result of an over-exuberant celebration of Vitter's self-inflicted wounds.

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