Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vitter flees Louisiana and his constituents

Republican Senator David Vitter has fled the state. Vitter's office announce Sunday that the Senator had cancelled a scheduled town hall meeting on Monday and had decided to head for what he must believe to be the friendlier confines of his DC apartment and the United States Senate.

Vitter's staff issued a terse, two-sentence statement on Sunday, informing the public and the press that he was cancelling a Monday Town Hall meeting scheduled for the small rural community of Greensburg in St. Helena Parish. The statement did not set a new date for the Greensburg event. It did say that Vitter was heading to Washington, ostensibly to vote on matters pending in the Senate.

Let the record show that, confronted with a collosal and growing political and moral crisis of his own making, the first-term United States Senator with a penchant for public moralizing spent a week in hiding (though he claimed to be in Louisiana) and did not in any way deliver his allegedly sincere apology to Louisiana voters for his actions that led to the scandal that threatens his political future.

The best Vitter has been able to muster has been a couple of statements on the scandal that is consuming his political career as we watch. The first statement was the one admitting his relationship with a Washington DC escort service. The second was the one on Sunday announcing Vitter's intention to duck his constituents and to flee to Washington.

The message from Vitter is clear: the people who elected him to office are not entitled to any answers from him. No, Vitter took a week off from work, spent some time with his family and missed at lease one key vote in the Senate. But, Louisiana voters who sent him to Washington to represent them are not entitled to any more than what he's said in a couple of press releases.

With these actions, Vitter places himself squarely in the Dick Cheney "Accountability is for Suckers" camp of elected officials (calling this "public service" would be to demean the language as much as Vitter has demeaned his office).

It will be interesting to see how Vitter's arrogance plays with voters. Are these the actions of a man asking the public for forgiveness or of a man shooting the public the bird?

1 comment:

JDD said...

Like Claude Rains in "Casablanca", I'm shocked, shocked that a Republican politician won't hold himself to the same standard of behavior that he's attempted to impose on others - not only attempted, of course, but used the power of his office and the influence that gives hin in the legislative process. Vitter will not resign, because the core Republican value is power.

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