This post started out as a comment in response to this at the previous post below. It got long and full of links very quickly, so here it is instead. Anonymous said:
Let's end this business of Double, and even Triple Standards for republicans [sic] and Democrats. ...Have the decency to sacrifice your bad boys, as the Republicans have done. There will be a lot more civility if you do.
UM. OKAY. Each of these cases have their unique details, but to summarize:
Clinton - impeached. That is glossed over because he did not leave office and was acquitted by the Senate. But the impeachment of Bill Clinton paralyzed his administration for months on end, which was certainly in part the motivation of those pursuing it. And both Ensign and Sanford were self-righteous components in that effort. I wonder why the Right didn't do more to thank Paula Jones, the original accuser, who ultimately felt she had to pose nude for Penthouse magazine in 2000 to "secure" a future for her children.
Edwards - A total disgrace. I expect he will never run for anything again.
Spitzer - resigned on the spot.
David Vitter - Did not resign and is running for reelection to the Senate. His campaign website posts a Politico article which states, "The Republican establishment is all behind him." He appears to have saved his ass by becoming a 'leader' in anti-Obama circles, particularly in regard to Tea Party National Holiday referendums. See, and I am not making this up, teaparty.davidvitter.com. Also, he loves that number one old time GOP distract-o-matic, the muddafukkin Flag Amendment.
I hope the porn star beats him. I mean that figuratively, Senator.
Ensign - not resigned, applauded by GOP Senators after he showed 'candor.'
Larry Craig - did not resign, even though he initially promised to. Served out his term as Senator. Was "admonished" by Senate Ethics Committee, which also said they didn't like him spending $200,000 dollars of campaign money on his legal defense but did NOTHING about it.
Sanford - not resigning as yet. Several GOPers in SC said yesterday they would "stand by him and help him" with his "repentance". Yeah.
I HEREBY SACRIFICE "MY" BAD BOYS.
Clinton, Edwards, and Spitzer should have resigned/withdrawn/been removed from positions of elected office not due to their cheating ways, but for lying about it. In the case of Vitter, oh sorry, I mean Spitzer, prostitution is illegal and using the services of one should have just as many consequences for the John as for the prostitute.
Is that good enough for you, Anonymous? Because it isn't nearly good enough for me. In the cases above, I don't see where Republicans have sacrificed a single sweat bead. The jury is still out on Sanford? If we correctly remove his marriage/affair from the debate, HIS "crime" was abandoning his post and leaving the state in Constitutional crisis. The Republican State Legislature of South Carolina seems far too busy tripping over themselves to pray for their Governor to impeach him even for that.
Perhaps that is commendable. It certainly works politically.
There is a religious element to this of sin/perfectibility among fundamentalist Republicans that we're all sinners and the right amount of God talk bandages all sins. Notice that link is to a Bible-quoting guest editorial in the same exact paper that broke the stories of Sanford's actual whereabouts (and the love-your-tan-line hold-your-two-body-parts emails) that apparently led to his confession.
We're all sinners, we're all forgiven if we repent. But of course, this is notably only true for Republicans.
Of course, heavy-handed God talk is less present in the more secular Democratic politics. And maybe that's our fault. If we rose to the rhetoric of Republicans and...
...applauded everytime one of our Senators fucked a staffer and gave her and her family jobs and pay raises...
...knelt down in prayer everytime one of our Governors disappeared overseas to fuck a married woman he pursued on the internet....
...support an entire news network specifically so disgraced criminals like Ralph Reed, Tom Delay, and not to mention, Dick Cheney can resurrect their reputations...
But that would be a monumental FAIL, because while the Christianist GOP wing has all this forgiveness in their hearts for their own, there is also in right wing GOP/FOX discourse, a demonizing of Democrats as defenders of infanticide and as helping terrorists, and a blatant use of anti-sex moralizing to appear better than one's opponents. As much as I often chide Chris Matthews, he was absolutely right yesterday when he pushed hard on his question to Ken Blackwell**:
Blackwell will never say it, but Matthews knows full well that the GOP's core constituency has a very inconsistent, non-forgiving, "good and evil" view of the world when it comes to the other side of the aisle. This allows the right wing of the GOP to run against any Democrat who strays from their marital vows, or promotes choice, or endorses gay marriage or um, goes on record as favoring spending on healthcare. The GOP will throw up against such a Democrat yet another "family values" candidate who has yet to let his sin out of his pants, and particularly in the deeply "religious" deep South, they will win. There seems to be a bottomless trough of ambitious Republican politicians willing to run as holier than thou, knowing that if and likely when the subsequent gained political power becomes too much of an aphrodisiac, they will be forgiven by their political flock. Notice how the GOP forgiveness model is completely acknowledged and bowed to by the most notorious motherfucking hypocrite of them all, Newt Gingrich.
It's a no win situation for Democrats, even without people like Anonymous who are blind to the history that's being made before their very eyes.
**RE the Matthews/Blackwell clip: notice I'm using Crooks and Liars new swanky, free and way-easy-to-use embed code for the video above. Click on the title of ANY post there and a customizable embed code for the video in the post is on the right hand side. You can set the width (mine is 400) and the color of the frame. Shameless plug and gift from the gods. Thanks John Amato and team (especially Heather for videos and Jamie for webmastering) for your everlivin' kindness of always thinking of the small blogs and sharing the love (and bandwidth).