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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s been more than six years since Senator David Vitter (R-LA) admitted that he had engaged, regularly, in the crime of soliciting prostitutes.

“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter said in 2007.

Though he received no jail time and was ostensibly forgiven by his wife and then the voters of Louisiana, he hasn’t — as far as we know — committed the “sin” since.

Prostitution — unlike Vitter’s legislative record — is often called a “victimless crime,” because we like to imagine the horrors and abuses sex workers endure don’t really matter because these workers aren’t typically rich white senators. But it’s an actual crime that often funds other crimes, and it’s helpful for society that this wayward husband has, seemingly, been successfully averted from it.

So good for David Vitter. He’s proof that mistakes made in our youth — he was only in his mid-40s! — shouldn’t have to haunt us for the rest of our adult lives.

Regrettably, however, I have to call out Senate Democrats for what is clearly a bit of a low blow.

And by a “low blow,” I don’t mean something the old Vitter would dress in a diaper and pay extra for.

Politico‘s Manu Raju and John Bresnahan explain:

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has infuriated Democrats this week by commandeering the Senate floor, demanding a vote on his amendment repealing federal contributions to help pay for lawmakers’ health care coverage.

But Democratic senators are preparing a legislative response targeting a sordid Vitter episode. If Vitter continues to insist on a vote on his proposal, Democrats could counter with one of their own: Lawmakers will be denied those government contributions if there is “probable cause” they solicited prostitutes.

LOL. Okay, I shouldn’t LOL at that.

It’s cheap. It’s nasty. It’s a tactic so virulent that it’s something I’d expect from a really vile lout — like, say, David Vitter.

In May, the senator proposed banning certain convicts from receiving SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, for life. Because there’s nothing that makes America safer than a bunch of starved ex-criminals roaming the streets.

But that doesn’t excuse Democrats from anonymously seeking vengeance against Vitter just because he’s trying to use legislative sabotage to try to stop tens of millions of Americans from getting health care, or at least slow the process.

There’s a real risk in this sort of taunting because we can see from the senator’s reaction that he’s not a well man.

After the story came out, Vitter decided that one day of horrible headlines wasn’t enough — he wants to make this story go on and on.