The senator has called for an ethics investigation of fellow senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and their staffs, characterizing the effort to shame him out of his Obamacare sabotage as “attempted bribery.”
Now I’m worried.
Vitter is frankly behaving like a man who is on the edge and enraged at the thought of being reminded that he has solicited prostitutes. Again, I don’t think we need to speculate on the senator’s private life to assume that certain personal issues that may have driven this man to crime are at risk of being agitated again.
Our goal should be to help Vitter remain in society’s good graces and remind him that his urges — whether they be to role-play repressed sexual fantasies or to specifically punish the lawmakers who support fixing a broken health care system by gutting their insurance coverage — don’t always need to be acted upon.
Democrats who seek to use Vitter’s personal failings are falling into the conservative trap of imprisoning the most vulnerable people in society and then continuing to punish these former convicts for the duration of their lives by depriving them of opportunities to rejoin society — or even participate in democracy — by taking away their right to vote.
Vitter is especially guilty of this in his effort to take food stamps from ex-criminals.
And you don’t have to be a psychotherapist to suggest that his need to punish others suggests that he has not forgiven himself for what he’s done to his own and his family’s lives, even though he basically got away with it.
This kind of internal conflict can lead to bad habits that should not be encouraged, no matter how delightful it would be to see a man who has voted to ban same-sex marriage and the right of gay couples to adopt be again publicly humiliated for his lack of family values.
I’m worry about David Vitter, no matter how much he doesn’t worry about me. So, Senate Democrats, give him a break. Don’t let this thing linger on and on, reminding everyone that Vitter is a hypocrite and how the powerful in society flourish regardless of their “sins,” while the powerless suffer for them.
Senator Vitter has already paid for his crimes — literally.
Copyright 2013 The National Memo