It will likely be of little consequence to his opponent, Democrat Charlie Melancon, but Sen. David Vitter has landed with a thud on Esquire magazine’s list of the “10 Worst Members of Congress,” joining largely on the merits of his family-values hypocrisy the likes of Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (crazy), New York Congressman Charlie Rangel (corrupt) and Texas Rep. Joe Barton (corporate panderer).
The magazine writes of Louisiana’s junior senator:
Now, it’s one thing if you’re a whoremonger and make no real pretensions to be anything but. There’s even a kind of Laissez les bon temps rouler integrity to that type of rascal that we may even have to admire a little bit. He is, after all, what he appears to be. Edwin Edwards comes to mind. Remember a few years back when David Duke wrested the Republican nomination for governor of Louisiana to face Democrat Edwards in the general election? All the establishment Republicans panicked about having an actual sheet wearer as their standard-bearer, and so they all lined up behind the colorful Edwards with the slogan: “Vote for the crook. It’s important.” Now, those were the days, way back when slippery characters didn’t pretend to take God’s dictation.
Which brings us to the very special case of David Vitter, who is the worst kind of reprobate to be found in heaven, hell, or Washington. For Vitter is not at all what or who he says he is. A self-described “values conservative,” the public figure of David Vitter that we are all subjected to is a pinched, prissy man who sits in judgment of everyone and won’t shush about Jesus. Just a horrible bore who doesn’t like for sick children to have health insurance, hates family planning, is appalled by gay people and gay marriage and brown people from south of the border and the United Nations, all of which in the Vitter moral universe blur into the same thing: grave threats to the tautly ordered no-fun zone that is David Vitter’s immortal soul.
And, oh, how David Vitter does like to instruct on personal sexual conduct. “Abstinence education is a public-health strategy focused on risk avoidance ... by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice...” says Vitter.
Well, Aristotle and Shakespeare knew where this story was going centuries before any of us were ever born. Because of course David Vitter loves prostitutes. And of course he got caught. And yet he still wears his grotesque mask of righteousness, and Louisiana seems poised to be fooled again by the hypocrite this Election Day. Maybe they should first talk to Mrs. Vitter, who during more innocent times said of Hillary Clinton (and her husband’s manhood), “I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he [David] does something like that,” Wendy Vitter said, “I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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