I understand that there's a difference, legally-speaking, between pleading guilty to a criminal offense and tacitly confessing to a crime you haven't - and probably won't - be charged with, but I still think it's unfortunate that Larry Craig might be forced to resign by his fellow Republicans, while David Vitter has apparently survived being outed as a client of a major D.C. prostitution ring. I agree with Megan that what Craig did was arguably a greater betrayal of his wife than what Vitter may have done, but from any social-conservative calculus (or at least my social-conservative calculus) prostitution has to be considered a greater social evil than cruising for gay sex in bathrooms. This relates to a point I fumbled through in my conversation with Mark yesterday - the unfortunate extent to which socially-conservative politicians have focused their fire on gays, because opposing gay rights was for a long time an 80-20 issue for the Right (though no longer), while studiously ignoring the various beams in heterosexuals' eyes. It's a hard pattern to break, but the GOP could find worse places to start than making sure that Vitter shares whatever political fate awaits Larry Craig.
Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.