Marcus on Vitter

Where I would least expect it, Ruth Marcus takes a hard anti-Vitter line while David Ignatius makes excuses in a predictably establishmentarian way. Both links come via Ross who also wants Vitter to go.

And I agree -- it's hard to understand how criminal activity undertaken by a US Senator could constitute a "private matter." When police officers -- public officials -- catch people committing crimes, they're hauled before judges (public officials) by prosecutors (public officials) and sent to jails staffed by guards (public officials) or put under the supervision of parole officers (public officials). Breaking the law is the quintessential public matter. Perhaps if we were talking about allegations that Vitter broke the law when he was nineteen it could be conceived of as private, but that's not the case here.

If Vitter and Vitter's friends in the GOP caucus and the press don't think he should be punished for hiring a prostitute, I certainly sympathize with that view, but then they should take the line that nobody should be punished for this sort of thing. For the "DC Madame" to be on trial, where her Senator client gets off the hook because it's "private" is ridiculous. What about her privacy?