July 20, 2007
V 35 Issue 29

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Cost of the
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General Gayety by Leslie Robinson
The scarlet letter
by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

If they would just stop telling the rest of us how to live, then they wouldn't be required to wear the scarlet "H" for hypocrite when they go off the rails. But too many powerful social conservatives refuse to figure this out until they find that letter stitched onto their designer lapels.

Consider two politicians who have just made the news in ways that surely has them yearning for the golden days of last month.

Louisiana U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Harvard-educated and a Rhodes Scholar, had been a model conservative Republican first in the U.S. House and then the Senate.

But when his phone number turned up on the D.C. Madam's recently published phone records, the Catholic Vitter issued a statement saying, "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

I know the former is considered the forgiving sort, but Vitter's wife once remarked on the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal that, "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he [Vitter] does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

I haven't yet heard about any Louisiana ER's coping with a certain daunting task.

Just last month Vitter, the father of four, pushed for increased federal dollars for teen abstinence programs. He wrote that averting teen pregnancy is best accomplished "by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness."

Give me an "H," give me a "Y," give me a "P," give me an "O," give me a "C" .

. . Vitter vigorously opposed same-sex marriage throughout his tenure in Washington. In a Senate speech a year ago on behalf of a constitutional amendment against Gay nuptials, Vitter declared it was "well overdue that we in the Senate focus on nurturing, upholding, preserving and protecting such a fundamental social institution as traditional marriage."

. . . give me an "R," give me an "I," give me a "T," give me an "E!" What's it spell? "VITTER!"

Despite concerns about Rudy Giuliani's social views being too liberal, Vitter signed on as the southern regional chair for the Republican's presidential campaign. We'll see whether Rudy signs him off.

John McCain's presidential campaign just saw one of its Florida co-chairs, Bob Allen, arrested for offering to perform oral sex on a male undercover cop.

Like McCain needed more problems.

Republican State Rep. Allen, married with one child, in March co-sponsored the Lewdness and Indecent Exposure Bill, which would've enhanced Florida's prohibition on public sex. It didn't pass. Lucky for him.

Allen supported amending his state's constitution to forbid same-sex marriage, backed Florida's ban on Gays adopting children, and opposed a measure protecting Gay students from bullying. His is a stellar anti-Gay record in Florida, one Anita Bryant could gush over.

According to the police report, cops on a burglary stakeout in Titusville noticed a man enter a park restroom three times. An officer went in, and was soon joined in a stall by Allen, who suggested they retire to a quieter area nearby. They agreed Allen would pay $20 to perform a sex act on the man. The legislator was arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution.

The next day Allen announced his innocence. He plans to fight the charges and stay in office. This was just-as we hear so often--a "misunderstanding."

Reading the cop's account, it's hard to imagine a misunderstanding. Perhaps Allen, this potential flamer and potential flaming hypocrite, actually meant he wanted to try to fool the man-perform a snow job on him.

Leslie Robinson lives in Seattle. E-mail her at, and read other columns at


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