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Sex and Drugs Rock Republicans

July 12, 2007

The developments of the last few days have not been kind to the so-called "values voters" of the Republican Party. One after another, paragons of conservative virtue have been going down (so to speak). And making matters worse, they are taking down the top GOP presidential campaigns with them.
Florida State Representative Bob Allen is the latest victim of his own libido. The co-chair of John McCain's Florida campaign was arrested for offering to perform oral sex for $20 an undercover policeman. Ironically, Allen earlier this year offered a bill increasing penalties for "Lewdness and Indecent Exposure," even for acts involving consenting adults. Allen, refusing to swallow his pride, plans to "defend himself vigorously."
In Washington, Louisiana Senator David Vitter and Southern states chairman for Rudy Giuliani apparently believes it is better to give than receive. Vitter apparently has a long and sordid history of frequenting prostitutes, including a predilection for women in diapers. Coming clean after his name appeared on the telephone logs of the DC Madam, Vitter apologized for "a very serious sin in my past." Now, Vitter is being hoist on his own petard after defending marriage as "the most basic institution in human history". After all, the staunch defender of "traditional marriage" came to Washington after the resignation of Congressman Bob Livingston, whose own moral failings ended his role as House Speaker and Bill Clinton inquisitor. Perhaps Vitter, who has been AWOL in DC since the news broke, will follow his own 1998 advice to Bill Clinton about being "morally unfit" and resign.
Vitter's penchant for pay-for-play infidelity was the second blow to Guiliani's southern leadership. On June 19th, Rudy's South Carolina campaign chairman Thomas Ravenel was busted for intent to distribute cocaine. Ravenel now faces up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
But matters went from bad to worse for Giuliani when his Palmetto State team moved quickly to replace Ravenel with his father Arthur, a log-time state legislator. Sadly, Ravenel the Elder has a reputation as a legendary racist. Arthur Ravenel famously called the NAACP the "National Association for Retarded People," just one of a litany of race-baiting statements.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney hasn't emerged unscathed. Romney, the pretend pro-life candidate and advocate of canine rooftop waterboarding, apparently had a police impersonator on his payroll. As it turned out, long-time Romney aide Jay Garrity left the campaign after revelations he repeatedly pretended to be a Secret Service agent and state trooper.
Despite Republicans' claim to the contrary, government should have no place in Americans' bedrooms. And as the blowback (again, no pun intended) from the Mark Foley and Ted Haggard scandals showed last November, Americans will punish the GOP at the polls for it.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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