Earlier this week, Deborah Jeane Palfrey – commonly referred to as the “DC Madam” – released (for public download) an unfathomably long list of phone numbers corresponding to former clients. Those of you unfamiliar with this case will be thrilled to learn that the USDOJ has alleged in the US District Court for the District of Columbia that Palfrey’s Company, Pamela Martin and Associates, was a nototious and ginormous(ly illegal) prostitution ring. However, the scope and magnitude of her operation was not fully understood until this list was released. Previously, 20/20 (which had seen the list prior to its public release) had told America that this list of some 10,000 phone numbers implicated no one worthy of mentioning. In actuality, what they missed was very mentionable. Former US Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, who has since resigned, joined other prominent Beltway personalities (notably including WaPo columnist and CSIS staffer Harlan Ullman) as a client of the DC Madam. Also included on the list? The cell phone number of the Junior Senator from the great state of Louisiana, David Vitter. Read more here from Newspeak.
David Vitter won a reputation as an incompetent fool after badly (and inaccurately) commenting on the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina during its immediate aftermath. He then permanently secured this reputation when, months later, he likened gay marriage to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, which unfortunately devastated the same areas. He offered:
It’s the crossroads where Katrina meets Rita. I always knew I was against same-sex unions.
Vitter has built a name for himself as a “family values” Republican. He has introduced legislation calling for a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, and has stated that such legislation is pursuant to “the most important issue” of our time. He was also a vocal critic of President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, and called for his resignation to preserve the moral fabric of the country.
Obviously this is a self-story. Vitter is a hypocritical liar. He is a deceptive phony, and a sanctimonious excuse for a US Senator. But that’s not uncommon. So here’s why this matters:
1). Vitter is on record as a supporter of Rudy Giuliani. Many pundits speculate that this might negatively impact Rudy’s 2008 bid. I am (very) skeptical.
2). The possibility of a special election to replace Vitter in the event of his resignation. I would expect the DNC to run an experienced Louisianan from beyond the Beltway, and I would expect him to win. 52/48 means a lot more room for the GOP to make up next cycle.
3). It contributes to the rich history of corruption in Louisiana, which makes Louisianans(?) feel less politically efficacious and more apathetic. See: Jefferson, W.
5). It’s funny.