Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 29, 2009

VITTER SHOULD AVOID TALK ABOUT 'VALUES'.... Sen. George Voinovich (R) of Ohio raised a few eyebrows this week when he said the Republican Party is "being taken over by Southerners," which has caused the GOP's decline. "We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Voinovich said, referring to two of the most right-wing members of his party.

Sen. David Vitter (R) of Louisiana wasn't specifically referenced by Voinovich, but felt compelled to respond anyway.

"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," Vitter told the Washington Times. "There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections."

"[Voinovich is...] a moderate, really wishy-washy," he said.

Now, describing Voinovich as a "moderate" strikes me as rather silly, as does the misguided argument that Republicans would have won more recent elections nationwide if only they'd been even more right-wing.

But it's Vitter's references to "conservative values" and those from the South who embrace "those values" that continues to be a problem. In context, the far-right Louisianan wasn't talking about social and/or family issues, but that doesn't change the fact that every time Vitter mentions the word "values," it elicits the same response: "Aren't you that 'family-values' guy who got caught with prostitutes?"

It's no doubt awkward for the Republican senator, but he has to realize there are certain words and phrases he's going to have to avoid. Over the weekend, his aides launched an attack ad against his likely Democratic opponent, blasting him for attending a fundraiser Vitter's team called a "love fest." Bad idea -- "love fest" only helped remind folks about Vitter's sex scandal.

Today, Vitter is talking about those who have the audacity to "stray from ... conservative values." Does he not realize this is like setting a ball on a tee, inviting his opponents to take a free swing?

Steve Benen 4:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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Comments

Sounds like Vitter needs a good changing.

Posted by: Former Dan on July 29, 2009 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, let's not forget the 'good values' Senators preferences....Someone ask him if he prefers the old fashioned cotton cloth or the new fangled Depends.

Posted by: kindness on July 29, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, the freakazoids live in Backwards World.

The more Vitter talks about values - conservative values, family values, even moral values - the more the freakazoids think he must be a really moral guy. That other Vitter just fades out of memory.

Remember, too, that the freakazoids love nothing better than a loudly and publicly repentant sinner. The more Vitter brays about values, the more repentant - and the more worthy of their votes - he proves he is.

Yet even more reason than ever before to bar freakazoids from public office.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on July 29, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Too many of the southern conservatives are wedded to the House on C Street theology -- in which leaders can say what they want and behave like total bastards but none of that is relevant "because they are leaders." Maybe some sociologist will see their attitudes as an interesting reaction to those excoriated "Northeast elites" -- many of whom, I've noticed, are descendants of the founders.

Honest -- I don't know where America goes from here! Matt Taibbi thinks we're going straight to hell. I think we're there already.

Posted by: pw on July 29, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

The fact remains that this is not challenged by the CSM (Corporate Sponsored Media). All the lies and misstatements by the Birthers, Family Values Rs and Blue Dog nihilists get treated as if they are relevant and factual. There is no pushback and no factchecking.

The Congresscritters will go as far as they are allowed/aloud, and that is pretty far.

Posted by: st john on July 29, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Lots of liberals complain about the conservative Democratic Blue Dogs but they should be grateful to have them on our side.

The Republicans do not have anything comparable for their more moderate members (such are Red Dogs) which is why they are in the minority and will stay that way for a long time.)

Posted by: BigRed on July 29, 2009 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

The only 'values' Republicans have is getting away with it, with trumps all others.

Posted by: alan on July 29, 2009 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Values like starting wars under false pretenses, torturing innocent people to death, outing undercover CIA agents, and destroying the U.S. economy with "look away", laissez faire policies? Yeah, good luck with that!

Talk is cheap, you Republican retards.

Posted by: Sam Simple on July 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

"The fact remains that this is not challenged by the CSM (Corporate Sponsored Media)"

-Wouldn't it be cool, st john, if the democratic challenger stated, unequivocally, that Vitter repeatedly paid prositutes for 'unnatural sexual acts'-and then went on to list them, chapter and verse?

I bet the CSM would have a field day with THAT sound bite. . .

Posted by: DAY on July 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values,"

I don't care where conservatives go, as long as they go away. And they can take the DINOs with them.

Posted by: qwerty on July 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Does he not realize this is like setting a ball on a tee, inviting his opponents to take a free swing?

Not at all. As Sarah Palin demonstrated this week, when you accurately point out what a Republican has actually said or done, that's "makin' stuff up." And Vitter's constituents will see it exactly that way.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on July 29, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Vitters' opponents ... yes, on a tee. But now the Rabblicans (can't resist) don't care anymore about consistency. They support their own, they trust their intuitions, to hell with pointy-headed suede o-intellectual hogwash like science, logic, whatever.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of liberal minds.
It doesn't "hobble" the other side at all.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on July 29, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Vitter should stop being such a baby.

Posted by: doubtful on July 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Vitter's sense of values: getting a discount for hiring so many prostitutes.

Posted by: mlm on July 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Does he not realize this is like setting a ball on a tee, inviting his opponents to take a free swing?"

He was setting more than one ball on the tee...

Posted by: Marcus Sitz on July 29, 2009 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

But God has forgiven Vitter, and just as important, he has orgiven himself. So no one thinks about it anymore, it's a dead issue, see?

Posted by: Northzax on July 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

hmm, Vitter's opponent campaign manager's car was bombed! Wow, this reminds me of the Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal (John McCain), witnesses failed to appear because of car bombs in Arizona.

Posted by: annjell on July 29, 2009 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Looks as though it is cheaper to run for re-election in the Bayou State than Montana. In Helena, one needs, apparently, tons of coin. In LA, all it takes is a semi full of Pampers and Talcum Powder.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 29, 2009 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that Vitter's activity with the prostitutes is the perfect expression of conservative values:

He puts on the diaper. He makes boom-boom in his diaper. The pretty lady spanks him hard because he's been a naughty, naughty boy.

Law and order. Personal responsibility. Corporal punishment. Very conservative stuff.

Posted by: skeptic on July 30, 2009 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, I thought the progressive movement was all about people exploring their sexuality. Isn't Vitter just exploring his liberal side with prostitutes?

Vitter talking about values is as funny as Democrats talking about cleaning up the corruption in government. Hello New Jersey!

Posted by: tehee on July 30, 2009 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, a sexual double standard that allows men to discretely visit prostitutes is part of traditional family values.

Posted by: Win Pollard on July 30, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK
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