... a big part of me is rooting for Vitter to survive because I so want to return to a time when we -- that "we" includes the media -- chose to pay little attention to the extracurricular sexual activities of our politicians. The magnitude of our public problems does not afford us the luxury of indulging in crusades about politicians' private lives, even those involving a high degree of hypocrisy.Nothing to see here, folks. Bigger fish to fry elsewhere. Move along.
[. . .]
In turn, the rest of us might agree to keep the public conversation focused on the larger questions -- how to proceed in Iraq, how to fix the health-care system -- about which elected officials can actually do something. As voters, wouldn't we forgive a politician many private sins if he or she handled those two issues successfully?
Typically, we make fun of public figures who seek our sympathy by admitting to "sin." But maybe a politician who admits to sin gains a certain degree of humility in the process. Let's grant Vitter our collective absolution and move on.
Keep your powder dry.