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Paul Hayden

Being a Democrat Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

September 10, 2007

Since the details of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's disgusting restroom antics came to light, comparisons and contrasts of scandals involving Republicans versus Democrats have been made by almost every pundit with a political ax to grind.

Liberal commentators love to characterize Craig's tormented secret life and his traditional positions on issues such as same sex marriage as "hypocrisy," while conservatives point out that Craig has a right to take those positions regardless of his personal proclivities.

These views miss the point. While conservative Republicans have to live and die politically by the moral standards most Americans believe to be a reasonable code of personal behavior, Democrats have no standards for personal conduct. The litany of Dems who have thumbed their noses at decency in the name of political survival is long indeed.

President Bill Clinton refused to resign from office and served out the remainder of his term despite his crimes.

Sen. Ted Kennedy has been elected to seven more six-year terms since driving off that bridge at Chappaquiddick in a drunken stupor and leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown.

Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly homosexual Member of Congress, had sex with male pages and then defiantly stayed in the House with the approval of his constituents and his Democrat colleagues.

Rep. Barney Frank hired a male prostitute with public funds, then looked the other way while his "aide" turned the congressman's home into a male brothel. Frank is now chairman of the powerful House Banking Committee.

Rep. Mel Reynolds was pardoned by his fellow deviant Bill Clinton after having sex with female pages.

The list goes on and on and on. And that doesn't even take into account the Democrat financial scandals that have plagued their party for decades. Remember Congressman William Jefferson, Democrat-Louisiana? The FBI found $90,000 in cash in his freezer last year. He's still in Congress.

Remember the videotape of Congressman Jack Murtha, Democrat-Pennsylvania, discussing a future bribe during the 1980 ABSCAM sting? He's still in Congress.

Remember Chicago Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee? Eighteen terms, seventeen indictments, yet the Dems let him serve right up to the moment the authorities hauled him off to jail.

But there is no hypocrisy here. How can there be, if they have no standards?

Republicans, on the other hand, are held to a higher benchmark, and rightly so. It is one we who believe in decency and traditional values have set for them, and one to which we should continue to hold them. Is it fair that Larry Craig is forced to resign from the Senate on the strength of such flimsy evidence? Not when held up to the Democrats' non-standard, but that is not our measure. Should Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy be wearing orange jump suits at the Massachusetts state prison instead of attempting to destroy the Constitution on a daily basis in the U.S. Congress? Of course, but as your mother probably told you, if you are looking for fairness in this world, son, you are likely to be disappointed.

Democrat constituents apparently don't care what their elected officials do. As long as the goals of big government are served, sleaze and slime are just fine.

Republicans do care. We don't want those representing us soliciting men for sex in bathrooms. We think there are lines over which we will not allow our public officials to cross. Going clear back to Watergate, Sen. Barry Goldwater led the Republican delegation to the White House to inform President Richard Nixon that he had to resign. From then until last week, when Republican leaders told Larry Craig there was no room for his behavior in the U.S. Senate, the GOP has been policing its own.

By contrast, we all remember Democrat congressional leaders circling the wagons around Bill Clinton as he lied through his teeth (to the public and under oath) about his disgusting behavior.

Quite simply, being a Democrat means never having to say you're sorry.

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Copyright ©2007 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.