I’ll confess to feeling a bit of sympathy for U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, the Indiana conservative who is resigning from Congress after admitting to an affair with a part-time aide. His behavior was wrong, foolish and outrageously hypocritical, but his remorse comes across as geniune and his resignation was the proper course. (I do have to admit that making a video stressing abstinence, costarring your mistress, is a little over the top).
I have less sympathy for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who from time to time in public remarks and interviews has falsely claimed service in Vietnam as a Marine. I’ll leave it to the people of Connecticut to decide Blumenthal’s fate — his most likely GOP opponent for the U.S. Senate made her fortune in professional wrestling — but I just can’t take such claims lightly, not given the 58,000 U.S. troops who actually did go but never came home.
Moving South, Republican Party leaders made it clear that they wanted nothing more to do with the often nutty Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, signaling early and often that they would not support his re-election bid. As a result, Bunning grudgingly announced he would retire. But in voting today, Kentucky Republicans are almost certainly going to nominate Dr. Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, to replace Bunning.
Rand makes Bunning look like Olympia Snowe. He wants to pull out of the UN, complains that “the Federal Reserve, an unelected group of private bankers, is printing trillions of dollars to bail out private industry, purchase government debt, and flood the market with cheap credit,” and proposes to cut regulations on bankers, health insurance companies and oil drillers. I admire the purity of his politics, but I also suspect he’s gonna cause the Republicans a lot more trouble than he does Democrats.
Finally, today is likely to be the last battle for Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who switched parties to avoid defeat in the primary but is likely to meet that fate anyway in today’s election. I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see Specter go. He may have been effective early in his career, but in recent years the pandering and cynicism became too blatant to ignore.