Yesterday, David Vitter -- the first Republican elected to the Senate from Louisiana since Reconstruction -- held a press conference, and the gist of it was this:
1) I take full responsibility for something, but I won't say what.
2) Don't believe the rumors about my having a history of doing what I've just been caught repeatedly doing. These are lies spread by my enemies and I take righteous exception to the suggestion that I've ever been diapered by a prostitute, except for those five times you know about.
3) Oh, and when I say, "I take full responsibility" what I mean is, I plan to keep my job and go on with my life exactly as I did before you caught me. Suck it.
I'm calling it a press conference because that's what Reuters called it. Vitter, pointedly, didn't take any questions.
"Now, having said all of this, I'm not going to answer endless questions about it all over again and again and again and again. That might sell newspapers, but it wouldn't serve my family or my constituents well at all because we all have a lot of important work to do for Louisiana."
Which might qualify as a principled stand -- they'd be authoritarian principles, but what the hell -- except he never answered any questions in the first place. He issued a statement saying that his wife forgave him, and hid under the bed for a week.
People are saying that David Vitter is kind of a mouthbreather, and he must have gotten into Harvard the same way Legally Blonde did, but he constructed one argument yesterday that would make Aristotle himself sit down and press his hands to the sides of his head, waiting for the throbbing to stop:
"Since then, I've gotten up every morning, committed to trying to live up to the important values we believe in. If continuing to believe in and acknowledge those values causes some to attack me because of my past failings, well, so be it."
Try diagramming it at home. I'll wait.
The best I can come up with is:
Don't listen to my enemies when they attack me for standing up for the things I don't believe in. They hate the things I don't believe in, and only use the evidence that I don't believe in them to attack me... for standing up for them... because I... ah, the hell with it.
I was kind of charmed by another part of his statement, though: His angry denial that he ever went to a whorehouse in his home state:
"Unfortunately, my admission has encouraged some long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods too, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting. Those stories are not true."
Why is he even denying this stuff? He just said his beautiful wife, Wendy, and the kids, forgave him for everything. Why lie about getting diapered in New Orleans while admitting getting diapered in Washington? Why even bring it up? Is that your idea of spin? Do you have fetal alcohol syndrome?
It's not exculpatory, Poopypants. It just sounds like you prefer getting your crack wiped by call girls from out-of-state. It's like bragging that your salsa comes from New York City. Where's your sense of local pride?
What'll that do for tourism? If Louisiana's own politicians don't get their hookers in New Orleans, who will?
And how on earth is it relevant?
We don't care if you shot the deputy or not, Mr. Clapton. We're mad at you for shooting the sheriff.