"In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain," he said. "I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."
This is a quote from Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder after announcing today he's been having an affair with a part-time staffer and is resigning effective Friday. Damn our city that thinks that married members of Congress having affairs with their staff have "personal failings." Souder has a 100% rating from the National Right to Life folks and an A+ from the National Rifle Association. No word on what rating his mistress gave him.
I have to point out - as a 30 year resident of the "poisonous environment" of the DC area - that resigning will not save Rep. Souder from a painful, drawn-out process of explaining his affair to his family. If anything, it will give him more time to engage in it. But wasn't it clever of him to blame DC for his woes? He isn't the first and he won't be the last to lay his own bad choices on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Luckily for Souder, there is lots of other bigger, badder news commanding the attention of the American people at the moment. Plus an affair between a Congressman and his staffer is just so yesterday's news. People are much more interested in the sexual orientation of a Supreme Court nominee or the size of tar balls washing up along the Gulf Coast.
But yesterday's news can be instructive. Remember how the Republicans have long been self-proclaimed as embodying family values? In fact, Souder ran on a platform of family values. I don't know your family, but I can state unequivocally that mine doesn't condone extramarital affairs. So, Rep. Souder, I'm sure your anguish is real as is your hypocrisy. But I assure you that your "painful, drawn-out" process is just getting started. Au revoir!