Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thank You, Senator Vitter

It was David Letterman who said "Some jokes just write themselves."

I think then that comedy must be smiling on Senator Vitter (R-LA) right now:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004.

And a cabinet level official:

One client contacted by ABC reporters was Randall L. Tobias, a deputy secretary of state, who said he used Palfrey's escort service for massages, not for sex.

A day later, on April 27, Tobias resigned from the State Department, reigniting the media firestorm over Palfrey's records. That was seemingly snuffed out by Kessler's temporary restraining order two weeks later, but Kessler vacated her order on Thursday, clearing the way for Palfrey to post the records online.

The phone numbers are already out on the web, perhaps being pushed out with the hopes of other examples: Sprint and AT&T. Someone would need to reverse look these up from the right dates, something I'm told is a relatively normal capability in both law enforcement and news reporting.

I've already been asked what I think about this by two people. And more generally about sex work in the outside world. Which I hope to do, but can't make any promises.

Senator Vitter represents Louisiana, a state hard hit by Katrina, and with a host of ills that need curing. Relief efforts continue for the victims and survivors of that disaster.

Let's start first with something that every working girl starts first with:

Pamela Martin and Associates hired college-educated women in their 20s, sending them to male clients in the Washington area who, according to authorities, paid $275 to $300 per sexual encounter. Palfrey said that, so far as she knew, her employees and clients engaged in legal sex play, such as erotic role-playing.

That really isn't all that much for sex, if you think about the risks involved. However, compared to almost anything else young college educated women could be doing to earn extra money, it is quite a bit. Compare this with $100/hr, at that time, for webcaming at the top end, and you can see just how much risk for how little reward is involved, since the Madame took a large fraction of that $275.

Now for what comes next, foreplay. Before Vitter was a Senator, he was a member of the House of Representatives, elected in 2000. Before Vitter won the seat, it was occupied by Robert Livingston who was briefly slated to be Speaker of the House of Representatives, before being forced to step down... because of a sex scandal. The third place contestant for the seat that year, narrowly missing the run off, was David Duke. Yes that David Duke. That's two successive sex scandals from the same House seat. What are the odds of that?

I will leave it to more brilliant political pundits than myself to talk about what all of that means.

But let's move on to penetrating the psyche. Here is the accolade that David Vitter won from "Concerned Women of America:"

Meanwhile Republicans increased the Senate majority with a possible four additional seats. Rep. David Vitter ran a smashing campaign to become the first Republican in Louisiana to win a Senate seat since the Civil War. Rep. Vitter is a proven pro-family fighter who has taken on the abortion and gambling industries.

Quite probably because of a legislative record that includes:

Congressperson David Vitter (R-La.) is expected to offer an amendment to the Labor-HHS appropriations bill the week of October 8th in the Appropriations Committee. The Vitter amendment would prohibit Title X family planning funding of any clinic that provides chemical (RU-486) or surgical abortion. This would force private organizations to choose between performing abortions and receiving Title X family planning funding.

Wouldn't want those working girls to not keep any babies that get started in a sex session, now would we? And I do mean girls, as his staunch opposition to equal marriage shows:

"I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one," said Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. "I think this debate is very healthy, and it's winning a lot of hearts and minds. I think we're going to show real progress."

He also wants to make sure that they are nice American working girls, as he has blocked any imigration reform not targetted at "border enforcement:"

SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: And the message is crystal clear, that the American people want us to start with enforcement, both at the border and at the workplace.

We wouldn't want to have Mexican girls taking away any of the good jobs that people like David Vitter are working overtime and in their off hours to provide, now would we? But maybe he would support a guest working girl program...

So all I have to ask is, did this blogger know something the rest of us didn't?


  1. This doesn't surprise me at all... Most politicians are talking heads controlled by those who pay them to make laws for them. With some effort used to sway popular vote by appearing to support whatever initiatives seem popular in their area they 'represent'. No one in politics today is from the poor families that make up 60%+ of their voter pools, they are upper middle class or openly rich people who have had money for generations and only know a life where money can buy them anything they want... Sex, drugs, get out of jail free tickets with the police... It's all a big waste of space and time and an excuse for a few rich boys (& the odd rich woman) to play with everyones lives while seeming to be the best thing since sliced bread... Why we as a people put up with it is beyond me...

  2. Vitter is amusing because he has run over and over again as a candidate of "traditional morality" and the infusion of politics with his particular franchise of religion. It seems strange to me that he expects to simply tell the rest of us that he apologized to his wife some time ago and forget about it.

    Whatever people want to do to seek their bliss is up to them, but it is a very different matter to vote one way in the morning, and act differently at night.

  3. Ah... but you see doing so ('but it is a very different matter to vote one way in the morning, and act differently at night.') is the norm for these people. They cultivate a unique public identity often completely at odds with their real selves. We'd never ever vote for their real selves as they are all usually summed up with words like: playboy, scum, two-timing, etc...

    They know this, so they hire people to help create a public image we will buy into...

  4. Hmmm, I think that is too many generalities, and it isn't supported by my own experience.

  5. Sorry, but I've meet 5 city mayors for a rather large (250-350k pop) city... 2 senators... a congressman... and a scattering of others in political office and all of them have seemed that way...

    I guess I've had the privelidge to see them when they aren't acting, but so far I'm not impressed by their behavior out of the spotlight...