In honor of Holy Week, we are pleased to announce The Whited Sepulcher Award for 2014 to Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA).
It will be recalled that Jesus heaped scorn upon the holier than thou who say one thing and do another. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
The Capitol has long been one of the biggest whited sepulchers in history which makes McAllister’s accomplishment all the more noteworthy. A 40-year-old freshman, McAllister won his seat in a runoff just five months ago in Nov. 2013. He ran as a christian conservative promising to bring his sort of values back to Congress.
It turns out, however, that his sort of values have long been right at home in Congress. Think Sen. John Ensign (adulterer) and McAllister’s fellow Louisianan David Vitter (hookers). But neither of them appeared on videotape, as McAllister did kissing his 33-year-old aide Melissa Peacock. And not just a brotherly peck on the cheek, but a full-on, extreme sport version of kissing. Both Peacock and McAllister are married, but in the aftermath of the tape’s release only Ms. Peacock has been fired or, in the term of art used by Congressman Weasel’s office, “voluntarily resigned.”
The congressman by contrast doubled down on his hypocrisy. “There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short…I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff and my constituents who elected me to serve.”
That’s a heap of forgiveness to ask. Yet McAllister said he had no plans to resign “unless there’s an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people.”
But he seems not to represent all of the people, because there has been an outcry from fellow Republicans. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said McAllister was “an embarrassment and he should resign.” The Republican Party of Louisiana chimed in calling their congressman guilty of “extreme hypocrisy…an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics.”
But these denunciations are also an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politicians. It is obvious the hypocrisy of the critics is almost as great as that of the christian conservative who was fool around with his married aide. Their interest is less in upholding morality than in gaining a majority.
Seven months from now the Republicans hope to increase their majority in the House and win one in the Senate. Every seat counts in this endeavor. That means there is no room for unforced errors. If damaged-goods McAllister stays in the race, he risks losing a seat to a Democratic challenger. Better to get rid of him quick and run a cleaner alternative.
More important, the narrative nationwide is supposed to be: Republicans Righteous, Democrats Diabolical. The longer the Kissing Congressman, as he’s been dubbed, is in the news, the harder it is to run as the holier-than-thou party. That’s why he’s got to go.
If on the other hand, he was guilty of having sex with Bayou alligators on the Capitol steps but polls said he had a chance to take a Democratic Senate seat in November, well then they’d cheerfully overlook any little peccadilloes.
Woe unto you, hypocrites.