The president of the Christian conservative Family Policy Network — a group best known for confronting attendees at gay pride events about Jesus’ power to cure homosexuality — sent a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) today calling on him to follow the lead of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and resign. Vitter admitted to frequenting prostitutes in 2007, but did not step down and, unlike Weiner, never faced much pressure from his own party to do so. Family Policy Network President Joe Glover added in his letter that Republicans “are committing outright hypocrisy” as long Vitter remains in office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:
“There are a lot of people that I think are committing outright hypocrisy and are forced to do so as long as he (Vitter) remains in office,” said Joe Glover, the president of the Family Policy Network, based in Forest, Va. “I don’t think the senator should put those folks in the untenable position of having to pragmatically defend his presence in the Senate.”
Glover noted, for example, that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had called on Weiner to resign, but had also contributed to Vitter’s 2010 re-election campaign.
An article that will be posted on the group’s website tomorrow asks, “So what did Republican leaders do about Senator Vitter? They let him off the hook.” The article continues, “[T]he public’s perception of Vitter as a sleazy, hypocritical Christian only served to tarnish the name of Christ among unbelievers.”
Indeed, while Weiner received universal condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike, Vitter actually received a coordinated campaign of support from Louisiana Republicans and campaign donations from national Republican leaders — the same leaders who demanded Weiner’s resignation. Even former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele saw “inconsistency” in the way his party reacted to the two scandals.
To their credit, some conservatives have spoken out against Vitter. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said, “I don’t think Vitter should be there. Absolutely not.” Fox’s Greta Van Susteren and right-wing media provocateur Andrew Breitbart — who played a key role in bringing down Weiner — have also criticized the senator.