Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

April 11, 2014

People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

TAHLEQUAH — Sewing and tailoring are dying arts. Unless it’s a facet of their paid occupation, most Americans these days don’t have time to learn such skills, much less practice them.

This could be one reason why so many members of Congress and other mucky-mucks with cushy offices inside the Beltway seem to have faulty zippers on their trousers. Or if the zippers are well-made, perhaps their owners prefer them in the “open” position rather than closed.

Sexual peccadilloes in politics have been common since time out of mind. Even in the Bible, we read of King David, who seduced Bathsheba and sent her husband to the front line to be killed so he wouldn’t find out David had gotten her pregnant. God forgave David, and even marked him as a favorite; isn’t that what we, too, should do for our elected leaders?

The answer to that may depend on several factors, but one of those should be how the guilty party viewed others with the same predilections before he himself plunged off the precipice. Another should be the plank on which he campaigned. If it was one of morality and Christian virtue, he can’t say, “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.” He’s a hypocrite and a fraud, and doesn’t deserve support.

One such hypocrite is Rep. Vance McAllister, the Republican from Louisiana who recently got filmed kissing one of his female staff members. Both McAllister and Melissa Hixon Peacock are married, but that didn’t dissuade this “family values” fellow from his bawdy behavior.

Like most of his type do, McAllister quickly asked forgiveness “from God, my wife, my kids, my staff and my constituents who elected me to serve.” Note that he only did this after he was caught red-handed. He may not have gone all the way this time, but what might he have gotten up to if that tape hadn’t surfaced? And since he was just elected to office, no telling what hijinks were on his agenda once he was safely settled into his privileged position at the Capitol.

Predictably, McAllister was quick to push Peacock off the payroll, though he has no intention of stepping down. He may want voters to believe he was a victim of some wanton seductress who victimized him in his innocent crusade to serve the good people of his district. Perhaps she wore a low-cut top and was “asking for” the make-out session, or maybe she is “hotter” than the woman who gave birth to his children. There are a variety of excuses, but it takes two to tango, and McAllister seemed to be enjoying the dance.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor approved of McAllister’s mea culpa, but stopped short of saying he should step down. That’s to be expected, because he doesn’t even know McAllister – and perhaps he doesn’t really want to, considering the southern gentleman’s embarrassing gaffe. Cantor did offer this quote: “I will say that the American people deserve all of their representatives here in Washington to hold to a very high standard of behavior.”

Indeed, we do, and this is why politicians who lack of self-control should be whisked out of office. We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

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