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Mark Souder – Another black eye on the face of conservatives

What is it about Republican politicians that makes them want to stick bothMark Souder feet in their mouth? If you are wondering what I am talking about, it is the fact that yet another member of the GOP has resigned due to infidelity, ie. Indiana Representative Mark Souder. What makes this even worse is how he is very well known for his evangelical Christianity, his push for abstinence education in the schools, and his strong views on abortion. I sincerely feel sorry for his wife and his family, as they are the real victims here, but I can not help but feel that this is just one more black eye on the face of the Republicans and on the face of those who espouse themselves to be conservative or Christian and to hold their values accordingly. Incidentally,those values would include remaining faithful to one’s spouse.

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The process to see who will be replacing Souder in the general election has already begun and if you would like to read more about that, you can visit Kevin Tracy, who hails from Indiana. He knows much more about Indiana politics and how that process will be working. My main concern right now is how this makes conservatives look. I have already written extensively about Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina and his infidelity. His affair with the woman from Argentina destroyed his marriage, yet he has refused to resign. This from a man who espoused conservative values and was considered a possible candidate for President in 2012.

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I received several comments on a post I wrote nearly a year ago, in which I said some of our leading conservative candidates were making us look bad. One commenter in particular stated that I was falling into the trap of believing everything the mainstream media was reporting about some of those candidates. My contention then was this. If our candidates insist on acting like a bunch of idiots, how can we expect the general public to cast their votes in their favor? I continue to stand by that statement.

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I understand no one is perfect, least of all myself, but when do we stop making excuses for our politicians? I didn’t like it in the least when Bill Clinton was up to his shenanigans in the Oval Office and if Political Realities existed back then, I would have said as much. Some may accuse me of being harder on conservative Republicans than I am on the Democrats and that may be true. Since I consider myself a conservative Republican, I suppose I have the right to cry foul when someone like Mark Souder or Mark Sanford goes off the reservation. I do not buy into the theory that a politician’s personal life has no bearing on his ability or qualifications to serve in Washington, so hearing news like this gets under my skin. To borrow a phrase from Kevin Tracy, if we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, how can we expect to win enough seats in November to regain control of Congress?

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Thus ends my latest rant.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Part of the problem is that conservatives keep trusting anyone who says a couple Christian-sounding things, and then accept that this person must be a paragon of virtue.

    Then the GOP holds itself up as the party of family values, without being called on to live up to it.

    To a big extent, we’re seeing that talking big isn’t enough … if it’s not backed up by the life, then it just looks stupid.

    While Democrats have had their share of affair scandals (though, at this point, perhaps fewer than the Right), they don’t spend as much time creating an expectation that they’re above that. John Edwards hurt himself, but not the party in general, for example.
    .-= Ken Leonard´s last blog ..Regarding Civility =-.

    • I think you are right, Ken. The scandals that arise in the Republican Party seems to hurt the party itself. Those that show up in the Democratic Party have more of a personal effect and not so much of a party effect.

  • Mike

    Larry, I think you nailed it and Ken reinforced it — the difference is the way the conservative party faithful attempt to establish morality as a distinguishing feature of the right. Therefore, when a member stumbles it reflects badly on all. Yet when John Edwards affair, or Richard Blumenthal’s lies about his Vietnam service, become public the scorn begins and ends with the candidate.

    The criticism of you “believing everything the mainstream media is reporting” is just a copout for stepping up and admitting that conservatives have no claim on the moral high ground.

    • Thanks, Mike. Anyone who tries to claim conservatives have an exclusive claim to the high moral ground right now is simply fooling themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a lot of good conservatives out there, but the focus seems to be much more on those who are not so good. It is something that we are going to have to work to overcome.

  • Very well said, LD.

    The fact that I am both a conservative Republican and an evangelical Christian makes these sorts of scandals doubly troublesome to me. And it’s not just the infidelity, either. These guys are stupid, too. You’d think they’d learn not to get involved with staffers, by now.

    I just hope (and pray) that Souder can at least save his marriage & family, if not his political career.
    .-= Sirrahc´s last blog ..Carbon-14 Dating Gets an Update =-.

    • I wholeheartedly agree, Sirrahc. The most important thing right now is for him to save is his marriage and repair his relationship with his family.

  • Steve Dennis

    Republicans seem to be continually shooting themselves in the foot. This should be a year of republican gains, but stories like this one make you wonder if Republicans are competent enough to win back congress.
    There is no way that I can trust a politician to do what is right for America and for his consituents if he can not do what is right for his marriage, his spouse, and his family. This utter lack of good judgement is a disqualifier for public office where a person’s judgement is required.
    At least this man did the right thing by stepping down and not putting his family in the spotlight.

  • Good post.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Exciting News! =-.

  • Great analysis Larry. What really resonated for me is that I get upset with Republicans when they “go off the reservation.” In fact, I get more upset with them, as I expect more from them. I would say this to anyone…holding up a standard starts with YOU. If you can’t find it in yourself to live up to it, keep your mouth shut.

    I also strongly agree with you in another area. Character DOES count. I’ve been a manager for nearly 10 years now. I have personally seen that people that have no standards in their personal life have little to no standards in their professional life.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Matt. Character or the lack thereof carries over from an individual’s personal life.

  • Do you remember when only Democrats could have sex scandals? I’m a Newt Gingrich fan and all, but I seem to find myself blaming him for getting us involved in this stuff.

    • Thanks for commenting, Kevin. The thing that bothers me about Newt Gingrich is his duplicity during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. He worked very hard to drive Clinton out of office over that, but at the same time, he was guilty of adultery himself. No matter how good we think his conservative ideas may or may not be, he is not my idea of a good candidate because of that.