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Partisan Homophobia

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Yglesias and Balko are right that pretty much any substantive defense of the proposition that what Vitter did is less serious than what Craig did comes down to “pure homophobia.” Indeed, discussing the Craig scandal at all poses a bit of a dilemma; I don’t have much sympathy for him, given his relentlessly anti-gay voting record, but it seems pretty clear to me the arrest of Craig wasn’t justifiable.

In the specific case of Hewitt, though, there’s probably a more important factor: Louisiana’s governor is a Democrat, and Idaho’s is a Republican. Craig resigning would mean a Republican incumbent going into the 2008 election; Vitter resigning would mean another Democratic Senator. So no conservative pundit should get credit for standing on principle for demanding that Craig resign, and that goes triple if they haven’t made the same call for Vitter (who actually violated the law, although he did so in a more heterosexual way that will help to earn forgiveness from conservatives.)

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