The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jack Kelly has a bang-up column occasioned by the resignation of Senator Craig. Both Kelly and the Post-Gazette deserve some kind of special recognition for letting these reflections see the light of day in the hard copy of a mainstream newspaper:
[M]edia bias is not the main reason why Republicans suffer more from scandals. Democratic voters expect Democrats to steal on their behalf. Lawmakers are judged on the basis of how many goodies from the federal treasury they can shower on their constituents. The typical Democratic voter doesn’t mind terribly if their senator or congressman takes something for himself along the way. (Time Magazine’s story on Rep. [Alan] Mollohan’s re-election was headlined, “Pork Trumps Scandal.”)
The typical Republican voter wants his senator or congressman to keep his taxes low, his government honest. He is furious when GOP lawmakers stick their fingers in the cookie jar, or give lip service to values they do not practice.
Republicans must be squeaky clean to win elections because their voters will crucify them for behavior Democratic voters wink at so long as the pork keeps flowing. This is why his GOP colleagues already have stripped Sen. Craig of his committee assignments, and many have called for his resignation, while Democratic senators are comfortable having among them a man who left to drown in his automobile a young woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.
Now, Jack, how about a column on Barney Frank and Gerry Studds explaining their electoral viability — Kelly’s special theory of scandal relativity.
PAUL adds: I wrote something along these lines in a piece for FrontPageMagazine in 2002. Here’s how I put it:
By contrast [to the Democrats] the Republican party is a