Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dean Barnett on Spitzer

I stopped reading Dean Barnett when he left Townhall for the Weekly Standard, but I managed to catch his latest "FAQ," this time on the Spitzer scandal. Barnett's always a joy to read, so read on:

3) So what should New York Republicans make of this issue?

The same thing everyone should - it's a moral issue, and reflects on what kind of standards we as a society should insist on from the people who seek to lead us. Even most Democrats, after a mere sixteen years, are beginning to blanche at Clinton-style morals and seeking something more noble. We could have a genuine bipartisan (or post-partisan!) moment here where the country demands that our leaders at least give being decent people the old college try.

4) Oh, big deal! You're the hypocrite. I don’t recall you Republicans insisting that Larry Craig or David Vitter resign.

I did, not that anyone cared. So did others. Mitt Romney called Larry Craig, who was then a ranking Romney campaign muckety-muck, disgusting. That was refreshingly candid. Many other conservatives felt the same way, and said as much publicly.

There's a balancing act to this sort of thing. When someone throws around the moral values flag with a holier-than-thou attitude, it can be a bit suspicious and repressive. On the other hand, total permissiveness is not good for anyone. We should expect a certain level of respectability and dignity from ourselves, while also not taking ourselves too seriously or ignoring reality.

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