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Sen. Paul Stanley has just announced his resignation on Memphis radio. He went on WREC, a conservative talk station where the friendly host tossed softball questions at the senator for 20 minutes. The obvious question that was never asked: "Senator, what the hell were you thinking?" Or how about, "Hey Paul, did you really try to strangle your first wife?" Instead, Stanley was asked to comment on media coverage of his travails, and he took the opportunity to slam bloggers. Isn't that nice? "I'm going to pick up my life and I'm going to move forward," he said. Here are some of Stanley's first public comments on the sex scandal that's ended his political career:
"Up until an hour ago, my plan was to stay in the Senate. We decided the best thing to do for my family was to go ahead and resign. ... My first priority was what was in the best interest of my family."
"The first thing I had to do was ask God's forgiveness and ask for the forgiveness of my family. I hope some positive things will come out of this and maybe it'll be an example for others."
"I fell short ... On any given day we have all said or done something that we would not like to see on the front page of the paper. Well, mine just happened to make it to the front page of the paper."
"I'm not trying to paint myself as a victim. My initial actions were what brought this on. I take responsibility for that."
More of Stanley's comments:
"I want to apologize to the constituents who have shown their trust in me for the last nine years by letting me serve in both the House and the Senate. After this incident took place, I sat my wife down and told her everything. Let me say she's an incredible person and I love her very much and she has stood by me throughout my entire career and throughout our marriage. We have been dealing with this for a long time as a private family matter. When it did go public obviously it creates a lot of stress on a family. So when it did go public the first thing, I had to do was ask God's forgiveness and ask the forgiveness of my family. but I also want to ask the forgiveness of the constituency that I serve and I hope there can be positive things come out of this and maybe it'll be an example for others."
"I have been criticized lately for the positions I have advocated in the past, the pro-family positions, moral positions, whatever, whatever I stood for and advocated I still believe to be true. And just because I fell far short of what God's standard was for me and my life doesn't mean that that standard is reduced in the least bit. It was interesting that Planned Parenthood is attacking me for I guess talking about my views on sex and whether it should or should to be outside of marriage, that is what it is. My sin in that again does not negate the fact that God sets a high standard for us and we all need to strive to reach that standard although in a sinful nature it's very hard to do so."
"First of all, the people who called for my resignation publicly I have never spoken with or they never contacted me about that. And so I understand that people do things for politically expedient reasons. Throughout this process in the friends and individuals that I confided in, I have been shown so much grace and mercy. All I can do is simply state to the people out there and those specifically listening today is that I fell short and that I ask for their forgiveness and that I hope that it's accepted. What I find is that almost without exception, we all know that on any given day we have all said or done something that we do not want on the front page of the paper. Well, mine just happened to have made the front page of the paper."
"I don't have to be in politics to have a full and complete life. It's really not a priority for me right now."
"I think a lot of people express frustration with the changing professionalism of journalism. That is, journalists used to have to verify sources and verify information before they put it out there. I guess with the blogosphere and just more people being engaged and the advent of the Internet, people get on the Internet or the airwaves or whatever and just say whatever, and I think they need to be more cognizant of they way they treated ... Look, I'm not trying to circumvent my responsibility for what I did wrong at all. That it's in the media, do I want it in the media? Absolutely not, for the protection of my family. But I wanted to make sure that I take responsibility for it, I do the right thing, I believe I have done that. Anyone's else's opinion moving forward, I'm going to leave that to them. Again, I hope that they will understand and forgive me and accept my apology and move on. For those who don't, I hope they can find peace somehow and be able to reconcile in their own lives when they fall short why their sins should not be forgiven."