Over at The City Paper, you can read all about Scott DesJarlais starting his next campaign. Oh, Scott DesJarlais. I understand why he has to act like things he did back in the '90s have nothing to do with who he is now. But why do people buy it? Look at these folks:
"That's the past," said Donna Reid, a tea party enthusiast from Morrison. "What he does right now is what we sent him up there to do."
Fellow supporter Judy Johnson of Sewanee agreed.
"They can talk about all the scandals they want about Scott DesJarlais, but they need to start cleaning out Washington first," she said.
"That's the past." OK, then, here's my question. If a dude can encourage his wife and girlfriend to get an abortion and then anti-abortion people vote for him because it's in the past, why can't women who have abortions get that same dispensation? If pro-life people don't give a shit about abortions a man was responsible for 20 years ago, can we request that they wait 20 years to weigh in on all abortions?
There's something deeply strange about so desperately wanting to stick your nose into other people's business that you're willing to overlook the sins of the person you're going to empower to do the actual nose-sticking. I mean, if abortions are wrong, why aren't they wrong for DesJarlais?
Many things worry me about democracy in this country. It's a very young experiment, and we're still obviously ill at ease with it. But the thing that worries me most is how eager some of us are to appoint rule-makers who we then let break the rules. We should only pass laws and enact public policy we intend everyone to follow. Asking people who are above the rules to make rules is a little too much like a monarchy to suit my blood. But you still see people who are fine with it. Scott DesJarlais seems to have found himself some. Hopefully not enough folks to keep him in office, though.