July 17, 2007
A Very Vitter Pill
By Mary Lyon
She most surely never dreamed she'd become this kind of household word.
Consider the plight of one Wendy Vitter, Washington wife. She once was the Invisible Woman. Now she's a Cover Girl. An unwilling one, because this can't be anything remotely close to what she had in mind.
She happens to be married to a cad. She's known it for awhile, since she and the hapless hypocrite David Vitter shared their private bummer (for which he's said she and God already forgave him). But she knew this for some time, at least secretly, and that should have been that. Now, unfortunately, she realizes that everybody else knows it, too.
What some of these careless, self-gratifying, sanctimonious fools forget is that they take more than just themselves down when they sin like this. David Vitter should have stopped to think about it. So should Ted Haggard. Once upon a time, same thing for Gary Hart. Likewise for Bill Clinton - and for that matter, most of the republi-CON hounds who persecuted him during Monica-gate, from Henry Hyde to Newt Gingrich, from Dan Burton to Bob Livingston. Every last one of them was caught living in a bigger glass house than Clinton did. They ALL left long trails of broken marriages in all directions, and in some cases out-of-wedlock babies in their wake. They were as busy ignoring or trying to conceal their own "bimbo eruptions" as they relentlessly tried to carve Clinton up for his.
First of all, don't these brainiacs realize, by now, that this kind of thing IS eventually going to come out? That whatever it was that they were attempting to cover up in their own private lives - is inevitably going to see the light of day? Don't these clowns ever stop to think that WHEN, NOT IF, the secret leaks, they're going to look (and smell) like steaming cow-pies on every TV, radio, and cable network and across every front page and blog? And that the presiding women in their lives will be forced to share the bitter pill?
The unfortunate Wendy Vitter probably knew this deep down, but tried to ignore it. I'm sure she figured that perhaps she'd be the exception - her husband's frolicking with the DC Madam and associates would remain their best-kept secret. She'd cheat inevitability and the sordid truth would never be exposed. She forgave him, what was done was done, and thus over (at least we assume so), they could now move on as though it had never happened. And no one else needed to be the wiser.
Oops. Not quite.
No wonder she looked as though she was indeed ready to channel Lorena Bobbitt during her brief public appearance with her humiliated husband. If looks could kill, I might be writing this column about the charges she was facing, and whether she might coax another sympathy commutation out of George W. Bush. She'd been shamed in private, just between herself and David. Now, with the word out, and all the ridiculously salacious side-dishing that's accompanied it, she's been shamed again. In public this time. In front of everybody, from the republi-CON and Democratic parties to the voters in general to the Jay Leno/David Letterman/Conan O'Brian/Jon Stewart contingent, and back again. And here she was, probably thinking it was all over. Sorry, girlfriend.
The sharpest barb in this entire crown of thorns protrudes from the outrageous hypocrisy that the rest of us get to snicker about. What is with these guys, anyway? Why do they keep doing this to themselves? Why do they continue to supply the rest of us with so much ammunition, especially when they've been so busy prancing around wearing the Bible and the Golden Rule as the front and back of a veritable neon sandwich board? They just don't get it, do they? Hey, Vitter, don't stand there and pontificate into the Congressional Record about the sanctity of traditional marriage and family values when you're doing the kind of extra-curricular cavorting that only a Larry Flynt could love. Don't preach to me about virtue and morality and the purity of the marital bed when you've been monopolizing the mobile trampoline to Sodom and Gomorrah .
Actually, I misspoke. The cruelest cut isn't even this. It's the cross that Wendy Vitter, and, yes, even her idiot spouse, are condemned to bear for the rest of time - either theirs together or whatever else there is, individually. Part of the anguish of having this kind of hypocrisy blown wide open includes the fallout that keeps on poisoning, long after the bomb itself got dropped straight down into the middle of everywhere. Wendy Vitter will live the rest of her life with a dreadful unease, every time she ventures outside her home or whenever her name comes up. She is doomed to wonder what's behind every pair of eyes with which she makes contact, what's going on in the mind of every individual she encounters. What must they be thinking? How much have they heard? And she doesn't even have to ask that question, really, because she already knows the score. Whatever her worst, most embarrassing nightmare is, that's what they're thinking, alright. That will hound her more relentlessly than Ken Starr ever pursued Clinton .
Certainly it'll dog every move her husband makes from here on. He's probably not going to do the sensible thing and bow out of public life to let the fresh wounds heal over in the safe harbor of seclusion. But even while he returns to the Senate to attempt business as usual, it will never be so again. David Vitter is now permanently damaged goods. He's a walking joke. And because of his ill-advised and indiscreet conduct, he more than deserves it. When it's self-inflicted, I have little sympathy. When it gives his whole nasty, vindictive, arrogant, mean-spirited, deceitful, two-faced, holier-than-thou political party a black eye, I actually feel like celebrating. Every time he shows himself in public, what's the first thing that's going to cross any observer's mind, ever again? You and I - and Vitter - all know the answer.
And so does Mrs. Vitter. It doesn't matter that she was an innocent bystander here. The plague is on her house, too. And this bitter pill is, unfortunately, just as much hers to gag down as it is the pathetic jerk she's with.