My letter to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
I hope you'll forgive my long hiatus from this blog. I've been on other projects, worn out, and also busy at work. I hope to get things jumping here again.
I'll start with the story about Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana), whose name has appeared on the patrons list of the famous DC madam, and whose name has recently appeared on a New Orleans madam's client list, as well. The New Orleans madam, Jeanette Maier, has stated that Vitter's a great guy, and that she doesn't see extramarital sex as a big deal, and that Vitter should be lauded for staying with his kids. I'm sure the senator is thrilled to have her support.
This prompted me to write to Senator Vitter. Now, while I know that senators seldom write back to those who are not in their constituency (and I can hardly blame them for this,) I'd still be delighted to get a response from the senator. If I do, I'll post it here, you can bet. At any rate, I'd like to share, so here goes:
July 11, 2007
I recently read a quote from your 2004 campaign that "We need a U.S. senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts' values." Having spent my life deploring regionalist antagonism, whether it's toward my region or toward another region, I want to say that comments like this hurt, and remind me that although you serve in the same Senate that my senators serve in, you aren't working for the whole country, but rather you're working to favor your state over all others while working to cut my state out of any benefits its membership in the U.S. Congress might render it. You hate me because of where I live, in other words, so you'll understand why I don't feel particularly warm toward you.
We've started off on the wrong foot, I realize. But despite your hatred for what my state is about and what we stand for, I still want to understand you. What do you mean by "Massachusetts values"? Do you mean tolerance, a fair tax structure, the sanctity of marriage? I'm particularly pleased with Massachusetts' attitude toward marriage; we have the lowest divorce rate in the entire country! I'm getting married next year, too, so I hope to help to keep that number high! Believe me: this is something I value!
Marriage is apparently viewed differently in Louisiana. I realize your marriage is still intact, which is wonderful, but I don't see how Wendy is able to tolerate the Louisiana value of frequenting brothels. My fiancée would walk out on me if I ever did that--or worse! Why is this part of Louisiana values? Is it just that you passionate men need your outlets when one's love life at home gets a little too... routine, maybe? In Massachusetts, brothels are not part of our "values," generally speaking, though I don't condemn whatever arrangements a particular couple might make. If Wendy's cool with your extramarital activities, then that's great. It's just that it strikes me as odd that your state, as conservative as it is, would rank brothels as part of your "values."
But I guess you're not an anthropologist, are you, Senator? Regardless, if you could offer me some insight into the Louisianan predilection toward brothels, I'd much appreciate it. There might even be a book in this, sort of a companion volume to "Earls of Louisiana," you know? Just a thought. It might be interesting to read such a book. Heck, I'd be willing to research and write it, but I've got another one of those Massachusetts values standing in the way--"holding down a job!"
Do you plan to keep working after 2010, Senator? Just wondering.
I'd just like to add that despite your harsh words, I still don't have anything against your state. And I'll confess: I actually prefer gumbo to clam chowder (though I'll still take baked beans over ratatouille.) See? There's hope that we can come together, somehow. I get the feeling that there must be some Louisianans who agree with me on this. Maybe that nice Bobby Jindal fellow, perhaps? Does he go to brothels, too? Just curious. This value of yours fascinates me!
(and yes, that's the USA)