The story about the missing woman, Chandra Levy, and Congressman Gary Condit, is all the media rage. Some folks are comparing the wall-to-wall coverage, the denials and the infidelity to the Clinton scandals.
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott called on Congressman Condit to resign, saying, “Infidelity is always unacceptable, but particularly when you have an elected official involved in a position of trust with a young girl, an intern.” Congressman Christopher Shays of New Jersey countered, “If infidelity is the test . . . a number of members of Congress should resign.” Marital infidelity, like any other act of breaking of one’s word, ought not be dismissed by a smug ‘everybody’s doing it’ rationale. Yet, someone else’s marriage and private life is their business, not mine. Once again, most of official Washington misses the point.
This young woman may be dead. Time is critical in such a missing person investigation. Condit admits to having an affair with Levy. But it took him 10 weeks before he told the police the whole story. It’s too bad if the truth was uncomfortable, but a woman’s life may have depended on his prompt cooperation with police. And that’s why Condit should resign. For years now, we’ve been treated to a steady diet of politicians doing what’s best for their political careers, instead of serving the people. Our civil standards have fallen to pathetic levels. We now debate whether someone’s character really even matters. Well, this is a life-or-death case to show that, yes, character matters. Condit should step down. We can do better.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.