published Thursday, October 11th, 2012

If you talk the talk...

“I have been a consistent supporter of pro-life values.”

It’s difficult to read that claim, spoken by Rep. Scott DesJarlais, with a straight face in the wake of the revelation that the representative from Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District had an affair and later encouraged his mistress to have an abortion after he allegedly knocked her up.

On Wednesday, the Huffington Post published a damning transcript of a Sept. 2000 phone call between DesJarlais, then a full-time physician, and a patient with whom he was intimately involved. According to the transcript, DesJarlais pressured his mistress to get an abortion by threatening to tell his wife about the affair and revealing the mistresses’ name.

DesJarlais did not deny the content of the transcript, which HuffPost claims was verified by a number of people.

The question isn’t why DesJarlais committed adultery by sleeping with one of his patients, then pressured her to have an abortion in the hopes of hiding his affair from his wife.

The answer to that is simple. DesJarlais is apparently one of millions of Americans who don’t have the self-control or respect for their spouse to refrain from committing adultery and ruining their marriage. The congressman is also evidently one of millions of Americans who decided that abortion was the most reasonable solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Both situations are as common as old ladies speed walking in the mall. They happen every day.  

The real question is, should it matter that a congressmen committed adultery and pushed his mistress to have an abortion?

If DesJarlais were a Democrat, it might not matter. But as a pro-life, family values Republican, his indiscretion is a fireable offense.

By running as a socially conservative, pro-life, family values candidate, DesJarlais automatically earned the trust and support of voters for whom those beliefs are a central part of life. In an area as socially conservative as Tennessee’s 4th District, his pro-life, family values platform almost certainly won him the election.

By championing socially conservative values, DesJarlais made an implicit promise that he would reflect those beliefs, not only in the House of Representatives, but in his home in Jasper, as well. When he betrayed the people who put him in office and proved to be a hypocrite on the issues he claimed to hold most dear, DesJarlais sealed his fate. His political career will soon be over.

If there’s one lesson politicians can learn from DesJarlais, it’s this: If you’re going to benefit by talking the talk, you have to be willing to walk the walk.

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nucanuck said...

Pro-life advocates will never really know if they are truly pro-life until they, or a near and dear loved one, is faced with making a difficult choice under circumstances that cannot be foreseen.

DesJarlais, on the other hand, never was pro-life...only pro-DesJarlais.

October 11, 2012 at 1:17 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Jocelyn Elders wasn't the brightest Surgeon General, but she did get a few things right. Here's one she did. "... abortion opponents love little babies as long as they are in somebody else's uterus."

Et tu, DesLarlais?

October 11, 2012 at 1:37 a.m.
jesse said...

He musta found "JESUS" about 30 min.after he decided to run!

October 11, 2012 at 6:15 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Clearly, Rep. DesJarlais is professionally accomplished, becoming a physician is limited to people with long term plans and unyielding commitment to objectives. If you don't believe this follow an intern for a couple of days at Vanderbilt Hospital. They are emotionally and physically tested on all levels. Over ten years ago, Rep. DeJarlis apparently made a bad decision that resonated into catastrophic consequences, divorce, professional ethics....

The idea that an UNcertified divorce deposition is significant in a campaign is absurd. Who is telling the truth in that deposition? Dejarlais, his girlfriend, his wife?

Our political and personal beliefs are not static, we evolve, our perspectives change. This whole idea that we are going to throw Rep. DeJarlais under a bus for what he may or may not have believed 10 ago is nonsense. Divorce depositions are being deemed as true and correct, really?

October 11, 2012 at 7:54 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

aae1049 said... This whole idea that we are going to throw Rep. DeJarlais under a bus for what he may or may not have believed 10 ago is nonsense. Divorce depositions are being deemed as true and correct, really?

He made the tape himself of his conversation with the mistress where he was talking her into an abortion. As is the case, you give a snake enough rope and he will hang himself. Sadly he is one of those that thinks he can make the rules for the "rest of us", but not have to follow what he deems is for those "below" him.

October 11, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

aae1049 said... Our political and personal beliefs are not static, we evolve, our perspectives change.

That statement is true, except dear Scott is a member of that party that doesn't believe in "evolving". Whether he evolved or not, doesn't mean he wont be held accountable. He not only went against what he thought the rest of us should follow, he broke his oath as a doctor. The man is toast, and I for one, don't think it came fast enough.

October 11, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I can accept that someone is human and fallible. We have all done things that we later regret, we have all shown weakness, we have all said or done things without thinking about the consequences. However, if you are the member of a party that claims to be for "family values" and votes and acts in a way that judges others for being human, you have set yourself up for the inevitable. My guess is that every one of the moralizers in the "family values" coalition has a skeleton or two in the closet and it is just a matter of luck and time before they are revealed for being a hypocrite. I like DeJarlais even though I am not GOP, and I am sorry he got himself in trouble, but being a hypocrite is a bigger sin than being human, in my opinion.

October 11, 2012 at 8:35 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Beyond his hypocrisy on family values there are other issues. He placed a gun in his mouth and threatened suicide for hours. He intimidated his wife with a gun. DesJarlias celebrated in Shelbyville with a campaign fundraiser thrown by the notorious Tennessee Walking Horse torturers.

Rather than admit his past actions were in conflict with his current positions, his campaign does the typical sit and spin cry of "smear tactics" by the opposition.

His trustworthiness is zero regardless of what party he's in.

October 11, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
Facts said...

All are human regardless of party. This also shows that getting and staying elected requires an ability to lie. We've seen two court depositions prove members of Congress in this area to be frauds. Not only is Barack Obama an egotist but so are our local federal representatives to think their lies won't catch up to them. Go, Mr. Editor!

October 11, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Jeez, Jon Ross. Is that your argument? A now-dead Senator from Massachusetts did something 4 decades ago . . . that's your argument for supporting DesJarlais?
If the GOP was really about family values, DesJarlais would be dumped as fast as they could schedule a press conference. But, the GOP just manipulates the naive and stupid, who will probably still vote for this hypocrite who thinks he's entitled to control other people's lives while he can't even control himself.

October 11, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.
Livn4life said...

"If DeJarais were a Democrat, it might not make a difference." Wow, it might not make a difference if a Democrat cheated on his wife, committed adultery, etc. That is a very telling statement Mr. Editor. You show the obvious hypocrisy in insinuating adultery and betraying a lifelong commitment one makes is kind of okay for one party but not the other, what a joke! I do not understand why you aren't on the other side of the paper writing. That might not make much of a difference. I am no Democrat but I would be incensed at your observation. But then, there seems to be no embarrassment by leftists at their own behaviour, just railing and ranting when "humanness" shows up in people not of their perspective. But then... this is an election year.

October 11, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
moon4kat said...

If the GOP really believed what it loudly proclaims about abortion, they'd be holding DesJarlais accountable as an accomplice to murder. But, they don't, and won't.
The GOP wants to control everyone else, while getting away with whatever they feel like doing.

October 11, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
moon4kat said...

JonRoss, also: Ted Kennedy behaved badly after an accident that resulted in a death due to his reckless intoxication. Kennedy didn't want anyone to die. In contrast, DesJarlais made a sober and cold calculation to abort his mistress' baby. There's a big difference in terms of conscious intent.

October 11, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
moon4kat said...

JonRoss, I'm saying that if the GOP believes its own rants, then they must believe DesJarlais killed a baby.

October 11, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

People are forgetting this woman was a PATIENT of his when he started having an affair with her. Talk about unethical conduct, I hope the state revokes his license to practice medicine, besides the voters bouncing him out of office next month.

October 11, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Leaf said...

Two things: -1 "If DesJarlais were a Democrat, it might not matter. But as a pro-life, family values Republican, his indiscretion is a fireable offense." - The snarky innuendo that Republicans somehow hold higher moral ground than Democrats is false.

-2 aae said, "Clearly, Rep. DesJarlais is professionally accomplished, becoming a physician is limited to people with long term plans and unyielding commitment to objectives." - Being a doctor does not mean you are a good person, or make good decisions. It only means you are reasonably intelligent and have stamina. I know a lot of doctors who are scumbags, despite their academic credentials.

October 11, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
jesse said...

LEAF? That's a strong indictment of the Dems.Are you sure you want to go there? The repubs,say one thing and do the other!you are saying the dems don't recognize the difference!THATS pretty strong!!

October 11, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
Leaf said...

jesse, hm? I'm not sure what you're referring to. You mean the first thing I quoted from the article? The one where I say morality isn't associated with political parties?

October 11, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
Leaf said...

Jesse, I see now what you're saying. But I'm not assuming - despite the marketing - that the GOP is the party of family values. See where I'm coming from? Not so much the abortion part, as all the other scumbaggery, like the multiple affairs and sleeping with a patient. For example, Weiner (heh heh) got booted for less that this dude.

October 11, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Leaf, I would say that becoming a Physician is a measure of character in diligence, learning, and there has to be some need to help people. I would not write DeJarlais off as not being a good congressman, due to an affair and a very sad Personal outcome. In the alternative, he could just change parties, and he would fit right in. hehe

October 11, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
jesse said...

Hey leaf i knew you would figure it out! BUT you know what? in the end it don't mean squat! We are in a sea of inequity and no one has a hand on the helm so we just rant at the machine!

October 11, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.
moon4kat said...

Jesse and Leaf . . . all we can do is try to keep 'em honest. Refuse to vote for hypocritical, two-faced liars like DesJarlais. Insist on knowing the truth. Like, why is Romney hiding his tax returns? If pols can't trust us with the truth, how can we trust them with the nation?

October 11, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
Leaf said...

aae - I'm not saying all docs are scumbags. Most of them are very nice people. But this profession does have more than it's fair share of strong ego-driven personalities (jerks ;). You can't say someone makes good decisions just based on their profession. I think having at least four affairs, sleeping with a patient, and holding a gun in your mouth for three hours shows a pattern of narcisism, bad decision-making, and unbalanced mental state. And these things are like cockroaches: if you see one, it's a pretty good bet there are a hundred more hiding in the wall. Irrespective of the moral connotations, I wouldn't want to depend on this guy or give him any power over me.

October 11, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.
jesse said...

M.D.'s are just like all the rest of us , they just have a better education!they got their shatheels and their Salks!

Just the way it is!There are NO HERO'S,just ordinary folks doin the best they can!And in the process stompin on anyone who gets in their way!

October 11, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Jessee, yes MD's are of the human race, and flawed just like everyone else. There is, however, a measure of diligence that is unique for 15 year career plans that start at HS. If this jerk Eric Stewart's best campaign strategy is a Huffbot seedy tape and not platform, he will lose.

October 12, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.
jesse said...

Hey aae1049! everybody is human that means they are gonna screw up Would i vote for the doc,don't know ? If he was runnin in the 3rd dist. i prob.would! We got a doofus here and anything would be betterr!!

October 13, 2012 at 10:17 a.m.
aae1049 said...

I am all in favor of a major challenge to the 3rd district incumbent, but not with young Wamp, no way. He needs to run for school board first and learn.

October 13, 2012 at 3:29 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Ultimately it will come down to whether his district, which is heavily conservative, can in good conscience and according to their beliefs, elect a person with a history of several affairs, promoting abortion, and breaking the Hippocratic Oath. Something to think about.

October 13, 2012 at 8:39 p.m.
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