published Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Scott DesJarlais’ self-serving epiphany

Congressman Scott DesJarlais’ belated public announcement last week that God has forgiven him for his multiple extramarital affairs and his support of abortion — he got his first wife to have two abortions, and later urged one of his several lovers, a former patient, to seek one — comes at a mighty convenient time, for him at least.

The election was four weeks ago. Had he admitted his mendacious, anti-family, pro-abortion, prevaricating and philandering ways before the election, his implied guilty plea would have carried considerably more weight. He surely would have had more on the line.

Certainly a pre-election admission about his slimy personal history and his claim that God had forgiven him would have given voters a chance to test his sincerity, and their conviction, about the veracity of his claim concerning God. It also would have given meaningful weight to his related comment that he now wants voters to accept his forgiveness and let him get on with his life as their wayward congressman.

DesJarlais clearly failed to man-up to that standard. He waited for weeks after the election to suggest that God had blessed his sins, and then he quickly wrapped his vague admission in his belief in “grace and redemption.” He added: “I think God gave me a second chance,” and he went on to suggest that only people who see “political advantage” would deny him “grace and redemption.”

We suspect voters would like to know why didn’t he come clean before the election, and give them a “second chance” to reconsider why they would want to cast their vote for him.

It’s obvious, of course, that DesJarlais didn’t have the courage to put everything on the line before the election and test voters’ view of God’s forgiveness. Too bad. There was plenty to put to a test.

Earlier in the campaign, for example, a tape recording that DesJarlais himself had made became public. It proved that he had had a love affair with a former patient whom he had urged to seek an abortion. But what did he do then? He argued that it was a smear, and that he didn’t mean what he actually had said.

Then, when a second former lover (and also a former patient) spoke up to say that she, too, had had an affair and did drugs with Dr. DesJarlais while he was still married, he let his campaign manager deny and denigrate her claim.

In fact, he simply encouraged more lies and hid the truth right up to the election. And days later, when the records of his divorce proceedings were fully disclosed and showed that he had affairs with at least five women, including a pharmaceutical representative, while he was head of Jasper’s Grandview Hospital, he refused to comment on his odius record.

Others have commented, of course. In addition to the correct but predictable criticism from Democrats, his fellow Republicans have distanced themselves from him. Gov. Haslam virtually disowned him. state Rep. Kevin Brooks, of Cleveland, the assistant majority leader in the House, said he was considering running against DesJarlais in 2014.

And in the interim, a national advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, placed ethics charges against him with Tennessee’s Health Department for his unethical conduct as a physician, and with the Office of Congressional Responsibility and Ethics because he lied to his constituents. The state Health Department has opened a complaint file against him, and these charges are now being considered.

At least six medical-related political action committees, including insurance giants BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Unum, also have said they won’t help fund his campaigns anymore.

So now DesJarlais, without actually confessing his misdeeds, has gone on a political radio program and claimed not just that God has forgiven him and given him a second chance. But in the same breath, he said again that he had been a consistent supporter of “pro-life values,” and he denied that he misled voters in the run-up to the November election.

District 4 voters now will have two years to consider DesJarlais’ blatant duplicity and shameful conduct. That’s more than ample time to consider why he doesn’t merit a second chance to serve as their representative.

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It's funny how easily people who claim to be close to God always turn out to having been forgiven.

Despite not actually having repented or anything. After all, it was right to them at the time, they probably just loved the country too much.

December 4, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
aae1049 said...

No worries Mr. Austin,

The next Republican to replace DesJarlais is in the works.

December 4, 2012 at 12:37 a.m.

Try to do a little quality control this time.

December 4, 2012 at 1:50 a.m.
EaTn said...

DesJarlais...the poster boy for right-wingers.

December 4, 2012 at 6:27 a.m.
ibshame said...

The district DesJarlais represents is made up of mostly small towns. Gossip in those towns usually travels faster than the internet. It's hard to believe no one in his district knew of his indiscretions prior to 2012. The truth of the matter is simply this: As one of the right wing TEA CUP fringe elements of the Republican Party he was what the voters in his district wanted in 2010 and 2012. He ran on a platform of opposing President Obama and that's all those in his district who voted him in were concerned about. If not then they would have kept the Congressman they had who was not some radical left wing liberal out to turn the country over to "Socialist Obama." They got exactly what they deserved: A low-life hypocrite who thinks because he says "God has forgiven him" then it must be true.

One has to wonder how he came about that revelation. Was it because he managed to get elected the first time without the whole story being totally exposed or was it because he got elected the second time right before the WHOLE STORY had been exposed and then ignored by the voters in his district? Most especially by those who claim to be "saved" and so PRO-LIFE themselves.

It's amazing how someone like DesJarlais thinks he can not be held accountable because he says "God has forgiven him." He favored abortions (3) when they suited his purpose, smoked marijuana, dated his patients, wrote prescriptions for patients he dated and last but certainly not least put a gun in his mouth as a threat to his first wife. Maybe he has been "forgiven" but his past indiscretions should certainly not be forgotten.

December 4, 2012 at 11:09 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

DesJarlias is the typical politician of both parties. What's the difference between him and Zach Wamp, Crutchfield, Love, Tom Delay, Rostenkowski, Jesse Jackson Jr, and Blago?

With very rare exception, all politicians are liars and multi-faced hacks who's only responsibility is to themselves and the special interests each serve and their constituents do not constitute a special interest unless it's in the form of cash.

December 4, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
aae1049 said...

daytondarwin, beautifully stated.

December 4, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.
jesse said...

What Darwin said! In spades!

December 5, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
jdavid said...

Wonder how much of our insurance premiums went to get this piece of trash elected. Next time you buy insurance from BXBS or UNUM. ask who they own and how much they cost- we don't want to be governed by a bunch of discount politicions.

December 5, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
carlB said...

Since the Democratic people voted for whom they wanted although they had better choices in the two Democratic candidates in the TN 3rd and 4th US Congressional Districts. Now they do not have any respresentation in Washington, DC. Just the two "YES" people for the Party of NO. For the next two years, Alan Grayson has gotten reelected in Florida by the people who used their "senses" for the good of this Republic and their good judgment to return him back to Congress. I do not believe he likes the policies of the Republicans. Maybe the Voters in TN who realized that there should have been two Democratic candidates elected, can "adopt" Alan as our Representative to speak on our behalf for the not two years? Why should we have to wait two years before getting the same policies of the Republicans continue to cause the "gridLock?

December 6, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
tipper said...

DaytonsDarwin: What's the difference? They're not in public office anymore.

December 6, 2012 at 6:51 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

tipper said...

"DaytonsDarwin: What's the difference? They're not in public office anymore."

Elections merely change one set of crooks for another, whether republican or democrats. If you don't realize that locally and nationally, you don't know history and the nature of politicians.

Liars, thieves, and scoundrels, and that's their good points.

Like most religious orthodox hierarchy of any Abrahamic tradition, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, anything goes as long as it serves their purpose. That purpose is power and control, by whatever means necessary whether taxes, war, corruption, imperialism, bribery. . .whatever means required.

DesJarlais is just one of many, but his morality and self-justification is pervasive throughout politics and religion.

December 6, 2012 at 7:44 p.m.
carlB said...

daytonsdarwin, NO, it is not a perfect world nor are there perfect people. But that does not make for an excuse for not electing the best people, doing what is the best for this Republic. Everyboy should realize by now that there has to be a proper balance between the "extremes" to "keep our Republic working" for the good of everyone.

December 7, 2012 at 8:55 a.m.
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