published Thursday, October 11th, 2012

DesJarlais' scandal

Washington is notorious for its sanctimonious, philandering hypocrites, but few fall into that category with more chutzpah than Tennessee's 4th District congressman, Scott DesJarlais.

A practicing physician at the time, DesJarlais defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis in 2010 on an anti-abortion, family-values, Tea Party-backed campaign in a newly gerrymandered district. Now it's clear his righteous persona was a blatant charade. As his marriage was disintegrating in 2000, he was urging his mistress — whom he met as a patient for a foot problem — to have an abortion, according to a conversation with her that DesJarlais' former wife said he himself taped.

The tape, the Huffington Post reported Wednesday, reveals that DesJarlais urged his lover to keep her promise to terminate her pregnancy even though he suspected that he was the father.

"You told me to you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," he said, as the two discussed whether he would accompany her to get the abortion, and whether he would he reveal her identity to his wife, the Huffington Post reported. As the conversation reportedly continued, DesJarlais said his lover's delay in getting an abortion was unfair to his wife, with whom he apparently was attempting to reconcile.

"This is not fair to me. I don't want you in my life," she responded. "Well, I didn't want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that's not my fault, that's yours," he replied.

"Well, it's [your] fault for sleeping with your patient," she retorted, suggesting the doctor's ethical transgression of a relationship with a patient.

DesJarlais suggested that if "need to go Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over, so we can get on with our lives, then let's do it." He reportedly taped the conversation to show his wife, who had sued him for a divorce two years earlier for improper marital behavior, that he had ended the relationship with his pregnant lover. Court records on the eventual divorce, the Huffington Post reported, ultimately showed that DesJarlais admitted to at least four affairs.

Huffington Post said it DesJarlais did not deny the tape's contents. Rather, he depicted its revelation as a "desperate personal attack" to thwart his re-election bid.

What hogwash: it reveals his character. His divorce was a central focus in his campaign against Davis two years ago, but the newly revealed tape wasn't mentioned in that campaign. And his divorce proceedings haven't been a theme of this year's campaign against him by Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart. But the tape should reignite debate over DesJarlais' character, veracity and personal conduct.

The Huffington Post account said court records on DesJarlais' 2001 divorce also confirmed the claim two years ago that DesJarlais, before the divorce, had sat for hours outside his wife's bedroom door with a gun in his mouth and threatening suicide, and in another instance had "dry-fired" a gun outside her bedroom door. DesJarlais had denied those reports in the 2010 campaign.

Court records further showed, the Huffington Post wrote, that the judge who presided over DesJarlais' divorce noted the divorce suit was filed "based upon his first indiscretions."

The question now is whether the revelation of DesJarlais' affairs and his pressure on his mistress then to seek an abortion will alter the course of the current campaign. Given Wednesday's disclosure, it would be an embarrassment to the 4th District to return the deceitful, unethical, philandering physician. If 4th District voters value honesty and upstanding character, they will vote him out of office and install Sen. Stewart, an insurance agent with a decent reputation.

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AndrewLohr said...

The job of a representative is to VOTE and Mr DeJarlais would probably vote less badly than a Democrat, so his constituents may well vote for him on that basis.

As for Democrats, Mr Clinton was accused of rape. Does the Times, even this late, wich he'd been removed from office when that came out?

The Free Press side cartoon yesterday? or the day before showed President Obama making a number of dubious statements, ending with the punch line 'Mitt Romney is a liar.'

(As for Libertarian Gary Johnson, certainly he'd make a better President than either of the two leading candidates, but isn't he openly living in sin with a woman he's not married to?)

October 11, 2012 at 6:04 a.m.
Dumbledore403 said...

Andrew- I get so tired of the "lesser of two evils" voting that I keep seeing. Wrong is wrong regardless of which side...I am voting third party in one race because of ethics issues...and if I was in Congressman DeJardais' district..it would affect my vote.

October 11, 2012 at 9:14 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Three strikes for a sanctimonious hypocrite:
1. He had a sexual affair while married.
2. He had a sexual affair with a patient.
3. He pressured the woman to get an abortion.
He calls himself a "pro-life, family values" candidate?
How could anyone support him for elected office?
Three strikes - Any decent referee would rule DesJarlais OUT.

October 11, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.
moon4kat said...

If the GOP believes what it says about abortion, then it must hold DesJarlais accountable as a cold, calculating accomplice to murder.
But, they don't, and won't. Instead, the GOP "leaders" want to control and punish everyone else's behavior while repeatedly showing that they can't even control themselves. It's okay for them to get an abortion when it's convenient, but not okay for poor women who already have too many kids.

October 11, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
carlB said...

Dumbledore403, I agree with you " Wrong is wrong regardless of which side." Since there are not any perfect people, then we have to decide on what type of "wrong" did a candidate make relative to morals, religous beliefs, political, Ideological, or just plan out Lying for the purpose of misleading the voters. All of the above is occurring everyday making it harder for the voters to decide on who to vote for.
I am going to vote for "MOVING THIS REPUBLIC FOWARD" not backward into another great depression. Voting for the Democratic candidates where ever possible will get the job done. Voting for Eric Stewart, the Democratic candidate Running in the 4th US Congressial District in my opinion is the choice to make.

October 11, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
una61 said...

I predict Scott DesJarlais will be re-elected.

October 11, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
Leaf said...

What a slimy bastard. Of course he'll be re-elected. He's a Republican. This is Tennessee.

October 11, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.
timbo said...

It was 2000, give me a break. He shouldn't have done it but it was 12 years ago. You liberal hypocrites have forgotten Barack Obama book. He was a dope head, fraternized with ex-terrorists, and spewed socialist clap trap. Not to mention his former "pastor" who he readily threw under the bus. If Obama "changed" in less than 10 years, why couldn't DesJarlais change in 12 years?

The risk is much greater putting another liberal in office than putting another womanizer in office. I guess you Dems have forgotten Clinton.

October 11, 2012 at 3:44 p.m.
timbo said...

It was 2000, give me a break. He shouldn't have done it but it was 12 years ago. You liberal hypocrites have forgotten Barack Obama's book. He admitted he was a dope head, fraternized with ex-terrorists, and spewed socialist clap trap. Not to mention his former "pastor" who he readily threw under the bus when everyone found out just how bad the pastor was. If Obama "changed" in less than 10 years, why couldn't DesJarlais change in 12 years?

The risk is much greater putting another liberal in office than putting another womanizer in office. I guess you Dems have forgotten Clinton.

Leaf....how many times did you vote for that "slimy bastard" Clinton, or maybe John Edwards?

October 11, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
sjs823 said...

I live in the 4th District, and I will vote for DesJarlais again. In fact, this slanderous editorial prompted me to get one of his yard signs and put it in my yard tonight. timbo above is correct. You can call DesJarlais a hypocrite, but he is NOT A DEMOCRAT, which means he will not vote to steal my wealth.

October 11, 2012 at 10:23 p.m.
moon4kat said...

sjs823, apparently telling the truth about DesJarlais is "slanderous." But, you do represent Republican "values," which are solely about money.
GOP hysteria about abortions is just a smoke-screen, and perfectly okay when it comes to one of their own. But, poor women who already have too many children to support? The GOP insists they can't be allowed to have an abortion.

October 11, 2012 at 10:47 p.m.
jesse said...

GIT OVER IT!Now we know about his past,the only diff.is all the garbage hasn't come out about his opponent yet! Just hang loose,it's coming!

THEY are all scumbags,and if they aren't. after 4 or 5 years in office they will be!

October 12, 2012 at 9:06 a.m.
SarahS1980 said...

We as citizens can make our voice heard on this issue. Sign this petition to tell the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the American Medical Association that sexual relationship between doctors and their patients is not okay:

http://www.change.org/petitions/tennessee-board-of-medical-examiners-and-the-american-medical-association-revoke-the-medical-license-of-dr-scott-desjarlais-for-ethics-violations

October 15, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
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