It's Not About The Party--It's About Being A Hypocrite
It burns Republicans to no end.
Both of our esteemed political parties have had their share of rogues who lemming off the cliff and do something incredibly immoral, illegal or fattening. For some reason, GOP members say, it seems the Republican offenders get the s--t end of the stick, forced into early retirement and eternal banishment while Democrats who stray live on politically (Ted Kennedy and Bil Clinton are the most frequent examples cited).
When you live in a glass house, you can't toss stones. Republicans bought just such an abode when they locked arms with the Moral Majority and others of it's ilk--waving the "family values" flag at every turn to whip up a large, active, well-funded base. There's nothing wrong with that--it's smart politics--but it comes with a price that includes a very high bar when it comes to things like morals, ethics, and marriage (both gay and straight).
It's not the fault of the media--seems the Clinton and Kennedy matters got a pretty thorough airing out in the press. Kennedy's driving, drinking, marriages, and personal mis-steps made headlines for years, and Clinton, as I recall, wound up on the business end of impeachment proceedings. Yet to the eternal irritation of Republicans--they not only survived but flourished post-scandal. Kennedy has a job for life, while Clinton could become the nation's First Man and would stroll to a third term in the White House if the Constitution allowed it.
What's the dif?
A legally-astray Republican HAS TO GO--to appease the aforementioned base. The offender doesn't even get the chance to run for re-election, to go on a campaign trail to try to explain away what happened. It's one, and done.
I write this in the wake of Larry Craig's resignation--a longtime Idaho Senator who copped a plea to a charge stemming from an incident in a Minneapolis bathroom, he'll never get the chance to have his fate decided by his constituents. The political climate of the day, his voting record against gay rights and a party that has a base to serve has no use for someone who has a wide stance in the potty. Senate Republicans greased his skids by yanking him from committee leadership positions, making sure that, if he stayed, he'd be a relative rookie despite his years on the Hill.
Such is the price one pays when ones party leans the way it does to keep a base in it's back pocket. It's not a double-standard--it's a creed the GOP has to adhere to it if wants to rely on the "family values" crowd come election day. By the by, if one had no trouble being labeled "a conservative Republican" by the media in the days when things were good, don't blame the media for using that moniker when your mugshots are on CNN.
As for the media, we all report. In the case of Senator Craig, his voters never got a chance to decide.