No matter how pure, how honest, how well-intentioned, we all occasionally screw up.
America is built on giving most people a second chance.
Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana is making the most of his.
In early 2007 his name showed up on the client list for a Washington, DC prostitution service.
It was all part of the infamous DC Madam case.
A week later, with his wife by his side, Vitter faced the press, “I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling.”
And he turned around and left.
Vitter is an example of how — if a politician can outlast a scandal and win reelection — Congress can be a forgiving place where sin is not in small supply.
He had almost 3 ½ years after he was caught to work the county fairs and town hall meetings before having to face voters again.
He now finds himself in high demand.
His banishment is over, his rehabilitation almost complete.
And to top it off, his name is on top most lists of possible GOP gubernatorial nominees for Louisiana in 2015 when Governor Bobby Jindal reaches his term limit and leaves office.
Vitter is lucky.
Usually a politician who messes up badly is gone – for good.
Republican Larry Craig of Idaho didn’t run for reelection after pleading guilty to soliciting an undercover police officer in an airport men’s room.
It was a lonely time while Vitter crawled his way back.
In Congress, Senators didn’t necessarily avoid him, but they didn’t visit him.
But now, even a few Democrats, while not openly forgiving him, say they have found him to be someone who is willing to work across the aisle on some issues.
That’s high praise coming from the other party.
All those lonely days and nights appear to be over.
We spend a lot of time making fun of politicians who mess up.
But in reality, they don’t do much that’s different from the usual run-of-the-mill stupid thing everyone does.
In their case – everyone is watching.
Second chances exist if one is willing to work for them.