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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 28, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 22
General Gayety: A well-earned comeuppance
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General Gayety: A well-earned comeuppance

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

Since entering Congress in 1994, Indiana Republican Mark Souder focused on changing America's moral direction.

Now we know whose moral direction got changed.

The eight-term congressman, a pillar of family values, recently resigned his seat, saying that he had "sinned against God, my wife, and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff."

Why did he bother to say she's part-time? Does that make it only a part-time sin?

Souder's paramour, Tracy Meadows Jackson, is also married. The affair started after she joined Souder's district staff in 2004. Jackson hosted audio and video productions that featured the congressman discussing conservative concerns.

A video in which Souder sounds off about a 2008 House hearing on abstinence education became a YouTube hit following his confession. The congressman and his mistress made a pro-abstinence video. If I'd made that up, you wouldn't have bought it.

In the past, noted The Wall Street Journal, Souder has said that he's "most defined by the fact that I'm an evangelical Christian." As a staunch social conservative, Souder made George W. Bush look like a hippie.

In a 2004 PBS interview, Souder said, "I believe people can have a propensity to alcoholism. I believe they can have a propensity to look at pornography on [the] internet. I believe they can have a propensity to be homosexual. But I believe that it's wrong and it's controllable."

I believe I'm glad he's gone.

Two weeks before his fall from grace, Souder won his primary race. In a campaign radio ad, he trumpeted his efforts to prevent Hoosier schools from being forced to employ "transvestite teachers."

Fanning the family-values fires in Fort Wayne. Phooey.

In committee, Souder led the opposition against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2007, declaring, "In their quest to grant special rights to homosexuals, Democrats are trampling on the religious freedoms of all Americans."

Souder said he has Gay friends - and a masochistic bunch they must be - but because of the clarity of the Bible on homosexuality, "there just isn't much room to compromise."

So where in the Bible does it say thou shalt diddle thy part-time staffer?

With such hard-line views and votes, the self-described "ultra-conservative" has taken an ultra fall.

"I think the people who get treated the worst are the ones who preach the most, are the most pious. Nobody loves a hypocrite," said Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker to the Associated Press.

Said Baker, "There are some people who have kind of a malicious delight at a downfall like that."

Guilty.

Okay, I might not be delighted but I certainly am pleased by Mark Souder's collapse. The reason is simple: He made it his life's work to keep me and mine second-class or lower. He thumped that Bible and his breast and insisted he walked with God while others of us walked with Bozo.

Apparently LGBT people aren't the only ones fed up with politicians like Souder. "There is a growing intolerance for hypocritical behavior," political expert Andrew Downs told The Indianapolis Star. "If you want to run as a pro-family candidate, don't have an affair."

Six months ago Souder and Jackson were caught in a parked car in a nature preserve, the former congressman told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "Subconsciously, was I wanting to get caught? Or was God so frustrated with me he said, 'I've had it. You're so stupid here I'm going to, in effect, out you.'"

God "outed" the adamantly anti-Gay congressman. God has a wicked sense of humor.

Leslie Robinson lives in Seattle. E-mail her at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and read other columns at www.generalgayety.com.

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