"Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."
Certainly, I feel terrible that a man's marriage and personal life is about to be dragged into the public sphere as so much political football. These concerns are private, and should stay between Vitter and his family.
What's that you say? Vitter voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment? Twice? Oh dear. I guess he thinks that marriage is something that deserves to be a public issue and political football. Well then. Game on.
In the same vein, Ann Althouse notes that:
I hate seeing people publicly humiliated for the sexual things they do in private. But the government is criminally prosecuting a woman, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, for what it says was a prostitution ring. These are federal charges, and the senator, David Vitter, has some responsibility for the laws that make this prosecution possible.
Palfrey can't say God has forgiven her and walk free. In fact, Vitter's statement hurts Palfrey because it strongly implies that Palfrey was doing what she's accused of. Vitter's confession -- intended to move us to mercy -- links him to criminal activity, but only she is facing criminal punishment.
Shouldn't the expiation of Vitter's sins wait until he has introduced a bill that would create a federal right to engage in the business of prostitution? It's not a matter to be resolved within the realm of church and family as long as Palfrey is being prosecuted.
LGM and Matt Yglesias make similar comments.