Senator David Vitter has shown the nation the proper way to respond when confronted by a personal scandal.
When his phone number turned up on the D.C. Madam's client list, the Louisiana Republican acknowledged that he was wrong to have used the escort service, and accepted responsibility for his actions.
According to the AP, Sen. Vitter released a written statement admitting that “This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.” He went on to say, “Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. 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.”
Vitter could easily have blamed his transgression on some sort of addiction and sought public forgiveness by going to rehab, as so many public figures do. Instead, he refused to shift the blame or make any excuses for his behavior.
Taking responsibility for one's actions does not absolve a person for the mistakes he has made. Willingness to confront those mistakes head on without the usual flurry of flimsy explanations, however, reveals a man who has the maturity to accept the consequences of his actions, whether good or bad.
Sen. Vitter is far from the first politician to be caught in sexual sin, and he won't be the last. His honest response has set an example for his colleagues in Congress and for the rest of the nation as well. We're all sinners. We all need to acknowledge our sin, turn away from it, and strive to live a better life. People who respond to their sins like Senator Vitter are well on the way to overcoming them.