The fall of Mark Souder happened with a whimper, not a bang. Souder, eight term Republican Congressman from my district in Indiana, announced his resignation from Congress, ostensibly for having an affair with a female staffer.
I know, Republithugs generally get caught dilly-dallying with male staffers, or pages, or “escorts.” I’ll give Souder that much. That’s not to say that he might not have such skeletons in his closet, but that’s not what he got caught doing.
My biggest question in this revelation, however, is, “Who is this woman, and how deperate could she have been?” I mean, come on, Mark Souder? He’s about as sexually appealing as an overripe avocado. While Souder acts all embarrased about getting caught in this situation, the woman is the one who should be embarrased. If you’re going to have your extramarital dalliances made public, at least have the good sense to get caught with someone who is worth the embarrassment, not a repulsive slug like Mark Souder.
Souder, for his part, was contrite, visibly nervous, and possibly humbled during the reading of his statement announcing his resignation. As well he should have been. But his humility was the product of embarrassment, not true remorse. Had he not gotten caught, I have no doubt that he would still be embroiled in the affair, still keeping it secret, and would not have had his public moment of contrition. See, it’s not about the impropriety, it’s about the story going public that led to his resignation and humiliation.
But then that’s Mark Souder for you. He’s always been above it all, from the spoiled little kid growing up in Grabill, Indiana to the arrogant Congressional staffer for Dan Coats, to the eight term Congressman who ran on the pledge of term limiting himself to four terms. Mark is, and has always been, an attention whore who enjoys feeling powerful, if only in his own mind.
Souder always seemed obsessed with the foibles of others, spouting moralizing piety at every turn. Maybe that adds to the pleasure I take in seeing him fall in this way. But a part of me really wanted to see him defeated in a Congressional race. To have him feel the humiliation of defeat, censured at the polls by the people of his district. That’s the end he deserved, but he short-circuited that process by being as weak in the flesh as he is mentally.
While he has “represented” this district for the last fifteen years, he never represented me. I was opposed to most all of what he claimed to stand for and on which he campaigned. I voted against him every election, wrote to him regularly in opposition to his state positions on issues that mattered, and kept waiting on the day when he would go down to defeat. That day came in a way and at a time that caught most of us off guard. Maybe now this district can elect a Congressman we can be proud of instead of embarrased by.