Mark Souder, Creationist Fool, Resigns!

Buffoon Award

OUR last post about Mark Souder, Creationist Congressman, the only member of Congress (so far) who has won your Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award, was here: 04 May Election Results. He won a contested primary, and was once again going to be the GOP candidate in the November general election. As we wrote then:

The competition for “Biggest Idiot in Congress” is ferocious. Every galaxy-class fool in the US seems to be there, fighting for the title. But Souder easily stands out from the rest as being especially idiotic. He won our Buffoon Award for saying: “I personally believe that there is no issue more important to our society than intelligent design.” See: Buffoon Award Winner — Mark Souder, Creationist Congressman.

Well, dear reader, sometimes the gods are kind. At the website of Fox News we read Indiana Rep. Mark Souder to Resign Amid Allegations of Affair With Staffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Eight-term Indiana Rep. Mark Souder was announcing his resignation Tuesday after admitting to an affair with a female aide who worked in his district office.

Souder, a Republican, will will step down on Friday. He said in remarks obtained by Fox News that he “sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.”

O the joy! Another creationist fool flames out. Let’s read on:

Elected as a family values conservative as part of the Republican revolution in 1994, Souder survived a tough re-election challenge in 2008 and survived a contested primary two weeks ago.

Family values! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Update: See Lauri Lebo on the Shipwreck of Mark Souder.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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43 responses to “Mark Souder, Creationist Fool, Resigns!

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s funny how some of us think hypocrisy is worse than doing something wrong. If he hadn’t been a “family values” proponent, would it be okay for him to cheat on his wife with a staffer? (See Clinton, William J.)

    He did the decent thing and resigned.

    One fewer vote for all the other things you care about, SC.

  2. Gabriel Hanna says:

    One fewer vote for all the other things you care about, SC.

    I know. That is the great dilemma. But still, character is what counts, and Souder didn’t have it.

  3. Gabriel Hanna

    I know. That is the great dilemma.

    Well, if there were enough libertarians to constitute a serious opposition, we wouldn’t need the Republican party at all, but there we are.

    Compare and contrast with John Edwards; he is a bad guy morally and in the Curmudgeonly sense. And look how he’s been handling his adultery.

  4. Gabriel Hanna, “It’s funny how some of us think hypocrisy is worse than doing something wrong.”

    What is “wrong” isn’t always apparent. Some people believe that extra-marital relations aren’t wrong if it is done in a mutually agreeable and transparent manner. However, when someone is telling everyone else that something is wrong and then goes and does it, then, yes, hypocrisy is worse.

  5. I’ll agree with RogerE on this that hypocrisy is worse, particularly when said person is in a position to force his “family values” on the rest of us. Oh and if we have to bring Clinton up, how about good ol’ Newt Gingrich?

  6. Gabriel Hanna

    Looks like we have two votes for “being ashamed of doing something wrong is worse than not being ashamed of it or not thinking it’s wrong”.

    You’ll not hear me defending Gingrich’s adultery, or McCain’s either. However, neither apparently thought they did anything very wrong, so by your standard there’s nothing to condemn.

    Incidentally, did Souder sponsor any bills crimilaizing adultery? No? Then in what sense did he “force his values” on the rest of us?

    Oh, right, you guys think that EXPRESSING AN OPINION you don’t like is the same as FORCING it on us.

    Since you guys believe that consenting adults don’t do wrong, then I assume you’ll join in me repealing the minimum wage? After all, surely consenting adults do no harm when they come to agreement on the price of doing a job.

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s not that I’m really picking on you guys; you guys are all right. It’s just that your stance is so predictable.

    I would rather live in a world with social norms, where people do wrong and are ashamed of it, than in a world without. Laws can’t establish morality, because illegal and immoral are entirely different concepts.

    The fact that people don’t live up to their ideals doesn’t make their ideals defective. You both know this–you refuse to apply the same logic to people you approve of that you apply to Souder.

  8. I’m sorry Gabriel, I don’t understand what you mean when you say, “you refuse to apply the same logic to people you approve of that you apply to Souder.” Example?

  9. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I assume you’ll join in me repealing the minimum wage?

    Sure, no problem.

  10. Gabriel Hanna: One fewer vote for all the other things you care about, SC.

    SC: I know. That is the great dilemma. But still, character is what counts…

    No, what counts is your vote. You will never get the party that you want or the politicians that you want until you are willing to wield that vote against them.

    The surest way to have your concerns completely ignored by the GOP (or the Democrats) is to complain bitterly about some policy they have and then vote for them anyway. That classifies you as a locked up voter, and come redistricting time the two parties will trade you back and forth like a piece of meat.

  11. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m sorry Gabriel, I don’t understand what you mean when you say, “you refuse to apply the same logic to people you approve of that you apply to Souder.” Example?

    Okay, RogerE, you’re a pure rationalist whose morality is completely derived from postulates, which you apply absolutely to everything and everyone.

    My remark is aimed at everyone else.

  12. Gabriel Hanna I thought putting words into other peoples mouths was a trait of the ID, not you. No where do they mention ashamed of actions. You are inventing means and words not even hinted of in their posts to go off on a political rant.

    I have to agree with the above posters. Hypocrisy in this instance is far worse than the actual crime committed (to the electorate anyway, leaving out the families involved). Not only was he lying and shown lying to them, probably one of the biggest sins of a politician (the getting caught part). He essentially saying these rules/morals are good for you but do not apply to me because I am more equal than you.

  13. Gabriel Hanna

    @eric:

    The surest way to have your concerns completely ignored by the GOP (or the Democrats) is to complain bitterly about some policy they have and then vote for them anyway.

    This is a good point, but if we all did it all the time nobody would have enough consensus to do anything. You’ve got to pick and choose.

    A creationist Congressman is not as much of a threat to me and my freedom as a city council that condemns my house and gives the land to Walmart, or a tax code that requires a business to file a form for every company they do $600 of business with.

  14. Gabriel Hanna

    Hypocrisy in this instance is far worse than the actual crime committed (to the electorate anyway, leaving out the families involved).

    A third vote!

    He essentially saying these rules/morals are good for you but do not apply to me because I am more equal than you.

    Then why is he resigning? When did he say he was more equal than anyone else?

    Did you never do anything you think is wrong? When you did something you thought was wrong, did you think it was because you had a right to when everyone else didn’t?

    So much for putting words in people’s mouths.

  15. longshadow

    Mark Souder, Creationist Fool, Resigns!

    The Curmudgeon’s Vast World-Wide Evolutionary Conspiracy scores another victory!!!!!

    Huzzah!

  16. He is resigning because he got caught, not because he did it in the first place. You think Mr Failed his morals would have just resigned on his own back. If that the case why did he stand for election just a few weeks ago?

    “Did you never do anything you think is wrong? When you did something you thought was wrong, did you think it was because you had a right to when everyone else didn’t?”

    No, but that is because I am not a hypocrite like Souder was.

  17. Gabriel Hanna

    No, but that is because I am not a hypocrite like Souder was.

    Well, Flakey is a saint, it seems, who has never done anything wrong. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and by God Flakey cast it.

    Bill Clinton got caught too, and caught lying about it under oath. Didn’t resign. And got his law license revoked. But at least he’s not a hypocrite.

    Hypocrisy is not when your actions fail to live up to your professed standards. It’s when you pretend to have standards you don’t have. I think the “hypocrite” label fits Mark Sanford better than Souder, but let that pass.

    Think about the implications of living in a world where how you behave matters less than how you feel about it. You really think that a society where people try to behave and sometimes fail is worse than one in which people don’t try?

    Of course you don’t. This is why I said what I did about you and the people who agree with you.

  18. But, Gabe, I’m not applying my standards to them. I’m apply THEIR standards to them. I didn’t care about who Clinton was banging. I didn’t care about Newt’s doing the exact same thing. In fact, I’d have preferred to know as little about both as possible… But I do care when one of those men was attacking the other for doing the same thing to secure political advantage. That just shows he’s an immoral opportunist and that is a dangerous thing for any political stripe.

  19. retiredsciguy

    I agree with Gabe — a creationist congressman is not as much of a threat compared to “a city council that condemns my house and gives the land to Walmart, or a tax code that requires a business to file a form for every company they do $600 of business with.”

    I also agree that we need more libertarians and fewer proponents of more governmental power, regardless of party. It seems that many Republicans wish to use the power of government to restrict personal freedoms related to sex and religion, while many Democrats wish to restrict entrepreneurial freedoms, especially on the larger scale.

    An oversimplification to be sure, but illustrative of the point nonetheless. Every elected official takes an oath to uphold the constitution. Shouldn’t they be subject to impeachment if they knowingly cast their vote for legislation that is unconstitutional?

  20. Gabriel Hanna, to leave no ambiguity here, I rejoice in Souder’s fall because: (1) he was a creationist fool, and (2) he was also a hypocrite. True, he often voted as I would wish, but that doesn’t make him my friend. The world is better with him out of Congress. Now if we could clean out about 400 or so like him, I’d feel even better.

  21. “Then why is he resigning?”

    Because he got caught.

  22. My view in a nutshell (this came up on another blog after Gov. Sanford hiked the Appalachian Trail): adultery is morally wrong (violation of vow between married people), and it can be compounded by hypocrisy, which is also morally wrong. Thus, the degree of public outrage over adultery can, and does, vary depending on whether or not the perpetrator is a big “family values” proponent.

  23. James F says:

    Thus, the degree of public outrage over adultery can, and does, vary depending on whether or not the perpetrator is a big “family values” proponent.

    Ted Kennedy never ran into problems like this, because he never pretended to be Mr. Clean.

  24. Gabriel: This is a good point, but if we all did it all the time nobody would have enough consensus to do anything. You’ve got to pick and choose.

    Sure, I agree. SC is clearly concerned about creationism – otherwise, why blog about it – so this seems like the sort of issue that counts as important enough to stand on. Whether infidelity is another one of those issues is really up to him.

    SC’s comment about cleaning out ‘400 or so’ is somewhat similar to my own opinion, which is that regardless of where in the political spectrum you sit, a greater than 90% incumbency rate is bad news. An insignificant chance of not being reelected can easily lead to little responsiveness to voter concerns, ignoring majority opinion to cater to the vocal minority. (e.g. “Hanna’s going to vote for me anyway, so instead of doing what he wants I’ll try and pick up the Jack Chick vote”). IMO a 30-60% incumbency rate would be healthier for both parties, and the folks in the middle. But to get to a ~50% incumbency rate, you need to be willing to vote against your own incumbents…far more often than we do now.

  25. eric says:

    SC is clearly concerned about creationism – otherwise, why blog about it

    I suspect that most of us would regard a hard-core creationist as a defective personality to some degree. At minimum, such people are willing to compartmentalize their brains into little independent domains, in some of which reality is okay, and in others where it’s not allowed. I think that people like that aren’t fit for serious decision-making, so even though they vote my way on several issues, I can never be certain of their judgment.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind if a Congressman is open and honest about being a womanizer. That’s his private business, and by itself, that wouldn’t affect my opinion about his abilities in other areas. But in Souter’s case, as with his creationism, he put his personal conduct into a private compartment where it was magically isolated from everything else. That’s yet another manifestation of his defective nature, and it’s what brought him down. Fine with me.

  26. Gabriel Hanna

    @Eric:SC’s comment about cleaning out ’400 or so’ is somewhat similar to my own opinion, which is that regardless of where in the political spectrum you sit, a greater than 90% incumbency rate is bad news. An insignificant chance of not being reelected can easily lead to little responsiveness to voter concerns, ignoring majority opinion to cater to the vocal minority.

    I think there are very few people who would argue with this.

    @Albaneon:But I do care when one of those men was attacking the other for doing the same thing to secure political advantage. That just shows he’s an immoral opportunist and that is a dangerous thing for any political stripe.

    Like a President who crusades against Guantanamo Bay and Wall Street fat cats, but doesn’t close Guantanmo Bay and takes money from the fat cats? Or an organization that claims to advocate for the poor and pays its workers less than minimum wage? Or a Senator who votes huge sums for wind power, but blocks the building of windmills in view of his family compound?

    I suspect it’s only hypocrisy on “family values” issues that riles you, but I don’t know much about you.

  27. Michael Fugate

    You won’t find Bill Clinton prating on about the sanctity of marriage and other people’s sex lives, but you will find Newt Gingrich who has been married 3 times and carried on extramarital affairs doing so. The joyous people behind prop 8 in California enlisted him to campaign on the threat same-sex marriage posed for heterosexual marriage until someone had a working synapse and thought better of it.

  28. Gabriel Hanna

    You won’t find Bill Clinton prating on about the sanctity of marriage and other people’s sex lives, but you will find Newt Gingrich who has been married 3 times and carried on extramarital affairs doing so.

    And you will find Al Gore telling us how we should our carbon footprints while living in mansions and flying on private jets. You will find Barack Obama not closing Guantanamo Bay and killing people from the sky without any kind of due process and taking money from Wall Street bankers.

    Practicing what one preaches is only for the Right.

  29. Gabriel Hanna

    Look, it’s not so much that I care who’s a hypocrite and who’s not. I figure politicians usually are.

    I just think the charge of hypocrisy is intellectually lazy. I care a lot more about people doing wrong or doing right than I care about whether they thought it was wrong or told people it was wrong.

    For example, who is a better parent?

    a) A lifelong smoker who punishes his children when he catches them smoking

    b) A lifelong smoker who doesn’t, because he’d be a “hypocrite”

  30. Michael Fugate wrote:

    The joyous people behind prop 8 in California enlisted him to campaign on the threat same-sex marriage posed for heterosexual marriage until someone had a working synapse and thought better of it.

    This brings up possibly the most glaring case of hypocrisy compounding adultery: married preachers like George Rekers and Ted Haggard – who rail against homosexuality and argue that it can be “cured” – who get caught cheating on their wives…with men. It’s getting to the point where that train’s never late.

  31. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s getting to the point where that train’s never late.

    It’s never too late to catch the man train.

  32. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I just think the charge of hypocrisy is intellectually lazy. I care a lot more about people doing wrong or doing right than I care about whether they thought it was wrong or told people it was wrong.

    Hypocrisy is tricky. For example, was George Washington a hypocrite because he owned hundreds of slaves? In one sense, yes, but not entirely. The Founders were well aware of the issue, and most didn’t try to deceive anyone, or even themselves. They had inherited a world in which that was the way large-scale agriculture was done. If they abolished it they would impoverish the country. It simply couldn’t be done, although it discomforted many of them. That discomfort is small consolation to the slaves, of course, but seen in a larger context, probably most of humanity had been slaves at one time or another. We’ve come a long way.

    The industrial revolution solved the problem, and unless we’re all forced to use windmill power to save the planet, the problem will never rise again. Sometimes, hypocrisy is a small part of a much larger set of issues. To me the bigger issue is integrity. Souter just didn’t have it. His case is easy to decide. Washington’s is infinitely more complicated.

  33. Putting on a blue sock and a black sock in a dark room while dressing in the morning is a mistake.

    Grabbing the pepper shaker instead of the salt shaker is a mistake.

    Saying “Hi” to a stranger who looks like one of your friends is a mistake.

    Using your wife’s email address to confirm an order of flowers to your mistress is a dumb mistake.

    But, engaging in a long-term, mutual, extramarital relationship is not a mistake. It is not an error. It’s a conscious decision that carries with it certain consequences which are known at the outset.

    I sometimes wonder how the woman (in this case) feels about being called “my love” in private and “the biggest mistake of my life” in public.

    Souder isn’t a sinner. That would make it all about him and perhaps that’s the issue. What Souder did was to betray trust, as did his mistress to her husband, and together they proceeded to throw a wrench into two marriages. It was a risk they had to realize throughout their affair.

    Blame Cupid.

  34. Gabriel Hanna

    One of the Senators demagoguing bankers intervenes for them at the last minute:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/18/AR2010051804100.html?hpid=topnews

    Three minutes before the noon deadline for amendments, Dodd filed a proposal addressing language in the bill that would force the nation’s largest banks to stop trading nearly all kinds of derivatives — a move that would dramatically reshape several critical markets and deprive the firms of a major source of revenue.

    Under the compromise, the Senate would keep the sweeping provision, but delay its implementation for two years while it’s studied and quite likely kill it at the end.

    I eagerly await denunciations of this hypocrisy.

    Well, it’s only a matter that affects the financial life of the entire country, and not an affair with a staffer, so I suppose it’s not important.

  35. Gabriel Hanna

    For example, was George Washington a hypocrite because he owned hundreds of slaves?

    In Washington’s defense, not all of them were his to sell. He also kept slaves it was not profitable for him to own, so that he could feed them and not break up their families, and also because he refused to traffic further in human beings. He was also convinced that slavery would die out on its own.

    SC, you talk about “restoring” the Constitution but you don’t advocate violence to do so. Does that make you a hypocrite, or someone who puts up with one evil to avoid committing a greater?

    Hypocrisy is NOT failing to live up to ideals. It is PRETENDING to ideals that you do not have.

  36. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Well, it’s only a matter that affects the financial life of the entire country

    That’s just fishing for contributions from lobbyists. “We’ll destroy your industry! Oh, thank you for the generous contribution, we’ll amend our legislation.” Business as usual.

  37. Gabriel Hanna says:

    SC, you talk about “restoring” the Constitution but you don’t advocate violence to do so. Does that make you a hypocrite …

    No, it means I’m not an idiot. At least not that kind of idiot.

  38. “Well, it’s only a matter that affects the financial life of the entire country, and not an affair with a staffer, so I suppose it’s not important.”

    Nothing like going completely off-topic. This is why I avoid political blogs.

  39. RogerE says:

    Nothing like going completely off-topic. This is why I avoid political blogs.

    A creationist in Congress is a political subject. Also, tonight is an election night. Sometimes we can’t avoid politics.

  40. Gabriel Hanna

    Nothing like going completely off-topic. This is why I avoid political blogs.

    My last post was still on political hypocrisy, which you had no trouble identifying when it came to family values sort of issues involving Republicans.

  41. retiredsciguy

    Creationists can do terrible damage when they are on school boards, esp. state school boards, and esp. big state school boards, such as Texas.

    They can do even more damage as state legislators, where they can influence how the state’s schools are run.

    There’s no denying Souder is a jerk. But as a U.S. Congressman, his creationism is more an indication of his lack of critical thinking skills than an immediate danger to education.

  42. Gabriel Hanna, “My last post was still on political hypocrisy, which you had no trouble identifying when it came to family values sort of issues involving Republicans.”

    It was? Anyway, you’re right, I “had no trouble identifying [hypocrisy] when it came to family values” issues. And, it didn’t matter to me whether it came from a Republican or not. I find political hypocrisy much more difficult to detect as the political process deals much more in gray areas and in finding workable compromises.

  43. Yes! There is a god.