photo credit: aurélien.
Just to be clear from the beginning, this topic is inspired by the Kevin Garn story and while I will refer to that story specifically everything I say is meant to apply to any matters of the private morality of a public official.
First, I would like to say that Rep. Garn seems to be dealing with this in the best way he knows how. Second, I agree with this comment on Holly’s site saying that we should:
hold our elected officials to the highest moral and ethical standards
Having said those things, I don’t believe that Rep. Garn’s problem is any of my business because he is not my representative. If he were my representative that would be another story.
If he were my representative then I would think it perfectly appropriate to ask whatever questions I felt necessary to determine who the issue should weigh in my voting decisions. If he were my representative my position right now would be to thank him for his service and encourage him to step down and let someone else serve so that this issue could not hang like a cloud over the office that he had been entrusted with. That would be my position despite the fact that I believe this situation is not quite as salacious as it would appear to be at first glance (like if you read the headlines and not the rest of the story).
Because he is not my representative I consider this to be a matter between him and his constituents. My interest in the story should go no further than to wonder if my representative was among those who gave him a standing ovation and if she was, to ask her why she would do that. Personally I think the appropriate response to hearing a colleague read that kind of prepared statement should be shocked silence, certainly not a standing ovation.