What’s Vitter waiting for?

WHAT’S VITTER WAITING FOR?…. The controversy surrounding Louisiana’s Keith Bardwell generated national attention, and with good reason. A justice of the peace, Bardwell refuses to perform marriage ceremonies for inter-racial couples. “I’m not a racist,” he argued as a defense. “I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way.”

As soon as the story went national, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) condemned Bardwell’s practices and called on him to resign. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) did the same thing. It was a no-brainer.

But then there’s that other statewide Louisianan, whose silence has been conspicuous. As of Monday, Sen. David Vitter, a far-right Republican, had issued no public statements about the Bardwell matter, and taken no steps to criticize his racism.

Yesterday, Vitter passed up another chance to at least say something about the issue.

Although both Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) have publicly condemned Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell for refusing to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples, Sen. David Vitter (R) has stayed noticeably silent. (ThinkProgress contacted his office, but we did not receive a response.)

Blogger-activist Mike Stark caught up with Vitter and asked him about his position. “Have you commented? What did you have to say about it?” asked Stark. Vitter simply smiled, stepped into the elevator, and allowed the doors to close.

These aren’t trick questions. Vitter might have been able to say, initially, that he hadn’t heard about the Bardwell matter, but that’s no longer an option. The senator is no doubt aware of the story, and probably has an opinion about it. If not, he should.

There’s a justice of the peace in David Vitter’s home state that won’t marry inter-racial couples. His colleagues think he should resign. What impression should we get from Vitter’s refusal to say anything at all?

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