VITTER HAS HIS PRIORITIES…. As a senator from Louisiana, it’s tempting to think Sen. David Vitter (R) would be a little more relevant right now. But it appears Vitter, who largely ignored the oil spill crisis when it was unfolding, doesn’t have much to contribute.

The scandal-plagued senator — Vitter is perhaps best known for running on a “family-values” platform before getting caught with prostitutes — has devoted a fair amount of time lately demanding more coastal drilling off his state’s coast. Perhaps more importantly, the right-wing senator has also sought a liability cap for BP, even as his constituents’ disgust for the oil giant and its role in this disaster intensifies.

Jay Newton-Small explains that Vitter, the son of a Chevron petroleum engineer, has found himself in some “trouble” for fighting to protect BP at this crucial time.

Local and national Democrats have been pounding Vitter for seeking to limit the amount of legal damages BP would be responsible for to the last four quarters of profit. “Unlike Republicans, Democrats are not going to protect BP – and given their track record, we are certainly not going to rely on BP’s word as the only thing ensuring that taxpayers are not left on the hook to pay for the disaster they caused,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement. […]

Vitter leads Melancon comfortably in polls and he’s nearly quadrupled [Charlie Melancon’s his Democratic opponent] $2.5 million fundraising haul. But he must now find a way to explain to angry constituents why he wants to limit the damages they might claim from the oil giant in the wake of the growing disaster — a political crack Democrats in Louisiana are looking to force open. After all, in this political climate the only thing worse than being on the side of Washington is being on the side of big oil.

I’ll look forward to his creative explanation, especially given the generous campaign contributions he’s received from the energy industry. At this point, given Vitter’s efforts to carry oil water for BP, it looks like he may have another “very serious sin” to acknowledge.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.