Vittert: DC great at keeping secrets until you cross party lines

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

(NewsNation) — I woke up this morning to some pretty stunning news: Matt Gaetz evidently likes underage interns and Bob Menendez’s wife killed a man with her car.

Neither of these tawdry bits of gossip are new. They just weren’t publicly known or discussed until the men in question became liabilities to their own parties.

In the case of Menendez, video existed in the aftermath of the crash six years ago. The crash happened six years ago. The videos existed all that time.

You have to imagine that the head of the New Jersey State Police, certainly the governor of New Jersey, knew all about Menendez’s wife’s car accident.

It is a state run by Democrats, after all, but somehow just now, MSNBC is outraged.

Menendez and his indictment for bribery, complete with gold bars, is now a liability for the Democratic Party.

It is amazing that now after six years we’re learning about the car accident.

Several sound bites about Gaetz also broke overnight.

“This is a guy that didn’t have, that the media didn’t give a time of day to after he was accused of sleeping with an underage girl. And there’s a reason why no one and the conference defended him. Because we had all seen the videos he was showing on the House floor, that all of us had walked away, of the girls that he had slept with. He bragged about how he would crush E.D. medicine and chase it with an energy drink so he could go all night,” Republican Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin said on CNN.

“They say he came here as a fiscal crusader; more likely came here for the teenage interns on Capitol Hill to be honest. Look, he’s voted for continuing resolutions. He’s voted for omnibus bills, he voted for trillions of dollars in COVID spending,” said Marc Short, former chief of staff of the House Republican Conference.

Gaetz’s escapades were the worst-kept secret in Washington. In fact, Gaetz didn’t really attempt to keep them secret.

His proclivities with interns and other young staffers were known around town, but nobody talked about them on cable news.

Certainly, Republicans didn’t come out and criticize Gaetz until Gaetz voted to oust Speaker McCarthy.

Now the guy who kicked out Kevin McCarthy likes young girls. Who knew?

NewsNation political contributor George Will weighed in, saying, “Of course, standards of journalistic secrecy and journalistic discretion are have changed, they probably changed decisively, with Donna Rice, the ship monkey business, and Gary Hart. He said, ‘Follow me around, you’ll be bored.’ They followed him around. They weren’t bored. And since then there’s been no filter of the sort that protected John Kennedy, for example, from the publicizing of escapades that everyone knew about.”

Will said Menendez is a different kind of case. In a way, he’s a demonstration of the old Washington, that if Washingtonians didn’t have situational ethics, they’d have none at all. He’s now become a danger to this tiny majority. They have to control the Senate. That’s everything for the Democrats right now. But it would be pretty hard for the Democrats to lose the Senate seat in New Jersey.

Will said they’ve got Hunter Biden on their plate. They’ve got Menendez. And they want to say that Clarence Thomas, having a rich friend is a real scandal.

There doesn’t seem to be any interest by the New York Times, or MSNBC for that matter, to figure out why we’re just hearing about this car crash now and why the Democratic machine protected Bob Menendez, and for that matter, not a lot of questions to congressional Republicans who all knew about Matt Gates and his tawdry behavior and never seem to care about it until now.

Will said, “It’s a very dangerous thing to do … what Gaetz did, which is make enemies, bitter enemies of your colleagues. So he turned colleagues into informants, as it were. With Menendez, you’ve got a problem that the FBI did a lot of investigating. They found all those wads of cash and all those gold bars at which point … it becomes really concrete and the Democrats had to move.”

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