Congressman Vance McAllister's fate is in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner.
Though he probably would rather the voters of the 5th District of Louisiana decide the outlook for his political career, McAllister can rest assured his tenure in Washington will be determined by the man who is third in line to the presidency.
That's assuming Boehner follows through with his pledge to initiate an ethics investigation into McAllister's behavior if McAllister refuses to resign from his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reportedly that was the gist of the conversation between Boehner and McAllister following the revelation that McAllister hasn't been faithful to his wife of 16 years.
As the world knows, McAllister's proverbial hind side got caught in a crack last week when The Ouachita Citizen and its sister newspapers, The Franklin Sun in Winnsboro and the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, unveiled a video recording and an accompanying news article detailing McAllister's extramarital affair with his congressional aide, Melissa Peacock. Peacock, the wife of one of McAllister's long-time friends, supposedly resigned from her position with McAllister's staff shortly after the video of the pair went live online.
Meanwhile, McAllister is in hiding. He didn't show up for any votes in the House last week, and he apparently skipped a planned appearance at a Tea Party gathering in Ruston on Monday.
Without a doubt, missing votes in the House and skipping public appearances in the 5th District are the least of McAllister's concerns for the moment. Instead, he should consider what an ethics investigation might unveil about his activities -- text messages, telephone calls, hotel room charges and bar tabs and all. Trust me. An investigation conducted by the House Ethics Committee will turn up all of it and then some, including anything and everything McAllister doesn't want his wife and five children and the rest of the free world to know about.
The pressure is on McAllister, a Republican, to resign for reasons that are obvious to those who follow politics. Though you might think the tryst is driving the resign now campaign, the truth of the matter is McAllister's predicament creates other predicaments for the Republican Party, particularly in contested congressional races elsewhere in the country as well as the race McAllister will wage in the fall if he stubbornly sticks around to run in it. Let's not forget the impact the McAllister/Peacock affair is having on Sen. David Vitter, who had a "minor" problem of his own on the home front a number years ago.
Certainly, a McAllister resignation would lighten the load, so to speak, for Vitter.
But by the time November rolls around, every voter in every hotly contested congressional race in America will have seen the video of McAllister passionately kissing Peacock, and along the way, voters will be informed that it's the hypocritical Republicans who are responsible for the Congress accomplishing absolutely nothing since President Obama shoved the Affordable Care Act down the throats of the American people. The war on women will evolve into warm on women. In other words, Republicans will be responsible for every known adulterous act in North America and beyond. Mark my word.
That helps explain why Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere and Gov. Bobby Jindal called for McAllister to resign last week. It had nothing with McAllister and Peacock engaged in some old-fashioned necking and whatever else in a congressional office in Monroe, Louisiana.
Nope. It has everything to do with control of the U.S. Congress.