Our Views: First kissing, now waffling

Sound judgment should be at the top of the list when voters think of the qualities they want in a member of Congress. U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, the Republican who represents Louisiana’s 5th District, showed remarkably bad judgment in indulging in an extramarital relationship after being elected last year on a platform of advancing family values. He was caught on camera kissing an aide, causing a national scandal. Apparently, such poor judgment is a pattern for McAllister, who left the door open this week on a possible re-election bid, even though he’d announced earlier this month that he wouldn’t seek another term.

If McAllister can’t make up his mind on the crucial question of whether to seek re-election in the wake of a scandal, then how can he be expected to represent Louisiana in Congress?

We hope McAllister’s north Louisiana constituents keep that question in mind as they decide whether to support a prospective McAllister candidacy for re-election.

Louisiana is a poor state that has heavily depended on a skilled congressional delegation to aggressively advance its interests in Washington. McAllister’s behavior during his few months in office doesn’t suggest that he’s up to the task voters have given him.

During an appearance before the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, McAllister also hinted that his problems are the result of his unpopularity within the Republican Party establishment. But McAllister has only himself to blame for the embarrassment he’s caused Louisiana. Any politician who runs on a family values platform should take special pains to model personal responsibility.

That’s an obligation McAllister seems to have forgotten.