DesJarlais keeps making excuses

DesJarlais keeps making excuses

During the 2012 campaign, Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) was busted for a variety of personal and professional violations of conscience relating to his numerous mistresses and several abortions he pushed a former wife and mistress to have. Now, after more information came out after he won re-election in a landslide, DesJarlais is offering excuse after excuse for his actions. From Talking Points Memo:

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), the former physician turned anti-abortion Tennessee Republican congressman, says he hadn’t given abortion as much thought as he “should have” when he supported his first wife’s decisions to have two abortions, and that he often used “very poor judgment” during his first marriage and the separation that followed it.

He now looks back with regret, he says, on the sexual relationships he had with two patients, three co-workers and a drug company representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper.

And later:

According to the News Sentinel, the court document states that DesJarlais’ first wife had her first abortion when she was on an experimental drug that raised potential risks with the pregnancy. The second abortion occurred when the pair were having problems in their relationship. DesJarlais told the paper his views on abortion have evolved, and that charges of hypocrisy were unfair.

“I guess as a physician, I was a fairly objective person,” he said of his beliefs at the time. “I try not to be a judgmental person. [Abortion] was just not something that I put as much thought into as I should have, in retrospect. Going back, if I could change and do things differently, certainly I would.”

DesJarlais also said he made a mistake in October, when he denied taping a phone conversation with the mistress who he urged to get an abortion. The now-public court transcript documented his admitting to making the recording.

“One of the biggest mistakes I made was I commented to the press before I had the opportunity to go back and read a transcript that was 13, 14 years old,” he told the paper. “It was never my intention to mislead anyone, and had I read this, I don’t think the inaccuracies that occurred would have taken place.”

So, in other words, this allegedly pro-life Member of Congress admits that he pushed for three abortions, and lied about what took place during a conversation about one of the abortions. He also had multiple affairs with patients, co-workers, and a drug company representative, showing a significant lack of professional judgment.

To be fair, DesJarlais earned a 0% rating from NARAL and a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee in 2011. So maybe he really has had a change of heart, or maybe he’s like most Members of Congress and simply likes his job, and thus votes to impress his constituents. Either way, though, these kinds of indiscretions really should have disqualified him for office.

Dustin Siggins is the online content coordinator and blogger for Tea Party Patriots, and formerly a frequent contributor to He currently contributes to American Spectator’s blog,, and He is also the co-author of a forthcoming book on the national debt with William Beach of The Heritage Foundation. The opinions expressed are his own.


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