The party that is known for promoting family values, culture wars, and buying into deranged conspiracy theories concerning Democrats and satanic pedophile rings has increasingly had a major credibility problem created by the real-life behavior of its members.
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The problem is that an increasing number of Republican politicians are being revealed to be massive hypocrites whose private actions are diametrically opposed to the sanctimonious rhetoric that they espouse.
The latest GOP luminary to be brought to his knees because of his conservative-values-defying behavior is Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.
Hunter announced his resignation from the Oklahoma Attorney General’s position today, effective June 1st, citing “certain personal matters that are becoming public” that he fears “will become a distraction for this office.”
As one of the 17 Republican Attorneys General who filed a ludicrous and ultimately unsuccessful suit with the Supreme Court to delay the certification of the presidential electors in four battleground states during the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Hunter has proven himself to be a reliably right-wing activist for conservative causes.
The Oklahoma AG failed to note in his resignation statement that his decision to abandon his job comes just days after filing for divorce from his wife of 39 years, Cheryl Hunter. He quit just hours after local newspaper The Oklahoman submitted questions regarding an extramarital affair with a state employee who was unaffiliated with the attorney general’s office. The questions raised came from unidentified tipsters who knew about the adulterous dalliance.
Hunter tried to paint himself as a selfless civil servant who was more concerned with the unimpeded functioning of Oklahoma’s justice system and willing to sacrifice his job to prevent his personal problems from interfering with the normal course of business.
“The office of attorney general is one of the most important positions in state government. I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans,” Hunter said in his resignation statement.
One could imagine that the scandal involved in his divorce proceedings as a politician who ran for office emphasizing his all-American family values might overshadow his work trying to help support a GOP coup under Trump.
“Mike is most proud of his accomplishments as a husband and a father,” Hunter’s 2018 campaign flyer read.
For her part, Cheryl Hunter was devastated by her husband’s decision to end their marriage.
“I am heartbroken and my priorities are to take care of my sons, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and my parents.”
When the Oklahoman tried to reach Mike Hunter for comment, he replied by email only that “I will not comment on what should be a private matter.”
Funny, but Republican politicians usually have no qualms about interfering in private matters when it comes to women’s bodies and their right to choose what they do with them.
The extramarital affair that led to Hunter’s divorce pales by comparison to the allegations against Congressman Matt Gaetz — who is accused of the sex trafficking of a minor — and to the numerous GOP politicians who’ve been accused of child sexual abuse. But his rapid resignation as Oklahoma AG right before details of his adultery was about to become public demonstrates that Republican voters haven’t become totally desensitized to the moral failings of their party’s leaders even after four years with Donald Trump at the helm.
Hopefully, voters will start expecting their candidates to actually live by the platitudes of virtue that they casually toss about while on the campaign trail.
Original reporting by Chris Casteel and Nolan Clay at The Oklahoman.
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