THE CORRECT PHRASE IS SEXUAL SLAVERY. There�s lots of talk on the liberal blogs about Porter Goss's sudden resignation as director of the CIA and whether it has anything to due with the burgeoning investigation into the prostitution/congressional corruption/homeland security contracting scandal centered around Brent Wilkes and deposed Congressman Duke Cunningham. ThinkProgress, as usual, has rounded up the relevant details and links.

Earlier this week, Matt asked, "But though the hooker angle obviously sexes the story up for media consumption, what does it matter? Commercial sex hardly seems more wrongful than public corruption." Obviously, he was joking, but there's a lot more at stake in "the hooker angle" than just a sex scandal, if you think that prostitution is not a victimless crime. And a lot of evangelical conservatives, the heart and soul of Bush's base, have come to believe that it is not. They believe that prostitution is, in the words of Concerned Women for America, "a form of slavery," and that it's not just morally scandalous, but morally reprehensible on human rights terms and a direct affront to what is holy and valuable in every human. Talking about hookers and 'hos may delight liberal bloggers looking to highlight Republican corruption and hypocrisy, but bear in mind that the language of sexual slavery and sex trafficking will be more likely to ring a bell with the conservatives and values voters who have looked to the Bush administration to fight what the President has condemned as "modern slavery" and a "special evil." Indeed, if a case can be made linking sex trafficking and sexual slavery by government officials -- if that's in fact what's been going on -- to the abuse of detainees elsewhere in the world, both being expressions of an overall lack of respect for human dignity, liberals would have a killer case, on values grounds, against the administration and certain corrupt Republicans come the fall. Killer because it is a case they can make entirely in the values language of Bush's base, directly to the heart of it.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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