So Arnold had a secret that (one hopes) included child support payments. One wonders if he made his mistress and child take the same kind of cuts he foisted upon the employees of the State of California.
Meanwhile, Newt's passion for his country forced him to have sex with and eventually marry one of his staffers, leaving behind another wife.
Former Senator John Ensign had to be told by his spiritual advisor to put his pants on and go home.
David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, the new guy from New York who photographed his hot bod in the bathroom mirror for a craig's list posting.
I know I'm forgetting some.
John Edwards does some personally despicable things and his political career lays in ruins, despite any good works he might have done in the past. All those things are erased because of what he did with his penis. Same for Elliot Spitzer and Gary Hart. I'm probably forgetting others.
Republicans, while running candidates on a family values platform, forgive their members' transgressions. Democrats, while not being the party of sexual morality legislation, fricassee their members. Most of them, at least. Bill Clinton is a survivor, but he's definitely the exception to the rule, wouldn't you say?
And it's not just sexual moralizing on the right. Oh, Mike Huckabee. He was obese and lost a bunch of weight and got really healthy. He wrote a book and did huge promotional events touting the importance of being lean and healthy and how we should treat our bodies like temples, not garbage dumps.
Have you seen Mike Huckabee lately? Poor fellow. I feel his fat. Sharing his genetic programming toward porkiness, I understand how frustrated he must feel. The yo yo weight is on the upswing and he's got the double chins mocking him in the mirror every damn day as a reminder that he's still a prisoner to his love affair with food. But did his food and exercising moralizing earn him hard knocks from the geniuses on Fox News the way they've gone after First Lady Michelle Obama for promoting healthy lifestyles? Of course not. It got him a job there at Fox instead.
All of this is my long-winded way of saying this is why I try to not preach about better living or sexual morality. I am weak. The flesh is weak. My body is a cage, my mind a cesspool. My better angels are often seen sitting in the corner booth of a seedy bar playing strip poker over glasses of whiskey, telling dirty jokes while cigarettes dangle from their lips. And that's when they're not climbing into the back seats of cars with a sly smile and a glance over their shoulder. Their halos long gone, their wings missing feathers, their gowns stained with barbecue sauce, their pantyhose a laddered map of where they've been.
So really, what chance do I have? And who am I to tell anyone else how to conduct their personal affairs? That doesn't always preclude me from doing so, but it does make me a tremendous asshole for it.
One can't watch the TV or scan the internet without seeing someone yucking it up over these stories of right wing personal indiscretions. I understand the need to laugh. Hypocrisy is ever so deserving of the shame finger. This particular hypocrisy has become such a standard on the political right that we don't even have to clarify that what we're on about isn't the sexual peccadilloes, but the fact that they were committed by some guy who'd just made a speech about the sanctity of marriage. Do you imagine them grunting and rutting and giggling as they recite their speech into the ear of their paramour, the irony as thick as the smell of sex in that room at the Four Seasons? I do. It's very unappetizing.
Or do they compartmentalize just as Bill Clinton said he did? Do they flip a mental switch that keeps them from drawing a line between what they're doing and what they say other people should do? Are they completely incapable of noting the hypocrisy?
I had an affair with a guy once who wanted a midlife do over. I always suspected that it pleased him to no end that he thought he was pulling a fast one on our shared employer, but he'd never admit that the illicitness of the affair was a huge part of the appeal, critical to the relationship. His favorite line to repeat to me was that if I were ever questioned, I should deny, deny, deny. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what evidence an accuser could produce, I was to deny.
He was a Republican, too.
The mind of the powerful man is a curious thing. While I can list all the reasons why I could never run for office, the reality is that I don't believe I have the right to tell other people what to do. Seriously. I sucked as a boss. I'm much too accommodating and worried about the feelings of others to make for a good authority figure or leader. Powerful people, on the other hand, feel entitled to tell people what to do and how to do it.
While talking about this with a friend, the friend pointed out that perhaps I should run as a Republican because then my deviant background wouldn't matter. All I'd have to do is pretend I've seen the error of my ways, find God and be born again. Voila! Instant political career success!
Except I'm a terrible liar. And I would never last as a Republican considering how they're supposed to be anti-everything these days. I don't want to tell people what to do with their lives, I just want to advocate for everyone to have a better life. And yes, I do believe that some people would have better lives with a little less excess. Some people would be well served to be relieved of the burden of some of their wealth and power because having it all has depleted their humanity. They no longer recognize that they are part of something larger than themselves. There is nothing larger than themselves. And there I am - being my own kind of hypocrite.
This being human thing is such a balancing act, isn't it?
The human heart is complicated, indecipherable. Add to it the pressure exerted by the sex glands and some days we're lucky we can walk across the room without having to stop to hump a table leg without so much as a by your leave. Focusing on sex and sexuality has been such a winning vote getter for the political right. And how much time and energy has been wasted on things that, as Arnold, Newt and the rest of the Pink Helicopter Club have, once again, shown us, are truly non-starters. John Boehner calls letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire a non-starter, but Mr. Boehner, sir, you can legislate tax policy. It's an enforceable law that worked for many years in this nation. On the other hand, you simply cannot legislate morality. Humans are built to do certain things, our hardwiring is meant to lead us into temptation.
Wouldn't it be invigorating if we could refocus our political system on lifting all boats on a rising tide instead of tying concrete blocks to the ankles of the least among us? Who really cares if Tab A is going into Slot B? Ultimately, no one cares. Only when they're standing in the voting booth with an array of candidate choices and not a lick of sense about real public policy matters, do most Americans actually give a good goddamn about sexual morals. And it's not that they really care because if they did, they'd care about who's diddling the maid or sexting or dancing around in his girlfriend's underwear while she wears a fake mustache and strap-on dildo. People vote for moralizing hypocrites because it's a hell of a lot easier to understand pee pees and wee wees and who should be doing what with whom according to somebody's unread bible than it is to understand the federal budget, tax subsidies and foreign policy.
While the world wanks over the salacious details, I'm going to get busy on my next project - my plans to run for President of France as the Socialist Candidate. I hear there's going to be an opening.