Washington - Politics - Senate - House of Representatives - Rumors - Secrets - New York Times: "IN this era of blogosphere gossip, viral e-mail and infinite YouTube video archives, the open secret — unacknowledged by its keeper, theoretically hush-hush but widely suspected or known — arguably should be a thing of the past in public life."
I found this article interesting for its perspective. The author goes through a number of sex scandals and (at least in my opinion) misses the actual misconduct associated with them. This phenomena is not unique to the author, in fact I think I'm probably the one with the problem.
Let's start with Representative Mark Foley. Congressional pages are supposed to be in their Junior year of high school. Minimum age is 16 years old. Most of the pages will be 17 and some will be 18 years old. Sex with minors is a felony in the District of Columbia. The fact that Mark Foley's preference in partners was same-sex is not nearly as relevant as the fact that his preference was for children. If you have sex with children then you go to jail and all this tittering about homosexuality has nothing to do with the fact that the man is a pedophile and a sexual predator.
Another fun one is Jim McGreevey and his "I am a gay American..."speech after he was caught giving a former lover a government job with a 6-digit salary. I could care less about McGreevey's sexuality. His abuse of power at the expense of the taxpayers? That's a big deal. McGreevey's coming out speech was a brilliant "wag the dog" move.
Senator Craig's current situation is in the same category. First off, what he did was a misdemeanor. I find the whole public restroom-gay meeting place thing hugely annoying. I really don't know where America draws the line on public decency but I'm positive that have sex in a public place is below the line.
Interestingly, Craig was voting just the way he said he would. He ran as a conservative Republican and voted accordingly. Sure, he's a hypocrite but he's a consistent hypocrite. Playing with other men's wee-wees in bathroom stalls doesn't change his voting record. Idahoans got what they voted for.
There's one real victim in the Craig case, Mr. Craig's wife. Her husband has been having sex with strangers which places her at increased risk for venereal disease. Her husband took a vow which he's broken. Those are issues for the Craig family to settle within the Craig family.
If the American public is really this easy to distract, we don't need journalists. We can all go to TMZ and read gossip to our heart's content.