August 31, 2007

Republicans Make the Sexytime For a Change

For years, Democratic elected officials have had a lock on sex scandals. This monopoly goes back at least as far as John F. Kennedy's adventures in the 1950s and early 1960s. Kennedy even bagged Marilyn Monroe, which would be the equivalent today of having Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Angelina Jolie in rapid succession. The chain of Democratic hanky panky continued with JFK's brother Teddy and nephew Joe (and pretty much any elected male Kennedy), President Lyndon Johnson, Congressman and Tidal Basin bather Wilbur Mills, up through Senator Gary "Monkey Business" Hart and then President Bill Clinton. All of the Democratic sex scandals involved young women. It had even become a stereotype that "Democrats have more fun."

But during the past few years, the Washington sex scandals have almost all involved Republican lawmakers and leaders. These include Congressman Mark Foley, who had a thing for student pages in the House of Representatives, Pastor Ted Haggard, faux White House correspondent Jeff Gannon f/k/a James Guckert, Florida House member Bob Allen, Young Republicans chairman Glenn Murphy, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, who appeared on the D.C. Madam's phone list and admitted to consorting with her prostitutes, and, most recently, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.

Unlike the Democrats, however, every one of these Republicans caught with his pants down, except for Vitter, was caught with another man (or worse, a very young man under his supervision). Bob Allen and Larry Craig were caught soliciting sex from men in a public restroom. Haggard hired male prostitutes. Gannon/Guckert turned out to be a male prostitute. Murphy was busted for, okay, I've had enough, you can look it up. It has to do with someone being asleep at the time.

This dichotomy leaves me with a few questions. First, what happened to the Republicans' brand as the party of "family values"? How does all this behavior square with their policy (espoused vociferously by some of the men listed above) of gay-bashing as a way to attract religious fundamentalist "values voters" at election time? Was that just a cynical and hypocritical tactic to take advantage of these voters' deeply held religious principles? Or was it a pathological cover by these prominent Republicans to overcompensate for their true nature? Maybe they really wanted everything to do with being gay to remain a taboo, so that their trysts could be "forbidden fruit" (no pun intended) and thus all the more exciting?

The other thing I want to know is, while the political pendulum is swinging to the left, is it possible that the swinging pendulum is swinging to the right?


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

It strikes me that there may be a parallel to the Catholic Church here: the more something is forbidden, it turns out to be the very thing that becomes the scandal. So celibacy can breed pedophiles and gay-bashing may be a cover-up for homosexuality. It seems the Republicans are ahead in the sex scandal race anyway. It was interesting how quickly Craig's fellow Republicans distanced themselves from him and called for his resignation.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

As opposed to Vitter, who has received no calls to step down, or even reprimands, from his fellow Republican lawmakers. I guess what former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards said was true, as applied to Republicans: the only way he'd be thrown out of office would be if he were caught in bed with "a dead woman or a live boy."

At 6:25 AM, Blogger Aileen said...

I'm sorry, I had trouble getting past "bagged Marilyn Monroe". The first paragraph depicts the Democratic Party as a harmless frat party.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

My readers are very familiar with my tone and writing style by now. They are used to make a point. 'Nuff said.


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