dimanche, juillet 22, 2007

Sexual Healing

Could Larry Flynt be a Democrat? Or could he just enjoy outing the hypocritical? When "D.C." madam's Deborah Jeane Palfrey's client list became public, the porn publisher did a little Sherlock Holmesing of his own-and came up with a Louisiana Senator's name.

Now "family values" champ and Republican Senator David Vitter is like the proverbial frog squatting in a pot of hot water. As more allegations bring that pot to a boil, Vitter faces the possible loss of not only his credibililty, but his Senate seat. A high Administration official has already resigned because his name appeared on Palfrey's client list. A former Navy commander, one of the theorists behind this Administration's "shock and awe" campaign, has refused to answer questions about his possible link with the Washington madam.

Meanwhile, of course, we are asked to welcome back Newt Gingrich in his new role as wise elder-and forget that while he was mouthing pious platitudes he was also a serial cheater.

Sexual hijinks of the sleazy kind are not a Republican speciality-the Democrats would probably like to delete former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey and former California Congressman Gary Condit from the history books. The charismatic Bill Clinton gets a pass (but no more passes) only because his tawdry antics scarred his Presidency, but did not define it.

What is shockingly obvous now is not the fact that Republicans have sexual sleaze, but the uncovering of this Administration's sexual hypocrisy.

A campaign to make marriage a legal act only between a man and a woman? Abstinence education in the public schools? Making sure single mother's work or don't get financial help from the government?

Yes, these propositions are worth debating-but for heaven's sake, lay off (sorry, I'm on a roll) what the Victorians called "cant." Stop acting as though you were any more or less sinful than the rest of us-because we know that eventually Larry Flynt, or some other titan of sleaze with an agenda will find you with your pants down (why is it, by the way, that women politicians so rarely get caught in these compromising positions?) .

What's so sad about the downfall of the pious high and mighty is that sexual morality, and the changing state of the family, are topics that beg for reasoned conversation. But a public grown skeptical and tired by the outing of Congressmen and Senators may decide that the only place to have such chats is at home, safe from the sermons of those elected to uphold the common good-who tell us to do as they say and not as they do.

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