Finally, a sex scandal I can get behind

I’m writ­ing about this a full week (or more) late, but hey, you don’t come read Mono­chro­mat­ic Out­look for the news.

I try to ignore sex scan­dals about pub­lic offi­cials. For the most part, I think they are a hys­ter­i­cal waste of ink. Bill and Mon­i­ca? Don’t care now, did­n’t then. Does it both­er me that POTUS lied? Yeah, a lit­tle. It would both­er me more if it were about pub­lic pol­i­cy (say some­thing about the rea­sons for invad­ing anoth­er coun­try? but I digress) but basi­cal­ly the Pres­i­dent has secu­ri­ty clear­ances that we can’t even know the names of. His job, on one lev­el, relies on his abil­i­ty to keep secrets. Frankly, it both­ers me a lit­tle more that he got caught. How safe were those nuclear launch codes if he could­n’t keep some «sex­u­al rela­tions with that woman» quiet?

Does it both­er me that Bill Clin­ton vio­lat­ed the sanc­ti­ty of his mar­riage vows? With apolo­gies to my par­ents, I’m a child of divorce. If there’s some val­ue to the insti­tu­tion of mar­riage, I haven’t seen what it is. I would­n’t go so far as to describe myself cyn­i­cal, just uncon­vinced. I can’t imag­ine in my wildest fan­tasies that Bill and Hillary can stand to be in the same room with one anoth­er. I sort of hope that they’re both get­ting some on the side.

Does it both­er me that the Com­man­der in Chief was hav­ing an affair with a sub­or­di­nate? OK, there you have me. It’s pret­ty uncool to exploit a super­vi­so­ry posi­tion for sex. Whether this was the case or Mon­i­ca was sim­ply attract­ed to pow­er­ful men (and as com­pen­sa­tion devices go, the afore­men­tioned nuclear launch codes beat a sports car pret­ty much every day of the week), it still looks suspicious.

Carter «lust­ed in his heart.» Good job, man. Can you imag­ine any­thing that makes the ladies swoon more than talk­ing about lust while quot­ing the Gospels at the same time? Remem­ber those nuclear launch codes? God beats those.

I try to keep pret­ty prag­mat­ic about sex and pol­i­tics. But final­ly I’ve got­ten hit with one I’m hav­ing trou­ble ignor­ing. Gavin, what the hell were you thinking?

I like Gavin New­som. I think he’s been doing a bang-up job and look­ing good doing it. He’s good for busi­ness and good for peo­ple, and stir­ring up the gay mar­riage pot cement­ed him as a may­or wor­thy of San Fran­cis­co. Fox «News» pun­dits may talk about «San Fran­cis­co val­ues» with deri­sion, but hey, maybe we can coin a phrase in retal­i­a­tion: «Fox Truth» as a euphemism for bald­faced lies? San Fran­cis­co val­ues sex, it’s true. We have a young, sex­u­al­ly active pop­u­la­tion. Any­one who has a prob­lem with that is jeal­ous. Go fish. Any­one who thinks that we have a dis­re­gard for val­ues because we’re hap­pi­er see­ing two guys walk down the street hand in hand safe and hap­py than see­ing teenagers drag ’em out to the woods and beat them to death with base­ball bats should take a seri­ous look at their own values.

But Gavin real­ly crossed the line by hav­ing an affair with the wife of his friend and lieu­tenant who had been his cam­paign man­ag­er. This guy did a lot to get Gavin into office and it hurts just to hear about.

Gav­in’s sin­gle, good-look­ing and pow­er­ful. He can pret­ty much have his pick. What the hell does he need to stab his friends in the back for? Almost every woman in the City wants this guy, and a sol­id pro­por­tion of the men too.

Ruin your own mar­riage, that’s your busi­ness. Ruin some­one else’s? Espe­cial­ly one of your clos­est allies? Now I real­ly have to won­der if he can be trust­ed. I con­sid­er him to be one of San Fran­cis­co’s allies, but you know the old say­ing: with friends like these….

As cyn­i­cal as I am about politi­cians in gen­er­al, I’m gen­uine­ly dis­ap­point­ed to read of Gav­in’s affair. It feels like a per­son­al blow and I’m angry. For me, this is not a sim­ple ques­tion of ethics; the guy let me down and I don’t know whether I can for­give him by the next election.

That said, I’m glad to see that he’s not resign­ing. I think Gavin has done a good job as may­or and I don’t think he should com­pound the dam­age by step­ping out. A lot of peo­ple that I real­ly dis­like want to make polit­i­cal hay out of this and would love to undo Gav­in’s work. That would be too bad. If Gavin wants to make amends to the City, he needs to do so by rebuild­ing trust, not by tak­ing his toys and going home. Can he rebuild the trust? I don’t know, but I hope he’ll try.

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