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.