How many male politicians do you think are burning their little black books and expunging e-mails today, as another of their brotherhood bites the dust from his own lack of zipper control?
We have way too much information about John Edwards and his self-described narcissism. Clearly, like any good lawyer, John Edwards can look us straight in the eye and lie like a rug, as he did initially about his affair with Rielle Hunter.
But then sex, lies, and politics go together like peanut butter, jelly, and bread in America. And sex scandals are the one aspect of government that consistently works across geography and party lines. After all John McCain has admitted to affairs himself. There’s no partisanship in bed, except for short-lived tactics where the sway of sex can be used to bring one’s opponent down.
This is not a joke. Really. As I was writing yesterday’s post ” The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall (and Vice Versa)”, I realized there are important leadership lessons in this Shakespearean tragedy. Besides the obvious one in …
When I was four or five, my daddy took me to the Golden Gloves amateur boxing finals in our small hometown of Temple, Texas. The crowd let out a mighty roar as the two boxers came out into the ring and raised their arms in that cocky “I’m the man” stance. One contestant, dressed in white trunks and shirt looked significantly larger than the other more muscular man who was wearing red and black if my memory serves.
As both men surveyed the crowd while doing their pre-bout strut around the ring, I pointed to the man in white and said to Daddy, “That big one is going to win.”
My father stopped cheering, looked me square in the eyes, and said to me, “Dodie (his pet name for me), the bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Daddy’s admonition has come back to me so many times over, none more so than watching Eliot Spitzer resign from his post as governor of New York today in the whorl of a sex and illegal prostitution-procurement scandal.
Even Nora Ephron couldn’t make it funny. The comments on my Huffington Post version of the Heartfeldt post “What was Eliot Thinking?” were more thoughtful than the smart-ass or angry replies I usually get. They divide into three categories: “legalize prostitution”, “yes men’s brains are in their pants, so what were you thinking, Gloria?”, and “despite the fact that men’s brains are in their pants, some of them can still resist infidelity.” A few touch on the illegality and hypocrisy aspects of the case.
There’s been lots of chatter but not nearly the amount of joking that, say, Sen. Wide-Stance Craig got after his toe-tapping incident. PunditMom said simply and clearly what I absolutely think must happen: resign.
Sick to my stomach. That’s my initial reaction to the breaking story of Eliot Spitzer’s admission that he has been involved with a prostitution ring.
What was he thinking? What is is that makes men in high profile political positions think they can get away with this kind of thing, even after Bill and Monica, even after Larry Craig’s toe tapping, even after…well, you can fill in the blanks. There are too many dozens of names and sex scandals to recount here.
It is the rush of power that makes these guys think they are invincible? Testosterone run amuck? Is the answer in the old joke about where men’s brains are? And is there a correlation between amount of crusading for other people’s morality a politician does and the likelihood that he will fall into illicit or immoral behavior patterns himself?
You tell me. This time I am completely speechless.