As much as any other arugula-chomping, NPR-listening, left-leaning liberal, I’m savoring the sexual indiscretions of the right-wing bible-thumpers, but I think it’s important to savor only the hypocrisy of it all.
That is, here’s a guy who said someone else should resign because they had an affair, but he had an affair, or visited a prostitute, and he’s not resigning. That should be denounced as hypocrisy, but that’s as far as it should go.
It’s a lot like the chicken hawks who avoided active duty in their day but then started a war. The fact that Cheney and Bush and so many others avoided service in Vietnam but were enthusiastic about sending others to die shows that they are vile hypocrites.
But you can’t keep going and say that everyone who did not serve in Vietnam is an unpatriotic coward. That would be an insult to heros like Mohammed Ali, who traded his luxury hotel rooms for a narrow jail call in one of the century’s greatest acts of courage.
“No. I will not go ten thousand miles to kill innocent people.”
That’s the kind of courage that makes a better world.
So it’s the hypocrisy we should be focusing on. Not the indiscretions. Otherwise we join the national chorus of tut-tutting, this Kenneth Starr-style fixation with other people’s peccadillos.
We have a (historically) weird system of marriage with a success rate under 50 percent, and we shudder at any other arrangements as abnormal and immoral.
If some right-wing South Carolina bible-thumper finds his soul mate in Argentina, I could care less. Does it diminish his abilities as a statesman? Well they can’t get any worse. I don’t think it makes any difference what he does with his wee-wee and frankly I’m tired of hearing about it.
My friend Rick talks to the spirits in the next world and he says one of the things they find funniest about humans is their weird sexual inhibitions. He says over there they think people could give one another a lot more pleasure.
Years ago I ran into my hometown buddy Zach. His mom had told my mom that he found a great new girlfriend and that was really good news because Zach, one of the nicest people I ever met in my life, had married this horrible harridan. It happens.
But then at last they got divorced. “So Zach,” I say, “I hear you have a great new girlfriend.”
Yeah, he says, and not only that, there’s this cute little twenty-something down the block who puts on her running suit in the morning and runs down the street and jumps in the sack with him.
“Am I supposed to say no?” he asked.
I sure don’t think so. Way to go, Zach!