Political Sex Scandals
(.mp3 broadcast )
Political sex scandals have been around a long time. At the Presidential level, they go from Thomas Jefferson, who had sex with his slave — to Grover Cleveland, lambasted for having an illegitimate child — to the sexual affairs of FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, and Bill Clinton (along with rumors about both Bushes that most Democrats and the press refuse to pursue).
Now with sexual harassment laws, have the rules changed? After all, Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky brought official Washington to its knees (Quite literally, in fact, as Monica was accused of seeking “Presidential knee pads”). Are those having sex with the married politicians victims or perpetrators? Do you feel sorry for them? Despise them? Can you pity and despise the same person?
Thursday, the Governor of New Jersey came out as gay and then resigned, citing his adulterous affair. Yet, if everyone in Washington who committed adultery resigned, the Government would have to shut down, as there would be few left in positions of power. I, like most Washington insiders, believed as soon as I heard Governor McGreevey’s story, that there must be something more to it than “mere” adultery, and as expected, allegations of sexual harassment and extortion quickly surfaced within hours.
Just yesterday, the Washington Post Magazine printed an extended expose on “Washingtonienne” Jessica Cutler, known less fabulously as the “blog slut,” a former staffer on Capitol Hill who published on the Internet her sexual exploits with married politicians (including a Bush Administration offical who paid her for sexual favors) and a large bevy of other Hill staffers. The men she had sex with remain in their positions. She’s been fired from her Hill job but has posed for Playboy and now earns a princely sum selling her story. Is there anything wrong with the sexual mores of this real-life Samantha in “Sex in the City”?
Is there a proper sexual standard to hold politicians? Does adultery matter? How about sexual harassment and payment for sex? Is it legitimate to invade a politician’s “privacy” in this way? Does it affect their jobs? Should it? Is there a different standard for Republicans and Democrats?
Join me for THE INSIDE SCOOP on sexual politics in Washington.