From2Millionth Web Log

For his own sake I hope the governor dances better than hewrites…and while the dalliance itself was apparently plain vanilla enough, the six day sojourn and crudely bungled attempt to cover up provide enough intrigue to generate their own sufficient undertow.

Still, watching the GOP reap what they’ve sowed on the morality front over the last generation speaks volumes.

Circumstances make it less so with Sanford, but the exposures of himself, Ensign, Vitter, et al, elicited howls of indignant protest from the same political faction that for years smugly insisted “character counts.” Now, they are quick to remind us that “moral failings” are strictly a private family matter…and use, of all people, Bill Clinton as example front and center.

Well–gawddamn. You know, a decade ago I sure did insist that Bill Clinton’s personal life was his personal business. It was perhaps the sole instance where I strongly supported the president, otherwise considering his strategy of triangulation, if not slow death, slow surrender. But, as Clinton himself famously said, even presidents have private lives, and yep, I agree.

And if wingers like, oh, for instance, John Ensign and Mark Sanford, had like likewise drawn the line and left it at that, well…maybe the shadenfreude quotient would be a lot lower. And maybe I’d think their moral failings, while hypocritical, were their own business.

However…they didn’t draw the line. Instead, they loudly trumpeted Ken Starr’s ludicrously voyeuristic screed of a report. They went for the nuclear option–impeachment–hoping to either force Clinton’s resignation, or, at the very least, render him forever damaged goods. And, in some respects, it was, to cite one of their own, Mission Accomplished.

But…funny this thing called blowback, and how it can really come back to bite, especially when it comes to politicians and their urges…you know, I’ve always thought a major reason for Clinton’s acquittal was the realization of many Senators that their own lives could hardly withstand similar scrutiny. And politicians, being both in positions of power and in constant contact with the public, are in unique position when it comes to means, motive, and/or opportunity in this regard. Which is why, if the wingers HADN’T loudly insisted for years on “character” as a campaign issue, I’d be happy to let it go. They didn’t.

Therefore: Own petard? Check. Commence hoist. Call it what you want–payback, pound of flesh? (no pun intended.) Maybe a little, maybe more than a little. Or maybe it’s just measure for measure. Those who salaciously devoured the Starr Report are welcome to discover their inner blue noses and/or chins when it comes to Sanford’s, um, romantic prose or Ensign’s confession. As far as I’m concerned, though, it’s a little late in the game to suddenly defer to discretion…

And I’ll have my schadenfreude with a side of emails, please. Thanks.

9 thoughts on “PoonTango

  1. I have to share this with someone. Rush Limbaugh just said at 11:21 PDT here in SF that Hypocrisy is a good thing because it shows that they HAVE values.
    I think I’ll need to get the whole quote, since I don’t want to misquote Rush!

  2. It’s like the “Final Destination” movies, except that instead of Death pursuing teens who survived plane/car crashes, you have revelations of adultery pursuing people who persecuted Bill Clinton back in the day.

  3. Comparisons to Clinton are not relevant. Sure, Bill had a loose zipper, but he didn’t take a week off, use public money for a plane trip to another country, spend 5 days there “discussing” the situation with his lover, of undetermined sex, and try to sneak back home without a word about where he was, beyond hiking the Argentinian Tail, or something like that. Bill was and is someone you would fall in a dead faint over if your daughter brought him home for dinner, but on that same scale, Mark is someone you would have a posse waiting for when he arrived.

  4. NPR can’t count. There’s a great thread on DKos about “family values” people who were “interesting”. Chenoweth, for example.

  5. Clinton was actually working in the Oval Office while he was getting some. As a nation, we value an effective multi-tasker.

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