Politics Magazine

Unchaste Thoughts

Posted on the 08 June 2011 by Erictheblue

I understand that Rep Anthony Weiner, D-NY, has been in the news?  "Keep a chaste mind," advised Henry David Thoreau, but lord, it's hard.  I surrender.

One bit of conventional wisdom relating to political scandals holds that "politicians think they can get away with it."  As Hendrik Hertzberg points out, the exact opposite is the case.  In one of Woody Allen's movies, his sister calls him after a disastrous date in which it became evident, late in the evening, that the seemingly okay fellow derived sexual pleasure from an activity that most of us believe should be confined to a room usually found across the hall from the bedroom. Stunned by her story, Allen muses out loud that (as I recall the lines) "in the realm of human sexuality, 'normal' is not a useful concept."  The definition of "abnormal" is pretty close to "other peoples' secrets, publicized"--and for your secrets to be publicized you have to be someone like Anthony Weiner.  (I could get away with it, had I ever performed an impure action.)

I like, also, Hertzberg's remark that "lying is an inherent part of adultery."  I remember trying to make this point, during the Time of Bill and Monica, to a Limbaugh enthusiast of my acquaintance who, adopting a posture of moral sternness leavened with end-of-the-century sophistication, insisted, "It's not that he had sex with her, it's that he lied about it." The benefit that the self-appointed upright confer upon themselves is material for comedians.  The answer to You should have taken a cab is, If I'd been sober, I'd have known that, too.

 


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