Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 18, 2008

    I don't know.  Is it something in the water we drink here in the East?  Or some anti-fidelity extract a mad wizard is sending to State Houses?
     Okay, Eliot Spitzer admitted paying prostitutes for sex and then resigned.  That's one governor, nothing so unusual there.  But now his successor, Gov. David Paterson, says he and his wife both had affairs some years ago, though he adds that they then sought counseling and saved their clearly troubled marriage.  Does that mean he needn't resign?
     And former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey says that he and his wife Dina had three-way sex with an aide, Teddy Pederson.  Dina McGreevey says no we didn't.  The aide says yes we did, but I only touched her, it wasn't gay stuff.  What's a poor newspaper reader to do?
     Once upon a time, reporters didn't report sex.  The late Hugh Sidey, who covered the Kennedy White House for Time, used to say that all the regulars knew about the girl friends, they just didn't write about it.  That day is gone, of course.
     One solution, I suppose, would be for politicians to be faithful to spouses, but that seems hopelessly naive.  I have no idea whether governors, say, are more adulterous than ordinary people.  But, of course, it's different.  Most people probably don't care whether Joe Doaks, who lives down the block, is faithful to his wife Jill, or she to him.  It's different with elected leaders, people we in theory respect.
     Do we lose respect for them when they cheat?  I think so, probably.  I think people lost respect for Bill Clinton when they learned about Monica and the pizza and all that.  If you say "President Clinton," it's sex people think of first, not the fact that he actually had a couple of balanced budgets, which is astonishing considering how his successor has done.
     But it is odd, this concentration of lurid stuff here in the East.  Whaddya hear from Connecticut?

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