Is It Their Hormones?

Every time some male politician is brought down by a tawdry sex scandal, I think about the old arguments that women shouldn’t hold high public office (or high private office, for that matter) because we’re so hormonal. This was said back in 1970

Dr. Edgar Berman, Hubert Humphrey’s personal physician and confidant, sees plenty wrong with a female Chief Executive. When he said so to the Congresswoman from Hawaii at a meeting of the Democratic Party’s Committee on National Priorities, he set Washington abuzz and feminists afire.

Dr. Berman argued that women are limited in their leadership potential by physiological and psychological factors, especially during the menstrual cycle and menopause. “Suppose,” he speculated, “that we had a menopausal woman President who had to make the decision of the Bay of Pigs or the Russian contretemps with Cuba at the time?” She might be “subject to the curious mental aberrations of that age group.'”

And in 2009 G. Gordon Libby said this of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Granted, G. Gordon Libby is a relic from a bygone age that should be even more bygone. But if you go back 50 or more years, the crazy hormonal women thing was conventional wisdom.

But y’know what? It’s men that get crazy in their middle years. How many successful men can you think of who blew off their careers and personal lives because of some stupid stunt involving sex? We could spend all day coming up with names of public figures who qualify. And I bet most of you out there are acquainted personally with at least a couple of middle-age guys who burned marriages and careers over an affair.

Now, think about how often women do the same thing? Anybody?

I’m sorry, fellas, but I just don’t get it. When someone has so much to lose, why wouldn’t the fresh examples of Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, John Ensign, etc. etc., be a big honking neon warning side to not do anything stupid that would ruin your career if the public found out about it? I mean, how hard is it to not upload photos of your crotch to the Internet?

Sure there are plenty of women in public life who seem a tad unbalanced. But in their cases, it’s not like they are only crazy every 28 days, or were perfectly sensible until they turned 50, which is usually about when the hot flashes start.

50 thoughts on “Is It Their Hormones?

  1. As a male of the species I have no answer. I think that when the testosterone is running, some men just become incredibly stupid. Just consider Clinton—if not for the Lewinsky affair, Gore might well have won in 2000 and we would be a lot better off as a nation as a result.

    I’m very disappointed in Congressman Weiner.

  2. I just don’t understand what goes through some people’s minds.

    Especially in light of recent sex scandals involving politicians.

    Not that there’s anything new there.
    I’m sure back in Pharoah’s day’s, he had some scribe draw his erect Cheops and send it to some babe; or create a heiroglyphic that screamed ‘powerful man meat available – come be my concubine!’

    I, too, am very disappointed in Weiner.
    I thought he was smarter than that.
    He’s a putz!

    PS: Maybe we should be happy it wasn’t Congressional pages, ala Mark Foley.
    I don’t think he needs to resign, but I’m not against an ethics investigation against him.

  3. Actually, I know quite a few women who blew off their careers and such for affairs. I mean, men aren’t having affairs with other men, nor are they all having affairs with the same small subset of women who are, you know, that kind of woman…

    The difference is that the women involved tend to be younger, and tend to be a tad more discrete about the whole affair, so to speak. That is more a cultural thing, rather than a hardwired gender issue. Both participants get something out of the conjunction.

    This guy (and the last one, the Republican) posting things to a social media no one has the sense to ignore are somewhat different. I’m not really sure which one of those two is worse. These are not affairs, but unilateral over-the-edge advertising… But the reality is, even these guys are only human, or these stories would be aberrations. It is just that the politicians, for obvious reasons of competition, are the one who make the headlines. Their underlying human stories are hardly unusual.

    The interesting thing is how our culture treats these stories, as though they had some external meaning! And that observation extends from left to right…

    • Actually, I know quite a few women who blew off their careers and such for affairs.

      A really big career, though? I don’t mean just losing a job. In the standard younger woman/older man scenario, she doesn’t have nearly as much to lose. At worst, she may have to find a similar job at a different company where no one knows her. But we’re talking about people who are at least gunning for a high-profile position or have already achieved one, and whose life’s ambitions could be ruined if their behavior becomes public. I can think of lots of men who fit that description, but so far I can’t think of a single woman who does. I’m not saying it’s never happened with a woman, but it is far rarer.

      I mean, men aren’t having affairs with other men

      Well, some are.

      But the reality is, even these guys are only human, or these stories would be aberrations. It is just that the politicians, for obvious reasons of competition, are the one who make the headlines. Their underlying human stories are hardly unusual.

      But why aren’t they unusual? I say again, when you’ve got so much to lose, how hard can it be to not upload lewd photos of yourself to the Internet? Certainly, women upload lewd photos of themselves to the Internet, but not women who could lose a seat in Congress or a chance to be mayor of New York.

  4. I suspect the answer lies in Henry Kissinger’s remark: “Power is an Aphrodesiac”. At some point men must think they can get away with anything.

    Too bad about Weiner, he was a good fighter. But the real winner in all of this, sadly is Breitbart. Expect that creep to get even more attention and legitmacy, even though his role in all of this is murky at least to me.

  5. I was saying yesterday “You’re never going to hear about Olympia Snowe & an intern”. I immediately wondered why woman don’t rise to higher office because they don’t get involved in as many career ending public scandals.
    I also asked “How hard is it to not talk to 20 somethings on the internet?”
    This is clearly a case of someone getting a little bit of power and letting it go to his head right quick.

  6. moonbat – thanks for the Kissinger comment. I’ve asked my psychologist brother if there is any correlation between men who have achieved power and the, perhaps, concomitant aberrant (if they are aberrant) sexual practices/affairs etc.

    May sound strange, but I’ve always thought that men in power, for some strange reason, actually want to get ‘caught’ in their sexual indiscretions. Why, I haven’t a clue. AND, among you males on this site are sexual dalliances (including internet activity) fairly common among American males in general?

  7. “among you males on this site are sexual dalliances (including internet activity) fairly common among American males in general?”

    OK, I’m making no claims to expertise, but I know of approximately six instances of cheating among my many family and friends, and two of these involve a couple who had what might be called an “open marriage” and both had occasional affairs. Of the others, three are men who cheated on their wives, one is a wife who cheated on her husband.

  8. Felicity,
    I’m as horny as the next 53 year old guy, but I wouldn’t send photo’s of my junk out to adoring 50 years old women, let alone ones in their teens and 20’s. It’s tacky and tasteless. Maybe I just don’t get it.

    But, then, I was pretty picky and choosy when I was younger as to who I shared a bed with, and still am, which is why I have no wife or children. *
    On the other hand, that may also explain why I’m still single – too picky. But I’d rather be single than some of the guys I know who were/are in loveless marriages – which they, or their spouses, got into for the wrong reasons. Those are also the ones, in my opinion, most prone to cheating.

    And Weiner is newly married to a very attractive and bright woman, so I just put him down to the ‘arrogance of power’ excuse – like John Edwards. If you had Elizabeth, why hound dog around? Again, I just don’t get it.

    The late Paul Newman had a great line when asked if he would ever cheat on his wife, the great Joanne Woodward: “Why would I go out for hamburger on the road, when I can have steak at home?”

    *But don’t get me wrong, I was not any sort of ascetic saint either.

  9. >>>>among you males on this site are sexual dalliances (including internet activity) fairly common among American males in general?

    I really dig my wife, have no power, and am not particularly attractive, so it hasn’t been an issue for me. (My only internet vice is blog commenting, which is bad enough according to the wife.) But based on years of anecdotal evidence from others, it appears to me that women like to dally about as much as men do.

    • It appears to me that women like to dally about as much as men do.

      I suspect that’s true, but it’s utterly beside the point.

  10. So far, I have found it remarkably easy to resist uploading a picture of my crotch to the internet. But, then, I have never been elected to public office.

    This truly is a disappointment in so many ways. Weiner was a strong voice against the noise machine. “L’affaire Weiner” was an act of pure idiocy. Beyond all the self control, responsibility and ethical issues. What part of a mature man’s lizard brain could possibly believe that that sort of photo would be a successful strategy for impressing a woman? (I hope against hope that the relationship was not established.) I guess relationships have changed and I am out of the loop, but, I think flowers would have been more appropriate. Heck, last Christmas’ Claxton fruitcake would have been better. (I actually kind of like fruitcake.)

    But, you are absolutely right. Any argument that women are somehow less reliable or more susceptible to their emotions is ridiculous. There seems to be mounting evidence that the opposite is true. We really need more women in government, their perspective is desperately needed.

    I like Weiner, I wanted to believe that he was innocent. I was wrong.

  11. Thanks, you males. My bro replied “I think men who are interested in politics are driven to seek power which has a lot of sexual energy. Or, another way of saying it is that they wanna get laid and they know men with power get laid.”

    Now I have to ask him if getting ‘caught’ in the act, so to say, or its becoming public knowledge is on purpose.

    (James E. – I was a youngish married during the open-marriage phase, knew a few couples who tried it, but, alas, it only ‘worked’ when both partners had ‘other’ partners during the same period of time. Otherwise, (one having the affair and the other not) it was disastrous – for the marriage in general and for the psychological well-being of the parties involved.)

    cund – the Paul Newman quote reminds me that, generally, really good-looking married men are not nearly as likely as not-so-good-lookers to have affairs etc. outside of marriage. In fact, so I’ve read, the guys that no girl would look at in high-school or college were more likely to engage in sexual dalliances outside of marriage than the BMOC types. Anyone back up this observation?

  12. “I don’t think he needs to resign, but I’m not against an ethics investigation against him”

    I’d say the fact that he lied to anyone who would listen for over a week is reason enough for Pelosi et-al to demand his resignation. He may not have broken the law but can anyone believe what he says in the future? Continuing in office after this embarrassment demonstrates the same character flaw that allowed him to think he’d never get caught “fooling around” arrogance. Maybe if he came clean last week I could look past it, but now he is just another liar.

    • I’d say the fact that he lied to anyone who would listen for over a week is reason enough for Pelosi et-al to demand his resignation. He may not have broken the law but can anyone believe what he says in the future?

      If getting caught lying was a reason to be kicked out of Congress, we’d have no Congress.

      The thing is, most of the stuff congresspeople say can be verified; you don’t have to trust them. And you shouldn’t, because some of ’em lie as fast as they can flap their lips. For example, you’ve got Congress critters right now swearing up and down that the Paul Ryan plan would not end Medicare. This is a bare-assed lie. You don’t have to take anyone’s word for that. All you have to do is find out for yourself what the plan would do to Medicare. And that’s easy to find out; just read the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. If you think the CBO is lying about what’s in Ryan’s budget, you can read Ryan’s budget for yourself.

      I personally think that if Weiner rides this out and stays in Congress, his constituents might very well re-elect him to Congress next year. He represents chunks of Queens and Brooklyn, not Salt Lake City. And if he works hard and behaves himself, in another 10 or 20 years he might have a shot at being elected mayor of New York, if that’s still what he wants.

  13. I don’t give a rat’s whisker what consenting adults do privately, in discreet rooms or private tweets or phone conversations. But in Weiner’s case, it’s the lying-and-then-crying that disgusts me. There’s more to being a man than what’s in the underpants, Tony. Also, learn how to tweet correctly or gtfo.

    Now: what’s the reward for truly nauseating dirt on Breitbart? Because we all know it’s out there, and his turn is long overdue.

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  15. I was going to write something very similar to what Gator90 wrote. I love my wife, she’s my best friend. I am pretty unremarkable, but somehow she thinks I am a pretty good deal. And ditto, commenting on a blog is as far as have ever gone toward an internet relationship. I don’t even go to chat rooms.

    Being in my late fifties, the idea of being with someone in their twenties is not exactly appealing. What are you going to talk about Lady Gaga?

    One additional disgusting thing is that evidently one of the most likely times for men to cheat on their wives is during pregnancy. On the whole we really are a disgusting bunch of rats.

    By the way, just got a Mac and have been experiencing strange malware and attacks. E.g. my cursor occasionally goes wild and I get a noise like bongos. Does anyone have this problem with their mac?

  16. Is there an elected Democratic office- holder out there who doubts that s/he is fair game now? If so, I have no sympathy for the fool who lets hormones rule his behavior.

    We’ll continue being distracted by this stuff to keep from focusing on anything that matters and may threaten an opportunity for profit.

  17. Maha, it seemed germane to Felicity’s question. Sorry if it bothered you for some reason, even though you agreed with it.

    • Sorry if it bothered you for some reason, even though you agreed with it.

      The degree to which people of either gender “fool around” is not what we’re talking about. And it really bothers me when people try to pull threads off-topic.

      We’re talking about high-risk behaviors by people who have an extraordinary amount to lose if they get caught, and not just personally. Were it not for the Monica scandal the course of world history likely would have been massively different, for example.

      Even if we assume that people of either gender are equally as likely to have affairs or engage in behavior that might be considered scandalous or embarrassing if they were caught — and I see no reason to not assume that — it doesn’t answer my question. And it doesn’t answer Felicity’s question. Because that was not the question. The question was, why is it that men in high-profile, powerful positions so frequently take such risks, when there is so much for them to lose? You really don’t see women throwing away high-profile, upper echelon careers with risky behavior like that.

      I’m sure most people assume they won’t get caught, but when you are highly visible in public life, people are watching you all the time. Especially people who don’t like you and who want you to fail. And anything you put on the Internet in any way could possible end up in the wrong hands. There are virtual armies of people who scour the web daily looking for something embarrassing about politicians they hate.

      Again, my question is NOT why most people take sexual risks. It is about why so many men in the public eye have trouble disciplining themselves when there is so much at stake.

      I suspect Felicity’s brother is right, that men who seek out such a career may be more likely than other men to be drawn to take crazy risks.

  18. Well, what boggles me is, why the hell would you use *Twitter* to send it? Am I an old fogey for thinking that, if you want a point to point, semi-private conversation, you put it in e-mail?

    I thought the point of Twitter was to send to lots of people. I don’t like the idea of using a “send to everyone” to send to just one person in private.

    Re: guys doing stupid things that could end their careers – people do stupid things. It’s the nature of people. They do them, even though it could ruin their careers, because they don’t think they’ll get caught. And part of that is part of what links to rising to a position of power… if you think about “what if X goes wrong…?” too much, you’re much less likely to rise to a position of power.

    I suppose it’s a balance. A person who *can’t* measure risks usually ends up in big trouble, early, and never can rise very far. But a person who can measure risks to a certain extent, and then ignore them if they’re relatively low, has a higher chance of success. And those folks who are excited by risky (but relatively safe) ventures are more likely to rise in ranks than those who are only made uncomfortable by risk.

    But honestly, I don’t think Spitzer ever thought anyone would catch him visiting prostitutes, or, if they did, they’d keep it quiet, in return for favors later on. I don’t think Edwards or Ensign thought they’d get caught, at all, and knew that if they did, they’d have to distribute a few bribes, which would only be embarrassing if it leaked. I don’t think Weiner realized he could be caught (or thought he’d never mess up sending, if that’s what happened).

    If they did think of the risks, they probably found it a bit exciting. Again: those who find risks a bit more energizing than worrisome are those more likely to take the risks needed to achieve things. Note: I’m not saying that they were specifically *thrill seeking* by doing those things. I think that Spitzer liked visiting high-priced prostitutes, Edwards and Ensign fell in lust, and Weiner got off on sending (dear god I hope consenting) women pictures of himself. But I think that if they recognized the risk, they might have seen it as energizing, and a problem to be solved (just as they’ve solved *so many* problems over the years!).

  19. As someone who’s been forced by events to face my own self-destructive behaviors, I can tell you that risk takers are often not even aware of what’s at stake, as odd as it might seem. So often you take risks and get away with it, and it just seems normal, a way of life. Many careers are structured in such away as to reward risk-taking. It’s only when the crash occurs that you have a chance to reflect on how exactly did it happen.

    On another level, self destructive behavior sometimes comes from something deep inside that wants expression and can’t get it. In my own case, a career ended because deep down I never really wanted that one anyway. The end came through my own failed, and completely unaware, risk-taking. I can’t say this is what happened to Clinton, Edwards, Weiner, etc – but in a pressure cooker like Washington DC, with all the temptations that entails, it takes someone of an extraordinary constitution to stay focused and on course.

    As for the differences between men and women, I’d guess that men are socialized to take more risks, to be out there more.

  20. Maha, I was responding to Felicity’s question, not yours. Her question was explicitly about “males in general,” not males in the public eye. My point was that I don’t think males in general are very different from females in general with regard to dalliances.

    If I’m not welcome here, you need only say so.

    • If I’m not welcome here, you need only say so.

      Just stay on topic and stop trying to bury the point.

  21. Is It Their Hormones?

    No, hormones might grease the skids, but it’s the ego that gets them to act.

  22. It is about why so many men in the public eye have trouble disciplining themselves when there is so much at stake.

    Adrenalin junkies ? There’s a definite thrill in playing with fire and once you’ve experienced it its very hard to be satisfied with the mundane.

  23. “but it’s the ego that gets them to act”

    I agree, female politicians in my mind tend to have a more pristine reason for seeking public office (exceptions of course, moose-woman comes to mind). I think generally most female politicians are in it for the good of public service, the ego that causes them to stray and seek to amass and exploit power is not as common as it seems to be in their male counterparts. What Wiener did is moderately embarrassing at best and between him and his wife, unfortunately he lied to the media with such ease I don’t think he can be taken seriously any longer. I know lying is part of the game to further a political agenda, but lying to cover your own ass shows a general lack of trustworthiness, it’s up to his constituents, but he only provides more distractions to those looking to avoid discussing what really matters.

    • I think generally most female politicians are in it for the good of public service, the ego that causes them to stray and seek to amass and exploit power is not as common as it seems to be in their male counterparts.

      You seem to think more highly of women in politics than I do. 🙂 I would say the difference is not that women are necessarily more altruistic, but that a woman in a powerful position probably feels she had to be more disciplined and work harder to prove herself than the guys did. She doesn’t take her position for granted.

  24. Well, color me Taliban…Wiener doesn’t have enough sense to resign. Doesn’t he have enough sense to know that every one of his 6 inappropriate episodes just aren’t going to vanish into thin air? I liked his feisty bantam rooster style and glib tongue, but he’s created a situation where his current baggage will detract from any future creditability. He should just pack it in…I see him damaged beyond repair if he doesn’t perform an act of contrition by resigning and then maybe coming back as a restored man.

    I found it to be disgusting when guys like Larry Craig, and Mark Sanford tried clinging to their “serve the people” cop out to avoid the consequences and responsibility for their actions. And I thought that guys like Elliot Spitzer showed a lot more character and dignity to just man up and accept the consequences of their actions.

    Oh yeah, then there’s the Mark Foley method…Like the closing in the Gettysburg Address…”perish from the earth”.

  25. When men do these career sabotaging actions, they do them in private, without seeking social guidance and without reliance on the kinds of social relationships that allowed and assisted them to rise to power. In other words, they see their own power as arising from self effort, from self as a holder of power, rather than as particpant with power arising from complex social interactions and relationships. Thus these men greatly overestimate their own power to control the outcome of actions done in private, as self outside social context.

    They fail to realize that their power is not constructed as an individual actor, but is socially constructed as part of a greater system over which they have limited influence when the social system (and social relationships) no longer construct their power, which happens more quickly (the deconstruction of power) than the individual can ever conceive given their illusions about power (power in self).

    Women, however, may have a firmer grasp of the intricately woven social support systems and structures that allowed them to reach positions of power. Perhaps they don’t therefore overestimate their own ability to control the outcome of personal actions even when those are done in private without social recognition.

  26. You have to consider anatomy. Let me be delicate. When aroused,the male member fills with blood. That blood has to come from some other organ. For some reason, with male politicians of either party, the blood comes entirely from the brain. A well-endowed male politician can experience a complete ‘brain-drain’ resulting in total stupidity.

  27. There are far fewer women in public office. We don’t know what they would do. That said, women tend to be more motivated by money than sex, so I expect the problem would be smaller.

  28. conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart said he had a sexually explicit photo of the 46-year-old congressman.

    Well, there’s the kiss of death..whether Breitbart has a photo or not..Weiner can’t defend against the accusation…

  29. I don’t know this person from hubpages but she tributes these to family.

    TamCor posted 7 hours ago..
    .Which leads into another of my son’s quips…

    I suppose that shoots down the distant vague possibility of a “Boehner vs. Weiner” presidential election in the future.

    Boehner, when questioned, noted: “I always knew that Weiner was crooked”
    Obama…”No comment on how to handle Weiner problem.”
    Pelosi vows to keep Weiner in!
    “Congress condoms Weiner”
    Weiner’s wife commented: “He never was able to control himself… every time he sees a cute girl he just gets excited and tweets all over the place”

    These from someone named GreekOne

    …even if he resigns, there would still be over 400 weiners in the House of Representatives …
    Palin eager to devour Weiner in possible election contest
    …New York voters screwed by Weiner
    …Weiner cover up was never an option
    ….Congressmen try to put Weiner behind them
    …Weiner rises up to occasion during news conference
    …once proud and rising Weiner now flaccid and shrinking in the face of public ridicule
    …The question remains…Will voters find Weiner too hard to swallow now?

  30. I don’t understand the sex pictures thing especially over the very public internet; but, I do understand the lying. All of us human beings lie when the truth is just too difficult for us. I feel bad because a man that I like and have a high regard for, Congressman Weiner, may no longer be in a position to achieve good things for progressives, which he was doing. I also feel bad because a man I don’t like and think is really and truly a creepy guy, Andrew Breitbart, now seems to have a new lease on life. He now will have more opportunities to destroy progressives which seems to be his sole purpose in life. If Breitbart had found the very same information on a Republican congressman, he would have kept his mouth shut.

  31. I once had a roomate who was ah, shall we say a “working girl” while she put her self thru college. She was a high price “call girl” and mixed only with men who were very affluent in the community..a few mayors, a news anchor, politicians a owner of a pro sports team and players too.. every one of these men had big reputations and fairly high powered jobs at stake. The thing they all had in common(besides my room mate) was that they all believed they that once they reached a certain level of success they were not only entitled but almost socially required to get some kind of action – on the side.. Later in years I mentioned it to a retired , much older and wiser female judge whom I happen to know and she told me stories about fitting in within her male dominated field “about 90% of the time” the other 10% she later found out after marrying one of the judges was spent puffing on fat cigars and bragging about their conquests.
    I hate to generalize but I personally think women of power or not -are not so much looking to make notches in their bedpost when they cheat..they do it for more emotional reasons..And as another older and MUCH wiser lady once told me men think with a much different head than women do.

  32. Male/Female and who does it more isn’t a compelling question to me. Neither is our guy/their guy. I accept that this is a distraction from the issues but also that because of so many feeling that a confidence was betrayed and that it taints everything else about a person it is profligately irresponsible and puts any good work he’s done at risk. That’s lamentable, just as Clinton’s dalliance was.

    I can’t speak for the damage he might have done himself but the damage he’s done his causes is considerable and that’s what makes it so irresponsible. I can’t listen to any more of the my guy/your guy crossfire and indicting the entire left or right for the actions of one. That sickens me.

    Speaking for male that I am and those I’ve known I do think there is something that flares up as one is aware of the subsiding testosterone…maybe one final spike that causes them to think “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” without consideration for the risks and potential damage. It might also be depression. In any event it is a spectacular lack of judgment.

    Politicians should live like every littel detail will be found out. Anything else is greedy. Public servant pfffftttt…little public servant maybe.

  33. If Breitbart had found the very same information on a Republican congressman, he would have kept his mouth shut.

    I shudder to think what he does have on the Republicans. And you’re right of course, Bonnie– it’ll never see the light of day.

  34. joan,
    Weiner’s weiner never saw the light of day, and look what happened to him anyway! 🙂

    He may as well have fully exposed himself, instead of sending a picture of his junk in a pair of tightie whities. I thought the cover-up was supposed to be worse than the crime?

    On a serious note. Besides Bretibart, I also wonder what Drudge has on Republicans and MSM members that he won’t reveal – until or unless he needs to.

  35. When unattractive men attain status, wealth, or power, women come out of the woodwork to have sex with them.
    When unattractive women attain status, wealth, or power, men still don’t want to have sex with them.
    That’s the difference.

    • When unattractive men attain status, wealth, or power, women come out of the woodwork to have sex with them.
      When unattractive women attain status, wealth, or power, men still don’t want to have sex with them.
      That’s the difference.

      There’s some truth in that, but that still doesn’t explain much of the behavior we’re talking about. I don’t believe anyone was coming “out of the woodwork” begging Anthony Weiner to send them photos of his crotch. And Eliot Spitzer was paying for it.

      Certainly there are times in which an attractive younger woman comes on to an older, powerful man, whereas you don’t hear much about attractive younger men coming on to powerful, older women. But if you look at the several recent individual cases in which a high-level politician was brought down by a sex scandal, often that scenario doesn’t fit.

      And even when the scenario does fit, I still don’t understand how men with so much to lose could take such risks these days. Way back when, Warren Harding could hide his mistress in the closet and only be worried that the First Lady would find her. Years ago, I understand there was something of a gentleman’s agreement between the Washington Press Corps and the elected politicians that such peccadilloes would not be written about in news stories — unless the paramours did something blatant to attract public attention, like fall into the Tidal Basin trying to escape police (Wilbur Mills/Fanne Fox, 1974).

      But now, the whole wired world is watching big-shot politicians looking for even an appearance of scandal that can be used to discredit them. It’s almost a given that a nationally known politician doing something skanky will get caught, sooner or later. Yet even then they can’t discipline themselves to not take risks. I honestly don’t understand this.

  36. Jeff – right on. I’d add that, given my brother’s take on the subject, that men who pursue status, wealth, or power have a heightened sexual energy which they know, by way of evidence, that once power etc. is achieved, women will “come out of the woodwork to have sex with them.”

    Good lord, is it possible that the majority of politicians are politicians because all they really want is women coming out of the woodwork to have sex with them is guaranteed? Certainly a plausible explanation of why our politicians are not fit to govern an ant farm let alone a country.

  37. maha – It is difficult to understand why politicians are willing to sacrifice their entire careers by engaging in activity which will sink their careers if revealed – which is why, I’m waiting for my brother to answer, I have a, granted, shaky belief that they want to get caught – better yet, they want it known that they ‘don’t need that drug that I can’t mentioned on this site without getting in trouble?

    I remember that when Clinton was running for another term as governor of Arkansas, he was you-know-what any and every woman who’d give him the chance. (Hillary, who couldn’t be in Arkansas at the time, sent her brother and father to the state to put a stop to it.) And Clinton wasn’t even in office yet, and his sexual misbehavior was common knowledge, and the only thing able to curtail it were the ‘police’ which Hillary sent to put a stop to it, yet he was absolutely obsessed by the fact that he’d lost the governorship and was driven to get it back. Go figure.

  38. I just saw the picture that Breitbart intended to use to hold Wiener in check with. Not a pretty sight..Wiener is displaying his complete package in it’s full splendor…If that picture had my name attached to it..I’d be doing a Mark Foley at double speed. Even the Amazing Randy couldn’t do a vanishing act as completely as I’d be doing it.

    Wiener is done…you can’t hang on when you got that kind of a picture floating around the internet..Wiener is kidding himself if he thinks he survive this ordeal.

  39. I suppose this is no longer a hot topic, but I just heard part of the Diane Rehm show on my barn radio and a woman on the show cited the ONLY example she knew of a woman holding high position, risking it in an affair with a younger man. It was a member of the Irish Parliament named Mrs. Robinson which I suppose is mildly humorous for obvious reasons. This rang a bell once she had mentioned it.

  40. Remember the old joke..Who’s the worst cabinetmaker in the world?..Christine Keeler— one screw and the whole cabinet fell apart.

  41. Gosh Swami, I hadn’t heard that one. I was just a schoolboy when all that happened. I think most of what I knew about it was fro “Mad” magazine.

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