Not schadenfreude at all...

Some have suggested that the recent discovery that both South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign were having extra-marital affairs would be schadenfreude (joy at the suffering of others), and I have to disagree.  Likewise, the exposure of New York Democratic Governor Elliot Spitzer's visits with prostitutes is no cause for schadenfreude either.

There is no joy in the broken hearts and damaged relationships.  No joy in the dishonesty, the deceit, the contempt, the lack of respect for their partners and voters.  No joy in the hypocrisy that both of these Republicans pilloried then Democratic President Bill Clinton when he was caught having an affair in the 1990s, and now both have participated in the very same activity that they themselves claimed was reprehensible and grounds for impeachment.

I think we are being unreasonable as a society to expect everyone to lead perfect lives with no mistakes and no loves outside of the one sanctioned by some very narrow definitions founded a century ago.  Monogamy is not the natural order of things, and limiting ourselves to just one love denies the fact that we love our children, all of them, even when we have more than one child.  We love our parents even after we get married.  We can certainly fall in love with more than one adult and be attracted to more than one person at a time; it is not a weakness as some in the media present.  It is natural.

What is reprehensible are the lies about it.  The lack of honesty within their families.  The lack of honesty within their support staffs.  The fact that they pilloried Bill Clinton for his affair and for his lack of honesty (and I agree with them on his lack of honesty), but then proceeded to do exactly the same thing they sought power trying to stamp out.   Spitzer's crime was that he engaged in the same activity he ran against.  Kettle; calling the pot black is perhaps a little silly.

For me, I don't really care how many consenting adults of whatever sex are cavorting with our elected leaders, so long as they are honest and open about it (so they are not vulnerable to blackmail), their partners and families are ok with it (so trust is not violated), and they are clear with their staff so that emergency contacts can be made and duties fulfilled (an affair should not interfere with the job).

Schadenfreude?   No, it is very sad that our society prosecutes people for the affairs and not for lies and neglect of responsibility.

Tags: calvinism, clinton, Craig, Ensign, Ethics, hypocrisy, Puritanism, Sanford, society, Spitzer, Vitter (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

Au Contraire....

Sanford married a woman from a rich family, and she propelled him to office with her connections, wealth and drive.

Check for step one of the Republican Political Profile, the Wifey, have the kids, present the traditional family image. Also helps a BUNCH if she is wealthy (See McCain, John, US Senator....)

But, typically, the first wifey just ain't so hot after the years pass, they just don't work the libido of our hot dog politicians.

Then Superstar "potential presidential candidate" Stud Boy got far enough away from home, he hit on probably the first groupie star-f'er that caught  his eye-after all, why have the affiar just with the Gov of South Carolina, but when he is a strong potential to run for President .....

This is Schadenfreude on 10, not only do we have another big fat Moral Warrior caught licking the candy dish, all their building a path to the whitehouse goes up into Late Night Comedian Routine Hell!

This is a case where I have no sympathy for the wife either, rumor is, she is the power behind the man. She is the ambitious one, with her eyes on the prize of Penn Avenue.

Sanford's only luck was having Michael Jackson die when he did, or he would have been lead story for another 3 days.

Hell, why take the joy away from us.

This isn't about the fact he got caught cheating, who gives a rats patootie about that?

This is about privacy, these are people that HATE Privacy, and only claim it when THEY need it.

They want to bust into everyones bedrooms and make sure we fit their bibilical criterion, but if they get caught...

And, it's always the getting caught or about to, that brings them to the apology moment..

Then we have the spectacle of the wailing about how this is the worst thing that ever happened to them, it's a collasal nationwide pity party, like we are supposed to feel sorry for them.

Well, I don't. I love every minute when some bible belting bunko artist gets exposed for the slimy creeps they are.

by WashStateBlue 2009-06-26 03:10PM | 0 recs

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