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Monday, December 18, 2017

DENNIS PATRICK: POLITICAL SEX SCANDALS – OUR RECENT HISTORY

Tumult and turbulence roil the otherwise serene political landscape.

Not! Sex scandals are hardly new in the political realm and America has seen her fair share over the past few decades.

A recent piece by Fox News’s Chris Stirewalt listed some of the recent most notorious sex scandals of American politicians, many of them long since forgotten. For better or for worse he refreshed our collective memory and the recollection is embarrassing and startling.

Forget Hollywood for a moment and the hypocrisy of that culture championing women’s rights. For years credible stories emerged of “casting couch” incidents as being almost routine. Far more serious are the incidents involving the politicians who formulate American law and public policy under the guise of decency and self-righteousness. Allegations of sexual impropriety have rampaged in and around congress for decades.

1969. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Aside from various other infidelities, this particular incident involved the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick Island while in the company of Senator Ted Kennedy. Unbeknownst to other party goers and Ted’s wife, Ted and Mary Jo left the party in Ted’s car on the way to nowhere. Kennedy drove his car off a narrow bridge into Poucha Pond. Kennedy escaped but Mary Jo drowned without assistance from Kennedy. He did not report the accident to authorities and an autopsy was never performed.

1974. Congressman Wilber Mills (D-AR) and Fanne Fox (Argentine Stripper). What a pair! Among other things, they were caught drunk splashing in the Washington, DC Tidal Basin. His reward? One month later he was re-elected with 60% of the vote!

1989. Former Texas Senator John Tower (R-TX) failed in his confirmation bid as Secretary of Defense after nominated by President George H. W. Bush. Senate Democrats blocked his nomination over his drinking and “womanizing.” Today his “womanizing” would be called sexual harassment or assault. Tower was a Democrat until 1951 when he switched to the Republican Party.

1992. President Bill Clinton (D-AR). Clinton of Monica Lewinsky fame had a 12 year sexual relationship with model and actress Gennifer Flowers. This is only one of his many adulterous relationships for which Clinton is notorious. Volumes have been written detailing his lurid past.

1992. Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR). In a word, 19 women eventually came forward to tell their stories of sexual abuse and assault. In a stroke of stupidity Packwood combined his predilection for unwanted sexual advances with his compulsion to keep a diary. This was not a good idea. Like Al Franken to follow, his inappropriate behavior was referred to the Senate Ethics Committee.

1997. Congressman Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Gingrich was the first House speaker since 1955 forced from office because of financial improprieties. He was also engaged in an extramarital affair for 7 years prior to his divorce from his second wife. This affair resulted in his third marriage to his current wife, Callista. She currently serves as ambassador to the Vatican.

1999. Congressman Bob Livingston (R-LA). Looking for irony? Try this. Gingrich’s designated successor, Bob Livingston, withdrew his name from contention because of exposure of his own extramarital affair.

2017. Senator Al Franken (D-MN). Senator Franken is a “hands on” sort of guy. This according to a handful of women (pun intended) who finally chose to speak out. Feminist Kate Harding argues that political party trumps decency. She wrote in the Washington Post that Franken must stay in the Senate because Republicans are so much worse. Talk about enabling…!

2017. Roy Moore (R-GA). Now we come to Roy Moore, candidate for the US Senate. His wandering eye sought out young women – very young women. There are those who support Moore’s election for the same reason that Kate Harding supports Franken. He may have behaved vilely by using his position as prosecuting attorney to troll for high school girls, but he is better than a Democrat.

 

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