Sex, Stupidity, and Political Celebrity: What Were They Thinking?

Posted by | May 9, 2010 11:13 | Filed under: Top Stories

by The Professor

I’m not sure why, but political and religious celebrities seem to think, “no one will notice this incredibly bad or questionable behavior” more often than they should.  So, recognizing that so much of politics, especially embittered partisan politics, is driven by the ids, egos, and lack of superegos of our political elites and the people who surround them, let’s take a closer look.

The latest entry in the celebrity stupidity sweepstakes – “Bristol Palin goes clubbing after celebrating the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy” – raises the issue, but pales in comparison to other great recent moments where preachers and politicians did things that just make you roll your eyes and wonder, “did they really, really think no-one would notice that?”  And, while it’s a bipartisan phenomenon, my graduate student tells me that more religious and anti-gay, pro-family conservative Republicans do this than Democrats.  Let’s review a few, shall we?

How about George Rekers?  He’s on the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and is still very close friends with the Washington-based Family Research Council, which he founded with James Dobson in 1983.  So, he must be very interested in homosexuality.  So, where’s he at on the issue?  Well, he’s recently quoted as saying, “If you talk with my travel assistant … you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse…” Oh, o.k., I get it. He’s anti-gay (or he doesn’t want to get laid).  He may love the sinner, but the sin, eh, not so much.  So what’s he up to lately?  And who’s this “travel assistant”?

Well, George hired a nice young man, a self-admitted prostitute he found on, to accompany him on a trip to Europe.  The young man told the press this week he was surprised by George’s claim to have realized he was a prostitute only halfway through their “holiday”.  George, for his part, claims he hired the young man to carry his luggage.  Now folks, when I want someone to carry my luggage, I hire a redcap, or a porter, or someone who carries luggage for a living.  And generally, they don’t sleep in the same hotel with me.  I guess when I hire a prostitute, through a sexual/sensual…. uh…. “rentboy” services website, well, then, I guess I’m after something else.  So, I’m confused about what George was really after and I just don’t know what to think.  But in the spirit of us reporting you deciding, and if you want to read more, Jim David’s got a great take on it.

Let’s skip over Ray Ashburn and Ted Haggard and, to be fair and balanced, Eliot Spitzer.  Let’s go right to my personal favorite, Larry Craig, former three-term Republican senator from Idaho.

Here’s how this went, in case it slipped your mind:  On June 11, 2007, Larry does some kind of a dance in a toilet stall in a Minnesota airport and gets arrested for peeping under the stall, playing footsie, and conspiracy to canoodle.  O.k., so far so good.  This is understandable: an alleged closet case getting a little alleged action on the alleged down low.  Then – as three term United States Senator and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs – he goes into open court where the entire event is described in testimony on the record and then he pleads guilty to disorderly conduct.

And he thought no one would notice.  That’s the part that irks me.

Look we know under our Bad Man Theory of Law that corruption is a constant and scandal merely a variable, but really, folks? What’s with these people?  How do they think that no one will notice?  I don’t mind that they have twisted sex lives; but the stupidity and the degree to which they think we’re not going to notice?  Well, as Ron White says, you can’t fix that.  Except on Election Day.

I’m just sayin’…

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Roland Barthes

American. Patriot. Liberal. Musician. Hippie. Intellectual.

Bachelor of Arts in political philosophy, 1982, Syracuse University.

Juris Doctor, Widener University, 1986,

Ph.D. in political science (American politics and public law), Rutgers University, 2005.

Associate Director, Faculty Fellow, and Assistant Research Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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