Thursday, June 24, 2004

I just want to start this post by saying that I'm outraged by the recent conduct of the Illinois Republican candidate for Senate, Jack Ryan. Hiring a cameraman to follow his opponent around 24/7, however quickly he cut it out, is way beyond the pale, and shows an abiding disrespect not just for the guy, but for the small-d democratic process.

On the other hand, some folks in the lefty blogsphere are wallowing in his divorce, and the revelation that he -- shock! horror! -- wanted to do very racy, kinky stuff that his ex-wife found, with some justification, to be extreme and humiliating.

Well here's the significance of that: they weren't compatible. They split. It happens. That's it.

And personally, I happen to think there's a zone of privacy which people deserve to keep if they want it. Not everything's inside it. Not even everything sexual is inside it -- powerful pols forcing their tongues down the throats of strangers, or breaking up other peoples' marriages with "youthful indiscretions" that began at the age of 41 (to cite two prominent Republicans, one still in office), deserve public censure. But the only individuals directly concerned in this business were Jeri and Jack, both of whom were arguing in court to keep the divorce papers containing the kinky stuff under seal. I have a real hard time seeing how this is anyone's business but theirs.

Besides, I think most people can agree that contrasting Ryan's missteps with Bill Clinton's more "honest" handling of the Lewinsky affair is not generally going to be a winning rhetorical gambit...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really feel the need to compare him to Clinton. I do feel the need to compare his behavior with his stated position that gay marriage is a threat to the kind of moral family behavior he stands for, and his pounding on Obama's long-ago (and admitted) drug abuse, and for that matter his trashing his wife to protect his nascent political career when she declined to discuss this particular issue during the divorce. The released files are for a custody hearing where he asked for custody arrangements to be altered because his wife's infidelity during their divorce negotiations made her immoral and an unfit parent.

I'm also not all that thrilled with his relentless self-promotion as an exemplary Catholic, but whatever.

Sisyphus Shrugged

10:10 PM  
Blogger charles said...

Well, you didn't feel the need to compare him to Clinton -- but somebody else did. And I began by stipulating that the guy has shown himself to be a total sleaze in other ways. But while I fortunately have no direct experience in the matter, it's my impression that divorce rarely brings out the best in anybody, and we'll have a more pleasant society if the details aren't routinely broadcast. If you want to expose the hypocrisy of the whole "family values" line in general, there are, as I mentioned, less ambiguous, and far more egregious examples of women being flat-out victimized by Bible-thumping twits. And if you just want to convince people not to vote for this guy, you can do that while taking the high road -- IIRC, he was trailing badly in the polls for other reasons before any of this came out...

9:17 AM  

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