Sunday, August 10, 2008

Politicians' Infidelity - Playing with Power

"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." Lao Tzu

I don't want to talk about John and Elizabeth Edwards. They have enough on their plates. They don't need anything from me that feeds the beast. But I have something to say about an already well-fed beast, our very own Bubba, and his already well-documented infidelities, specifically with Monica Letmeinsky.

The Clinton-Lewinsky affair is an object lesson for all politicians.

Infidelity among us common folk is about a lot of things, mostly dissatisfaction with a marriage. Not the same dynamic in celebrity circles. Movie stars, rock stars, we know all about their groupies and the Cult of Celebrity. Getting behind the velvet rope. 'I'm with the band.'

There's an even different, I'd say more seductive dynamic among political groupies. A sprecial breed. Getting behind the rope line. 'I'm with the Man.'

My checkered career includes working in politics from the State House to the White House. I've seen firsthand how enticing Political Power can be. And how willingly young women (maybe these days young men too) offer themselves sexually to their powerful superiors.

Power is an incredible aphrodisiac. During the act, yes, but even more important to the less powerful, after the fact. Think about it. What did Monica Lewinsky get out of the sex or 'relationship' with Bill Clinton? A cigar? Sheesh. No cigar. A recycled book of poetry? Please. She was the one on her knees. She did the work, sex-wise, not the other way around. She was totally turned on by the fact she was, ohmigod, doing the President of the United States.

There's another aspect about the whole mess that's just plain wrong. It's bad enough Republican hypocrits used the Clinton-Lewinsky affair to further their own agendas at the country's expense. I got almost as sick and tired of liberal feminist bleating about Bill Clinton's sexual harassment of a poor little intern. It. Didn't. Happen.

Their affair wasn't about sexual harassment, it was about sexual dalliance. And the pull of power. She was more than a willing participant, she was an instigator. What, the president just looked around, their eyes met across a crowded room... and... give me a break. She put herself in his path. Probably climbed over others to get there.

L'affair Lewinsky was inappropriate behavior by the president, but not harassment. Monica Lewinsky wasn't seduced. Her job was never in jeopardy. Her reputation was ... ironically at her own hand.

Bill Clinton certainly rocked his marriage, but the only person who damaged Ms. Lewinsky was Ms. Lewinsky, with her inability to keep her mouth shut, on and off the job. She couldn't keep the details of the affair discretely to herself.

She had to brag. They all have to brag. There's no fun in having sex with a powerful politician if you can't tell your friends about it. Revel in their envy and awe. That's the draw. The telling, not the doing.

For those who've got real power it's tough to resist when attractive people throw themselves in your lap. It's tough to resist reaching out for whatever you want. Including low hanging forbidden fruit. That's the fatal flaw in many of our political protagonists. The ego and sheer guts it took them to get to the top makes them believe they're invincible. Untouchable.

Many are untouchable. Except by willing sex partners. And that's what inevitably brings them down.

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Anonymous mikeb302000 said...

Dear Sally, I love your blog and agree totally about the Lewinski / Bill Clinton affair being about dalliance not harassment. However, in Europe where I live, people seem to be unconcerned with the private sex lives of celebrities and politicians. I think it's a better way.

4:54 AM  

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