With the intense media scrutiny over Anthony Wiener’s Internet exploits, with John Edwards and Arnold Schwarzenegger being in the news for their famous infidelity, somebody had to ask the meaningless question so why shouldn’t it be me? Can you run women, can you chase babes, can you be a playa in the year 2011? I think the answer is yes. Yes, with multiple caveats.
If you’re a politician and you’ve run a campaign on family values you are stuck. You should be faithful to your wife and enjoy your marriage. If you’re caught in a compromising position you should resign. If you’re caught sending sexually explicit instant messages, tweets, e-mails or the electronic equivalent of flirting, you should resign. This is all about trust. If you run for office as a family values politician and then you’re caught playing around, you have lied to your constituents and you should resign in shame. I don’t think it matters if you’re caught with your pants down (the actual act of sex).
If you’re an elected official and you’re not a “family values” politician, then I think you should be given a lot more leeway. You haven’t projected yourself as somebody with higher moral standards. Instead, you projected yourself as someone who can get stuff done. On the other hand, if you’re caught in a compromising position, like Anthony Wiener, but then went out of your way to lie to your constituents to try to cover up the problem, you should resign. Your philandering, your mental infidelity, is between you and your wife. When you take the oath of office you’ve agreed not to lie to your constituents. If you’re caught lying, like Anthony Wiener, you should resign.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are many other politicians besides Anthony Wiener who have lied to their constituents and they should resign. John Ensign lied, probably broke the law and resigned only when he knew he was going to have to testify and probably be sanctioned by the Senate Ethics Committee. I have no idea why David Vitter is still in the Senate. I don’t know why his constituents reelected him. The inference is that there’s no other Republican within the state of Louisiana who could represent the state any better than David Vitter without soliciting prostitutes. I find the thought preposterous. (I find the thought that Louisiana reelected an obvious criminal, William Jefferson, mind-boggling.)
So, can you be a playa in 2011? What do you think?