Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Phallic Phollies

Years ago, my maternal grandmother wanted to liven up the front porch of her house.  She thought a different colored light bulb would give the porch more atmosphere.  She chose a red bulb.  When my mother came, Grandma proudly switched on the light.  Inside, the house, they could hear my grandfather laughing hysterically.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” she enthused, ignoring Grandpa (a merchant marine).

My mother was at a loss for words.

“Mom,” she said, “that’s a red light.”

“Yes!  Doesn’t it have a beautiful glow?” was the answer.

“Mom, don’t you know who uses red lights?”

“No.  Who?”

So my mother told her.  The house was practically shaking from my grandfather’s laughter.  The light bulb immediately came out and was replaced by a more modest light bulb.

Those were innocent times.  Flowing underneath the dainty feet of polite society was the sewer of profanity and pornography, illicit relations of every kind, crime, corruption, wickedness.  Nice people, especially nice women, didn’t talk about such things.  At the central core of this decadent cesspool were the politicians.  Dressed in fine suits, with expensive haircuts, and manicured nails, some, if not all, flouted every moral of society.

If decadence existed within government, American society didn’t want to know or see it.  Decency was well-protected from its evil twin.  Today, however, with modern technology – cable television, the 24/7 news cycle, cell phone cameras, Photoshop, the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube – there’s no escaping the indecency and indiscretions of our politicians.  They’re in our face.

Political/Sexual scandals have been scorching history since ancient times.  Witness Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra.  Guenevere and Lancelot (Guenevere was always being threatened by the mobs of Camelot and Lance would have to come to her rescue).  Henry the VIII.  Mary Queen of Scots and James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

In more modern times, FDR and his Lucy.  John F. Kennedy and the many women he entertained at the White House, who was succeeded some decades later by the disgrace of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski using the Oval Office for their recontres.  Nor is it by any means the province only of Liberal Democrats.  Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have presidential aspirations hindered by romantic baggage that won’t make it through the x-rated machine.

The politicians seem to all have caught one another’s stupidity.  It’s as if there’s a full moon over Washington, D.C. and all the wolves are out.
Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to elude the impeachment hatchet before admitting he’d sired a lust-child with his housekeeper of 20 years.  We have another dalliance to thank for the political mess in N.Y. District 26.  There was also Eliot Spitzer and Client No. 9.  Now we have to deal with Weiner the Weenie and his twitter-pated escapades of lewdness.  And these are just the sexual deviants; never mind the outright crooks like Charlie Rangel or flying governors who misuse state police helicopters to see their sons’ baseball games – and damn the press for making a scandal out of it.

The world is agog and no matter how nauseating it is, the Media simply can’t escape the desire and the demand for more coverage of this latest scandal.  We should have put our foot down when Bill Clinton was using his cigars for something besides celebrating his hornswaggling of America.  He should have been impeached right out of office.  Instead he was given a slap on the wrist by Congress and the Media.  No wonder Weiner is looking to Clinton, the master, for advice on how to stay in office.

Lately, politicians have learned the art of contrite weeping.  Shed a few tears, say how sorry you are for hurting everyone, but how you want to get on with life – and we let them.  After all, we’ve all done something wrong in life.  How can we judge these miscreant public figures?  Everyone makes mistakes.

They make mistakes, but they’d make fewer of them if they were drummed out of office for their offenses.  Technically, they say The Weenie committed no crime for which he can be charged by Congress.  Neither did Clinton.   The only offense with which they can be charged is, like Nixon, lying and covering up their misdeeds.

His constitutents could recall him.  But it’s unlikely that they will.  Being a shifty fellow, they find Weiner to be a useful sort of representative who “fights for them.”  In other words, he brings home the pork, the federal taxpayers’ money, the boodle.  To them, he’s just fine.  He Twittered his Fruit of the Looms for all to see?  No problem.  It could happen to anyone.

We want and need transparency in our government.  But not this kind of transparency.


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