Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie – and Politician’s Sex Scandals
Depending on who you ask, there’s a wide range of things people might list as being quintessentially American. Some might include rugged individualism, while more cynical folks might list greed or litigiousness. Of course, if they’re either feeling intellectually lazy or have been heavily influenced by certain ad campaigns over the years, they’re very likely to include baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet vehicles.
If you’re looking for things that are well-rooted in American history, you can make a strong case that politician’s sex scandals are central to the American identity. After all, more than one Founding Father found himself embroiled in a sex scandal — and more have followed like clockwork over the centuries, right up to the one which has led to the downfall of Andrew Cuomo in New York.
Political sex scandals aren’t all created equal, of course. Some of them involve criminal acts on the part of the politician at their center, others are more mundane cheating-on-your-spouse episodes of the sort that are commonplace among us regular folk, too.
It’s also true that sex scandals sometimes have their upside — particularly when they lead to people getting booted out of office who are either terrible people, terrible at their jobs, or both.
Read all about it in Calico’s latest post, “Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie – and Politician’s Sex Scandals.”
– Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com erotic movies for women and couples
We’ve all heard the cliché about things that are “as American as baseball, mom and apple pie” – a notion some folks trace back to World War II, when American soldiers allegedly said the two things they missed most from back home (or, in an alternative version, the two things they were fighting for) were mom and apple pie.
Every so often, someone will modify the phrase, sometimes by replacing “mom” with “hot dogs” and tacking on the brand name of their motor vehicles, for example.
Based on history both distant and recent, I’d like to propose a new permutation of the line: As American as baseball, mom, apple pie – and politician’s sex scandals.
Founding Fathers, Wandering Eyes
The United States hadn’t even been a country very long when it experienced its earliest political sex scandals, including the infamous “Hamilton-Reynolds Affair” involving everybody’s favorite philandering Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton.
Appropriately enough, since politics is an arena which spawns a tremendous amount of innuendo, rumors and outright bullshit, some of the most famous political sex scandals in American history may not have happened at all – like JFK’s purported affair with Marilyn Monroe.
Other political sex scandals have been so thoroughly documented that you can find handy and extremely detailed timelines of the scandal at hand, from the first introduction of the parties involved to the lighting of the ‘victory cigar’, so to speak.
“Scandals” vs “Crimes”
I should note here that while I’m following the rather unfortunate media convention of loosely applying the term “sex scandals” to a wide variety of different conduct, some of these scandals strictly involved consensual behavior between willing adults, others center on sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or even sexual assault. The crucial difference there is that while I have difficulty summoning much outrage over people cheating on their spouses (something roughly as rare as hydrogen), I have plenty of ire for people in power who use that power to coerce those around them. I also think labeling a politician’s sexual assault or harassment a “sex scandal” tends to trivialize the seriousness of the misconduct involved, which just adds insult to injury for the victims of these politi-creeps.
On the Bright Side…
I don’t need to tell you that the most recent ‘sex scandal’ to hit the news is the one that has forced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. And while the news surrounding this scandal is almost uniformly bad – multiple women have been harassed by Cuomo and some have alleged conduct far worse than harassment – I do think there’s one bright spot: Questionable ideas, projects and efforts championed by Cuomo can be given a deep rethink.
For example, Cuomo was a big fan of the idea of building an “AirTrain” linking LaGuardia Airport with Queens and Long Island. Honestly, I can’t claim to know enough about the AirTrain concept to say it’s a bad one, but it sure sounds like some folks close to the process of getting the AirTrain approved aren’t too happy with how things played out, or Cuomo’s actions in pushing the idea along.
“For too long, Gov. Cuomo and his staff have repeatedly pushed the agency to make non-transparent, politically motivated decisions, including decisions that squander the trust and money of our bondholders, customers, and the general public,” staff members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a letter sent to the Authority’s Executive Director, Rick Cotton. “The time has come to speak out and stand up for what is right.”
You’ll also note from that report that the identities of the staff members who signed the letter to Cotton have been kept secret, to allay concerns over potential retaliation from Cuomo. That’s another upside to the scandal and Cuomo’s pending, two-weeks-in-the-making resignation, in my view: When people need to “speak out and stand up,” it’s a lot easier to do when the guy they need to stand up to is no longer holding the keys to the Governor’s mansion.
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