Toe-tapping to TwitPics: I’ll Take Immoral Over Criminal Any Day of the Week

I am betting you people were wondering where the Poppyc**k staff was while this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal was unfolding. We were seemingly missing in action while a story with more punchlines than a Bill Hicks stand-up special was splashed in headline, bold-type on every newspaper and magazine in the country. Well, we just didn’t think we could make any jokes you hadn’t already heard. Honestly, this story is a comedian’s wet dream, so we left it to the comedy professionals…and FOX News. Now, in the glowing aftermath of the “junk drawers” photo, along with all the other photos, we have but two things to comment on in the proceeding article. One: Is anyone else expecting to see Anthony Weiner on the cover of Men’s Health this summer? Shit, this guy’s built like a Navy Seal and John Holmes had a love-child. Two (and most importantly): What the fuck did he do wrong to have to resign? I mean, what did he REALLY do?

Yes, it is going to be one of those articles. This will be a piece brimming with advocacy for the devil and perspective granting examples that are designed to show you that there is a very fine line between illegal and immoral, and whether we have the right to hold a government official to a higher ethical standard based on some archaic social construct of the majority’s expectations. Who are we to expect puritanical moral fortitude in our elected officials? We have this deranged expectation, or maybe a belief in the acutely designed facade, that we are electing some kind of moral pillar above the fallibility of the “common man.” It’s time we got off our soapbox and took off the beer goggles. These are not deities or divinely designed eunuchs cut from a cloth of moral superiority. These are people, and most of the scandals, including Weiner, have nothing to do with legal ramifications. These were just skeezy dudes, and I for one don’t mind.

I don’t mind a pervy government official. I want a human being as my representative. Someone with a foot fetish and something terrifyingly kinky under lock and key next to the gun lock box on the top-shelf of his bedroom closet. Give me a guy with a skeleton or two shoved in a crawl space at his summer home in Palm Beach over a squeaky clean tight-wad any day. I want an average Joe to keep my best interests at heart. A man who knows the legal quagmire of keeping a gimp in a box, or knows the stress of having to constantly be erasing your browsing history because your girlfriend would be horrified at what gets you off. A guy that knows the importance of establishing a safety word before letting his wife shove a ball-gag in his mouth. A guy from Anytown, USA. You know, like the rest of us.

Beyond the Weiner scandal, dubbed the Twitter scandal, there are more “sicko” incidents than I can count. How about the “toe-tapping” scandal in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport perpetrated by Larry Craig? Plead guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and paid a fine, but not before stepping down. Maybe you remember the “shirtless Senator,” Chris Lee (pictured left). Sent a woman a picture of himself, shirtless, after responding to a personal ad on Craigslist. How about the audacity of Mark Samford, who disappeared over Father’s Day weekend to meet his mistress in Argentina, under the guise that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He didn’t step down, but then again his term limit was up and it was really a non-issue to impeach him since he was almost out anyway. Then there is Louisiana Senator David Vitter (pictured below), who admits to frequenting prostitutes through the high-class service, “DC Madam.” He too has yet to step down, as of writing this article.

What was so wrong about these things? Larry Craig broke the law, sort of. Disorderly conduct for trying to get some gay sex in an airport? Skeezy? Yes. Illegal? Barely. Vitter used prostitutes, but it’s hardly a criminal offense; more the crime of a lonely man. The rest did nothing more than go outside the sanctity of their marriage. Extra-marital affairs are not illegal. Technically, yes, there are still laws on the books, but the Supreme Court overruled them in a case many years ago, so it’s not technically illegal. Are these incidents a sign of a moral vacuum in these men? I don’t think you can jump right from “stupid” to “criminal” in one connection. At best it would be more of a “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” sort of situation. If there is a moral flexibility in these men, I don’t think it caused by any kink they may have. These are mutually exclusive issues and any moral flexibility they have was brought to light by one fact: they’re fucking career politicians. You gotta check to make sure you’ve still got all of your fingers after you shake their hand.

Why do we as a country get so up in arms over these incidents? Why must we call to hang ‘em high and to end their careers? I am sure the unemployment rate would sky rocket to sixty-percent in this country if everyone who ever sent a topless photo of themselves was fired from their current job because of some social contract stating that digital buggery is criminal. You’d have a hell of a time finding a trainer at your local gym.

Scandals like this are nothing more than an assault on an archaic idea that our representatives are not just stewards of the law and justice pertaining to the betterment of society, but that they are stewards of a puritanical moral fabric we possess as a nation. I don’t get how a senator, mayor, governor, or any other elected official, is expected to live by a higher moral code than the rest of us. Frankly, I don’t trust anyone that thinks that they do occupy the higher road in a moral sense. I don’t trust someone to be fair and honest if they snub their nose at the rest of the world because they are not “perverted” like these men. Can you trust someone who think you are less than them? Could you really hope to elect your representative if they look down on you as some townsperson of Sodom and Gammorah?

We need to just get over ourselves. We live in a world where a moral line is not in stone or in sand, but is perpetually nomadic . Given enough pressure we can justify almost any action as a nation, but in moments like this we take this stand that what Weiner did was wrong. Based on what? He never banged any of the girls he “sexted” or sent pictures to. He didn’t break any laws, embezzle money, trade votes, or take bribes (remember Rod Blegojavich?). By all other accounts he was a decent official. OK, I’ll give you the point that it wasn’t what a married man should do. But if you’re gonna throw sanctity of marriage around, then I am gonna hold you to the complete idea of the statement and require you to call for the resignation of anyone who has had an affair or has been divorced before, or during, any seat of official capacity. Looks like the Republicans will get their wish since government would get a hell of a lot smaller in less than the lunch hour. You’ll have five Senators and we’d be calling in the Janitor to break up a filibuster by Friday.

I am betting you didn’t like that, if you’re one to wave the morality flag high and proud. The government would cease to be if we didn’t allow some leniency in the case of truly moral questions. Since we can’t seem to agree on where the line is on scandals requiring censure and impeachment, I say we make ‘em all sign morality contracts. Yes, if you want your cake and to eat it to, then we need to make every government official elected or otherwise, sign a contract outlining moral and legal behavior that will and will not be tolerated as well as all of the fines and punishments that will go along with each infraction. This way there is a clear and defined manner of conduct that we require of our elected officials. The NFL makes it’s players sign a similar contract and there are fines and suspensions that are levied all the time because of it. Why shouldn’t the government be held to at least the same standards as a professional athlete?

Could you imagine the fall out from this act? For good or bad, we would have our officials dancing to the beat of one painfully boring drum. Divorces, affairs, failure to file or pay taxes, DUI charges, spousal abuse, drunk and disorderly, inappropriate fraternization through texting or emails, lewd photographs, pseudo-racist comments, and we could even test for steroids (I’m looking at you, Weiner). I would go as far as to include taking the Lord’s name in vain in that contract. Let’s design a government so pure and strong of character that we will never see another scandal again. We could start electing an almost superior race of people…wait a minute, that sounds familiar…

Well, if we’re going this far, I am betting that some of you good Christian folk might want to put a clause in the contract the you can’t run for office if you’re gay, since that is immoral and a sin to some of you. Of course we would also include a provision prohibiting sexual intercourse in any position besides “missionary.” Then again, if we’re taking the inch I say we go the whole mile and not elect women, since there are many men that think a woman should be in the kitchen and not on the Senate floor. Then there is the percentage of the population that would want to exclude anyone of non-white heritage to be elected to office. Of course, if we really want to please even smaller groups we might want to make sure those white people have only blue eyes and blonde hair and…wait a minute, now we’re back to that hauntingly familiar tune again…

Guess what folks, fuck you and the high horse you rode in on. You think you can wag a finger at a guy who taps his toe or sends “dirty” photos to a girl? You think you can hold them to some higher level or morality because they are elected to represent the people? Well, I hate to break it to you, but porn doesn’t watch itself, and strip clubs don’t operate as a not-for-profit. Las Vegas is called “sin city,” and prostitution is legal in Nevada. You can get a license to buy and smoke marijuana legally. Gays are in your military, sitting on the hill in DC, and are the stars of your favorite TV shows. This is no puritanical world and I don’t know where you get this sense of superiority, but it has never existed in the way you think it has.

Case in point. The coup de gras illustrating the American’s people apparent tolerance for scandal is provided by just one man: Marion Barry. A former President of the School Board, he was a four-term Mayor. in 1990, during his third-term, he was caught on videotape in a hotel room doing crack cocaine. He was eventually found guilty of only one misdemeanor count of possession and served six-months in federal prison. After being released he immediately ran for city council of the 8th Ward on the slogan, and I am not kidding, “he may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for D.C.” He won. He was then reelected as Mayor of D.C. in 1994. The man had many more troubles including tax issues, an alleged DUI (which he was found not guilty), and driving with a suspended license. This man was a four-term mayor of the capital of the United States of America for fuck sake, but Weiner needs to step down for a cock shot?

So where is the line, folks? Please, I want to know where you draw it in the sand? These are not career ending flubs, just bloopers from “america’s stupidest elected officials,” airing this fall on FOX. If Weiner is guilty of anything it might be animal cruelty, seeing as how he was clearly trying to smother a ferret to death in his jockeys. This is a job for PETA, if nothing else (had to get one in). If the likes of Weiner and Vitter, and the countless others, had signed a contract of moral conduct, then I can see getting up in arms on some level, but no such document exists. We can get one made I bet, if we really wanted it. I would have one stipulation before making them sign it when they take an oath of office: every American needs to sign it first. If we want our officials to be held to some unwavering level of excellence, then we need articulate and follow the standardized moral code we can all agree on. Seems impossible, but it would be a true quid pro quo, like a national abstinence pledge (those work so well already, which is why everyone in public school is a virgin)…and a hush falls over the peanut gallery. If you’re truly on board with that maniacal idea, then please feel free to email your local congressman. I would just avoid using the Twitter though, because some people seem to be doing “gross” things on there.

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