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June 20, 2006 8:57 PM   Subscribe

the most maritally challenged crop of presidential hopefuls in American political history --meet 3 leading GOP candidates for 08. We've already read about Hillary's sexlife (or lack thereof), but will the double standard hold? ...if the top three Democratic presidential hopefuls each had extra-marital affairs in their backgrounds, it stands to reason that Republicans would have something to say about it--and if the past is any guide, those concerns would find their way into the papers. Will the same happen when it's about the "party of family values and morality"?
posted by amberglow (84 comments total)

 
It will be interesting to see if the family values party gives a crap about this, my guess is no. However, I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world whenever anyone talks about Hillary as a viable candidate.
posted by sourbrew at 9:13 PM on June 20, 2006


not saying you were amberglow, I just seem to keep reading about her as a major hopeful for the democratic party, and it's pretty clear to me at least that she is unelectable.
posted by sourbrew at 9:14 PM on June 20, 2006


Of course the double standard will hold. The "family values" Republicans are hypocritical assholes.

I'd rather see people's private lives, you know, private, but those days are gone, so if we're going to be told about a Democratic candidate's private life, we should be told about the Republicans' also. In fact, they should be under even more scrutiny, since they're the party that wants to intrude into ordinary people's private lives (wiretapping, Schiavo, no-knock entries, spying on internet traffic).
posted by kirkaracha at 9:31 PM on June 20, 2006


Look at the bright side--you're going from mentally to maritally.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:32 PM on June 20, 2006


It will be interesting to see if the family values party gives a crap about this, my guess is no. However, I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world whenever anyone talks about Hillary as a viable candidate.

A recent Iowa poll shows Hillary in the number 2 in the state right now, after Edwards of all people. Kerry is number three and our governor, Villsack is number four. Of course this far out it's largely a 'who people have heard of' poll.

Hopefully those numbers will go down.
posted by delmoi at 9:34 PM on June 20, 2006


300 million people in this country and these bozos are the best we can do?

And a CNN poll says nearly half of those asked would "definitely not" vote for Hilary.
posted by birdherder at 9:41 PM on June 20, 2006


Even so, suppose Dubya and Condi are in fact bonking on the side, and all that talk of Laura staying at some DC hotel is true?

If so, suppose the First Angry Lady will run Dear Leader down and kill him like she did her high school boyfriend? Just asking, speaking of family values.
posted by BillyElmore at 9:42 PM on June 20, 2006


Hillary, Edwards, Kerry, Dean. The dems are already fucked.
posted by puke & cry at 9:51 PM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


The "family values" Republicans are hypocritical assholes.

I alwaysd find it amusing when they get outed as closeted gays as well.
posted by Artw at 9:52 PM on June 20, 2006


This is a good article, amberglow. Thanks. It makes a good case for this not being the last we'll hear of this.
posted by Edgewise at 10:03 PM on June 20, 2006


Hillary is electable, and the Republican party machine is very aware of it. Why do you think they've been putting such an effort into smearing her the last three years? You don't hear much smearing of Edward, Kerry or Dean going on, but they can't get enough of the Clintons.

The same CNN poll that birdherder mentions says that 22% of the people asked "definitely would" vote for Hillary. That's a hell of a margin to start with, and with Rupert Murdoch on her side or at least neutralized, the Republican machine may find rougher going in 2008.

People crossed party lines to vote for Bill Clinton, and the Republicans are scared as hell that it will happen again for Hillary. To say that the Republican moderates are disaffected right now would be a huge understatement...
posted by tkolar at 10:20 PM on June 20, 2006


Gingrich and Giuliani? What the hell; they're not even remotely feasible candidates. Long-shots at best, and I'd be surprised if either announces (especially if McCain announces first). The GOP slate in '08 is going to be dominated by cultural conservatives: Frist, Brownback, Santorum. McCain is going to be the token "centrist".

Fucking Gingrich and Giuliani?! No way.

I was hoping for something novel and juicy, and this article let me down!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:21 PM on June 20, 2006


A recent Iowa poll shows Hillary in the number 2 in the state right now, after Edwards of all people. Kerry is number three and our governor, Villsack is number four. Of course this far out it's largely a 'who people have heard of' poll.

Also that poll is for people likely to vote in the January caucus which I assume means only democrats. The sad thing is that I can perhaps imagine a lot of the less informed democrats voting for Hillary, but the problem is that she will never win republican votes in the South. Disgruntled republicans in the SE will not vote for her just because of who she is, I don't even think it has anything to do with the fact that she is a woman, I think it is more a byproduct of the smear job she has been getting in the press for going on 9 years now.

Personally I don't like her politics, but I think to many Americans just don't like her as a person for her to be viable.

More on topic, I wonder if McCain would suddenly become reasonable again if he got elected, he went from someone I had marginal issues with to a full blown ass clown in the space of about a year. Here's hoping its just political maneuvering of the sort that we will be rid of in 4 - 6 years.
posted by sourbrew at 10:28 PM on June 20, 2006


I was out on hillary when she started fucking with gta3. If she's the dem candidate, I'll vote against her.
posted by puke & cry at 10:34 PM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Amen roboto. This article is such a waste. Gingrich? Please...whoever wrote this, and believes this drivel, is completely out of touch with politics.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:36 PM on June 20, 2006


Here's hoping its just political maneuvering of the sort that we will be rid of in 4 - 6 years.

Did I miss the memo on how we're going to get rid of political maneuvering in 4-6 years? Does it end well?
posted by scottreynen at 10:39 PM on June 20, 2006


Did I miss the memo on how we're going to get rid of political maneuvering in 4-6 years? Does it end well?

I think that the combination of the Freedom of Information act mixed with the ability of the "blogosphere" to paint such acts in a more realistic manner than contemporary journalism seems to be able to will result in a period of political change similar to the impact of the television before politicians new how to corrupt and bend the tv to their will.

We will see a period where genuine compassion and honesty will again become desirable candidates as the only way to count the prevalence of Internet information on candidates, followed by a period of developing strategies to deal with this new found invasion of a politicians life, and ability to phrase things however the hell he wants. Ultimately we will be back at square one, this will probably not take the 60 some odd years that it took us to arrive at the current administrations skill at manipulating the masses, but at least we should see a reprieve of some 10 - 20 years.
posted by sourbrew at 10:56 PM on June 20, 2006


Shine on, you crazy diamond.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:57 PM on June 20, 2006


jesus, ok i'm going to try to rewrite that after reading it over.

The prevalence of blogs mixed with the freedom of information act will lead to a massive amount of insight into political candidates. The reaction to this will be similar to the changes that happened when the tv became a major attribute of politics. Compassion, honesty, and intelligence will become requirements of a viable candidate because of the sheer amount of transparency available.

Eventually politicians will co-opt this as they co-opted television, i think the process will be considerably faster than the 60 some odd years it took us to arrive out our current state of mass control. However, i would like to believe that there will be a 10 - 20 year reprieve where some order of dignity is again realized at a national level in the political process.
posted by sourbrew at 11:01 PM on June 20, 2006


Ahhh.. Gingrich. I had my issues with him at the time, but now, looking back, he was the kind of opposition to have. Hell I agree with most of the "Contract With America" but that, unfortunately, is pre-9/11. I haven't heard as much as a peep about that in 6 years or so.

I fear there will be a time when we will be waxing poetic about opposition faces like Hussein, Mussaoui, binLaden, and how we wish we were only having to fight the likes of them way back when.

I think they are all outdated opponents. There needs to be new leadership as well as the everchanging array of bad guys.
posted by Balisong at 11:03 PM on June 20, 2006


So....is this about which one we'd do?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 PM on June 20, 2006


funnily enough...

the only mention of Giuliani's affair on his Wikipedia page is under "Media Management:

On May 19, 2000 before the primary, he withdrew because of prostate cancer and the fallout from his relationship with his wife Donna Hanover. Giuliani admit he had an "adult relationship" with Judith Nathan, now Judith Giuliani.
posted by pruner at 12:18 AM on June 21, 2006


Even George likes her, and daddy likes her husband.
posted by hortense at 12:25 AM on June 21, 2006


unelectable.

it's going to be fascinating to see how many Ricky Ray Rector moments Ms Clinton will give the American voters in the next two years, just to show that no, she's so not a Dukakis wimpy ACLU-loving liberal. it's going to be a fascinating car crash -- by then her dislike for videogames will appear to be a zany episode of self-deprecating humor. will she ask Cheney to let her behead, live on national TV, a Gitmo detainee as she sings the national anthem? will she waterboard Al Sharpton on Larry King Live? will she tell Oprah that her husband not only raped Juanita Broaddrick but sexually molested puppies?

who knows. I just hope that the GOP nominates Jebby, and frankly, why not. Hillary vs Jebby = barrel of laughs

but what can you expect from a party who managed to paint itself in a corner after all the opponents mistakes? the Democrats let the GOP turned the midterm vote into a "Patriot vs Cut and Run" race. one assumes the Cut And Runners won't gain many seats, and it's really their own fault. instead of framing the vote as a referendum on Bush and his 6 years of disasters, the Democrats watched impotently as the GOP framed it as a referendum on who's soft on terrarism
posted by matteo at 12:45 AM on June 21, 2006


*cuts and runs*
posted by Hat Maui at 2:24 AM on June 21, 2006


Gingrich and Giuliani? What the hell; they're not even remotely feasible candidates.

Actual Republicans disagree with you. A national Diageo/Hotline Poll of registered Republicans in March showed McCain first, followed by Giuliani, and Gingrich was third when GOP voters were asked about their presidential preferences for '08. Shortly thereafter, a national FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll showed Giuliani first, McCain second, and Gingrich third.

And then shortly after that, a WNBC/Marist Poll asked Republicans and Republican leaners nationwide and found Giuliani first, McCain second, and Gingrich third.

In other words, the Washington Monthly article is right. The top three '08 candidates -- at least according to Republican voters at this point in time -- are all admitted adulterers.

whoever wrote this, and believes this drivel, is completely out of touch with politics.

Care to back this up with anything substantive?
posted by evening at 3:55 AM on June 21, 2006


IOKIYAR

fuggeda 'bout it!
posted by nofundy at 4:40 AM on June 21, 2006


Evening: I agree about Gingrich. He might have ranked third recently in a couple of polls - but he has not yet stated his intention to run. If he did so, I would guess that he would pick up steam on a campaign rather quickly. However, Gingrich does have some damaging personal baggage to contend with, no doubt. Guiliani as well.

There is no doubt in my mind that Gingrich is one of the sharpest political candidates in many years. And before I get slapped around by the MetaPundits... he often contends with the Republican party leadership. Gingrich does a good job of balancing conservative ideology versus progressive thinking and new ideas - and can think on the fly well enough to back it up. I would actually relish the thought of Guiliani and Gingrich on a presidential debate. FWIW, I think Giuliani made a mistake by not grabbing a cabinet post while he could, it could have provided valuable national exposure for him.

I'm not sure that the Democrats have their ducks in a row yet. Here's the Democratic impression list so far in my neck of the woods:

Kerry - loser before, he'll lose again, boring and dull
Gore - loser before, he'll lose again, boring and dull
Edwards - loser before, he'll lose again, not quite so boring and dull but not so sharp either
Hilary - mean spirited, had to run for Senate in New York because she couldn't win her own state
Vilsack - Vilwho? He's better step up to the plate quick if he plans on running

I'm not saying this analysis is spot on... just that they seem to be reflective of my local sentiment. As a conservative, I'd LIKE to see a strong Democratic candidate that will help bring candidates from the right back into perspective. And right NOW, none of the Democratic candiates you see are electable IMHO. I hope someone emerges from the pack soon. Conversely, I hope that the Republicans narrow down to a small handful of viable candidates and get some issues back on the table and open for discussion.
posted by insulglass at 4:52 AM on June 21, 2006


I was hoping for something novel and juicy, and this article let me down!

How about this:
Frist slaughters kittens.

No, not in the Fark sense. Literally.
posted by H-Bar at 5:16 AM on June 21, 2006


Apparently, it's okay to represent yourself as standing for family values and moral rectitude if you are a complete and utter hypocrite.
posted by psmealey at 5:45 AM on June 21, 2006


I think insulglass has a good read on Gingrich; he's not the marginal player some would like him to be -- just not sure if he's likeable enought to win a national, general election.

But don't dismiss Gore. The loser tag is easy to shake (2000 ended with Gore getting the most votes). Further, unlike most of the current democratic front-runners, Gore isn't on the record as ever having voted for the war -- which puts him a stronger position debate our involvment in Iraq on the merits w/out ever having to defend his prior position. Plus, Nixon's loss to Kennedy proves that presidential candidates aren't limited to one bite from the apple.
posted by herc at 6:14 AM on June 21, 2006


i hope a dark horse wins 2008 ... it's quite possible that there will be rude surprises in the next couple of years for the country and the world ... surprises that the political establishments of both sides will reveal themselves as unable to deal with ... in fact, they don't seem to be able to deal with what we have now

if both parties run the candidates that are being talked about now, we're going to see increased disgust with our political system
posted by pyramid termite at 6:18 AM on June 21, 2006


Well, of course it's all about the combination of [conservative vs. progressive morality] + [our team vs. their team].

GOP candidate has affair:
- Dem voters -- haha, what a hypocrite, but this is really irrelevant. We're more interested in his political stance, and we already know all that.
- GOP voters -- nothing to see here, move along

Dem candidate has affair:
- Dem voters -- nothing to see here, move along
- GOP voters -- See, he has NO MORALS, he is evil -- EVVVVILLL, I SAY!!!! He's going to destroy society with his satanic immorality, unless we STOP HIM!!!!

Hell, Bill Clinton's campaign got severely derailed when it came out that he had smoked weed in college, for gawd's sake. GWB was (is?) an alcoholic coke-head, and nobody cares.
posted by LordSludge at 6:23 AM on June 21, 2006


The Washington Monthly article is an attempt to fire a shot across the bow of Republican spinners, but it won't get any support or traction, so it's a doomed effort. They have a little squirt gun full of mud, and they're saying "Don't spray us or we'll spray you!", except the Republicans have a fire-hose full of mud, and they don't give a shit about Timmy and his squirt gun.

In 2008, you're going to hear a LOT about the alleged faults of whoever the Democratic candidate is. Every day. Every hour. On your TV, on your radio, in your newspaper. Some of it will be true, most of it won't.

You're going to hear nothing about the alleged faults of whoever the Republican candidate is. Not even the true ones, much less the false ones. Not unless you read liberal blogs.

Those are just simple facts. All that news you hear about the FCC loosening restrictions? This is a bribe to the major media networks, all five of them. That news you hear about Bush just signing into law a ten-fold increase in indecency fines? That's going to be used to punish non-compliant networks like CBS who continue to allow anti-Republican stories to air. CBS just received a $3.3 million punishment for not airing Republican propaganda, and the beatings will continue until it falls in line.

Hillary is unelectable. Half the American electorate won't vote for a woman at all, under any circumstances. They would elect Saddam Hussein to run the country before a woman. The other half won't vote for a woman who has been dragged through the mud for two years. The last time a woman ran, the Democrats got 13 electoral votes. 13!
posted by jellicle at 6:36 AM on June 21, 2006


Actual Republicans disagree with you. A national Diageo/Hotline Poll of registered Republicans in March showed McCain first, followed by Giuliani, and Gingrich was third when GOP voters were asked about their presidential preferences for '08. Shortly thereafter, a national FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll showed Giuliani first, McCain second, and Gingrich third.

And then shortly after that, a WNBC/Marist Poll asked Republicans and Republican leaners nationwide and found Giuliani first, McCain second, and Gingrich third.

In other words, the Washington Monthly article is right. The top three '08 candidates -- at least according to Republican voters at this point in time -- are all admitted adulterers.


Yup. Allen is more realistic, primarywise, but doesn't have the name recognition these 3 do.

I've long thought Cheney was going to retire before 08 (for "health" reasons, of course)--if he does, i'll bet it's one of these 3 that gets placed in the VP slot.
posted by amberglow at 6:39 AM on June 21, 2006


oh, and don't count out Edwards on the Dem side--he's talking about the right things, and making class/poverty/wages an issue again--something definitely needed (he's not in the Senate anymore either, which is a plus).
posted by amberglow at 6:42 AM on June 21, 2006


How am I to respond, evening? A year prior to the 2004 election, if you asked Democrats who'd win the Nov. election, the result would've been Dean. Two years prior to the 2000 election, if you'd ask Republicans who'd win the Nov. election, no one in their right mind would've said Bush, since he wasn't even on the national radar yet.

These candidates have no chance in hell of winning a general election, which is why they haven't run for national office (in some cases, ever). The only reason why they top the polls now, in Republicans' minds, is because their names are well known. But as you can already see, so are names like Hillary, Kerry, and Dean. But none of these three have a chance in hell, either.

Once again, I stand by my statement that people who believe this drivel (in the original post) are completely out of touch with politics.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:05 AM on June 21, 2006


BTW, my money is on Mitt Romney for GOP nominee and quite possibly to win it all. Exceptionally affable guy. I'm a Dem and I like him. Reminds me of the 90s when I was a Republican and liked Clinton.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:10 AM on June 21, 2006


I predict the 2008 election will pit Gore/Edwards vs. McCain/Lieberman (yes, I know, but trust me). If I'm right, I'll do a month-long nationwide tour of MeFi meetups in October 2008, so that everyone can buy me a beer and tell me how awesome I am and how prescient I was.
posted by mds35 at 7:13 AM on June 21, 2006


STD, I just threw up a bit in my mouth.
posted by mds35 at 7:18 AM on June 21, 2006


I'd suggest brushing your teeth, and learning how to keep your uncontrollable body functions to yourself. It's only polite.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:29 AM on June 21, 2006


"party of family values and morality"

I am always impressed when anyone, especially members of the Republican party, can say that with a straight face.
posted by smallerdemon at 7:29 AM on June 21, 2006


SeizeTheDay -- I'm guessing you probably don't live here in Massachusetts.

Governor Blowdry has been a total and complete waste of time here, obvious running for national office since about Day 2 of his own administration, following in the footstep of his equally useless and feckless predecessor Bill Weld. He panders outrageously to the religious right while on the road, then slinks back into Boston once in a while to do some namby-pamby quasi-liberal "See, I'm really a moderate" thing that we here in The Bluest State Of All insist on from our elected officials.
posted by briank at 7:33 AM on June 21, 2006


If Giuliani - he of the divorces plus openly having a mistress (also he of the pro choice views) can actually get on a Republican ticket, thre will really be no Republican party worth talking about then.
posted by narebuc at 7:36 AM on June 21, 2006


briank, thanks for backing me up. Can I borrow your toothbrush?
posted by mds35 at 7:43 AM on June 21, 2006


Well, that's true (I'm not from Mass.). I'm in PA. But here's where I'm torn. For the Dems, I think that Ed Rendell (ex Philly Mayor, current PA Governor) would be a great candidate. But PA is currently stuck with Santorum and Specter as its Senators. So I wonder if perhaps we're better served with Rendell staying here and keeping the state moderate. Of course, the Democrat that is planning on running, and winning against Santorum here is pro-life, so really this campaign in November is a bit moot. But hey, Santorum may go down, so there's some good news.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:57 AM on June 21, 2006


> Apparently, it's okay to represent yourself as standing for family values and moral
> rectitude if you are a complete and utter hypocrite.

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. At least by so doing hypocrisy acknowledges that virtue exists. By contrast, the side that lost the culture war (amberglow's side) lost because it no longer even believes that there is such a thing as virtue.


> I was out on hillary when she started fucking with gta3. If she's the dem candidate,
> I'll vote against her.

Hillary at least does appear to have some residual belief in virtue--a principal reason the Kossacks can't wait to backstab her, and the Democratic party be damned. Wait 'til you hear she's running with Tipper Gore.

posted by jfuller at 8:01 AM on June 21, 2006


Mike Huckabee.
posted by edverb at 8:05 AM on June 21, 2006


Gingrich? Please...whoever wrote this, and believes this drivel, is completely out of touch with politics.


No, I think it might be you actually.

Gingrich is almost certainly planning to run and an early indication that he could try to nab himself the McCain-is-a-commie conservative base came when he romped to victory in a Minnesota GOP straw poll, soundly beating George Allen after a letter went around urging the convention delegates to unite against McCain and Giuliani.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:05 AM on June 21, 2006


Santorum may go down

Oh please please please rephrase.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:07 AM on June 21, 2006


useless and feckless predecessor Bill Weld.

A statement like that can seriously be made only by a card-carrying leftist. A Republican is re-elected with 71% (!) of the vote in Massachusetts, and he's "feckless."

His Wikipedia profile is perhaps unduly rosy, and he owes some of his success to the times, but he surely isn't "useless and feckless."
posted by Kwantsar at 8:09 AM on June 21, 2006


residual belief in virtue--a principal reason the Kossacks can't wait to backstab her, and the Democratic party be damned.

Rolls eyes at jfuller...
posted by edverb at 8:11 AM on June 21, 2006


Blogger Mark A. R. Kleiman says it will be Wesley Clark versus (Former Virginia Governor) Mark Warner for the Dem nomination, and that the winner of that contest will win the Presidency.
posted by goethean at 8:30 AM on June 21, 2006


But don't dismiss Gore. The loser tag is easy to shake (2000 ended with Gore getting the most votes). Further, unlike most of the current democratic front-runners, Gore isn't on the record as ever having voted for the war -- which puts him a stronger position debate our involvment in Iraq on the merits w/out ever having to defend his prior position. Plus, Nixon's loss to Kennedy proves that presidential candidates aren't limited to one bite from the apple.

I think people who dismiss Gore's chances out of hand are underestimating the number of people who'd dearly love a mulligan on the 2000 elections.

Clinton's absolutely unelectable, though. Conservatives hate her because she's Hillary Clinton, liberals hate her because she's been trying to pander to the right, and nearly everyone suspects, deep down, that she's just not a very nice person. The idea of Hillary taking over the unitary executive position gives me the chills, and not in a good way.
posted by EarBucket at 9:33 AM on June 21, 2006


BTW, my money is on Mitt Romney for GOP nominee and quite possibly to win it all.

I dunno. They might have a problem getting the rednecks to come out in droves to vote for a Mormon.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:16 AM on June 21, 2006


nearly everyone suspects, deep down, that she[Hilary Clinton]'s just not a very nice person. - EarBucket

Which they wouldn't expect of her if she was a man.
posted by raedyn at 11:02 AM on June 21, 2006


Look, nobody actually likes her. Theoretically some republicans like her marginally more than some other democrats, but that doesn't really matter because they're always going to like someone else better than her. The number of people who activly WANT her to be President is roughly zero.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on June 21, 2006


Which they wouldn't expect of her if she was a man.

It would matter, say, if Dick Cheney ran for president.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on June 21, 2006


I don't want to belabor the point, SeizeTheDay, but I still think you're mistaken.

Sure, this far out, national polls are dubious, but the Washington Monthly article dealt with existing realities. The players will probably change, but at this point, McCain, Giuliani, and Gingrich are top-tier candidates, just as the piece described. They're in Iowa; they're hiring staffers; they've got serious leadership PACs with serious money; they're winning straw polls; and they're leading in national polls. To deny this is, to borrow your phrase, to be "out of touch with politics."

If I'm following your argument, the WM article explored their respective personal problems, but since they're not credible candidates (in your eyes) the article isn't important. Credible political professionals can and will disagree about who has "a shot in hell" and who doesn't. Maybe your crystal ball is better than everyone else's, but to disagree with your prognosticating skills doesn't necessarily make one wrong. We're dealing with hard-to-determine future events, after all, and the polls I noted are at least hard evidence, not opinion.

That aside, what about the underlying premise of the article (and the thread) itself? Is it at all interesting that no Republican with adultery in his background has ever sought the GOP nomination before, but now three might?
posted by evening at 11:24 AM on June 21, 2006


I guess the fact that they don't mention Feingold's 2 divorces means he is not considered a viable candidate at all. How depressing.

My money is on an unknown mediocrity of a Governor getting elected (e.g. Warner or Romney), People who work in congress just don't get elected anymore.
posted by afu at 12:23 PM on June 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think Hillary has a good shot of making another wooden lackluster Democratic candidate look stellar by comparison, which might easily motivate the Democratic voters unless he or she opens their mouth between winning the ticket and the election.
posted by hoborg at 12:25 PM on June 21, 2006


My point was that no one evaluates potential Presidential canidates for "niceness" unless they are women. Men aren't expected to be nice. No one says "I like Bush because he's nice" or "That Kerry guy doesn't seem very nice, I don't think I could vote for him."

It's not a criticism of anyone in this thread in particular, I was just sad to note that this double standard still exists.
posted by raedyn at 12:35 PM on June 21, 2006


That aside, what about the underlying premise of the article (and the thread) itself? Is it at all interesting that no Republican with adultery in his background has ever sought the GOP nomination before, but now three might?

No, I think it's a trivial point to bring up considering how the definition of "family values" has changed over the years. 25 years ago Republicans were up in arms about welfare being given to single mothers (as they were the poster-child for the antithesis of family values). Now the antithesis is gay marriage and abortions.

Think practically here. Why would Republicans alienate themselves by denouncing divorce (on a scale that they use with gay marriage) when over 50% of marriages end in divorce? Divorce isn't antithetical to family; it's simply a different extension. 25 years ago that wasn't the case. Divorce, 25 years ago, was indeed antithetical.

The message of "family values" has evolved over time, as has the Democratic vision for gays in society. The parties change, and I think bringing up petty subjects like divorce undermine the Democratic agenda, especially since Democrats get divorced, too.

It's this kind of stupid politiking that gets Dems in trouble, IMHO. They fail to come up with a cogent strategy and instead present a varied and disparate message to fit the times, which hurts them in the long run. What they need is a "New Deal"; a comprehensive strategy that they can all agree with that remains consistent. But that hasn't happened. "Big Tent" only works when your opposition's strategy is completely futile, which the Republicans have proven is not.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:53 PM on June 21, 2006


Is it at all interesting that no Republican with adultery in his background has ever sought the GOP nomination before, but now three might?
posted by evening


[cough]Saint Raygun doesn't count then?
posted by nofundy at 1:00 PM on June 21, 2006


The message of "family values" has evolved over time, as has the Democratic vision for gays in society.

So they used to be in favor of gay rights? It's sure as hell not a plank in the platform now.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:06 PM on June 21, 2006


I think it's a trivial point to bring up considering how the definition of "family values" has changed over the years.

Yes, but the article makes clear that for the far-right base, which is active in earlier caucuses/primaries, that definition hasn't changed. From the article:
...Carrie Gordon Earll, a spokesperson for Dobson's Focus on the Family, recently made it clear that the adultery issue hasn't lost any of its toxicity among evangelicals. "If you have a politician, an elected official, and they can't be trusted in their own marriage, how can I trust them with the budget? How can I trust them with national security?"
To the GOP base, adultery isn't "trivia," it's betrayal. That hasn't changed at all; if anything, after the late-'90s, it's taken more seriously than ever.

I think bringing up petty subjects like divorce undermine the Democratic agenda, especially since Democrats get divorced, too.

Fine, except Democrats aren't bringing up divorce. They're not even brining up infidelity. The article is about whether adultery is going to matter in '08 in light of three top GOP candidates who've cheated. It seems some of your criticism of the article has nothing to do with the article.
posted by evening at 2:03 PM on June 21, 2006


No one says "I like Bush because he's nice" or "That Kerry guy doesn't seem very nice, I don't think I could vote for him."

They don't? That was the A-number-one thing I heard people say about Bush back when he was popular. He seemed like the guy you'd have a beer with or whatever. Kerry came off as tremendously unlikable.

I'm afraid niceness (well, the perception of it on camera) is necessary regardless of gender.
posted by absalom at 3:03 PM on June 21, 2006


Bt you're talking about likeableness in those men, not niceness. And I agree that likeableness comes up re: male canidates. But likeableness and niceness aren't nearly as strongly corelated when evaluating men as when evaluating women.
posted by raedyn at 3:20 PM on June 21, 2006


To the GOP base, adultery isn't "trivia," it's betrayal. That hasn't changed at all; if anything, after the late-'90s, it's taken more seriously than ever.

So, how about all this stuff then?
In any case…you name it, and the GOP’s got it. Pedophiles, more pedophiles, lots and lots of pedophiles, wife-rapers, mule-fuckers, falafel-creeps, closet cases, gay hookers, Hookergate, dirty novelists—they’ve got it all. ... (with links for all of these)
posted by amberglow at 3:28 PM on June 21, 2006


So, how about all this stuff then?

No doubt. And if any of these clowns ran for president, I'm fairly sure the GOP base would withhold support.
posted by evening at 5:11 PM on June 21, 2006


excellent stuff on this from digby guesting at firedoglake: ...But this could be a successful wedge issue that forces the religious right to either cop to their true permissiveness on an issue they use as a cudgel to beat liberals over the head, namely the sanctity of marriage. Or it will expose them as the rigid, unrealistic tight-asses they really are, and perhaps brand the GOP further as the party of … unrealistic tight-asses. It’s worth thinking about a little bit.
Benen’s article also mentions that if the press decides to run its usual double standard that bloggers are prepared to take up the slack. I think I can speak for everyone here tonight when I say, "damn right." I have never been as appalled in my life as when the Republicans and the DC media establishment freakshow decidedduring the lewinsky scandal to hold a national hen party on what constituted a proper marriage. It was the most unctuous, hypocritical, sanctimonious display of phony piety I have ever had the misfortune to witness. These high powered celebrities all wringing their delicate hands over sexual indiscretions as if all of them hadn’t been witness to or participants in countless examples of marital foibles and error. Yet, they all pretended to be pure as novitiates, delicate and easily startled by the notion that marriage, particularly long term modern marriage, is a little bit more complicated than a romance novel plot line.
Indeed, if I didn’t know better, I would have assumed that the Republican party, the religious right and the DC press corps were conspiring to destroy the institution of marriage within their lifetimes. Gay people wanting to participate isn’t the problem; they are buying into the great old creaky thing, strengthening it for all. What threatens it is this idea that strangers can intrude on this most deep, complex and intimate of relationships and shine a harsh spotlight on all the things we do to keep it going over years of compromise, adjustment, excitmement, boredom and love — and then cast judgment on our choices. If you want to destroy marriage, force everyone to submit to James Dobson, Chris Matthews and Cokie Roberts sitting at the end of their beds running a scorecard on whether their union is acceptable. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2006


While liberal bloggers and protesters hate Hillary Clinton, liberal voters and donors love her. In the battle of bloggers and protesters vs. voters and donors, guess who wins? Without Gore in the race, her odds are better than those of any Governor or Senator ever to seek the nomination.

Still, the conservative blogerati is no better. McCain and Giuliani are constantly denounced as anethema to Republican voters, who constantly tell pollsters that they love McCain unconditionally and are damn tolerant of Giuliani's social liberalism (other than regarding criminals).

Of course, my dream race would be the clash of idea men: Gingrich vs. Feingold. I bet by the end of the race they'd come out with a common platform on 6 of the 10 biggest issues and the race, and stage a series of a dozen debates on the four issues left. Somehow I don't see that happening.
posted by MattD at 8:48 PM on June 21, 2006


Giuliani's social liberalism

as a liberal, i have much in common with giuliani. for instance, i too would like to move my mistress into gracie mansion while my (soon to be ex-) wife still lives there.
posted by Hat Maui at 9:21 PM on June 21, 2006


Giuliani's social liberalism

Is that "liberalism", as in a liberal application of bullets?
posted by Mr. Six at 6:08 AM on June 22, 2006






I don't think that you have to be pro-gay "marriage" to be socially liberal. Ever read Michael Warner's "The Trouble With Normal", amberglow? It's been discussed here several times and its author is a well known gay man/professor who opposes gay "marriage" on grounds that the entire premise of marriage is antithetical to social liberalism. It's a pretty easy, and fascinating, read. Give it a try.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:36 AM on June 22, 2006


does-not-hate-teh-fags equals liberal

comedy gold
posted by matteo at 8:23 AM on June 22, 2006


I don't think that you have to be pro-gay "marriage" to be socially liberal.

I think that to be socially liberal means that you would never speak or legislate against other people's social arrangements, as long as they are consensual and non-violent. Whether you buy into marriage as an institution or not is besides the point--no social liberal would either force anyone to marry or forbid them from marrying, given the above named conditions of the relationship.

Talking about marriage and its value in the abstract without discussing the very real rights and benefits it bestows on some but not others is not something a social liberal does--they're not separatable in the real world. Social liberals tend to care about other people and their rights or lack thereof and the hurts caused much much more than whether the institutions that bestow those rights are valid or not. It's like bringing up the Electoral College when talking about real voting violations and crimes.
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on June 22, 2006


(and i've read the Trouble with Normal--Warner wrote that at a time when there wasn't real, existing legislation in most states and nationwide condemning us to forever be excluded from those rights and benefits.--I'd like to know what he says nowadays)
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on June 22, 2006


(knowing his older views tho--that he's against marriage in its entirety--he'd probably still be against giving us the same rights and benefits--it's sad, really)
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on June 22, 2006


I think that to be socially liberal means that you would never speak or legislate against other people's social arrangements, as long as they are consensual and non-violent. Whether you buy into marriage as an institution or not is besides the point

Since you read the book you know that marriage is a legislated social arrangement, which is why he's opposed to it. In addition, marriage has a religious connotation that cannot be avoided. Marriage is just as much a religious union as it is an economic or political one.

If you truly believe that socially liberal means not to legislate against people's social arrangements, you'd be opposed to marriage because it gives benefits to those who choose that union and legislates against those who choose to stay un-married (for whatever reason).

He actually goes on for quite a while about why he feels that the new gay rights movement is so antithetical to the original values held by the original movement from the late 60s and early 70s. Among the reasons are that they've decided to embrace heterosexual norms as their own to try to "fit in", which disgusts him since free, open love was among the central tenets. In addition, they've made it a battle to find the "gay gene", as if that would make their love scientific, when really, it marginalizes their cause.

Just something to think about, I guess.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:18 PM on June 22, 2006


I wouldn't be opposed to marriage, because it bestows desperately needed legal rights and protections to families--they wouldn't have them otherwise. I'd be in a position of hurting millions of families and children if i was opposed to marriage--not something a social liberal would ever do.

It's not about deciding to embrace heterosexual norms---it's about what we deserve as citizens--as equal citizens. We change marriage and all structures as we participate in them--just like we changed the rules in corporations and in other places--it's no longer acceptable to make fag jokes in most offices--because of us. He might see that as some sort of embrace of hierarchical structure, but most of us live in the greater world and have to deal with the existing structures--we change them as we participate--it's simple. We'll change marriage too, like we change everything. There never really was any revolution--for straights or gays. It's just been steady progress towards including us--he doesn't like that because he doesn't value greater society or its goal and rules. Most of us know we have power working within and with those structures--he can call it an embrace if he likes--we know it's not.
posted by amberglow at 7:04 PM on June 22, 2006


And what he sees as trying to "fit in" is the recognition of reallife concerns--we're in already--and we have to start from there. There are no communes or ghettos for us, and most of us will be damned if we are forced into ones of our own devising. "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" is no embrace of anything, and not at all about us fitting in--it's about them having to deal with us since we're there already.
posted by amberglow at 7:07 PM on June 22, 2006


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