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Welcome, Eliot Spitzer, to the Political Sex-Scandal Hall of Fame

I don't understand what's wrong with Eliot Spitzer.

According to The New York Times, in the last few months of 2007, Spitzer may have spent between $5,000 and $40,000 a month on whores. This is so outrageous, I can't even believe it--especially when you can get a perfectly good blowjob right here in Tucson off of Miracle Mile for around $20. What's wrong with politicians, anyway? Should anyone this dumb be a governor of anything?

Maybe the Republicans are right. Maybe Democrats are fiscally irresponsible.

The following is a list, in no particular order, of my favorite sex scandals involving politicians. There are, of course, many other cool sex scandals, but they mostly involve people in the entertainment industry, so they're not as much fun. We expect actors and artists to behave badly. Politicians, who are incessantly yammering on about moral values, truth, justice and the American way, are much better sport. Hypocrisy is to trite excess, what caviar is to canned hash: One is delicious all the time, while the other tastes good only when you're drunk.

1. Larry Craig. Busted in an airport bathroom stall for soliciting sex from an undercover cop. Yes, this one's old hat, but it still chokes me up, so to speak. Not because of the act itself, but because of the dangerous self-loathing involved in the way people like Craig think. This guy is raving anti-gay, and voted against every gay-rights initiative that ever crossed his desk, including the one expanding "hate crimes" to include sexual orientation. People like Hitler come from this kind of thinking. I hate myself so much that I'm gonna take everybody else down with me.

2. Wilbur Mills. He was a U.S. congressman from 1939 to 1977 and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for nearly 20 years. Outside of Arkansas, he's remembered primarily for his dalliances with an Argentinean stripper called Fanne Foxe. In 1974, he got drunk and joined Ms. Foxe onstage at a strip club. He later quit Congress and joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Whether he ever joined Strippers Anonymous is unclear.

3. Jon Clifton Hinson. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1978, Hinson was arrested for exposing himself to an undercover policeman at the Iwo Jima Memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery. It's not the act itself here that's impressive--parading around in a trench coat, and nothing else, is a great western tradition--but the location in which he chose to do it. You expect this kind of thing in the parking lot at Target, at street fairs and during church picnics, but the Arlington National Cemetery?! I'm sorry, and I'm only a skosh more patriotic than my dog, but that's just wrong.

4. Mark Foley. In September 2006, Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, was busted for sending sexually explicit instant messages to underage former congressional pages. Foley e-mailed one kid, inviting him to stay at his house in exchange for oral sex. He also asked the kid for a photo of his erect penis. Foley eventually resigned, and someone else took over. It's not clear whether he ever got the picture.

5. "Buz" Lukens. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Buz--whose real name is Donald--in 1989 was busted on tape openly discussing sexual relations he'd had with Rosie, a 16-year-old African-American girl. Further discussions made it clear that he'd probably been having sex with her since she was 13. Jerry Lee Lewis has got nothing on Buz. Except, perhaps, a marriage license.

6. Bob Packwood. I include this one only because his name is so funny. Beavis and Butt-head could have sat on the couch for hours with this one. In 1995, the Big Woody was forced to resign from the U.S. Senate after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault against 10 women came to light. Not only did Packwood almost certainly do all of this shit, but he wrote it down in a diary, 5,000 pages of which he was forced to turn over to the Senate Ethics Committee. When they subpoenaed an additional 3,200 pages, Packwood balked, eventually turning over an edited version.

We're talking about an 8,200 page diary. Tolstoy's War and Peace, the longest book I've ever thought about reading, is only 1,456 pages! Now, I'm sure Sen. Packwood's diary included details of his life other than making multiple women miserable--trips to the dry cleaner, urologist, etc.--but what kind of nut job thinks his life is important enough to warrant 8,200 pages?

I mean, besides a pathological narcissist.

So, Eliot, you're in fine company. I only hope all of that dough you spent on hookers came out of your piggy bank and not out of the public trust. And as I sit here contemplating these weighty issues, like everybody else, there's only one thought blazing through my head: What on earth can a hooker do to a guy that's worth $40,000 a month?

The mind boggles.

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