Sex and Politics
One of the more interesting statistics in the 2008 presidential campaign comes from the marital statuses of the candidates.
On the Democratic side, front-runners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson are all still on their first marriages, rocky though at least one of them has been. Chris Dodd is on his second, having been divorced from his first wife. Joseph Biden lost his first wife and their infant daughter to a car accident in 1966 that also seriously injured their two sons, but married again eleven years later and is still married to his second wife after thirty years. Only one marriage is mentioned for Mike Gravel, though I think he may have been married before (if anyone knows for sure, let me know; it's been surprisingly difficult to find out much about his personal life online); he was alleged to have been involved in the Elizabeth Ray scandal, but has denied it. Dennis Kucinich is on his third marriage, having been divorced twice; he is now married to a woman three decades his junior.
On the Republican side, only Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney are still on their first wives, and none of these gentlemen are among the front-runners. (Romney's the Steve Forbes of 2008. Lots of money, no chance.) Former front-runner John McCain married his second wife (18 years his junior) almost immediately after divorcing his first one in 1980. Current front-runner Rudy Giuliani had his first marriage to Regina Peruggi annulled so he could wed local New York TV personality Donna Hanover, who assisted his rise to power; that marriage did not last, and he is now on his third marriage, this time with Judith Nathan; the wives keep getting younger in five-year increments. Up-and-comer Fred Thompson divorced his first wife and has two small children by his second wife, who is a quarter-century his junior. As for Newt Gingrich, he's on his third wife, with whom he cheated on his second (with whom he cheated on his first, Jackie — who he divorced when she was still groggy from major cancer surgery). Side note about Newt: His third wife (Callista Bisek) is Catholic, and to please her he tried to get his second marriage officially annuled in the Catholic church — even though neither he nor his second wife were or are Catholic. (Newt's wives, like Rudy's, keep getting younger in finest trophy-spouse fashion: he's a good 23 years older than his current wife.)
Why am I telling you all this? To help explain why I seriously doubt, despite the expressed fears of some folks, that the Palfrey scandal will hit Democrats as hard as Republicans. As near as I can suss, the nature of this twisted beast dictates that this is going to be a GOP thang. Follow me past the jump and hear me out.
RE: possible "Democrat" busts (besides FAUX Dem Toesucker Dick Morris) — I'm not overly worried. Here's why:
1) The Bushies have done far too good a job of removing Democrats (or sane people in general) from top government posts. Any Democratic civil servants on the list will probably be former Clinton folk who have long since left DC: Old news, in other words.
2) The K Street Project did far too good a job of removing Democratic lobbyists from the feeding trough. Any Dem lobbyists will be former ones from the Clinton era who have long since left DC. (See above.)
3) Democrats don't have the sugar daddies that Republicans had and still have to an extent, despite the dismantling of the K Street Project. They can't afford $275/hour (90 minute minimum) sex games, at least not on a regular basis. (Especially when real DC massage therapists only cost around $85 an hour.)
4) Larry Flynt, Hero of the Republic — who presided over the downfalls of Bob Livingston and Bob Barr — himself said that Republicans, particularly the publicly-pious ones, were horny and kinky bastards. As a corollary, any Democrats likely to be caught in this scandal are probably the sort of sanctimonious triangulating DLC/Blue Dog/Corporate-Money-Saturated twits who we are better off without. (Think Gary Condit.) Better that they be taken out now and save us the expense of running primary candidates against them.
5) Palfrey's company specialized in kinky sex games. Democrats tend to prefer straight sex (or rather, safe, sane and consensual sex — thanks, Peterr!) and are more concerned with it being safe sex, as even a guest on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show stated last year (though she tries to put a negative spin on this caringness).
6) If any prominent Democrats were on the list, we'd have heard about them by now. But the abject horror that's palpable in the GOP/Media High-Broderesque "this is OUR town" crowd — a horror which shows itself in the extreme reluctance of the GOP-worshiping Fred Hiatt's WaPo to touch the story — indicates to me that this is a purely Republican affair (pardon the pun). And so far, the revelations seem to bear me out. Aside from Toesucker Dick (whose final extirpation from the political scene is devoutly desired), it's all been Republicans: Randy Tobias, Harlan Ullman, and now on deck, per ABC's The Blotter, "a Bush administration economist, the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials."
7) ABC's Ross felt the apparent need to appease the screaming righties, so he counterbalanced his and Justin Rood's Palfrey scoop with an utterly bogus www.PulledOutHisAss.com "Democrats are as corrupt as Republicans!" non-story. I don't think he would have done this if the Palfrey story was going to hurt Democrats and Republicans anywhere near equally. (I suspect that ABC did a similar game with "The Path to 9/11" last year: They apparently ran that piece of garbage as pre-emptive "balance" for the Mark Foley story, which was about to explode like a bomb all over the GOP a bare month before the 2006 elections. The righties still raised up a stink.)
The upshot of all this: Relax and enjoy. The next few weeks are going to be a blast.