Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Do they think they have an Invisibility Cloak?

    Every blogger in America is commenting these days of New York's Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). He's the guy who got his jollies by sending out photos of his excited underwear to girls on his Twitter feed.
    You can bet if this guy was about to get bumped from his flight or hotel room he would not hesitate to puff up and give some variation of the "Do you know who I am?" routine. So how is it that he thought he could send out all sorts of revealing photos of himself and have no one notice?
    Earlier this year, Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) resigned after he emailed a shirtless photo of himself to someone he contacted on Craig's List. He was the victim of a "sting" by someone hoping to catch government officials, but how did he think no one in Washington would recognize him!
    Are these Congressmen given a Cloak of Invisibility, sort of like Harry Potter has, when they join Congress? Is the problem that their magical cloak suddenly fails due to some directive from the Ministry of Magic?
    I can understand run-of-the-mill affairs. But how is it that congressmen think they can have affairs with their pages and not get caught?
    And then there is the extreme stuff, like sending out half-naked photos. Or trying to have sex with strangers in bathroom stalls. How could Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) not think that having sex with strangers in a Minneapolis toilet stall isn't just a bad idea? What makes a congressman want to do this, and what makes him think he eventually isn't going to happen upon a policeman?
    Remember Jon Hinson, the Mississippi congressman from the Fourth District. During his 1980 re-election campaign, he admitted that while a Congressional staffer he had been arrested for committing an obscene act at the Iwo Jima Memorial in 1976 and that he had been one of four survivors in a deadly theater fire that claimed nine lives in 1977. He said the whiskey made him do it and that he was a reformed man; he was re-elected with a plurality of the votes, on the theory that at least he was a Republican.
    Hinson celebrated his victory three months later by performing an act of oral sodomy on a black Library of Congress staff member in a House restroom. This led to felony sodomy charges which were later reduced to a misdemeanor. Did this man just think that nobody could see him, or did his Cloak of Invisibility suddenly fail? Thanks to Jon Hinson, I had to endure for about 10 years jibes from a staunch Democrat friend who never missed the opportunity to praise Republican efforts to bridge the racial divide and improve race relations.
    Personally, I'd probably vote for a gay conservative over a straight liberal any day. But bathroom sex and sending out photos to strangers is where I draw the line, Republican or Democrat.
    All of this makes me nostalgic for Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.), who was involved in the first Washington sex scandal that I can remember. I think I was in seventh grade.
    In October 1974, Mills' car was stopped because he was driving with no lights on. Out jumped the Argentine Firecracker, a stripper known as Fannie Foxe, who then went for a swim in the Tidal Basin. He won re-election with 60 percent of the vote nevertheless. A few weeks after the election he joined his sweetheart Foxe in Boston and went on stage at a burlesque club to make a couple of jokes and exchange a kiss. Afterwards he held a press conference in her dressing room. That was the end of Wilbur Mills, who resigned his Ways and Means chairmanship, joined Alcoholics Anonymous and did not seek re-election.
    I'm not sure we would care about Mills' antics today -- so long as he didn't share all the graphic details on his Twitter feed.

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