This tells us something that we already know, sociologically and culturally, about the mindset of (some) Americans regarding the behavior of the honorable member representing New York’s 9th District. However, it does so with an eloquence seldom seen on the issue:
America’s sex scandals (not the behavior, the “scandals”) are dangerous because they’re always about an interest in non-authorized sex. And because the lesson we’re always told they teach is that “too much” interest in sex, or “too little control” over our sexual impulses, or “too unusual” sexual desires are dangerous. And that the other kind of sexuality—one loaded down with guilt, shame, terror, and frigidity—is merely inconvenient, rather than a menace to society.
h/t Andrew Engelson of Only OK.
I’m not going to elaborate on the irrelevance of his behavior beyond the effect on his relationship with his wife and family in moral or governance terms. However, he has become a minor political liability for my preferred party. Nate Silver has a clever response. New York will lose two districts in the reapportionment for 2012. NY-9 has progressively become less Democratic, from 67% voting for Gore in 2000 to 55% for Obama (down one point from Kerry’s 56% haul in 2004). As it would seem New York is set to lose one Republican and one Democratic district, just redistrict the extant 9th away.
It could be worse for the moral fascists. It could be this guy. It’s the same as George W Bush, only with underage sex as well. [UPDATE: as commenter Kate points out below, it is quite clearly not “‘moral fascism’ if people are concerned over the accusation that he payed for sex with a minor?” I greatly appreciate the observation.]