Desexing politics

Desexing politics

: I long for the day — in this universe or the next — when sex is not an issue in politics, when your sex life is your personal life and your personal life is personal and we judge you in office the way we should: on the quality of your work.

If sex were not an issue, then Jim McGreevey could not be blackmailed over being gay. He could not be blackmailed over having an affair. He could be blackmailed for using state money to give a job to a lover but that’s quite another matter.

If sex were not an issue, then Jim McGreevey could not hide his real sin against the people behind the gay-rights banner. As David Weinberger said this morning:

You know what sucks about James McGreevey resigning as governor? Him blaming it on being a gay adulterer. Since when do adulterers have to resign? Since when do gay men who come out of the closet have to resign? No, obviously he’s resigning because there’s some real dirt that’s going to come to light, rumored to be about sexual harrassment. Resigning because he’s gay would be like Madeline Albright resigning because she discovered that she’s a Jew. Sheesh! (Note: I am aware that the analogy is not perfect.)

Sex should not be an issue in politics but it is on the straight side because we as a nation are still a bit puritanical and we’re certainly gossips, and it is on the gay side because we have not reached the water level we need to on civil rights. And it’s not as if one can editorialize or legislate such opinions away: If you don’t want to like or vote for someone because they have affairs or are gay or get BJs from interns or take their wives to sex clubs, that’s your privilege.

But let’s get this straight and stop acting shocked: Politicians are the most human of humans. They are full of foibles. No news there. They have libidos and they use them. So what? They have affairs. I don’t care. Lots of them are gay and we don’t know it. That’s their business.

McGreevey, it’s being alleged, did something terribly wrong and violated the public trust. That I care about. McGreevey was also a bad governor and messed up on taxation and the police and security and development and more. That’s what matters.