A nation of hairy palms

Sen. Sam Brownback, America’s prude-in-chief, just held hearings so his handpicked witnesses could decry the dangers of porn.

“This is not just a simple, benign form of expression, but rather a potentially addictive substance,” explained one of the subcommittee’s panelists, Jill Manning, a sociologist from Brigham Young University.

Not a party school, that.

Pornography, she continued, had been shown to increase the risk of divorce, decrease marital intimacy and cause misunderstandings about the prevalence of less common sex practices like group sex, bestiality and sadomasochistic activity. Men are not the only victims. Women, she said, make up about 30 percent of the audience for online pornography.

Yes, first playboy and before you know it you’re hooked on bestiality. This is the Reefer Madness of our age. But here’s the worst of it, another voice from Utah:

Sen. Orrin Hatch attended a portion of the hearing to voice his support for a clampdown on pornography. He compared explicit sexual material to high-fat food and secondhand smoke, saying this was a “problem of harm, not an issue of taste.” “America is more sex-ridden than any country in world history,” said Utah’s senior senator, quoting a 25-year-old study.

Why don’t we just tax sex? That’d solve everything: No more budget deficit. No more sex for conservative prudes. Thus no more conservative prudes. Thus no more silly crap like this.