We all have events and deeds in our lives that we’re ashamed of. Many committed youthful indiscretions are chalked up to “he’s being a kid” or “she just needs to grow up a little” or (my least favorite) “boys will be boys”.
Most of us learn from those events and deeds and grow up a bit and don’t repeat them.
However, it would seem that many politicians, already full of hubris (or because of hubris), just don’t absorb those lessons well.
- California governor Arnold Schwarzeneger not only had a years-long affair with his children’s nanny, but actually fathered a child by her and kept her in his employment — and all of this before he ever ran for governor! He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Schwarzenegger and his wife are now in divorce proceedings.)
- U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner made a habit of sending unsolicited pictures of his genitalia to women. He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Weiner resigned his seat in the House.)
- Former House Speaker Newton Gingrich, now running for the highest office of the most powerful country on Earth, cheated on his (sick with cancer) first wife, divorced her, married his paramour, and then cheated on her, divorced her, and married his new paramour. (Gingrich continues to run for President.)
- Married businessman Herman Cain, also running for the highest office of the most powerful country on Earth, not only had four different women file complaints about his unwanted sexual advances (and no one knows how many more that didn’t file), but continued to have a years-long affair with a woman that he “thought was a friend”. He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Cain is reportedly “reconsidering” his campaign.)
All of these politicians (and many, many others) knew what they had done, knew that they were pursuing a career where (at least nominally) moral fiber is looked upon as a desirable attribute, and yet continued to flash, adulter, and procreate outside societal bounds.
Did they really think they’d get away with it? Did they really think people were that blind and stupid? Did Michele Bachmann really think she could simultaneously 1) claim that “big government” was giving away too much money, and 2) accept annual 5-figure farm subsidy payments for a farm that produces nothing, and 3) deny that she’s getting farm subsidies despite tax returns that give proof to the contrary?