Is a marital affair worse for Republican politicians?

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I’m live blogging Midmorning‘s first hour on Thursday, a discussion about politicians and their affairs. Over our neighboring cubicles on Wednesday, I gave Kerri Miller my view: marriage is about as serious as a commitment as there is, and if you’re willing to sell it out, the chances are pretty good you’d think nothing of taking a lesser route on the road of ethics. It’s more a question of character than a matter of hypocrisy.

But is it a more egregious violation if it’s a Republican who walks the Appalachian Trail?

“This is a very disturbing trend that some of their leaders can’t abide by some of the values they as a party used to esteem, or should esteem,” David Woodard, a Republican consultant and political science professor at South Carolina’s Clemson University told the Los Angeles Times last week.

“As other Republicans come up for consideration, this is certainly one of the first things they’ll have to address,” Woodard said. “Voters will be looking at their private lives much more than before.”

Fine. But does that mean a Democrat who admits to an affair gets a pass?

“The American public is often forgiving of personal mistakes,” Julian Zelizer, a political science professor at Princeton University, wrote in the New York Times. “There have been many instances when voters re-elect politicians who have suffered through damaging events. But voters don’t like it when a politician does something that directly contradicts the core arguments that they or their party have been making in the public arena.”

Both Zilizer and Woodard are the guests during the hour (starting at 9:06 a.m.), and I’d like to have a corresponding discussion here to share during the hour. So please share your thoughts below.

LIVE BLOGGING

9:02 a.m. – Let’s start by trying to separate the political from the moral. Take this poll.


Which is worse when you view a politician’s character?(opinion)

9:04 a.m. – Some of the comments are getting mailed in. Just got this one:


“We are born with two innate urges. One is to eat, the other is to reproduce. There should be no surprise that infidelity is part of the human condition.”

9:07 a.m. - Here’s Kerri’s intro she read just now:


There are new calls this morning for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to resign–A dozen Republican state senators have asked Sanford to step down…and a handful of county GOP chairs are calling for him to quit. One of the largest newspapers in the state has also editorialized that Sanford should tender his resignation.

The chorus for the governor to leave office grew louder this week….after he disclosed more details about his extra-marital affair. In a lengthy interview with the Associated Press… Sanford said he was no longer in love with his wife…that his Argentinian mistress was his “soul mate”…and that he’d had other encounters with women during trips with friends. At one point he told the journalists: “I will be able to die knowing that I had met my soul mate.”

Attorney General Henry McMaster has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to review all of Sanford’s travel records to determine whether he broke state laws.

So far, Sanford has said he will fulfill the remaining 18 months of his term…but there are diverging opinions on whether he can still be effective…. There are also differing perspectives on whether marital fidelity tells us anything about the kind of leader someone can be?

And that’s where you, our audience, comes in this morning.

9:09 a.m. – We’re starting with Woodard. “I feel like I’m watching a marital autopsy,” he says. We’re all still trying to figure out why Sanford felt the need to make matters worse by saying he doesn’t love his wife anymore, has found his soulmate and still hopes to reconcile.

9:10 a.m. Do Men See Mark Sanford in the Mirror?” the Los Angeles Times asks this morning.


Call me crazy, but amid all this finger-wagging, am I detecting just a little bit of — gasp — empathy? Is there something about Sanford’s puppyish comportment, not to mention the fact that, unlike many adulterous politicos, he seems to be truly in love with his mistress (or at least truly convinced that he is) that’s making him less a pariah and more a symbol of the male midlife crisis? For all his duplicity and entitlement, are some Americans — particularly men — feeling as much pity as outrage? Consider this small sample:

You can read the rest for yourself but it seems to me the suggestion is most men are doing this. Quite a generalization. Does Mark Sanford represent you, gentlemen?

9:13 a.m. – “There’s a few people on the Democratic side enjoying this,” Woodard says.

9:14 a.m. – Can you be an effective leader after having admitted to an affair? “Yeah, I think you can,” Julian Zelizer says. He uses the fact Wilbur Mills got re-elected. But lots of crooked politicians have been re-elected. Does that make them good leaders, or just good crooks?

9:18 a.m. – Chuck (caller): “He seems to be extremely selfish and putting himself in front of everything else and these aren’t the times for that.” Zelizer says bad economic times can make people angrier. The condition of the Republican Party could make people shakier about “having someone like this in the spotlight.” On the other hand, the Great Depression involved FDR having some behavior issues, and yet is considered one of the greatest presidents.

9:21 a.m. – Katherine (callers) says the issue isn’t personal transgressions but incompetence to govern.

9:23 a.m. - “He’s telling us much more than any of us need to know,” Zelizer says. “People don’t understand why he can’t stop himself.” Dave Woodard reacts to my comment so the air just now that 100% of the people taking the News Cut poll says the crime here is “being a hypocrite.” “I think that’s accurate,” he said.

9:25 a.m. – Thelma of Minneapolis writes:

“It matters very much when it takes a hypocritical stance. Didn’t Gov Sanford publicly reprehended Pres Clintion for his indiscretions? ”

Why, yes, that’s true. And funny you should mention that:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Clinton Curse
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Jeff Goldblum

9:28 a.m. – Woodard says Sanford makes it hard to attract candidates to run for office. He says since Watergate, we’re telling people more than they want to know. It’s an interesting comment because very little about Watergate coverage had anything to do with personal lives.

9:30 a.m. – A revelation that everyone knows but few acknowledge. Woodard says bill and proposals such as Defense of Marriage are designed more to increase voter turnout than actually “defend marriage.”

9:35 a.m. – We’re back after the break. Kerri and I have been talking about what great guests Woodard and Zelizer are.

9:36 a.m. - Caller says it’s not about hypocrisy etc. It’s about whether or not “you’re lying to me. If you’re lying to me or the voters, you’re out, bucko, because lying means I can’t trust you about anything else.” Kerri asks if he holds his politicians to 100% truthfulness. He says a broken promise well explained isn’t lying. But “if you ask where are you and I lie about that, that’s deceit. That’s just bald-faced lying.”

9:38 a.m. - Responding to that, Dave Woodard said, “I did not have sex with that woman.” He says you can lie and get away with it in office. But, for the record, Clinton never came up for a vote after lying to the American people.

9:40 a.m. – The Digitel in Charleston, SC:


The point here is, yes, flay Sanford for his marital indiscretions, but we’ve got to recognize the real problem is how South Carolina has been starved in education — and that’s the real root of our job problems.

9:41 a.m. – Zelizer: “We don’t elect angels, we elect politicians. Ideally we’d love a government full of truth-tellers but I’m not sure we’re ever going to have that and I think most voters know that.”

9:43 a.m. – Talk shifts a bit to Sanford’s presidential aspirations. “Mitt Romney is smiling,” Woodard says. “If after a big-spending administration like the Obama administration and you want to cut taxes, I think Gov. Sanford could’ve stood very tall. But it’s a moot point now.”

What about Tim Pawlenty?

“There’s a lack of a clear farm team of leaders not only to run for president, but to define what the party is all about. In 2004, people said the Democrats were done. Parties can remake themselves very quickly. It’s too early and the loss of Sanford isn’t a huge detriment…. it’s not a sign the party can’t rebound. These scandals happen. We hear that these are the people who are natural leaders, but nobody had ever heard of them until then. Pawlenty and Romney are two of the leaders still standing. Romney is more formidable.”

9:47 a.m. - I thinking maybe I should add a poll question: Is it wrong to have an affair?

9:49 a.m. “I factor in hypocrisy, don’t we expect it?” Kerri asks. “Yeah, but we don’t like to see it in our face,” Zelizer says.

9:51 a.m. – “People will give politicians give and take if they make a position and they can’t take it later on because of the circumstances. What they can’t seem to accept is when they take an oath or a vow,” says Woodard. “When they violate those kind of things (marriage vows), they violate something in a serious situation and they’re on record as being hypocrites and that’s why hypocrisy is winning.” (He’s referring to the poll posted above)

9:52 a.m. - Time to turn this hypocrisy thing around. Suppose a governor spends two terms telling you taxes are wrong. Is he a hypocrite if he raises taxes? Would we hold that against a governor?

9:54 a.m. – Caller’s observation: “If the governor were a woman, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“The images of politics is smoking, drinking, and fooling around,” Zelizer says. “It’s hard to see a woman candidate surviving thise.”

It’s not much of an issue in South Carolina, Woodard notes, because the state has the lowest number of elected female politicians.

9:57 a.m. – Gail Collins in the New York Times today


Talking about money was familiar ground for South Carolina conservatives, and for a while it looked as if they might settle on a rule that sex is irrelevant unless it leads to a tax increase.

This was a great hour. I hope you continue the discussion down below in the comments section!

  • Willie

    If you stake a claim for the moral high ground there’s a need for credibility. Republicans have made themselves the “moral” party, so if one of them slips off the path; the results can have more of an impact.

    Frankly, however, no one wins when it happens to anyone in either party.

  • kennedy

    Politicians compromise. It is part of negotiating, which is what we elect them do do on our behalf. Negotiating is the process/art of giving up something of value to obtain something of value. Good negotiators get more value than they give away.

    With “family values” being central to the Republican platform, giving up on those values seems to be a worse compromise unless the benefits are also greater.

  • Bob Collins

    Kerri asked me this morning if I can remember any politicians who admitted to an affair near the beginning of his career? I couldn’t. Only David Patterson on his first day as NY gov, but that’s not what she meant.

    Anybody?

  • bill

    I find the whole discussion a bit confusing. Republicans are for family values and Democrats are not? Was Clinton sex acts with a woman 20 years younger not a problem and Sanford’s is only because he claimed to be for the higher moral ground?

    Remembering a 1930s film “Rain” with Joan Crawford and Walter Houston, why do we delight in folks seeking to live virtuous lives, failing? Do Democrats not also seek to be sober, faithful family people.

  • Bob Collins

    The Republicans generally make social issues part of their platform. Democrats tend not to do that. It’s not necessarily who is more moral than the other; it’s that Republicans tend to make morality a cornerstone of their appeal to voters.

  • John

    I think moral personal behavior is important for either party. What I find frustrating about Republican emphasis on personal morality is that it often seems to be cover for “unloving attitudes”. For example, anti-abortion views tend to dismiss as irrelevant the real pain and difficult choices required of young pregnant couples; “pro-family” views tend to dismiss the real pain of growing up gay and trying to finding honest ways to avoid loneliness.

    So, when a republican politician is caught in an indiscretion, it seems to be confirmation that their high moral ground is a sham.

  • David

    I doubt that anyone really comes out good after a political affair. If affairs are worse for the GOP, I’d expect to see more sympathy for John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, and Gary Hart than I do Mark Sanford or Larry Craig. The biggest difference, at least in my opinion, is that Craig and Sanford’s excuses are for more tabloid-friendly and fodder for late-night talk shows, while Edwards is just sickening.

  • David

    I don’t think it is the affair itself, but the hypocrisy of trying to portray themselves as morally superior.

    Interesting how the Republicans only think that Democrats should resign when they get caught.

    Remember…while Bill Clinton was being impeached for having an affair, Newt Gingrich was having one too.

  • GregS

    The Republicans face every parent’s dilemma.

    “Don’t tell me I can’t do THAT; Grandma said when you were my age, you………..”

  • David

    “Interesting how the Republicans only think that Democrats should resign when they get caught.”

    A little research demonstrates otherwise. Roughly half of the GOP Senators in SC have asked Sanford to resign, and one can assume that number will grow. Dennis Hastert demanded Mark Foley’s resignation. The only Republican to openly encourage Larry Craig to fight his guilty plea was Arlen Specter, now a Democrat. Both of them were told to resign by notable Republicans.

    And a little correction, Clinton was impeached for lying under oath, not for an affair. That old meme needs to die. If it was “just sex” as the old line was, the impeachment vote would have failed.

  • GregS

    Correct David,

    Here are the Articles of Impeachment against Bill Clinton.

    There is an interesting parallel between those articles and the Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon.

    Could the lesson be: if you mess around – own up to it?

  • Rod Loper

    Sanford ran for governor with ads proclaiming

    his family values and honesty. This is about hypocrisy.

  • Jennifer

    I agree with much of what’s already been written here. I think the scrutiny of Republican affairs in magnified because they have made protecting the sanctity of marriage one of their main campaign platforms. When you constantly tell people the the deterioration of marriage is ruining our nation, they are going to lash out at you when it’s revealed that you are in the midst of an affair.

    I think many people are just as, if not more, upset about the hypocrisy as they are about the infidelity.

  • David

    “Dennis Hastert demanded Mark Foley’s resignation. The only Republican to openly encourage Larry Craig to fight his guilty plea was Arlen Specter, now a Democrat. Both of them were told to resign by notable Republicans.”

    Interesting…both of these cases involve a Republican accused/caught with GAY sex.

  • Tom

    Men, powerful or not, have been having affairs forever. The real issue here is that he abandoned the state for several days while he was out gallivanting the old Argentinian way. Leaders have to put their people in front of themselves, or they cannot be effective.

  • David (jacc)

    To the contrary I think it’s actually good for the new Republican party for a politician to get caught up in an affair.

    It gives people something to fight about and if Gingrich proved anything, it’s that when the masses are distracted with divisive issues the rest of the political process can get away with just about anything.

  • Elizabeth

    These ‘leaders’ are LIARs that can’t keep commitments, have no personal integrity – which is not leadership material.

  • jp

    Hi Bob,

    It’s @jprennquist from twitter land here. On Sunday you wondered aloud about how Michael Jackson might end up in heaven and I responded with some scripture that essentially all is forgiveable if we repent according to God’s enormous grace. So all can be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean there ISN”T a consequence for sin. I think people should respond with a measure of more grace and humility, too. Another thing to note is that there is no apparent repentance in this case. Publicly, on the contrary, he seems (to me) to be justifying his indiscretions as a “love story.”

    So politically he may never be forgiven for this, and maybe he does need to lose his position, I actually agree with you that if he was dishonest about this one major thing, he will be dishonest about other things, too. But as for the actual morality of it is between him and his God and his family. I wish them all very well, especially his wife and kids who are innocent in this scandal

  • Stephanie

    If a Republican politician admits to being gay (such as Paul Koering in the MN Senate) – does he receive a different lashing for failing to upload the moral values of the party? The same? Are they completely unrelated issues?

  • Andy

    I’m wary of politicians running on a family values platform. It often seems to be a manifestation of their own sexual repression.

  • Steve

    Aren’t voters to blame? We elect charming people we’d like to “have a beer with” and then are surprised when they use their charm selfishly.

  • kathryn

    I was the wife in a situation similar to this one, complete with four small children. I learned of my husband’s infidelity after about 10 years of marriage, and he promised to cease that behavior. It was a long process, but I chose to forgive him and move forward. As it turns out, he continued in that behavior, and, in fact, was lying to me not only about his sexual behaviors, but many others. When I discovered his repeated infidelities in the sexual arena, I also discovered his addictive over-spending, his treatment for STDs, his use of chemicals and alcohol, etc. All of this was from a man who was a leader in the church and community! What I learned from all of this is that a person who is capable of looking you straight in the eye and lying about sexual behaviors is also capable of lying about any number of other issues. This is a person who cannot be trusted with public leadership.

  • Winifred Newcomb

    Regardless of the man’s sexual activity, he is not demonstrating sound judgment and that is troublesome for whether a politician should stay in office.

  • Aaron

    It would be much more acceptable if he were a liberal. Republicans brag about family values so when they slip up in the moral character – they become hypocrites and then lose value with their message.

  • Jennifer

    Being a good husband and beeing a good leader are not the same thing.

    Having the affair alone would not make me question his judgement as a leader. What would bother me if I were a resident of his state would be him leaving the COUNTRY without knowledge of even his staff. What if there was an emergency while he was gone? This would make me question his judgement as a leader.

  • Tom

    The Republican Party have to abandon the whole social conservative set of values. Today’s debate has seemed to show that people don’t care about infidelity as long as the cheaters are honest and maybe even open about it. People care about money, and if one party can fix the economy better than the other, that party will be popular and successful.

  • Andrew

    I do not feel that a politician needs to be pure in his/her personal life to be an effective elected official. However, when that politician runs with a policy that invades the personal lives of his/her contituants, he or she should be held to the same policy standard they espouse.

  • Mark

    Despite what they say, voters clearly prefer hypocrisy. How many open and honest polygamists are in the Congress or a governorship? I can’t think of one.

  • Matt

    I think this topic misses the point — Sandford should be resigning or impeached primarily because he went AWOL from the state for about 5 days, and planned for 10, and let no one know where he was nor did he leave the lt. gov. in charge. Maybe infidelity and being awol are connected, but more important is the awol portion…

  • Tom from Robbinsdale

    I’m wondering about the influence of “The family” and the house on C Street in D.C.

    Both Ensign and Sanford live there. It’s owned by a secret Christian group.

    Is this a place that gives them permission to do as they choose?

  • Tom

    In general, I don’t believe that an individual’s private life (regardless of profession) should ear on their work, as long as their personal conduct does not compromise or interfere with their professional responsibilities.

    However, when a person puts themselves out there on the conservative moral high ground, with an emphasis on family values, and then compromises those values, they need to be held accountable for that.

    As well, don’t forget that Sanford voted to impeach President Clinton,, declaring Clintion’s behavior to be “reprehensible.”

    Whether President clinton’s sin was his sexual indiscretions or lying to congress, Sanford committed the same types of sins. Any chief executive who leaves the country for days at a time, and does not inform his office or security detail has committed a serious breach of judgment in the execution of his duties.

    Hypocricy is the question here. The type of indescretion committed by Clinton, Edwards, Sanford, Spitzer and others is inexcusable. However, because the conservative movement preaches such high morality, they place themselves in the position of being held to a higher standard. Whether or not it’s fair, they set their own rules. When they violate those rules, they should be held accountable.

  • Mikel G

    It’s not just hypocrisy & dishonesty but the grandiosity (compares self to King David?). That is most disturbing given his & Ensign’s affiliation to the “Family” or the”Fellowship” evangelicals in DC…these people are quietly working for a US oligarchical theocracy with this type of person as their vanguard. Truely disturbing.

  • Tom

    Re: Mark: Despite what they say, voters clearly prefer hypocrisy. How many open and honest polygamists are in the Congress or a governorship? I can’t think of one.

    Are you saying that there are many undercover polygamists?

  • Jonathan

    People see what they want to see. I think the Republican Party is missing a real opportunity with this situation. OBVIOUSLY a Defense of Marriage Act is needed when the effect of Gay Marriage has already corrupted such an upstanding and moral politician from South Carolina. :-)

  • Tom from Robbinsdale

    I’m wondering what is the influence of “The family”and the house on C Street in D.C. It’s owned by a secret christian group. Both Sanford and Ensign live there.

    What’s in their water?

  • Mike R

    I agree with Bob’s initial comments. Part of marriage is a vow to exercise self control. Many married people could have an affair and get away with it, but we don’t because we know the difference between right and wrong, and can control our urges. Someone who cannot control himself is not suitable for a position of political power. Those positions also require the moral ability to control the urge to do things that are wrong even though you might get away with it.

  • Chris

    Why are we so shocked and suprised when a politician commits an indiscretion such as having an affair, taking a bribe, etc.? Our elected leaders are in their offices because they were good at GETTING ELECTED, which is in no way related to being a moral, upright, honest, and trustworthy humna being. We should strive to elect people who actually possess those desirable qualities, rather than electing people who are good at winning popularity contests.

    Related to that, the vast majority of these indiscretions are committed by MEN. Maybe it’s time we have a mass revolution in voter preferences and vote a large majority of women into our most important public offices. Being that most men’s instinctual behavior is affected mainly by the head they own which is located below their waist, why should we be trusting our country, states, and localities to these bozos? For the record, I am a male but it’s time women had their turn to ‘run the world.” I think they might do a much better job than the men have to date.

  • Rochelle

    Imagine what the outrage would be if one of these politicians was a woman! We may have a double standard between Democrats and “family values” Republicans, but can you honestly see a female governor running off to Argentina holding a press conference stating she had found her soul mate and ANYONE AYWHERE thinking she was fit for office?

  • Stephanie

    It’s true that the situation should not be “Do Republicans get in more trouble for affairs” but looking at the steps taken to have and cover up the said affair. Sandford left for days without informing anyway. Clinton lied to Congress. Craig was arrested in the airport. Spitzer was involved with prostitution. This is not just about having extra marital relations, regardless of party.

  • Stephanie

    The problem isn’t the fact of the indiscretion that makes him unsuitable to govern, it is that the indiscretion has made him unhinged. He is completely consumed by this and it has addled his thinking about his duty as a leader.

  • Heather

    My father cheated when I was a girl. The issue was not either the hypocrisy or the infidelity. It was that he bacame a person I couldn’t look up to. I think there is something similar with elected officials. It is not that we expect them to be anything other than human, it is just that we want to look up to them. For me – I could never continue to support someone who would drag his family through the mud with him (can you imagine how his children are doing?). To say nothing of the lying and leaving the country. His treatment of the situation goes to his character – one that should not be in a leadership position.

  • Tom from Minneapolis

    I have to respectfully disagree with some of you. Many successful leaders have had personal vices. Churchill was a raging alcoholic, but still got Britain through the war. As mentioned earlier, Kennedy was a notorious womanizer but got us through the Cuban Missile Crisis. Leaders need to lead; they need to make the right decision at the right time. If a person needs to let off steam by cheating on their wife, or having a drink, honestly I am fine with that as long as they are a successful leader.

  • Naomi

    He isn’t even giving his wife some dignity.

    It is one thing to cheat, it is another to gush about it.

    What bothers me is that he isn’t even giving his wife the dignity of believing, BUT I AM the one he really loves.

    She is both his business partner and a political partner. He should respect that part of the relationship too. He has embarrassed her even more by gushing it about it.

    At least Hilary could say abut BIll, “But I KNOW that I AM the one he REALLY loves.

    Same with the other cheaters….they didn’t gush and doubly embarrass their partners.

  • Katie

    It is a much bigger issue that he left his constituents everytime his mind wandered to his mistriss, or his failing marriage, or how he was failing as father figure (or father)–all very heavy issues that need and deserve direct attention. How much more effective would he have been had he not been distracted.

    The lack of jugement occurred when he lost control of his priorities. Frankly, his personal business is his own (hypocrisy aside) but he should have put off having the relationship until his responsibility to the state was fulfilled.

  • Kelli

    I thought one of the “old arguments” that the Republican party has used in the past is that people who are having affairs open themselves and their respective office up to blackmail. I thought that was one of their big points about Clinton.

  • Jeff

    I hate to say it, but we’ve had some good leaders who have had serious problems with their marriages.

    I wish it weren’t so, but the qualities that make a “good husband” or wife don’t necessarily make someone a “better” leader than someone who . From our elected officials — especially in difficult times — we need leadership — not marital fidelity. I should HOPE most of our leaders could handle both, but I don’t want to disqualify someone just because they have problems in their personal life.

    Hold them accountable to the people, the laws and the Constitution. But to hold our leaders publically accountable for personal faults to risk losing the leaders we need in trying times.

  • Rich

    Remember Garrison Keillor’s barely veiled innuendo about Norm Coleman’s behavior in this regard?

    “Norm got a free ride from the press. St. Paul is a small town and anybody who hangs around the St. Paul Grill knows about Norm’s habits. Everyone knows that his family situation is, shall we say, very interesting, but nobody bothered to ask about it, least of all the religious people in the Republican Party. They made their peace with hypocrisy long ago.”

    And:

    “Or see how poorly his L.A. wife played the part of Mrs. Coleman, posing for pictures with him, standing apart, stiff, angry.”

    Let’s see norm run for the statehouse and then play this whole scenario out right here in Minnesota, shall we?

  • JenniferB

    I think it’s a really interesting point that South Carolina has the fewest number of elected female politicians. Does that suggest an environment where women are often expected to be submissive and subservient?

    I am in no way suggesting that this would cause an affair. But it is possible that it would lead to a culture where it would seem more acceptable.

  • David

    The reason hypocrisy is leading is because Having an affair is hypocritical. Having an affair is a subset of hypocrisy.

  • Bob Collins

    //Remember Garrison Keillor’s barely veiled innuendo about Norm Coleman’s behavior in this regard?

    I am not normally embarrassed by anyone with a connection to MPR/APM, but I think that article made everyone in the newsroom cringe.

    That was published in Slate Magazine, which apparently had or has editorial standards that allowed those assertions.

    The assertions are out there; we know that. But nobody has ever come forward with proof. This is unlike the Sanford situation. Without proof, “everyone knows” is a fancy way of character assassination and that sort of thing — it seemed to me at the time and still does — is every bit as dangerous to democracy as a politician who can’t keep it zipped; perhaps much more so.

  • Rich

    Which is precisely why I’d like to see it play out. Let’s see if it’s true – publish it if true, or put the rumor-mongering to bed if it isn’t. Better yet, how about some investigation of it before he’s committed to another campaign? Put Garrison on the record with the facts if he has any. If any news organization can pin him down, surely it is MPR. But that would conflict with APM’s corporate interests, wouldn’t it?

    And it was salon.com, not Slate. Joan Walsh has been leading them in a dive for the bottom, in my opinion. I dropped my premium subscription to the site after just too many examples of preferring controversy and salacious commentary over competent journalism. Glenn Greenwald is about the only reason to visit the site any more.

  • patsy

    Having an affair is being hypocritical, so I can’t vote for one over the other.