Politics: Rachel Maddow is Wrong

First, check out this segment:

I think her rankings in the “Post-Bill Clinton Modern American Political Sex-Scandal Consequence-O-Meter” are wrong. In particular, she seems to have a real problem with prostitution and thinks that it alone makes something creepy and prosecutable. For example, she finds David Vitter and Eliot Spitzer, who only had adulterous, consensual sex with prostitutes, very creepy and prosecutable—far more creepy and prosecutable than Larry Craig, who was trying to have sex in a public restroom. Personally, I find people trying find sexual partners in airport bathrooms far more creepy than a man paying a prostitute for sex—and this has nothing to do with the homosexuality Craig’s act. I can see that Vitter deserves to be higher on the creepy scale than Spitzer (and he isn’t), given the great hypocrisy of his behavior. But Craig shares this hypocrisy with Vitter—in fact, Craig’s hypocrisy is probably worse.

And there is the case of Mark Sanford. I understand that the guy cheated on his wife and it shows hypocrisy. But the man was in love. Screwing around behind your wife’s back is bad, but it is hard to find a man falling in love with another woman all that creepy. As creepy as Larry Craig? I don’t think so. She also places him far lower on the prosecutable scale as the details of his misuse of funds shows. They are far worse than anything John Edwards did, who she maxes out on both scales. I disagree with her about how creepy his affair was, too. I don’t think that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sex scandal is all that creepy. I guess I just don’t find guys having affairs all that creepy. They do it all the time.

Finally, we come to Anthony Weiner, who Maddow places low on the prosecutable scale, but rather high on the creepy scale. I do think it’s a little creepy. It is more creepy than Spitzer, surely. But it is certainly less creepy than a married, anti-gay rights politician actively seeking gay sex in a public bathroom. Let’s not forget here that Weiner did not actually have any sex. This is basically all about online flirting. Much ado about nothing? Very little anyway. I’m not really sure what the whole point of this segment was, except to bring up all the major sex scandals of the past few years. So it isn’t just that Maddow is wrong; she is also disappointing; she is better than this.


On the next day’s broadcast, Maddow claimed (rightly) that Mark Sanford’s and John Ensign’s transgressions were worst than Anthony Weiner’s. But the day before, she placed Sanford below Weiner on her creep scale. Ensign was only slightly higher. What’s with that?

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Politics: Rachel Maddow is Wrong

  1. In my opinion, the worst that can be said of most of these men is that they are reckless and used very poor judgment in their personal lives. I feel sorry for their wives and families, but their foibles are of no consequence whatsoever to anyone else.

    Creepy and stupid but prosecutable nor calling for immediate resignation: Sexting with random adult women and then making pathetic attempts to lie about it; having an affair while your wife is dying of cancer and being dishonest about it; getting a BJ from an adult intern while you’re in the Oval Office and being impotently dishonest about it.

    Creepy and hypocritical, not prosecutable, but worthy of resignation: Being publicly anti-gay and then trying to snag some gay sex in a public restroom.

    Creepy and prosecutable: sending lewd text messages to underage young people; using public funds for affairs (with prostitutes or not).

    Prosecutable but not nearly as heinous as unchecked sexual urges: using one’s power and lies to drag his country into war.

  2. It is annoying that the country gets into such a rage about sex but not unnecessary death. I can’t feel much but pity for Larry Craig. He is, after all, a gay man who has been told his whole life that homosexuality is wrong. He needs to grow up, though.

  3. I was actually trying to stay awake during the presentation. It was not very interesting, but I did listen enough to think that Rachel Maddow doesn’t necessarily feel that prostitution is as creepy as anything else.

    I believe lots of people are particularly upset with John Edwards because he had an affair while his wife had cancer. Edwards, I think, is a political genius, but a bit of a dufus with respect to some social behaviors. I do acknowledge he was in love, is in love, with the other woman. The potential of what he spent to hide his affair with government money is great. I think he should be lower on the creepy scale, but there is a very high potential for prosecution.

    I do feel bad for the gay man who had to feel so bad about being gay that he married a female. He probably shouldn’t have hired his lover, though. I don’t really know if the ratings are accurate or not. Even Rachel Maddow says they are subjective.

    You are right. People have affairs, but politicians seem to do it more often. We have to consider, in this presentation, these are only the ones who got caught. How many more are able to be discreet? I think it is a lot. Politicians lose their sense of reality sometimes, I think.

  4. I know that you like Edwards a lot, and I go along with you on that. I’ve heard that because of all the attention he got during the 2004 campaign, he changed. This is understandable. It would be hard to keep your head when everyone is telling you how great you are.

    In his defense, I wonder if the fact of his wife having cancer didn’t cause him to find comfort in another woman’s arms. Yes, we would all like to think that he would be the perfect husband and stand by his wife. But who among us is perfect?

    I don’t think, as some have argued, that he should be prosecuted. All this episode will show is that whether you get beaten up by the legal system is simply a matter of luck. It will not send a message to future politicians.

    As for Anthony Weiner, I think this is a clear case of powerful people overruling the will of the people. Weiner’s constituency wanted him to stay. He is leaving because the leadership of the Democratic Party made him. That’s wrong. I have never felt so lowly towards Nancy Pelosi. If I get the chance, I will work to get someone else to run against her in the primary. Her behavior was shameful. Shameful!

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