Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lives of Our Leaders: Low Self-Esteem

Jim R Bounds/Associated Press
JFK got it on with Marilyn Monroe (and who the hell knows else). Not Bad. Bill Clinton gets himself impeached for having fellatio with an overweight intern who doesn’t bother to remove the incriminating evidence from her dress, but it’s nothing compared to John Edwards who ends up facing a stiff jail sentence ("Waiting for an Edwards Verdict, and Getting Acquainted With Greensboro," NYT, 5/22/12) for misuse of campaign funds to support Rielle Hunter who turned out to be better at making babies than videos (the job for which she was originally hired) as a Kim Severson pointed out in the Times ("Candidate, Philanderer, and Juggler, Too: Edwards Trial Shows Deception's Strains," NYT 5/20/12) On the other hand there does seem to be a double standard here. Americans are forgiving of the Aristocratic JFK who is merely exercising the droit du seigneur, but they are far less tolerant of their own good 'ole boys who spill the beans or knock up chicks and get them pregnant. Teddy Kennedy’s political career survived Chappaquidick and when you look at it the offense, which involved the loss of life, was a lot more egregious than misuse of campaign funds. While America doesn’t have a hereditary aristocracy, we make exceptions. We apologize for the randy Camelot inhabitant when he’s out on the hunt. Come on. Bill and John could have done better than Monica and Rielle. Both were attractive men with good credentials who would definitely have gotten almost any girl they wanted were they working the East Side Bar scene, but they apparently were insecure enough to end up with the kind of troubled personalities who, at least in Rielle’s case, like to take hostages. Neither the would-be president’s now deceased wife, nor the former president’s wife (and our current secretary of state), were too happy when they found out about their respective husbands’ shortcomings— though there are some who might argue that neither Clinton nor Edwards should be held accountable and that the kind of low self-esteem and compulsivity that both exhibited were symptoms of a disease.

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