No sooner have we finished digesting one reprehensible scandal when another set of lurid tales of sexual intrigue involving high profile political figures bursts upon the pages of tabloids and leaps off computer screens everywhere.
For the last few weeks we have been endured the increasingly scandalous accounts of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties, events that he explains away as orgies that he learned about under the tutelage of Moammar Gadhafi, the longstanding strongman Libyan ruler.
The European press lists a long litany of romantic liaisons involving the Italian Prime Minister. These include a hairdresser, an escort service worker, a showgirl, a nightclub dancer, a dental hygienist, an underwear model and a teenage nightclub belly dancer that goes by the moniker “Ruby Heartstealer,” to name a few.
Today the news is abuzz with the sudden resignation of Representative Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican congressman from New York. It all started a few weeks ago when Rep. Lee imprudently replied to a Craigslist advertisement from a woman who was searching for men who “don’t look like toads.” The Congressman, who is married, represented himself as being a divorced lobbyist and a “fit, fun classy guy,” seven years younger than his actual age. Even his most untoadlike appearance in the sexy shirtless photo he sent the woman failed to ally her suspicions and she soon figured out his true identity and communicated the incident to the news media. It all ended on February 9 with his unceremonious resignation, and the unflattering title of the “Craig’s List Congressman,” as well as the accompanying notoriety that placed him alongside other sexual luminaries like Eliot Spitzer (R-NY), the “Lov Gov,” Rep. “Tickle Me Eric” Massa (D-NY) and Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), who allegedly courted underage congressional pages.
However the poster boy award for reckless sexual encounters goes to former Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho for his inopportune foot-shuffling advances towards a gentleman seated in the stall next to him in a restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. In an unfortunate turn of events, the man turned out to be a plainclothes police officer who was in the process of investigating allegations of this very sort of illicit activity in airport restrooms. The Senator was arrested and charged with and suspicion of lewd conduct and soliciting an undercover police officer for sexual activity. In spite of his flashing a U.S. Senate business card and asserting his privilege, status and power, the Senator ultimately entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge and paid a fine. He did not run for a third term.