Is the sex scandal dead? That’s what Louise Roug wonders on The Daily Beast.
She points to Mark Sanford’s 55% approval rating, and the rebounds of John Ensign, David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, and Bill Clinton. Many, many others could be mentioned, including Newt Gingrich, who proposed to 2 of his 3 wives before he had asked for a divorce from his current wife. Perhaps if Gary Hart had messed around with Donna Rice today, it’d be no big deal.
(Roug does cite as an exception John Edwards, whom she says “bedded his way to oblivion and doesn’t appear in danger of emerging anytime soon”.)
Roug mentions how Ronald Reagan ended the taboo against divorce, and that fooling around with drugs in college days is now practically a badge of honor. Nobody cares if you smoked marijuana in college. She says Barack Obama may have actually exaggerated his drug use, to gain political points with his left-leaning, young constituency.
Roug suggests that while pundits and preachers still fuss over sex scandals, voters have moved on. They just don’t care anymore. There have been so many scandals that it’s become somewhat ho-hum. Such is the state of America’s moral fibre.
I found Roug’s conclusions sad, but probably spot-on.