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Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Trust & Consequences
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Trust & Consequences

Robert Downes - July 27th, 2009
Random Thoughts 7/27/09
Robert Downes
Trust & Consequences
If your spouse was caught fooling around under the covers with someone else, would you go on national TV and stand behind him (or her) and make like it’s all nicey-nicey now and you’re on the road to “healing”?
We’ve seen a parade of political ‘Stepford Wives’ standing behind their men at press conferences over the past few years. Consider the rogue‘s gallery:
• New York Governor Eliot Spitzer spends $7,000 a pop to have sex without a condom with a call girl.
• New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey drops the bomb on TV (and his wife) that he’s gay.
• Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is caught seeking sex with other men in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.
• Presidential candidate John Edwards is caught making a baby with his “videographer.”
• Sen. John Ensign? Another “family values“ Republican on this list who gave his mistress tens of thousands of dollars and other perks.
• And the latest: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford blubbering on TV about his eternal love for a South American hottie - slash - trade mission destination.
Usually, these Lady MacBeths standing behind these guys look like they’ve been chewing on earthworms during their moment at the podium. After their culprit husband makes a confession (blaming the whole thing on sex addiction, alcoholism or a fat head that got the best of him), the wife comes forward and repeats a mantra of forgiveness that’s on par with those old newsreels of captured U.S. soldiers confessing their sins under torture.
That’s why Jenny Sanford has become something of a hero to many women.
The first lady of South Carolina, Sanford refused to ‘stand by her man‘ when Gov. Mark fessed up in a press conference that he has been fooling around with a “soul mate” in Argentina named Maria.
Gov. Sanford, you may recall, went missing for several days and his staff claimed he was out hiking the Appalachian Trail until someone recalled that it was “nude hiking day“ on the trail and he decided to ditch the story as being even more embarrassing than confessing his affair.
But instead of playing the role of a compliant crash test dummy, Jenny Sanford told her husband to go ahead and take a hike. When asked if she was concerned about the governor’s future, she said no -- she and her kids have their own future to think about -- one without him.
“I’m glad she didn’t stand up there with him,” my wife Jeannette says whenever that news clip airs on TV. “Why do all of these women go up on stage and pretend everything’s alright when you know they hate being there?”
One can imagine the calculus of power and loss that goes through a political wife’s mind when she’s forced to make such a stand. On one hand is all the time served with her narcissistic husband, attending 1,001 rubber chicken dinners and boring town hall meetings on a million miles of roadtrips. On the other hand are the perks of riding in limos, state dinners, living in the governor’s mansion, black tie parties, trade missions to Japan, and a cushy non-job fronting some charity. Sounds awful, come to think of it.
But you can only imagine that someone in that bag -- say a Hillary Clinton -- saw the last fumes of romance drift away long ago and struck a devil’s bargain with an egomaniac.
Interesting to note, when Elizabeth Edwards aired the dirty laundry of her relationship with John in her recent memoir, Resilience, she was lambasted by feminist writers such as Tina Brown of The Daily Beast and Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, who rushed to her husband’s rescue.
Elizabeth Edwards was accused of seeking “revenge” in her book for dropping tidbits that the affair had made her “sick to her stomach.” But is there any saint among us who wouldn’t have feelings of rage toward a spouse who fathers a child with his mistress?
Perhaps a woman should be writing this column instead of me. But I imagine that Jenny Sanford’s example may be even more instructive to men than to women.
When men see the wives of the rich and powerful lining up like bowling pins behind their cheating husbands on TV to have their dignity spun into the gutter, it sends a message that betraying your marriage is no big thing -- all will be forgiven. By refusing to play a groveling sap, Jenny Sanford set the record straight, reminding us that marriage is a covenant of trust -- and consequences.

Robert Downes is author of the round-the-world adventure, Planet Backpacker, available in local bookstores.

 
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