A fascinating politico-sexual drama is being played out in Spokane.
The Washington State Supreme Court has just allowed a recall effort to proceed against Spokane Mayor James E. West. In the wording of the recall petition are allegations that West cruised the internet for gay lovers, and dangled the prospect of city jobs as a reward for amenable fellows.
Of legal relevance is that the charges are still unproved in a court of law. Of moralizing relevance is that West is a Republican and further has publicly opposed the gay political agenda, which I imagine includes gay marriage and the like. (I find the legal part of more interest than the moralizing, but permit me to move on, as they say.)
As for the political principle involved, with which it's hard for any to disagree, "(the) petition alleges that West used his elected office for personal gain," according to the article.
Wayne's World-type Flashback
The year was 1988, and I wasn't terribly crazy about Ronald Reagan's anointed successor, the philosophically inert career pol, George H. W. Bush. Michael Dukakis seemed like a good man and had pulled off the Massachusetts Miracle, so I gave him my vote.
Fast Forward, But Still a Flashback
It was 1992. Bush 41 had done OK in a caretaker sort of way, but I still wasn't diggin' him. Gov. Bill Clinton of Bumfunk, Arkansas was his opponent, and was a much cooler guy than Dukakis. I mean way cool, like Ferris Buehler. Now, I wasn't surprised when his ideological ally, the American press, detoured the story, but one thing kept bugging me---
Governor Clinton had undeniably given a state job to his mistress, one Gennifer Flowers (who had the tapes), and whose only qualification (reputedly according to the governor himself), was that she "could suck a tennis ball through a garden hose."
The feminist and democrat in me just found it all so totally offensive that I voted for the loser for the second election in a row.
2005. I'm trying to puzzle out the fundamental and essential differences between the two cases, but I'm suffering from a lack of imagination. The vision thing. Perhaps our resident sophists can help.
Otherwise, if there are no legal or moral objections, I think I'll run for governor myself. Secretary of State Paris Hilton has a nice ring to it. Folks tell me she's highly qualified---they have the tapes.