I’m sure Democrats will be thankful for this. Ultra-conservative Texas Congressman Joe Barton, in his fourth decade in the House, has a nude selfie circulating on the web. As I note above, ew. There are some material distinctions from the Weiner debacle: Joe was separated when he sent them; he wasn’t showing his man-things to cyber-pal he he had never met, and most important of all, he didn’t lie about it, immediately confirming that the selfie was indeed his. which, unfortunately, means that he is also copping to sexting the message “I want u soo bad. Right now.Deep and Hard.” The details don’t matter, though. Barton has provided the perfect template for the Naked Congressman Principle, which is so similar to the Ethics Alarms Naked Teacher Principle that not much elaboration is required.
The Naked Teacher Principle states that a secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result.
A tweak here, a word changed there, and Voila! Naked Congressman Principle! Hence,
A member of the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the elected official naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is required to vacate his or her high office.
This is the case, not because the member of Congress in question isn’t an adult who has every right to send such photos to consenting adults, but rather because such conduct by a member of the body that makes our laws, and thus who must model the highest levels of conduct, dignity and decorum and not basest level that won’t prompt an arrest, is signature significance for a n idiot, and idiots should not be trusted to make laws, not to mention to handle sharp objects.
Helpfully, Ethics Alarms earlier—last year, in fact—promulgated the Naked Mayor Principle, after the married mayor of Hernando, Mississippi, sent a photograph of himself naked in the shower to his mistress, who then widely circulated it on the internet. My advice to the felicitously named Chip Johnson:
Resign. Mayors should, at very least, be reasonably trusted not to have their johnsons get displayed far and wide. There is no good reason for any mayor’s johnson to be so displayed. If a mayor’s johnson, like Mayor Johnson’s johnson, is so displayed, it is proof positive that said mayor is an irresponsible fool with terrible judgment. Nobody who is an irresponsible fool with terrible judgment should be a mayor.
Same with Congressmen.
But even more so.