Just one issue to warm-up with today, but a juicy one, with sex, lies, and tape! Two kinds of tape, in fact…
I find it peculiar that the travails of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens have received such light coverage in the news media; after all, this is great chance to embarrass a Republican. If you missed the story, it goes like this:
During his campaign later during his first year in office as Missouri’s Governor (he began his term a year ago), Eric Greitens proclaimed himself a family values guy. During his campaign announcement, he stated: “I’m Eric Greitens, I’m a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father.” Rumors of past extra-marital dalliances surfaced, and the Governor denied them.
An un-named lover’s ex-husband,however, blew the whistle to the news media, providing an incriminating tape in which the woman said she had a single sexual encouter with Grietens and that he tried to blackmail her to ensure her silence. “He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail. There is no worse person,” the ex-husband told reporters. There are also allegation that Grietens slapped her. The woman has not made an on-the-record comment about the story.
In a recording released by CBS News, the unnamed woman is heard saying,
“I knew he was being sexual and I still let him. And he used some sort of tape, I don’t know what it was and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me. He stepped back and I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said you’re never going to mention my name, otherwise, there will be pictures of me everywhere….He tried kissing my stomach and tried to kiss me down there but didn’t quite get there because I flipped out and I said you need to stop.”
Last week, the Governor and his wife released this statement:
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage. This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately. While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger. We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive – but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers.”
Sheena Greitens added:
“We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.”
The allegations of blackmail and now of battery are being investigated. Some lawmakers from both parties are calling on the Governor to resign.
Last week, an attorney for Governor Greitens released the following statement:
“We have been asked repeatedly by reputable news outlets why we believe this nearly three-year-old news story is coming out now. The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a “source” who is the former Democrat state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question. This goes a long way to explaining what is going on – this is a political hit piece.
This is and remains an almost three-year-old private matter with no matter of public interest at stake. Eric and Sheena have worked through those issues long ago and I think that Sheena put it best: ‘We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.’ Now we know who has been peddling that gossip.”
- Should past adultery be sufficient to force an elected high official to resign? I thought Bill Clinton had settled this issue, didn’t you?
How can Democrats have the chutzpah to call for Greitens to resign over this episode after the party took the official position that far worse adultery, with a low (really low) subordinate half his age, engaged in as President, in the White House, that the President lied about to the press and the public, and used his staff to cover up, was just a matter of “private personal conduct”?
- Still, Al Franken was forced to resign for less…or is the official Democratic position that wrecking a marriage, threatening to blackmail a paramour, and betraying the woman you have pledged to love, honor and obey isn’t as serious as a disrespectful photo, some fanny pats and unconsented french kisses, much of which was unsubstantiated, while this Governor’s conduct is admitted and backed by a tape?
What are the values that Democrats and progressive stand for? I’m confused…and so are they.
- The issue should be trust. Greitens lied about his status as a “family man” to get elected. He betrayed his wife’s trust. Why is he trustworthy enough to be governor?
That’s the ethics issue. It’s also where Franken and Greitens intersect, and distinguish themselves from pre-Monica Bill and President Trump. Voters knew about their pre-Presidential misconduct. Franken and Grietens were elected by voters who didn’t have some information about the candidates’ character that they may have wanted to have.
- The statements from the Greitens and the lawyer make me want to cheer for the resignation side. So what if it’s a “political hit piece”? The Governor didn’t deal with the affair “honestly,” he represented himself as Joe Faithful, and he wasn’t. Playing the God Card is cynical: God has nothing to do with this. (“This is between us and God” is as offensive as it is wrong. Citizens have a right to want to respect their leaders.) Moreover, people can forgive Greitens and still conclude that he isn’t trustworthy enough to be governor. Forgiveness and waiving accountability are not the same. The lawyer, meanwhile, is engaging in deflection and a rationalization orgy.
The main rationalization being trotted out here is #55, The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!” There are others in the lawyer’s argument too, like #2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”;#22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things”; #23. Woody’s Excuse: “The heart wants what the heart wants”; and #38 A.“Mercy For Miscreants.”
Let’s take a poll!