I don't care much at all about who or what people want to do in their private lives, but sometimes it becomes apparent that certain public figures' private affairs are affecting their public views and actions that it makes you stop and wonder how many other people, who seem almost sick but you can't quite put your finger on it, actually have stuff like this going on in their backgrounds.
The lesson from Iris Robinson, an uber-homophobic Member of Parliament who was found to have had an affair (with a man, the story isn't that poetic), isn't just to point and laugh (although I won't judge the Brits who want to do that), but that any form of strict one-size-fits-all sexual morality is so clearly bound to fail that one has to wonder if that isn't the entire purpose of such moralities. If you devise a way to make everyone feel ashamed about what they're doing in their private lives, then you can more easily control people and single out certain groups as failing to meet your standards because everyone is failing to meet those standards.
It takes a certain personality type, though, to become a moral hard-liner when one's breaking the rules themselves. And if they're breaking one while wagging their finger at everyone else, they're probably breaking a bunch for their own personal gain:
Homophobic MP Iris Robinson allegedly solicited £50,000 from two property developers to help her 19-year-old lover set up a business.
The Northern Ireland MP broke parliamentary rules by not declaring her interest in the business, despite sitting on the council which awarded the money to Kirk McCambley, it was claimed.
According to a BBC Spotlight programme broadcast last night, Mrs Robinson, 60, also demanded a £5,000 kickback from Mr McCambley for helping arrange the transaction.
We can only speculate as to why she'd risk her and her husband's much more lucrative careers for a mere 5000 pounds.
Mrs. Robinson is a big-time sexual sinner, although it wouldn't be important in a sane world if she were just honest about what she was doing and got her job done.
Of course, she has to go off the deep end and say Sally Kern-eque stuff like this:
Speaking on The Nolan Show, she was asked to comment on a homophobic assualt that took place in Newtownabbey.
Stephen Scott, 27, was attacked by a gang of youths on Wednesday and suffered head and leg injuries. The police are calling the incident homophobic in nature.
Mrs Robinson suggested that he should consider therapy to "cure" him of his homosexuality.
She condemned the attack on Mr Scott but added:
"I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in.
"And I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual."
Mrs Robinson turned down an invitation from gay rights group Rainbow Project to meet with gay and lesbian people and hear about their experiences and concerns.
"I do not need to put my hand into the fire to know I will get burned," she commented.
"Homosexuality is not natural. My Christian beliefs tell me that it is an abomination and that is very clear.
"It is an offence to God, an offensive act and something that God abhors.
"My Christian beliefs tell me to love the sinner but hate the sin, so I condemn the people who went out and kicked that gay man.
"I am clearly not saying that I want people to thrash the living daylights out of a homosexual man or women, because I don't."
I wouldn't be one to say that the reason she's a homophobic moralizer is because she was having an affair. That's oversimplifying the situation. Rather, I think that most people have something like this going on in their lives, whether it be adultery or something else, and they just partition it into another part of their mind while they go out and tell the rubes what they should be doing with their genitalia. It takes a certain type to think that she or he is above the rules that they impose on others, and politics tends to attract that type.
Speaking of which, here's the Republican nominee for Massachusetts Senate to replace Ted Kennedy, posing naked for Cosmo:
The Boston Globe has more on his social views:
State Senator Scott P. Brown laughed last week when a national media personality asked him to elaborate on his politics: By describing himself as a fiscal conservative and an independent, did Brown mean to suggest he's a social liberal?
"No,'' Brown chuckled in the radio interview. "I'm not known as a social liberal, that's for sure.''[...]
"I think he is moving to the right,'' said Marion Just, a political science professor at Wellesley College.
He seems to be looking more to the Tea Party protesters than to the traditional Republican base here in the state, Just said. "But that's where the enthusiasm seems to lie.''
To be sure, the 30-year National Guardsman from Wrentham would never have been called a social liberal. Long a foe of gay marriage and a "tax-and-spend mentality,'' Brown calls himself a social moderate, and his work in the Legislature has focused on issues such as tightening restrictions on sex offenders.
While Robinson comes off as deeply disturbed, it'd be hard to argue that Brown is anything more than another arrogant playboy who'll believe whatever people want him to believe in order to get elected, so long as he's voting to lower taxes and deregulate business.
Can you imagine what sort of media storm a woman running for office would come under if pornographic photos were found of her? Or a gay man? But a straight dude gets naked and it's all in good fun.
You see, the rules are for those sluts and the rubes who pose naked because they're morally inferior and need to be protected from themselves. Superior, socially conservative straight men, though, they don't need any of that because when they pose naked for magazines it doesn't reflect on their character.