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It Takes an Empire

Power, Horniness and Bloodlust

by MISSY BEATTIE

I’m pretty visual, and therefore visually overloaded while keeping abreast of the sleaze. Luridly looping through my mind are political sex scandals. Here’s an example of my circuitry’s creativity, one starring Gen. David Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. When their extramarital athletics lit up my laptop, I could see the romping—Broadwell, much younger, toned, and Petraeus, his age-spotted skin and body partially clothed. She, touching him, reaching to unbutton that military jacket, a chest full of medals, and his saying, “No, no, I need the regalia.” Indeed, the ribbons and metal are not only sexual plumage but also might be a necessary performance enhancer for the decorated Army officer.

While disapproving of infidelity, I’ve always considered sexual peccadillos as irrelevant to one’s capacity in fulfilling his or her job requirements. Consenting adults can do what they please and deal privately with the consequences (collateral damage) of spousal or significant other betrayal.

Sure, I was embarrassed for Hillary when Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones told their stories. When Bill said he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” Monica. Embarrassed for him that he had sex all over Monica’s blue dress. Embarrassed for both that Clinton inserted a cigar tube in Monica’s vagina. Embarrassed for Eliot Spitzer. For Spitzer’s wife Silda. Embarrassed for Anthony Weiner. For Weiner’s wife Huma.

And I haven’t overlooked Helen Chenoweth, Republican Congresswoman from Idaho, who criticized Bill Clinton, saying that the Monica Lewinsky scandal had “severely damaged his ability to lead our nation and the free world.” That Chenoweth later admitted to an affair with a married man who worked for her congressional staff. And said, as so many do, that God had forgiven her.

Oops, I almost forgot San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexual harassment by Irene McCormack Jackson, his former press secretary. The indefatigable Gloria Allred, who filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego, is representing Jackson. And GET this: Jackson claims Filner suggested she would perform her work duties better while not wearing panties. More than a dozen women have come forward asserting sexual harassment, and Filner, after entering a two-week intensive therapy program, left after one week.

Outrage abounds and plenty of politicians, including Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, have demanded Filner’s resignation. Both the Democratic Party of San Diego and Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida have called on Filner to resign.

So, here I am with that reel-to-reel reeling, my mind unable to avoid the smarm-fests that are followed by “resign” or “step aside” directed at some deviant. Certainly, Filner’s expressions of horniness crossed the social and legal lines. The women to whom he made advances weren’t embracing him with, “Sure, I’d love to see if I could improve my work performance by not wearing panties.” And Weiner, well, I simply say, “Yuck, how icky.”

The list is too long to, uh, list. Because a plethora of narcissism, cuckoldry, poor judgment, serial sleaze weasels, sociopathic this and that, and unaccountability pervades our species.

But, then, there’s the HUGE issue of Diane Feinstein, a member of the Military Appropriations Subcommittee from 2001 to the end of 2005. Feinstein lobbied Pentagon officials to support defense projects that enriched her contractor husband. In other words, both she and her Mr. are war profiteers, blood-lusters.

It’s just that salacious screwing and screwing over pale in comparison to the inhumanity of war. And the list of war profiteers is too long to, uh, list.

So, so what if Anthony Weiner sends pics of his penis? So what if Bill Clinton’s staring into some young woman’s eyes, making her feel as if she and he own that room? Bring charges against the sexual harassers. But let’s concentrate on what’s more obscene: the carnage of war. War, period.

Which leads back to Hillary, looming and powerful, tweeting her way to hipness, out there, working on working us over. Just as Barack Obama, the black candidate with a promise of hope, did—his race as compelling as his message, for liberals and progressives.

Now, all who need to demonstrate their liberalism and progressiveness will decorate their bumpers with “Hillary 2016”, and rush to the polls on her behalf. So many antiwar women will disregard that Hillary ISN’T, because of gender. So many antiwar men will disregard that Hillary ISN’T to affirm recognition of their feminine side. Hillary Clinton, who supported the 2002 Iraq resolution, supported a troop surge to Afghanistan, supported a proposal to involve the US in arming and training the Syrian rebels, who said that she would make it clear to the Iranians “that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US…”—may be Madam President.

As I said, I’m visual. Turning what I read into acts, scenes and cinematic choreography, I can locate a few laughs, abundant tears, and sometimes both. But I’m seeing dead people, drones, devastated landscapes—injustice. Hillary Clinton, as commander-in-chief, having never met a war she wasn’t orgasmic over, has an arsenal of experience to deliver more slaughter.

It takes an empire, not a village.

Missy Beattie is living in North Carolina. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.