By Ann Ivins
part one of… ?
New York Governor David Paterson has the kind of political acuity worth watching… and unfortunately, probably worth emulating from now on. He coolly observed his predecessor go down in flames and silicone. He stepped politely over the writhing corpse, ascended into office and promptly did what Mrs. E has been privately hoping for years a political figure would do: called a press conference, looked the American media in its bloodshot, Internet-porn-raddled eyes and said, in essence:
“All right, bitches, let’s GO there,” spilling a load of personal compost over the next few days that, while not spectacular in scope, was refreshingly honest in a somewhat revolting way. Best of all, his wife did more than (here it comes) stand by her man; she added her own soiled knickers to the flurry of smudged tidy whities Dave was launching at the dazed citizens of New York. Damn. In a grave near Nashville, Tammy Wynette‘s carefully embalmed nipples are standing at awed attention.
So what about it? Should anyone care about Paterson’s rather dull shenanigans? Do the sexual peccadilloes, past drug use and marital compromises of any political candidate truly affect future job performance? Most importantly, do we, the American people, deserve to have the mental image of Larry Craig with his pants down permanently embedded in what’s left of our collectively overstimulated consciousness?
As a nation, we may only agree on the last one up there (answer: oh please God no), but it’s clear where the slime train is going, as Dave Paterson recognized, as any future political candidate with the brains of a higher invertebrate will have to acknowledge. Preemptive confession is the Next Big Thing, Grasshoppers, and today’s budding leaders need some guidelines to ride the trend. Ethics, integrity, character, the psychology of leadership: all legitimate and vital issues, all supremely uninteresting compared to who licked what off that dancer’s ass in Vegas and what exactly the word “fraud”
gay in an annulment application gay really means gay. The public mandate is clear.
To get the ball rolling, here are a few questions the young politico may want to ponder before leaping into the messy, sticky and increasingly malodorous public sphere. One or more “yes” answers: time to have a heart-to-heart with the publicist, the attorney and any motel employee able to identify “Mr. My-Best-Friend’s-Name.”
Oh, and maybe the spouse.
Are you or have you ever been:
- a practicing homosexual?
- an accomplished homosexual with no further need of practice?
- a closeted lesbian with a famous husband?
- a youth pastor?
- Anne Heche?*
*if yes, stop reading this and go take your lithium right now, young lady
Have you ever:
- cheated on your spouse during a time of great stress and turmoil?
- had an inexplicable encounter with a same-sex partner even though you’re totally, totally straight?
- visited a sex club when you were drunk with the wild friends you no longer spend time around since you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?
- purchased a sexual device in the absolute conviction that it was, in fact, a therapeutic personal massager?
- fucked a goat?*
*if yes, was the goat of age (in goat years, in your state of residence at the time of the incident)?
Do you often or occasionally:
- hire a sex worker?
- frequent a brothel?
- download pornography at work?
- solicit unseen strangers in public restrooms?
- buy suspender thongs for your Congressional pages?*
*if yes, do you claim them as a business expense?
In your distant, faraway, never-to-be-revisited college years, did you ever:
- smoke marijuana? Did you inhale?
- inject or ingest narcotics, barbiturates, stimulants or hallucinogens of any kind? Was this pre-YouTube?
- walk too near a co-op? Did you beat up a hippie as penance?
- use meth? Was that your remaining tooth hitting the floor?
- smoke crack? Are you the mayor of Washington DC?*
*if yes, just remember to put the pipe down while pumping gasoline
Poor interpersonal skills
Have you ever:
- muttered about political correctness as a woman/homosexual/brown person walked away?
- screamed at a weeping campaign worker after flinging a lukewarm double shot latte in his face?
- grimaced and refused to kiss an undeniably unattractive baby?
- called a reporter an “asshole” when he or she was, in fact, merely a “dickwad?”
- slapped your mother?*
*if yes, are you Andrew Schlafly? If so, can I help?
Tune in next week for tried and true methods of taking full responsibility while avoiding all consequences; also, how to tell if your supportive partner has lost her blink reflex before the cameras roll.