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Thread: sex and lack of scandal

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    tWebber
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    sex and lack of scandal

    George Washington likely had a ....dalliance with his friend's wife, Jefferson had his paramour, Warren G Harding waxed poetic over his ...... ummm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._United_States

    ....jerry. Bill Clinton was the first President to have been outed.

    Today, we no longer pass over such things in silence. Not sure what this says about us and our culture. MLK had affairs, and it did not really make news until fairly recently.

    Should affairs of the distant past be reported? Does it make a difference?

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    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    Should affairs of the distant past be reported? Does it make a difference?
    Not to them.

  3. Amen Sparko amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    I can still remember when Gary Hart's political career was ended simply over the suggestion that he might be having an affair. That seems like ages ago. Of course that was before the Democrats rallied around serial rapist Bill Clinton with cries of "It's just sex!" and saying that we were all busy bodies and perverts if we paid any attention to it.

    As for the sins of people in history, all that really tells us is that they're human with all the imperfections that implies. I really don't know why an affair is seen as a particularly great sin compared to all the other moral failings a person might have.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juvenal View Post
    Not to them.
    I think that the affairs do make a difference to them. They generally go to great lengths to conceal the affair. While Harding wrote odes to Jerry, he was also paying for the maintenance of his love child. It worked, it was not until Harding's death and the child support dried up did the mother write her tell all book.

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    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    I think that the affairs did make a difference to them.
    Fixed.

    When folks preserve information that's not to be released until after their deaths, or some years after their deaths, it's an acknowledgment first that they don't want to live through the fallout, second that, being dead, there's no fallout anymore, and last that posterity has a right to the unvarnished truths hidden from their contemporaries.

    But let's be clear. You're looking for interaction on sexual scandals involving presidential figures who are still among the living, and presumably about the NDAs and payoffs by the current occupant. With Trump, we have a special case. He tweets, and speaks, with wild abandon. NDAs presumably shield both parties, and Trump has been anything but silent on his side. That's a compelling argument for the same freedom for the other side, and to the extent reputations have been damaged, for litigation to make the injured parties whole.

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I can still remember when Gary Hart's political career was ended simply over the suggestion that he might be having an affair. That seems like ages ago. Of course that was before the Democrats rallied around serial rapist Bill Clinton with cries of "It's just sex!" and saying that we were all busy bodies and perverts if we paid any attention to it.

    As for the sins of people in history, all that really tells us is that they're human with all the imperfections that implies. I really don't know why an affair is seen as a particularly great sin compared to all the other moral failings a person might have.
    While for some his affair was the big deal what many forget (or have been falsely informed), it wasn't for having an affair that he was impeached. Instead it was for lying under oath (perjury) and trying to get others to do so as well (suborning perjury).

    I'm always still in trouble again

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  8. Amen Terraceth amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juvenal View Post
    Fixed.

    When folks preserve information that's not to be released until after their deaths, or some years after their deaths, it's an acknowledgment first that they don't want to live through the fallout, second that, being dead, there's no fallout anymore, and last that posterity has a right to the unvarnished truths hidden from their contemporaries.

    But let's be clear. You're looking for interaction on sexual scandals involving presidential figures who are still among the living, and presumably about the NDAs and payoffs by the current occupant. With Trump, we have a special case. He tweets, and speaks, with wild abandon. NDAs presumably shield both parties, and Trump has been anything but silent on his side. That's a compelling argument for the same freedom for the other side, and to the extent reputations have been damaged, for litigation to make the injured parties whole.
    The one point you left out is the idea of historical legacy. I think all presidents look on their legacy and try to steer it, not just out of vanity but also to continue their initiatives or policies. FDR wanted his New Deal programs to continue, the Republicans from the progressive era wanted their ideas to carry on beyond their administration. The scandal would, and does, overshadow any policy discussion.

    Washington was seen as a great man of history within his lifetime; no one had any such illusion about Harding. But both men had contemporaries actively shielding and squashing any rumors. How great a role did any such potential sex scandal play in their administrations? It is unlikely the Marilyn Monroe played any role in JFK's policies, Harding's dalliances contributed to Teapot Dome, FDR's affairs affected WWII or New Deal policies, Eisenhower's paramour affected the Allied European war effort. If Washington carried on, his lover never left any record, Eisenhower's lover certainly did, and Harding's lover only revealed the secret when child support dried up.

    I underlined the one point I disagreed with, not sure many actually have an historians viewpoint. The NDA (nondisclosure agreement) merely hides facts which will come out anyway. Harding's papers were sealed until a late date, not sure of Warren wanted that or his family. The archivists at our National Archives have a tough assignment, preserving artifacts that are not even cataloged, sometimes a former official has been accused of swiping unflattering documents to prevent the unvarnished truth from getting out. And the archivists are generally not in a hurry to open the archives.

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    tWebber demi-conservative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    Should affairs of the distant past be reported? Does it make a difference?
    Yes, presidents should be described warts and all, preventing more dumb nonsense about being 'unpresidential'.
    Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by demi-conservative View Post
    Yes, presidents should be described warts and all, preventing more dumb nonsense about being 'unpresidential'.
    Were the charges about Carter and Clinton being "unpresidential" dumb, or just presented by dumb people?

    Or was the praises of Reagan being "presidential" dumb, or presented by dub people?

  12. #10
    tWebber demi-conservative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    Were the charges about Carter and Clinton being "unpresidential" dumb
    Yes.

    Or was the praises of the actor Reagan being "presidential" dumb
    Fixed, yes.
    Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

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