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A (Brief) History of Sex and the Presidency

The recent claims of executive privilege by the Bush/Cheney Regime -- struggling as it is to cover acts of treason -- have many folks pining for simpler times when presidents invoked such fictional "rights" to mask crimes like burglary and adultery.

Richard Nixon claimed executive privilege in a futile effort to cover crimes committed before, during and after the Watergate break-ins, and other more serious acts. Bill Clinton did not make such a claim when caught with his pants down and in a little white lie told under oath, one that resulted in his impeachment. Perhaps he could have avoided that stain on the Clinton Presidency (though not the one on his lover’s dress) if that unique claim to privacy had been put to better use.

You see in many past administrations the claim of executive privilege appears to have included the right to commit adultery -- which is the object of our brief examination of Sex and the Presidency…  

Many presidents from George Washington to George Bush the First have been said to have had secret liaisons with women who were not their wives. Thomas Jefferson is a good example.

Jefferson had an "affair" with another woman: What is more, this sexual "relationship" was with a slave -- his slave. Besides the issue of adultery, such a tryst raises questions about whether the woman was in a position to give her consent to such a relationship.

Yet Thomas Jefferson is still considered one of the greatest presidents in history. It matters not that he forced Native Americans off their lands, owned slaves, and did not believe women were intelligent enough to vote. All that matters in our history books are the "contributions" he made to the "building of this nation."

Jefferson was the first to claim "executive privilege," a term that has acquired a number of different meanings in the life of the republic. It includes numerous liberties for the President that go beyond the Bill of Rights including, it appears, unique sexual rights. Yet it does not appear that Jefferson invoked this privilege to conceal his extra-marital affairs.

Probably one of the most beloved Commander-In-Chiefs in history was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man who led the U. S. and its allies in World War II, crafted the New Deal, and is rightly (or wrongly) credited with lifting the U. S. out of the Great Depression. Yet it was FDR who ordered mass deportations of Latinos when the economy floundered, and it was FDR who issued a directive that, during the Second World War, resulted in the arrest of every Japanese-American on the West Coast, all of whom were forced to languish in concentration camps until the war was over.

But let's get back to sex since that seems to attract far more interest than history. Roosevelt was terribly disabled by polio, required leg braces to walk, and spent a good deal of time in a wheelchair. But it has been said that living in The White House inspires men to greatness, including greatness of carnal desire.

His physical handicap was no obstacle to having at least one mistress. Yet his extra-marital affair was never reported by the press.

Though it is now commonly known he committed adultery, FDR is considered by many as one of the most dynamic, strong and ablest presidents ever to sit in the Oval Office. Has the revelation of his affair tarnished Roosevelt's reputation? On the contrary, it apparently put a polish on it.

But FDR does not stand alone as an able and competent administrator: The history of the presidency is one replete with fornicators and adulterers.

Yet only one president was impeached for adultery -- or lying about it. And that of course was William the Fornicator.

Clinton's sexual escapades were not kept private by the press, much less political opponents. Republicans pursued Clinton with a vengeance one would expect from a Congress investigating the crimes of a power hungry regime rather than a man who told a lie to conceal an act of fellatio. And the press covered the whole affair with the journalistic objectivity and detachment of a Jerry Springer.

Unlike the current regime -- which appears able to get away with murder -- there were few details about Clinton's extra-marital affairs that were not uncovered by the press. For instance, during the impeachment process, the media reported that Paula Jones could describe distinct characteristics about the president's genitals. Yet every American already knew what she would say: Bill Clinton had no balls. And when members of the press unveiled the lascivious details of Monica Lewinsky's sexual relationship with Clinton (details that were obtained by illegal wiretaps) it became the dominant news story, reported in far greater detail than the crisis in healthcare, the growing power of the military industrial complex, or any other real story. That says a mouthful.

What changed from previous decades? Why does the media report intimate details of a man's sex life with greater vigor than history and world news?

What has changed is this: In the past, the press overlooked such activities and even had a little fun at presidential parties. Yet now, in the era of tabloid journalism, sex scandals are far more important than world events because the media is owned and controlled outright by big corporations. Though they also have obvious political motives, these media corporations are much more motivated by an unsatiable craving for profits -- an obsession that drives them into a supra-sexual frenzy. And every company and corporation knows sex is a sure sell.

While "reporters" used to bash the paparazzi for chasing celebrities, they now regularly report about the personal lives of world leaders (Paris Hilton, for instance) giving equal time to such affairs as wars fought for fossil fuels. Increasingly "journalists" like Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper are drawn to sexual scandal and smut like jackals are to carnage -- and they are considered two of the better reporters on television today.

As far as the presidency goes, this endless hunt for sexual gossip is a strange development, indeed. Historically Americans have preferred to have an adulterer in the White House. It has been practically a qualification for office.

During the Cold War, members of the press obviously believed that any man over forty who could "satisfy" two or more women at the same time -- especially if those women were young and attractive -- could certainly stand up to the Russians. It was no accident that at the very height of the Cold War, when the United States and Russia narrowly averted a nuclear holocaust, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was president, his tireless work as an inspired fornicator unsurpassed in the history of the nation.

Everyone knows that John F. Kennedy was Bill Clinton's hero , his political and ideological inspiration. Putting politics aside, one must admit: Clinton successfully emulated his role model.

Other adulterers fell far short of Kennedy's prodigious achievements. Warren G. Harding, whose term was plagued by financial scandal, was also said to have been a "ladies man," though there was little objection to such affairs. During World War II, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he also had a supremely satisfying affair with his secretary. He was later elected president by a landslide.

Then there was Lyndon Baines Johnson, the heavy-handed old-style backroom Dixiecrat from Texas. Generally credited for declaring the "War on Poverty" and the War in Vietnam (though Kennedy had already sent troops there) LBJ has been referred to as a "giant" of a man, a description only his late wife Lady Bird (and dozens of other younger women) could verify. After his death, when asked about her husband's reputation for womanizing, Lady Bird said, "Well, Lyndon loved the human race ...and half of the human race are women ."

Granted, there were Commander-In-Chiefs who appear to have been loyal to their wives.

Though Jimmy Carter admitted to having "lusted in his heart," there was never any suggestion that he committed adultery.

He was not re-elected.

And what about Ronald Reagan? There are no allegations that Reagan had secret sexual liaisons with any woman but Nancy. Still it seems likely that, despite his age, the Oval Office cast the same spell on Reagan as it did to so many others before him.

To this day, the faithful spouse Reagan remains a cult figure, an icon of the right with a virtual army of devotees. Yet Reagan led the attack on working people and their unions while granting huge tax breaks to big corporations. He funded a collection of known drug smugglers and other criminals as they attempted to overthrow the Sandinistas, then lied about his policy to the world. Reagan openly supported dictators in El Salvador, Guatemala, and South Africa, sending them military and economic aide that propped up their regimes for years. (For that matter, it was the Reaganites who helped arm Saddam Hussein.) And the "Great Communicator" did all this while tripling the national debt in the United States, spending trillions of dollars to do what the right wing loves him for most: He brought Russia to its knees.

All this demonstrates the difference between the Republiklan and the Demographic Parties -- the only difference. One has an ideology, a "Fatherland" nationalism that views the republic as under siege from immigrants, unions, African Americans, welfare mothers, liberals, and a host of other devils. As a consequence, it has loyal party members who would fall on their swords before betraying their leaders.

The Demographic Party, on the other hand, is little more than a dim-witted twin of the GOP, lacking a clear identity, occupied by an effort to appear to be equal to its older brother yet somehow "different." It does not build loyalty based on ideology or principles. On the contrary, it simply appeals to people who distrust the Republiklan. The most vocal supporters of the Demographic Party are celebrities who attend extravagant fundraising events where they hobnob with politicians. The closest they would come to risking their life and reputation for a Democrat is snorting a little spoonful of cocaine.

George Bush I, an aristocrat with a speech impediment, was also said to have had a girlfriend while president. As the one-time head of the CIA, it would have been easy for Bush to arrange a secret sexual liaison. Yet Bush had a view of history and dedicated himself to establishing "A New World Order." He obviously concurred with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who once said power is a greater turn-on than sex.

If that is the case, George W. Bush undoubtably experienced one of the most profound sexual experiences of any president in history when he unleashed one of the most brutal and relentless assaults in history -- an orgasm of cruise missiles, "smart" bombs, off-shore shelling, artillery barrages and Stealth bomber attacks that literally leveled the nation of Iraq. That act -- combined with the undeniable fact that the Bush/Cheney regime has screwed every man and every woman living in Iraq and the United States -- makes George W. Bush the Greatest Deviant to ever occupy the White House.

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Letters

Freedom Rules
posted by: Annonymous

This page is really good at bringing up the fat that the men who are elected President are not all that much higher than other Americans.
Unfortunately it falls into telling that political parties make the difference. While bragging that Democrats are mild it refuses to bring up the point that
President Andrew Jackson, the one who killed in a duel the attorney that had insulted hi…
I agree with Proof Reader!
posted by: Eileen

Wow! What a fool you are! Not only afool but, a stupid one!
leaders should be judged by
posted by: edafe alakpa

How they are able to effectively govern the people and preserve freedom. Also, it is time to not to see multiple marriage as a standard to measure ones' ability to lead. No man or woman is an angel, in fact, angels have being found wanting ages past too. We now live in an era where people are looking for the "perfect" "101% pure people" to lead the citizens, chasing away good leaders from serving.…
Newt Wins!
posted by: Annonymous

According to your theory and stats, Newt will definitely win the next election! OMG!
Who You Bias?
posted by: Nancy Lytle

Have you ever tried going to sleep for 10 years, waking up and re-reading one of your articles....just so that you could really see how bias your articles are sometimes? Yeahhhhhh...I really like the fact that Clinton did nothing to retaliate for the autrocities going on in the world against our troops until his pants were caught down... then he flings a bomb......the ol distract routine...this a…
Japanese American's were not force to remain in concentration camps until the end of the war.
posted by: Richard Korne

You should do a little research before you state something as a fact. I knew and worked with Japanese American's that were interred during WW2. A good friend was interred for in his words "A couple of months, until he was cleared." He was allowed to move to Wisconsin where he worked as a gardener for some months and then went to work for the railroads, his job there was to return to the camps and …
Please Proof Read!
posted by: Proof Reader

Mr. Bone(head)

Did you come up with the new "Demographic" party and the "Republiklan" party or are you to busy to proof read what you write? Repeating "Demographic" throughout your article when you really mean "Democratic" makes you sound stupid! Your opinions suck, but I strongly believe in the "freedom of speech." However, I don't believe in horrendous writing, and poor spellin…

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