Ahh kittens…one of my favorite scandals erupted unexpectedly yesterday to brighten an otherwise dull Monday afternoon. By now, we’ve all heard about it, the good old Governor of New York couldn’t seem to keep his pants zipped up during a quick trip to DC last month and had to ship down some call girl from NY to keep him occupied for a few hours. Ahh……the joys of a political sex scandal involving a rising star in the Democratic party, sprinkled with the fun of knowing this particular politician has steadfastly fought against prostitution rings in the recent past……nothing adds whip cream to the top of a delicious political sex scandal more than double standards and hypocrisy, of course! I can still hear Wall Street and business tycoons laughing over their gin and tonics and cigars.
But see, it’s not really the guilty husband that intrigues me the most about this story or even how sanctimonious Spitzer was as the AG. We’ve talked about this before on KT. It seems that we’ll never know why the ego stretches so large that politicians believe they are above the law and most importantly, forget that they actually can’t ever get away with their indiscretions. But, history has a way of repeating itself and this scandal is as old as time. No matter how brilliant the aides are that surround these politicians, they haven’t yet been able to convince them that their skeletons will always come out of the closet. And we should all be thankful for it because it sure is fun to watch.
But like I was saying, it’s not the man that fascinates me in all of this, it’s the role of the betrayed and humiliated wife that I just can’t move past. The image of the wife standing there next to her husband during the initial press conference, with that scorned look on her face, and then holding his hand as they exit center stage and dodge the most painful questions.
Why….why…why…I keep asking myself. Why do these wives stand there? Anyone thinking of our gal Hil on 60 Minutes, with such confidence that her husband did NOT have an affair with Gennifer Flowers…years before Monica showed up in the Oval Office in her blue dress? Or gay Governor McGreevey’s wife. I think she resurfaced onto the Today Show this morning but we were busy watching Little Bill. Or Vitter’s wife…or Larry Craig’s wife….and now Spitzer’s wife…and all the other wives before my time….and that will come down the road in the future.
Why do they stand there, we all wonder?
Now, from a PR perspective, I understand why the wife is standing there but even that confuses me at my core. The horn-dog political husband needs his wife standing there in that first press conference to show the world that his family believes in him, so we should too. I get that.
But what does that do for the wife? Why does the wife give a shit that her husband’s career is going down the toilet and fast? Why does she want to be publicly associated with this sinking ship any more than she already is? Hell, we’re all talking about how he not only cheated on her with a hooker but went so far as to transport that woman from NY to DC to get it on with her….and if you’re transporting hookers, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that wasn’t the first time he got his toes wet…so to speak…..
Also – living in DC – I’m a little offended. What’s wrong with our hookers here? What – they not as hot as the ones in NY? Come on guys……no need to transport them over state lines.
So, back to the wife, why should she care about her husband’s career in that moment? Why should she stand there, stone faced, hanging on like cold grim death, to the idea that her husband’s career will actually survive?
Well, being a mother, I can only assume one thing – she’s standing there for her kids. She’s standing there because she believes, in that rock bottom moment of her life, after all the crap she’s put up with over the years to support her husband and help his career, that her children need to see their parents as a unified front in order to minimize the disgrace, humiliation and confusion they are surely feeling.
That is the only theory I can come up with as to why the wives all stand there. Not a person in this world can convince me that any one of those wives wants to be there. And hopefully she is giving her husband a verbal beating before and immediately leaving center stage, though it won’t do any good. But as mothers, in that moment, I’m sure the only thing they can think of to do is what they think will help their children in the long run.
And so I can’t judge them, I can’t throw them under the bus just like I want to throw their husband under the bus, because if I believed that I needed to do that to help my daughter, then I would stand there too. For her. And only for her. And if some reporter asked me why I was standing there, all I would say was “to support my children.”
So instead of judging these wives, I ask you this – do you think that standing there in support of the husband actually does help the children more in the long run? Surely children have been all ages when these kinds of scandals have hit these horny, pathetic, lying, cheating excuses for husbands and fathers. So some kids can understand the scandal immediately while others might need more explanation and then will look back in time at those pictures.
What message does it send the children in that moment and in the future? Does it tell their kids that you stand by the people you love when they need you the most, no matter how much it hurts? That you can’t just cut and run when the going gets tough? Or does it tell them that even after you were just walked all over like a doormat, and stomped on a few times, and there was probably dog shit on the bottom of the shoe that was stepping all over you, even after all that, you still stand up there in support? Because you really are a doormat?
I honestly don’t know.
What do you think?