Politics

Up From Bondage or, Let Us Now Praise a Rare Instance of (Fiscal) Restraint on The Part of Oversexed Pols…

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Novelist Tracy Quan (her Diary of a Jet-Setting Call Girl, the third book in the Nancy Chan series, is now out) has the last—and quite possibly first good—word to say about the big Republican National Committee bondage-themed strip club fooferaw (by the way, a fooferaw at West Hollywood's Voyeur costs extra). Writing in the Daily Beast, Quan notes that the nearly $2,000 spent at the club is a cheap date when it comes to dealing with political sexcesses:

$2,000 for strippers? It's mere pocket change rattling around between $9,099 for hotel rooms, $17,514 for private planes, and over $12,000 for limos, all within a single month….

You don't have to be a Republican to feel the partisan energy fueling this week's scandal. Compared to the $700,000 Bunny Mellon is alleged to have given the John Edwards machine for Rielle Hunter's upkeep, a few thousand spent watching half-naked working women looks less like decadence and more like old-fashioned middle-class thrift.

The expenses associated with scandal have not always been so immediate or nakedly monetary. The late Wilbur Mills could have told us that. The legendary House Ways and Means chairman (like Bill Clinton, an Arkansas Democrat) was handily re-elected to Congress after making headlines in the company of Fanne Foxe, who stripped at The Silver Slipper in Washington in the mid-1970s. Yvonne Dunleavy, who co-authored Fanne Foxe: The Real Story Behind the Headlines with Fanne herself, says, "It was a different climate of judgment. The scandal wasn't quantified in terms of money." Going to a strip club, in and of itself, wouldn't even have been scandalous for Mills or most men at the time; you had to be a lot more outrageous to turn that into professional and public failure.

More here.

Quan talked to Reason in 2005 about prostitution, human trafficking, and more.

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  1. I am not getting the flap about the Republican spending. Especially since certain writers don’t bother pointing out that the staffer responsible for the charge was fired as soon as her bosses found out about it.

    Heard something about a 1-800 sex line showing up on an RNC bill too.

    1. Democrats apparently think that Republicans hold themselves out as the absolute paragons of moral authority despite my never hearing one of them say that.

      1. I’m sorry. You’ve never heard a Republican hold himself up as the absolute paragon of moral authority?

        1. Disagreeing about abortion or gays changing the institution of marraige isn’t holding themselves up as moral paragons. So yes, until Sarah Palin or whoever says something like “My family is perfect and most liberal families aren’t blah blah blah” I will not call her a hypocrite.

          1. This is a stupid disussion, but what the hell, let’s keep it building.

            Please define the two terms you have used so far:

            * “paragon of moral authority”

            * “moral paragon”

            Republicans have definitely held themselves up as moral authorities many, many times. Not sure what it means to be a “paragon of” being a moral authority.

        2. And Democrats claim to be paragons of environmental virtue, despite burning thousands of tons of carbon each year on transportation to various environmental conferences. Nary a peep out of the media about this, of course.

        3. No. There’s an enormous difference between disagreeing about what is moral and claiming that you are a paragon of virtue.

          All politicians present themselves as moral in their public image, of course, but I’ve never heard any claim actual perfection.

      2. Many politicians, of both parties, have been hypocritical about their voting versus their private behavior.

        Republican constituents tend to be less forgiving of deviations from a Christian sexual moral code, thus perhaps more hypocrisy among R politicians.

  2. It’s not about motivating the Democratic base. This flap is about causing unrest among the social conservative base of the Republican party.

  3. This is one reason I laugh at kids who act like we’re becoming more sexually liberated as time goes on. Aside from homosexual stuff, our society is significantly more conservative on sex issues now than it was in the 1970s.

    1. There were clubs like that all over in the 1970s? Cool!

    2. I think we aren’t more sexually conservative. It’s just that politicians have been successful at censorship, zoning, and general oppression lately. Lots of people are ramping up the kink levels, but keeping it to themselves.

      1. But they’re more successful at zoning because people can get porn at home more easily than they used to. I don’t think you can easily determine which factor has causation.

    3. I dunno, back in the day you just had Betty Page in John Willie’s living room. Now, you have RNC prospects (whom only got in trouble because they asked for reimbursement) going to what I have seen described as the ‘Ruby Tuesday’s’ of s&m clubs.

    4. Though you have to admit that the Internet makes it easier to get porn. Plenty of people presumably felt embarrassed about going to strip joints, X-rated theaters, etc. in the 1970s, but didn’t have an alternative.

    5. Dunno what you mean by “our society”. The younger generations, on average, appear to be much more sexually liberated than the older generations.

      Got a link to your assertion?

      1. I’m talking about actual behavior, not public rhetoric. You can bet all this stuff was going on in the 70s, it was just more hush-hush.

    6. Not true. According to a study reported by Reuters “Swinging 60s had nothing on the 90s – sex study”, women of the 90’s had quite a few more sex partners than those in the 70’s or 60’s.

      My children did work as officiating tennis matches. At one time penalty points could be assessed for using language not found on major television programming. But, except for G– Damn, and F—, and N—–, almost all swear words can be found on prime time television. And not just the cable channels. More sexual activity is acknowledged than before, because there probably is more going on.

      There was a time when multiple sex partners meant one partner on Thursday, another on Friday, and somebody else on Saturday. Now it means one partner at 8:30, another at 8:50, another at 9:10, etc. Things have changed, and not for the better.

  4. “Fooferaw” is a perfectly cromulent word, from trying to say “free for all” with one’s mouth full of stripper.

    1. No touching and don’t forget to tip!

    2. “Mouth Full of Stripper”

      BAND NAME!

  5. I think I get now why prostitution can’t ever be legalized. Prostitutes have seen the emperor with no clothes and can testify that he has a small weenie.

    1. I do not have a small penis!

      1. Nine and a half inches of Semitic steel, Elliot isn’t kidding.

        1. You tell ’em boobalah!

          (slips her another $1000)

        2. So the last name is a pun?

      2. OMG, what happened to it? did it fall off?

  6. Anything that gets Steele ousted is probably bad for the Dems, so I can’t figure out why they are working this so hard.

  7. Considering the fact that heavily Democratic Hollywood churns out the same or worse “entertainment” daily, and the hacks who create it have become fabulously wealthy in doing so, their hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  8. What’s this about Clinton in a sex scandal? Why didn’t the MSM cover THAT?!?!

  9. Don’t think too hard on this one…when you claim to be the party of family values, morality, and abstinence then of course your party’s sex scandals are going to get more attention.

    Republicans should actually be happy that this time the scandal involved heterosexual behavior at least!

    1. Just like Democrats failing to pay the taxes they advocate gets attention. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

      1. Or the jet-setting environmentalists as mentioned above, etc. etc. It sure does seem to be a one way street.

        You’d think Libertarianism’d be unassailable though.

        “Hey, do whatever”

        “HEY HE’S NOT DOING…umm…he’s…damn.”

        1. No, we are hypocrites for driving on public roads or using the internet or something. Of course, by that logic, we’re also hypocrites for paying taxes.

    2. ‘Tis one thing to fall short of living up to your principles, but another entirely not to have any.

      1. To constantly and constantly fall short of principles while berating individuals that their private relationships are evil and unworthy is hypocrisy itself.

    3. When exactly has any national Republican called for a ban on strip clubs? I’m sure there’s some fringe person, but I’m sure that some fringe feminist has as well.

      It’s like attacking the Democratic Party because a member asked for a reimbursement for mileage, when they obviously shouldn’t be driving at all.

      1. How else was I suppose to get to the monorail? Walk? I’m a Democrat, you can’t ask me to walk!

  10. “”During a speech in 2002, Ashcroft said pornography “invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet,” and has “strewn its victims from coast to coast.”””

    “”Over the past four years, Ashcroft’s office has launched dozens of investigations of adult content businesses and filed obscenity cases against porn firms.

    David Wasserman, a first amendment attorney who defends adult web site operators, says those actions are the tip of the iceberg. “My fear is that a second Bush administration will unleash a slew of prosecutions against adult entertainment web sites, video stores and producers of adult films.”

    http://www.alternet.org/election04/20191/

    Ban, no but trying to prosecute them out of existance is pretty close.

    1. Well if Ashcroft or Bush were found to be watching porn films or going to strip clubs, it might have been a big deal. Good thing that never happened.

      1. They’re still trying to ban it for the rest of us. Does interfering with the free market mean nothing to you? No, probably not you fucking statist.

      2. It would have been Teh Awesome if Bush had been a one-termer due to a sex scandal. Divided government plus schadenfreude (sp?) = WIN.

    2. The only ones who got prosecuted were the most extreme pornographers like Zecari and such. I’m sure they would have liked to go after more mainstream porn but they knew they would never be able to win in court.

  11. The funniest part of the whole deal was watching the liberal talking heads on msnbc who were absolutely shocked and appalled at the misuse of funds. “How can they justify spending other people’s money in a manner they clearly wouldn’t approve of?” One of them said while shaking his head in disbelief. Priceless.

  12. Reading Tracy Quan’s first book. Worth reading!

  13. Fanne Fox looks like the lady that palled around with Lamb Chop.

  14. When your party (D) has no morals, it’s hard to be amoral.

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