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Free Minds & Free Markets

Why It's So Hard to Get Pervs Out of Politics

Politics is a high-stakes, winner-takes-all game with irresistible appeal to a certain kind of low-quality human being. There are typically only two viable candidates in any national race, and voters have a lot invested in the idea that bad things will happen if their guy loses.

That means that if their guy turns out to be, say, an unrepentant pedophile, there will be plenty of voters who pause for a minute and wonder whether having an unrepentant pedophile in office who will consistently vote the way they want is worse or better than having a non-pedophile who will consistently vote in a way that they believe will undermine the American experiment. Partisan duopoly creates powerful incentives to wear blinders about the flaws of your preferred candidate, and to make excuses for failings too glaring to deny.

In more concrete terms, voters feel compelled to calculate whether a dubious non-consensual boob grab caught on camera is worth accepting in order to get a decade of votes against Republican Supreme Court nominees, in the case of Sen. Al Franken (D–Minn.). Or whether a few sexual harassment settlements paid by taxpayers are a price they're willing to bear in exchange for a vote against Obamacare repeal, as in the case of Rep. John Conyers (D–Mich.). This non-Euclidean electoral geometry was most famously employed on behalf of Bill Clinton decades ago by his feminist supporters, who were willing to dismiss behavior ranging from a voluntary affair with an intern to much more serious allegations of rape and assault, because they believed he would defend women's rights more effectively than his would-be replacements.

South Park famously depicted formal political debates as moronic shoutfests between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. That's a bit of an overstatement: Not all politicians are disgusting. But when a candidate does turn out to be awful, voters often discover too late that—like visitors to Matt Lauer's office or Harvey Weinstein's hotel room—their escape routes have been blocked off. And simply refusing to participate doesn't help with this particular problem; a write-in vote for "neither" won't prevent one of the major party hopefuls from winning in the end.

Sure, politicians are ultimately answerable to the electorate. They're scared we might not vote for them next time around, and that guides their behavior. But they also know that they've made themselves extremely hard to remove by building all kinds of institutional safeguards for their jobs. Add in decades of gerrymandering that have rendered many districts a sure thing for one team or the other, plus a national party apparatus that controls access to televised debates, and even the scariest charges can be weathered with the right combination of money, partisan panic, and news cycle distractibility.

At press time, it looks like Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican accused of inappropriate behavior toward several teenagers, has narrowly missed being elected to the U.S. Senate. His campaign coincided with a major shift in how Americans process allegations of sexual misconduct.

That shift is metabolizing quickly in the private sector, where producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., journalists Matt Lauer and Leon Wieseltier, and many more were fired (or faced similar sanctions in the marketplace) before they could issue their non-apologies.

One reason for the swift response is that consumer-facing industries—the people who make the stuff we buy, watch, and wear—are highly susceptible to boycotts and other forms of reputational damage. Media companies in particular are subject to the decisions of advertisers, who can easily transfer their marketing budgets to another show, another movie, another product, another publication. An allegation of misconduct that takes off on Twitter or Snapchat can do incalculable damage to a brand's bottom line.

The real difference between public and private sector responsiveness to discovering predators in their midst, though, is the dynamic labor market for talent in the for-profit world. There's always another director who can take over a film project, another CEO who can be hired, another news anchor to step in front of the camera. When Bill O'Reilly washed out, Tucker Carlson popped up like a prairie dog, ready to take his place on Fox News' prime spot. When Charlie Rose got the boot from CBS and PBS after eight women accused him of sexual harassment, Christiane Amanpour shrugged off her flak jacket and slid right into his chair. Diageo summarily killed director Brett Ratner's contract for a line of vanity whiskey after allegations broke against him of casting couch harassment and misconduct. I'm sure if Jell-o Pudding Pops still existed, they would have a new spokesman by now too.

As a result, would-be replacements for boldface names have an incentive to bring accusations to light, whether or not they're true. In late 2017, justice administered in the court of public opinion has been swift. But it is also reversible. A contract that is fairly and legally terminated is one that can be reinstated if reputations or known fact patterns change. No one is in jail; no one even has to wait until the next election cycle. The internet is already rife with think pieces speculating about how long these once-powerful, still-talented men will have to sit in the corner and think about what they did before they're allowed back into the game.

Indeed, it's striking how many of these individuals have quickly confessed when confronted with allegations of misbehavior. The problem, by and large, doesn't seem to be that prominent figures are being wrongly accused. Weinstein, C.K., Lauer, Franken, comedian Andy Dick, and others speedily acknowledged that at least some of the charges are true, presumably in an effort to skip ahead to redemption. Again, this is in contrast to the politicians accused this season, who have more typically followed an "admit nothing until there are no other options" approach.

Cover-ups and slow responses happen in the private sector as well. Boards of directors pay out settlements all the time—sometimes because they believe their guy is innocent, sometime because they think he's worth keeping even if he's guilty, and sometimes because the latter makes it impossible for them to think clearly about the former. But even when things go badly, politicos tend to get softer landings. After looking like he might hang around after the disclosure of past inappropriate behavior, Conyers is being allowed to retire in his own time while attempting to graciously hand off his seat to his son.

And even as people on both sides go down in flames, partisans stick by their teams, debating whether it's more hypocritical for a social conservative (Christian values!) or a social liberal (respect for women!) to commit sexual assault, a back-and-forth likely to soon appear in an episode of South Park as well.

Meanwhile, in a world of at-will employment and tough competition for the best jobs—in the private sector, in other words—there will always be someone to step up when a guy with a good gig topples. Ultimately, businesses are better positioned than political parties to dip into that deep well of talent, and they have a stronger incentive to do so.

Republicans and Democrats work hard to limit our choices when it comes to politicians. But when it comes to the stuff we buy and sell, Americans can meaningfully choose "none of the above."

Photo Credit: southpark.cc.com

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  • azrn602||

    Hear, hear! However, I feel this article could have also been a perfect opportunity to promote third parties and alternatives to the duopoly that offer voters a principled choice rather than having people compromise their values and be hypocrites.

  • Longtobefree||

    And which of the many 'third' parties would that be?

  • DiegoF||

    In California, where a lot of readers live, I'm hearing good things about the Republicans or "GOP" as they sometimes call themselves.

  • Brandybuck||

    One of the perennial Libertarian candidates in my old district was on the sex offender list, and put on that list for reasons involving children. While I might agree with him politically, I would never ever cast a vote for that scum.

  • Jujucat||

    OOOH NEATO!

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Mozart was a coprophiliac and a scatologist.

    Ad hominem does not defeat the merits of an argument.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What was Mozart's argument, exactly?

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Haha. My point was that merely attacking someone for a proclivity does not necessarily defeat an argument made by that someone.

    In other words, why does it matter if someone is a "perv?"

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's a fine principle when talking about philosophers or pundits. But when you're talking about a politician or producer who uses that position of authority to get sexual favors and silence people who they have wronged, it's less about an 'argument' and more about exploitation.

  • Ascendancy||

    Soooo…. In that case..since it has nothing to do with the post you responded to, because you're creating an "exploitation " argument out of thin air…

    What EXACTLY did you think you were refuting?

    Our is your thing to just ignore the actual topic of discussion?

  • mortiscrum||

    The response WAS on topic. The question was "what's wrong with being a perv" and Hugh responded by listing harms. How does that not answer the question?

  • Bubba Jones||

    He liked poop?

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is a very old German tradition.

  • Brandybuck||

    The arrival of April is traditionally celebrated with scatwurst and beer.

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    *What was Mozart's argument, exactly?
    I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. I'm a Deus. HO HO HO, I'm a Deus.

  • ||

    THAT'S ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP.

    ALL OF YOU.

  • Brandybuck||

    He said "crap". Heh. Heh.

  • Radioactive||

    I think that's spelled deuce, but I could be wrong...

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Did Mozart write "Little Deuce Coupe"?

  • Kivlor||

    Well, part of the argument against it is "if you can't trust this person to uphold basic values of decency then why would you trust him to advance them in the law".

    If X politician will behave this way in his personal life if he thinks no one is watching, what horrors will he be scheming when we hand him power over millions of people?

  • Rhywun||

    Sounds like a good argument in favor of reducing the power of politicians.

    Because the alternative implication - that there is a perfectly decent human out there - is a dangerous fantasy.

  • Kivlor||

    It does impeach politicians having power. Sadly, KMW's article is pretty retarded. It's not much of an argument against government power. It's an argument for centralized authority. That's the real reason it's easier to replace people in the private sector: it doesn't require the organization of a vote of millions of people. One man/woman makes the call. Or at most a very small committee. One could easily draw the conclusion we should end the Republic and establish an absolute monarchy.

  • Zeb||

    It didn't read like an argument for or against anything to me.

  • mortiscrum||

    As long as the monarchy was responsive to Twitter and other forms of social media like major companies are, it might just be crazy enough to work.

  • ||

    That's the real reason it's easier to replace people in the private sector: it doesn't require the organization of a vote of millions of people.

    That's exactly her central point:

    Ultimately, businesses are better positioned than political parties to dip into that deep well of talent, and they have a stronger incentive to do so.

    Republicans and Democrats work hard to limit our choices when it comes to politicians. But when it comes to the stuff we buy and sell, Americans can meaningfully choose "none of the above."

    Why say her argument is retarded and then repeat it essentially verbatim?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Monarchy?

    It seems a better argument for outsourcing government to a private contractor.

  • mortiscrum||

    If you did that though, it wouldn't be private any more, by definition. We'd end up right back where we started.

  • Kivlor||

    Monarchy?

    It seems a better argument for outsourcing government to a private contractor.

    A monarchy would be even more efficient, therefore better if we take KMW seriously. But if you like we can say she's argued for an oligarchy. Either way, she (inadvertently I think) made the case for placing the plebs under the rule of TOP MEN. Something libertarians are always opposing in every other case RE: government.

  • Kivlor||

    Why say her argument is retarded and then repeat it essentially verbatim?

    She goes on to say the real difference is the magical labor market.

    The real difference between public and private sector responsiveness to discovering predators in their midst, though, is the dynamic labor market for talent in the for-profit world...there will always be someone to step up when a guy with a good gig topples.

    There is a massive labor pool for political positions. There is tremendous competition for those positions. There is always a host of people looking to take your gig if you fall. This is retarded. The difference is not the labor market at all. The difference is centralization vs decentralization, plain and simple.

  • Mcgoo95||

  • Kivlor||

    When you elect a politician, you are entrusting them to do things you want, and not do things you don't want with that power.

    X politician says he will advance basic values you adhere to and wish to see advanced.
    X politician has violated the basic values he says he will advance.
    X politician should not be trusted to advance those values as he has acted against them already.

    It's not a non-sequitur. The point just goes over your head. If you are a libertine, then this isn't an issue, but then he hasn't acted against your values by being scuzzy either, so it's not an issue for the argument.

  • Ascendancy||

    "It's not a non-sequitur"

    Yes, it is. You just keep insisting that it isn't, and that private lives cant't be kept separate.

    That's moronic.

  • Kivlor||

    No, I'm insisting that if a person says they will protect and advance a set of values, but then acts against those values, it would stand to reason you should not entrust them with enacting and protecting those values.

    It doesn't mean they cannot. It means you are taking an extra risk in trusting them to. The problem here is that you're stuck in a pure philosophical mode of "well they could possibly..." when we are talking about real world situations, where heuristics have applicable value.

    Now, if the person has a proven track record of advancing a specific agenda (outside of mere rhetoric) while not living up to the standard at home, that may mitigate the situation and offer some purchase for your argument. (ie Franken & Moore were both politicians with track records that ostensibly did so)

  • Mcgoo95||

    I suppose so. I guess we have different expectations of what politicians do. I believe people should vote for politicians based on the policies they promote (which makes it a very difficult to do as most of them aren't very specific, MAGA FTW!). Personally, I find it foolish to expect politicians to "advance basic values" you believe in. That is the collective job for society and culture to develop. But I know you are correct that the majority of people vote for someone that could potentially be their "role model" instead of someone that could actually fix the problems that government has the capacity to fix. Maybe if we actually start holding politicians accountable for what they do/fail to do instead of acting like they are responsible for defining the moral fabric of our society, things will get better. Not likely though. So I guess in a roundabout way it's not a non-sequitur for the majority of voters.

  • Kivlor||

    People have different values they want their politicians to advance. Libertarians want "free markets" and social libertinism. SoCons want traditional Christian values--traditional marriage, honor, etc. Progressives want carve-outs for minorities and to bury the traditions of the past. These are all competing values.

    For the SoCons it would be a problem if someone says they'll advance traditional marriage while having 6 mistresses with 12 kids. Said person probably can't be trusted to do so. Libertarians would have a problem with someone who claims to support abortion but has been known to have shamed/pressured their wife/daughter to not have one when they wanted it. Progs would have a problem with someone who says they will champion social justice for minorities but has been known to not rent to blacks.

    Of course this all presupposes the politician in question doesn't have a long track record of public service before the info comes out. If they have a track record of doing what you want,and later it comes out they behave differently at home, it may make sense to tolerate them. Well, for everyone but the purists in the SoCon / Progressive circles.

  • Mcgoo95||

    You seem to be confusing libertinism with libertarianism. They are not the same thing. I don't necessarily disagree with what you say in the rest of it. However, your initial premise was that if a person doesn't behave according to the values they preach, they will make laws that the person that voted for them disagrees with. I still find that argument difficult to believe. What you are describing above is a loss of confidence in the personality of the elected official, which doesn't necessarily mean they will vote/champion laws counter to the platform they ran, and were elected upon.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    ^^^This.

    Perhaps this is a core issue in how our current democratic republic functions (or not).

    I want a representative (cuz any manifestation of direct democracy would be even more of a shit show) that will reliably support my positions on key issues. I can at least try to separate the person's public and private life, and official actions from image.

    Too many of the electorate seem to want a representative who looks like them. And who holds the promise, stated or imagined, of unrealistic expectations.

    I sometimes wonder how our representative government would function if at least some votes were held in secret.

  • Kivlor||

    To be clear, I'm not trying to conflate libertine with libertarian. There is serious crossover in the two categories though, and I was trying to point out that a libertine (not necessarily libertarian) would have an issue even discussing this. I think upon reading back I did that poorly.

    I will say that I think the Libertarian Party's platform is a libertine one. So long as it's not "coerced" it is good; and the platform goes on to openly oppose any authority (even non-governmental) that would ask for obedience (ie churches). The platform is literally "though shalt not tell anyone they shouldn't do anything they want to do." Which is essentially libertinism.

  • Mcgoo95||

    I strongly disagree. I would never presume to speak for the Libertarian party, but the platform certainly doesn't seem to be, "though shalt not tell anyone they shouldn't do anything they want to do." to me, but more "what you do in the privacy of your own home is nobody's business but yours (outside of violating someone else's rights)". Maybe I'm in the wrong place if more people agree with your definition.

  • Kivlor||

    "what you do in the privacy of your own home is nobody's business but yours (outside of violating someone else's rights)"

    According to this statement you can't tell someone what they are doing is bad unless it is violating someone else's rights. Especially if you include the platform statement "The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."

    "Any authoritarian power" in this instance is any power demanding obedience--like a church, a fraternal organization etc.

    "Don't tell me it's bad for me to do X and that I shouldn't or I can't. What I do is my business, not yours." The LP platform is a libertine one. (Again, this doesn't make all libertarians libertines)

  • Mcgoo95||

    So are you saying all libertines are libertarians? That argument is equally ridiculous (or more so). I think that as a libertarian you can tell people anything you want to tell them. You just can't throw them in jail for smoking pot and having an orgy in their house (activities many democrats and maybe a few republicans participate in as well).

  • Mcgoo95||

    I think the miscommunication we are having is because one is a lifestyle and the other is a political party. They really have nothing at all to do with one another...which was kind of the point I was trying to make in the first place.

  • Kivlor||

    So are you saying all libertines are libertarians? That argument is equally ridiculous (or more so). I think that as a libertarian you can tell people anything you want to tell them. You just can't throw them in jail for smoking pot and having an orgy in their house (activities many democrats and maybe a few republicans participate in as well).

    No. I'm saying that there is serious overlap between the 2 categories. Think Venn diagram. 2 Circles: 1 libertarian, 1 Libertine, both overlap in a large area. There's still libertines that would not be libertarians and libertarians that are libertine. Now, in mind, I think the LP platform completely exists inside of that overlap.

    Not all [insert party] subscribe to the party platform.

    TL;DR I think we're autistically arguing about something that is probably non-substantive and that it's most likely my fault.

  • Ascendancy||

    Sounds like a profoundly stupid argument.

  • Fribley||

    Why did you have to bring up that shit?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    This is what we get for investing so much power in the government. It creates the incentive for every low-life in the country to try to get a piece of the action.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Remember how cash prices transmit information to sellers? Every time I vote libertarian that tells the Douche and GO#2 parties to throttle back on the death-and-taxes, coathanger abortion, death-for-hemp, War on Everything and War on Everyone planks. Those parties are in it to make a killing, and ethics means nothing to them or the tools they run as candidates. Right now the Dems are heating up tar and cutting open pillowcases for their former platform committee members. The next batch is going to remember how FDR repealed some prohibition and became President-for-Life--all because the Dems had the good sense to copy the Liberal Party repeal plank. Votes for a small, growing party transmit amplified information to looter party platform committees, and those planks are what modify and repeal bad laws.

  • albo||

    Psychopaths are attracted to power, whether in the corporate world, the military or politics. So why are we surprised that we elect arrogant egoists?

    The first Libertarian party president will be a closeted psychopath, too.

  • Brandybuck||

    Never vote for someone who wants the job.

  • Ecoli||

    Perverts need love too.

  • Kivlor||

    Why It's So Hard to Get Pervs Out of Politics

    It's hard to get the pervs out of politics due to the nature of politics. KMW misses the mark, despite being correct in much of the initial description.

    Politics is high stakes and high stress. And there has been a noted correlation between high status, high power, high stress positions and deviant sexual behavior for a very long time. It's not merely that the tribe will put anyone in so long as they would defend their values, it is something deeper, rooted in the very substance of humanity.

    People in these positions are often tempted to start behaving in ways a normal pleb would never condone. Most of them likely didn't start out that way, and before they got in the game would have blanched at the thought. Much of it seems to have to natural tendencies regarding human dominance patterns. Being at the top of the dominance hierarchy seems to bring out the worst in many humans.

  • Kivlor||

    I think the mistake here is that KMW is projecting the issue revolving around Moore onto the rest of these people, when Moore was the outlier. Of course, I also think that Moore being an "outlier" is significant in that he is an indicator of which way the winds are blowing.

    Blue Team has been willing to elevate terrible people to power as long as their politics were correct for decades, while Team Red has burned their deviants regularly. It was Trump, and now Moore, that are the exceptions to this on the "right" and I think that is indicative of where we are heading.

  • Brandybuck||

    The great number of sex related scandals among members of congress is not just a statistical anomaly. Those seeking political office out of a sense of civic duty are greatly outnumbered by those who just want to wield power over others. Unfortunately, psychopaths have the skills of blending in with normals.

  • Kivlor||

    This is where we differ BB: You are arguing that if only we could tell the right men from the wrong ones we'd be able to stop this. I'm arguing that it is a fundamental part of human nature, and that even if you elected all the "right men" a bunch of them would become corrupted. Because the heart of man has a natural inclination for such things.

    I think, historically, most of the people who get into power and behave in these ways would have never thought they would do so before they found themselves in the position. But stress, power and status can and will stir in the human heart dark things that most people would never have thought themselves capable of.

    We're fighting not just "sneaky bad people with bad intentions" but human nature.

  • Brandybuck||

    That's not what I'm saying. What I've said elsewhere is to limit political power so that fewer people who crave political power will seek it out. The problem is not the people in government, it's the government itself.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Those seeking office out of a sense of civic duty aren't willing to do the things that get the power-seekers elected. The last election cycle is a pretty good example of that.

  • Kivlor||

    I want to add that I think you will be right in the future, as libertinism takes hold more in society, and as the only party that opposed this behavior is forced to accept it or be defeated at every turn due merely to "allegations". Their willingness to win will result in many more psychopaths filling their ranks, knowing that there will be no punishment should they get caught abusing power and position.

  • Kivlor||

    Oops, this should have been replied under Brandybuck. Sorry.

  • Hank Phillips||

    KMV is right that winner-takes-all. By winning I mean that my vote increases freedom, and freedom is the Invisible Candidate that is the alternative to being bled by leeches, lampreys and looters. Back before the Soviets and National Socialists demonstrated by noble experimentation that Altruria is really a barbed-wire death camp, Prohibition and Socialism were the fake ideals spoiler votes made into reality folks would feel on their hides. Those lessons in history are all the Libertarian Party needs by way of advertisement, and the message is sinking in as the DemoGOP show its true colors. Paltering and compromising with parasites? I'll stick to winning, thanks.

  • Kivlor||

    Hank, I really don't see how this is much of a response to what I said. And I'm beginning to wonder if you've either gone senile, or if we read completely different articles.

    KMW has laid out an excellent case for an absolute monarchy, not for "liberty".

  • Robert||

    This story is sandwiched between 2 at HyR that might be clues: Politicians tend toward narcissism (Trump article), & have enemies who can set them up (Diebold article).

  • Ecoli||

    "This non-Euclidean electoral geometry was most famously employed on behalf of Bill Clinton decades ago by his feminist supporters, who were willing to dismiss behavior ranging from a voluntary affair with an intern to much more serious allegations of rape and assault, because they believed he would defend women's rights more effectively than his would-be replacements."

    Including, most importantly, Bill's wife. "War on women", except for those sluts the left is banging, those are just the left's comfort women.

    So much for "feminists".

  • Mickey Rat||

    I remember when Reason writers bought into the Clinton Era rationalization that a person's private sex life was irrelevant to their ability to hold high office.

  • Kivlor||

    I think they still do Mickey. It's just that most people who lean left are terrified that the people who lean right will buy in to that, and choose to start winning elections with crap people rather than choose to die on the hill of perfect morality. This tactic is okay for me, not for thee.

    The fear from many people on the left has been palpable since they brought out all sorts of accusations against Trump and it failed to stop him, and that fear intensified when it looked like Alabama, the deepest of red bible-belt states, looked like it might just choose to ignore accusations against Moore.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    No, I see this as more of an intra-left wing evolution. The hyper-progessive sensitivity about sexual offense made it impossible for them to ignore and real or imagined transgressions, and start aiming their morality shots at their own feet.

  • Kivlor||

    You're completely right Re: the far left. They've painted themselves into a corner, and now they have to eat their own words regarding "Listen and believe". But normally we would expect KMW et al to argue "just because they did something bad in their personal life shouldn't preclude them from being able to do a good job." Instead, she is arguing otherwise. I think that is because those on the left who aren't full-on progs have realized that their opponents on the "right" just might stop playing this suckers game and start playing to win.

  • Brandybuck||

    Fast forward twenty years, and apply Clinton's quip that character does not matter to the current president. Trump is in office ONLY because the right forgot that character does matter.

  • Mark22||

    Trump is in office ONLY because the right forgot that character does matter.

    And what horribly immoral things has Trump actually done? What exactly do you think is wrong with his character?

  • Bubba Jones||

    This article ignores primaries and the political tactics that withhold damaging information until it is too late for the voter to choose someone who both votes in the preferred way and isn't an asshole.

    We vote for people to represent us in votes. Not to be role models.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I vote to scare looters into representing me when they (the better people) cast actual law-changing votes that can either coerce or free up the riff-raff. I want those bastards terrified of losing by 1% in a race where the Libertarian candidate harvested a LOUD message-transmitting 3% of the total vote count. A wasted vote is one that much more softly whispers to the looters to keep on robbing my money and pointing guns at my family and pets. Integrity works!

  • JuanQPublic||

    We vote for people to represent us in votes. Not to be role models.

    Agreed, although personal conduct, especially patterns of behavior, are seen as a barometer to many on how a candidate will regard their position of power. And in many cases, that's valid, especially when one supposedly works, or wants to work, in the realm of crafting law.

  • Mcgoo95||

    And yet, there are countless examples throughout history of people benefiting humanity despite having undesirable sexual agendas. I think many, many people consider the job that Clinton did as president to be beneficial. I think many people liked Weinstein's movies. JFK was a huge sexual predator by today's standards. Those that make the (bad) choice to wield sexuality as a cudgel usually only manage to hit themselves over the head with it in the long run.

  • Radioactive||

    we vote cause we think 1) our pol will get us the good stuff 2) their pol will steal all the good stuff for his/her friends

  • Mickey Rat||

    The private sector can act swiftly because businesses have executives and boards that are in charge (though Weinstein's, Spacey's and such had happened decades ago and were supposedly just not talked about as other than inside jokes, so how swift was the response, really?).

    In politics the party control over who they run in a particular race has largely been neutered. There was no one who had the authority to fire Moore from being the GOP nominee once the allegations came out except Moore himself. Therefore the choice came between supporting Moore and Democrat forbthe voters.

    Also could ee please contain using the word "pedophile" to attraction to prepubescents as the actual denotation prescribes instead of cheaply applying the terrible connotation to someone on the cheap?

  • Rhywun||

    Also could ee please contain using the word "pedophile" to attraction to prepubescents

    To be fair, she did carefully word the article so that she wasn't accusing anyone in particular.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That kind of "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" innuendo is a bit craven in my opinion.

  • Mark22||

    Craven people is what the journalistic profession attracts.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Mangu-Ward is the better writer, but the gist of her article is the same message The Entrenched Kleptocracy hands us: that there is no real choice. And before she was born there wasn't. But since Nolan organized the LP I can get what I want by voting for it, and freedom's where my head is at. The LP's single pro-choice electoral vote counted in 1972 put that plank into Roe v Wade, which encouraged Canada to strike down all Comstock laws and enforce individual rights for women. That one electoral vote packed all the law-changing clout of not 271, but 521 electoral votes for our Toni Nathan. It changed the law. True, we were still stuck with Nixon, but the improvement in freedom was nevertheless sudden and large. Today our 4 million spoiler votes change 89 electoral votes, but also sway downballot election results. So even if our candidate isn't required to consort with looter politicians, the less obnoxious of two looters probably "wins" the job. We walk off confident that our spoiler votes increased freedom and the effort was thus successful. That's winning.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Maybe because politics, by definition, is perversion. Outside of a dictatorship (and maybe not even then) achieving and acting in leadership roles requires compromise, and that requires "flexible" ethics. From bending rules to outright violations, every politician is a pervert of some sort. And any boundary between sexual and non-sexual ethical domains is arbitrary and fuzzy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Almost 50% of Alabamans who voted Republican in 2016 didn't vote Republican in 2017.

    The Republican Alabamans clearly did not want Moore elected as senator.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm not sure there is really anything at all to take from that election.

  • Mark22||

    Sure there is: billionaires can successfully corrupt our political process. Like when Bezos' WP makes carefully timed disclosures to throw an election to the Democrats.

  • Radioactive||

    our perv is better than your perv!

  • Radioactive||

    how come all these pervs are labeled as guys? No lady pervs? I'll bet Weiner was a perv only because Abieden (sp?) liked to munch on Hills muff and wouldn't let him have a taste

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Politics is a high-stakes, winner-takes-all game with irresistible appeal to a certain kind of low-quality human being.

    I'm really glad that someone else has the same opinion I do on this subject.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree. There's no better place to be a criminal than in an official government position, because no one enforces the law against them. And it's a place where government officials use force against others, just like the low-quality humans beings they're supposed to be protecting us from.

    If they can't their jollies doing their job against individuals who deserve it, then they can get it doing it against law abiding citizens because government officials give each other "professional courtesy".

  • Cloudbuster||

    That shift is metabolizing quickly in the private sector,

    Metabolizing?

  • Robert||

    I wondered about that word too, but these people are paid to vary their words from time to time to make the reporting read as fresher, more lively, whatever. Metastatizing? No, probably not that. Mutating? Nah. "Metabolizing" makes a kind of sense, though not a word I'd've thought to use in such a context.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm assuming that by "perv" as well that Ms. Mange-Ward only means people who use their authority to force others into sexual situations. And not just people with unusual sexual proclivities. The two are not synonymous.

  • Kivlor||

    Man, I'm hard on some of the writers here, but calling KMW "Mange-Ward" is mean spirited, even in my book 0_0

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That looks more like my phone autocorrect did that. Mangu-Ward. No rudeness meant at all. That would excessively catty on my part to do that.

  • Kivlor||

    I was just poking fun BUCS. I think all of the regulars here know you wouldn't have done that intentionally.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I have argued with statists about the major problem with government is its coercive monopoly, that markets have competition which gets rid of the bad players far more efficiently than captured regulators. Crickets, if not downright hostility from the statists who always want to pile new regulations on top of old when the old don't work out (which is always). They always being up one market "failure" after another, like "Unsafe at any speed", as if only government can cure problems, and overlooking all the problems government has caused.

    Next time I'll have to bring up these #MeToo scandals as an example. It's hard to think of a more clearcut contemporary example. I kno wit will now sway any statists, but it will be entertaining.

  • EscherEnigma||

    This only makes sense if you only consider the micro-cosm of the general election, and never consider what happened before or after.

    But that's not what happens. All these politicians go through primaries where they compete for the nomination with a bunch of other folks. And from all those folks, their voters will say "this guy. This horrible, horrible guy. This horrible guy that I wouldn't pay to cut my grass. He's our man". And then in the general election they do it again. And then in 2/4/6 years they do it again in another primary followed by another general election.

    You might be able to make a "lesser of two evils" argument if news of the "horrible" only came out between the primary and general election. But seeing as we often know these people are horrible year after year, election cycle after election cycle, this isn't very convincing.

    Face it, sooner or later, you have to accept that elected representative really do represent their voters.

  • Robert||

    In 2016 I backed a candidate for US House because he was expected to spend a good deal of his own $ on the campaign. I told our screening committee I thought he was a doofus, but when our chair brought up the $, where we're used to very under-funded campaigns, I changed my mind. Funny thing is, the candidate's opinions on issues were very aligned w Trump's, & he even said so, while our chair was extremely anti-Trump. So sometimes it's not character or issues, but $.

  • Robert||

    By "doofus" I meant he didn't seem knowledgeable about issues, plus his delivery was lousy. I didn't like his opinions much either, but that wasn't the worst of it. He just came off like a dud. I'm sure that in his biz he was quite capable.

  • Mark22||

    By "doofus" I meant he didn't seem knowledgeable about issues

    That's better than someone who seems knowledgeable about issues but actually isn't... like most other politicians.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Power lust is a perversion in itself. Of COURSE the perverts go into politics.

    -jcr

  • MoreFreedom||

    I especially like Ward's description of Tucker Carlson popping up like a prairie dog.

  • Mark22||

    Politics is a high-stakes, winner-takes-all game with irresistible appeal to a certain kind of low-quality human being.

    So it's like journalism then? Something you know from first hand experience?

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