Family Values

It’s been somewhat amusing to watch the party of family values rule.

Donald Trump is leading this party.  Which makes the people with brains laugh.

Donald Trump paid $130,000 of hush money to Stormy Daniels, a porn star he had an affair with prior to running for office. He had her spank him with a rolled up copy of Forbes magazine.  He is reputedly currently involved in an affair with Hope Hicks, a member of his staff.  He’s had five kids with three different women.  One wonders how many abortions he paid for.  I’ll bet it’s more than one.  Then there are all of the allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, underage sex, and rape.  You can tell what a committed family man he is.

And by now, you may have heard about Missouri Governor and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens being in some hot water.

You must always describe him as a former Navy SEAL. It’s become part of his name here in the great state of Missouri.

He isn’t denying that he had an affair with a woman outside of his marriage.  He isn’t denying that he taped her to a Bowflex, blindfolded and gagged her.  He admits to that.  He also hasn’t denied taking pictures.  The only thing he denies is that he threatened to use the picture to blackmail his paramour if she told anyone of the affair.  That would be a crime, so of course he denies it.  We should believe a documented liar because he says so.

He ran as a conservative outsider. Formerly a democrat, which, considering his policies is kind of mind boggling, he is now a republican. Funded by outside people and dark money, he rode the Trumpian train to power.

His parents are democrats and sound pretty liberal.  I wonder how they feel.

He’s on his second marriage, to a woman who on paper, looks as wonderful as he does. Smart and educated.  Kinda like Hillary Clinton.

The story about his extra marital affair broke right around the time he was giving his State of the State address this month.

Now all of the Chrinos, Christian in name only, are absolving him by pointing to Bill Clinton. (And you know they immediately “forgave” Mr. Clinton for his infidelities.) Or by saying that what goes on inside a marriage belongs to the two people in it. Or by saying only those with no sin should cast stones.

It’s all bullshit.

I’ve been married three times. The first was me being very young and stupid and it ended quickly. Infidelity on both sides. The second time, I was older and wiser, and it still ended badly. That one is all on me. I was working with a married man and we fell in love and it resulted in a scandal. We got through it and have been married to each other for 27 years now.

So I feel qualified to talk about marriages and infidelity. Been there, done that.

This is the thing with being a sinner; I know it. So I don’t feel morally superior to people when they fuck up. We all fuck up at one time or another, in one way or another. It’s called “humility” and it shows that you understand that you are not the only person in the universe who counts; that your opinion is one of many; that public service is serving the public, not imposing your will.

Eric Greitens ran on family values. He’s pro-birth and extremely moralistic about how others should live their lives. And therein lies the difference. He introduced morality into his campaign.  He portrayed himself as a family man.  Now he wants the rules to change.

His wife, Sheena, has played a big role in his governorship and she has forgiven all and now wants everyone to leave them alone. I would like to slap her face.  She can’t possibly be that naive.

These two are well educated enough to understand that “public” is different than “private.” They ran for public office. Kinky Eric is a public figure; it even says so on his unofficial Facebook page. Now, now they want to be private? It’s too late for that and they should know it.

You run for office, you should know that your lives are no longer private. Private and public are two different words and two very different things. It seems that this distinction is being ignored willfully by the Chrinos and other apologists for some reason.

I will say that as a political science major and a political junkie my entire life, I’ve been asked why I’ve never run for office. This is the biggest reason: I grew up in the sex, drugs and rock and roll period and I experimented quite freely. Privacy is the biggest loss in a life of public service and I knew that even in my 20s. There is no excuse for Eric Greitens, who is in his 40s.

The timeline on all of this is a bit murky, but so far as I am aware, these are the salient facts:

Eric and Sheena married in 2011. The affair took place in 2015 just before Eric filed the papers for his campaign and Sheena was either pregnant or had just given birth. The affair was conducted in the family home, a detail that really turns my stomach. Was he too cheap to get a hotel room? What would motivate a “family man” to bring his paramour home? That level of betrayal goes deeper than anything I ever did. It seems to me to be either tremendous hostility or sociopathic behavior. Or both.

Maybe I’m over reacting to that little detail, but to me, it’s part of a deep violation. As a woman, I don’t feel safe anywhere but my home. To have a trusted person violate that trust AND in the only safe place really strikes me as a horrible thing to do.  His kids live in that house, too.  It’s just disgusting.

These are the people we are electing nowadays.

Eric Greitens is a slimy character. I didn’t vote for him, of course. Like many in the GOP, he doesn’t really care for the first amendment in our constitution. He has two Facebook pages. One is “unofficial”, but he is identified as a public person. He blocks people on that page. That one is the one he uses to defend himself and to lecture people and to post pictures of his kids. His official page has his title in it, and he isn’t blocking people there (yet). That one doesn’t get updated too often and he didn’t bother to wish his unblocked constituents any holiday greetings, which I thought was pretty shitty. He will eventually, I hope, be sued by the ACLU for his censorship and I don’t know how the hell he will argue that the unofficial page shouldn’t be considered since he posts way more often on that page than his official but uncensored page.

He is also under investigation for using the app Confide that deletes text messages. Which, you know, could kind of interfere with transparency.

These people think we are stupid. I find that offensive.

I also find it offensive when Sheena tell us to leave her kids alone. Who brings the kids in? They do. Both of them pimp the kids like nobodies business when it benefits them, when it makes them seem human and cuddly and warm. Kids that young should be shielded from public, in my humble opinion. Leave them at home when you’re conducting business. You make them pawns when you drag them around with you on photo opportunities.  Sheena has reportedly taken the kids out of state.  Good for her.

And does anybody believe that this is the first time Eric has strayed? When you bring another person into the family home, blindfold and tape them up, right before you run for public office and you know you are about to run for public office,  you are demonstrating an arrogance beyond what most of us could even imagine.

The woman at the center of all of this has not commented. It’s been her ex-husband who brought this out. He also recorded a telephone conversation between them without her knowledge or consent. This woman has been used and abused and my sympathies go out to her. She is a private citizen, who obviously used some very poor judgment and is probably kicking herself silly. I hope she is able to move on with her life.

Since the story broke, the Greitens issued a statement that said all is forgiven in the marriage and that we should all just move on.  The party of family values and it’s Chrino membership may or may not obey.  Judging from the comments on social media, the more “Christian” you think you are, the more likely you are to ignore the hypocrisy.

Then we have Jason Smith, the US Congressman from Missouri’s Eighth District.  Jason is another big Chrino family values guy.  He’s also unmarried at the age of 38.  Jason is a closeted gay guy and all of the family values people have apparently agreed to never bring up his sexuality or lack of a spouse.

Given what has been on display with Republicans, I’ve got to wonder about Jason’s rhapsodies about farm life.  Maybe he’s more into animals than we think.  His mom runs a puppy mill, so maybe Jason is a Poodle pumper.*  Or could be cows or pigs or who knows?  Jason is such a piece of shit, nothing would surprise me.

These are the people who tell us how to live our lives.  They are defining morality. Their Chrino followers are excusing them and enabling them because that’s what family does, right?

 

*Stolen from the movie Grosse Pointe Blank

 

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