A Week Of Republican Sexism and Sex Scandals

A Week Of Republican Sexism and Sex Scandals

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Let’s start with the craziest political news of the week: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley sure seems to have had an affair, at least judging from some secret recordings of him talking to an advisor.

“When I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on [inaudible] and pull you real close … Hey, I love that too, putting my hands under you,” Bentley told a woman with whom he has closely worked for years. Perhaps much more closely than was previously known.

Bentley is the kind of conservative Republican with whom we are all too familiar: he hates the queer people can get married and that women can get abortions. He wants to control everyone’s genitals. He’s a church official. Good for him.

And one one hand, under normal circumstances it really doesn’t matter who he has sex with, if he has an affair, or if he has a secretly-open marriage. But on the other hand he’s a politician who’s tried to reign in sexual liberties for everyone else, so screw him.

And that brings us to Ted Cruz, the presumptive other-nominee from the GOP if the Republicans can figure out how to wrest the nomination away from Donald Trump. According to The National Enquirer, he’s had an affair with at least five other women.

Now, The National Enquirer says a lot of things, and only some of them turn out to be true. But who knows — they’ve been proven right other times, such as when they revealed that John Edwards had an affair and Rush Limbaugh was addicted to pills.

And these are the depths to which our election system has descended! What was once a bold experiment in governance is now a tacky reality show. Ted Cruz, for his part, is doing his best to stay above the trashiest aspects of the 2016 campaign, but the Donald Trumps and National Enquirers of the world are doing their best to drag him down. Earlier this week Trump retweeted ugly photos of Cruz’s wife, bragging that his own was much prettier.

It’s kind of nuts that two guys as ugly as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are engaging in a beauty contest, a competition that neither of them could possibly win. And there are certainly better reasons to criticize them as politicians than their looks: for example, Trump just revealed the people he’s tapped to be his foreign policy advisors, and it’s a jaw-dropping selection.

One of them worked with a group of Christian separatists in the Middle East. Another is a recent college grad who mostly knows about extracting oil/money from the Middle East. And then there’s a former Pentagon official who had to resign over wrongdoing, and is also obsessed with German military strategy. So what could go wrong?

If there’s any good news this previous week, it’s that Bernie pulled off some huge victories in three states. He’s still trailing behind Clinton on delegates, but at least the country hasn’t entirely careened all the way to the right.

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