There is a Big Breaking News Story on the AP wires today about Pete Domenici.
Pete Domenici was a Senator from New Mexico. He was in office from 1973 to 2009. He was a relatively nondescript member of the Senate for most of his six terms, outside of having a record as a strong proponent of nuclear power (as you would expect from a politician who has Los Alamos National Laboratory in his district) and other forms of energy.
But Domenici cheated on his wife back in the 1970’s and had a son with the daughter of former Nevada senator Paul Laxalt. And today it’s a Huge News Story that this happened.
Because Pete Domenici is a Republican, you see. And it’s a Big News Story that a Republican might have been unfaithful to his wife 40 years ago. Because Republicans are all, y’know, Family Values and so on.
Pete Domenici was never known as a big family values guy. Pete Domenici was an energy guy. He had eight kids by his wife, plus the son who’s the source of a Huge News Story since Domenici just admitted that yeah, that’s his son.
As if it’s anybody’s business.
As if the AP is the least bit curious about Robert Menendez’ Dominican hookers (they’re not) or any of the hordes of other illegitimate affairs – or kids – Democrat politicians routinely churn out.
No. Domenici, an 80-year old man who suffers from frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which is a cause of dementia, needs to be dragged into the realm of the Huge News Story now, four years after he’s no longer in public life, by the AP.
Who couldn’t ever find out about Domenici’s illegitimate kid for the 30 years he was actually in office, they’re such ruthless, intrepid and perceptive journalists. And it turns out that Domenici’s illegitimate kid has become a fairly prominent attorney and conservative activist back in Nevada. He’s fine. His mom, who’s a prominent DC lobbyist, is fine. Nobody got left in an orphanage or died in the street because Domenici cheated on his wife back in the Stone Age.
This is a big deal, it’s anybody’s business because why?
Because Domenici is a Republican. And because it just came out – not because of the AP’s crackerjack reporting but because people on Twitter smoked it out – that Tennessee Democrat congressman Steve Cohen has a 24-year old illegitimate daughter. Because Cohen got embarrassed in a mini-scandal, now we have to make a Huge News Story out of an 80-year old former Republican Senator whose kid wasn’t exactly the biggest secret on earth all these years and nobody cared before.
And the whole Republicans Care About Family Values So We Have To Expose Their Hypocrisy At Every Turn thing is why this non-story is a Huge News Story.
Because Pete Domenici, as it turns out, voted to remove Bill Clinton during the 1998 impeachment proceedings. As did pretty much every other Republican in the Senate.
Domenici said at the time that he didn’t care about Clinton’s sex life. What bothered him about the material involved in the impeachment proceedings was Clinton’s lies. But that was enough to justify this Huge News Story…
Domenici voted for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998 after his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but his floor statement focused on the fact that Clinton had lied under oath, noting that the trial “has never been about the President’s private sex acts, as tawdry as they have been.”
But in the same speech, he cited the value of “truthfulness” and how it’s the first pillar of good character.
So in other words, because Pete Domenici cheated on his wife one time, was never asked about it and didn’t have an occasion to discuss the subject under oath, the fact that he voted yes on removal in 1998 justifies blasting his personal life all over the wires 15 years later when he’s no longer in office.
He’s a hypocrite, you see.
And this is one of the Left’s greatest weapons. If you have and promote standards that you can’t meet all of the time, it’s worse than having no standards at all.
Which is why a guy like Domenici is worse than a guy like Bill Clinton. So far as we know Domenici had an affair and a “love child” one time. We can’t even count how many times Clinton cheated on his wife, often in circumstances which look a whole lot like sexual abuse or maybe even rape, but the really important part is that Domenici is a hypocrite. Because Clinton never said anything about morality and sex, see.
It’s not really a partisan attack on Domenici. It’s an attack on the standards. Because those standards are oppressive, and fascistic, and uncool. And probably religious, too. And we should just have a society without any standards, because that’s what freedom is. And when some of the behavior arising out of a society which has no standards means you have scads and oodles of people who can’t take care of themselves, then naturally it’s important to tax the stew out of the people who can take care of themselves to prop up the losers.
See how all this works?
Francois de La Rochefoucauld once wrote that hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. He wrote that back in an era when people took the question of behavior and morality a lot more seriously. And guess what? Back then there were husbands who cheated on their wives, and there were illegitimate children. But there was the concept of shame, and of standards. Great energy was put into developing those standards of behavior. And it was understood that the pursuit of those standards was meaningful; almost as meaningful as the attainment of them.
But the Left today decries the pursuit of those standards. And it uses stories like Domenici’s as its weapons, no matter how many people get hurt.
It’s disgusting. It’s ugly. And it’s emblematic of what today’s media has become.