Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The political wife as prop

Mrs. Mahoney says, "See ya in court":
Six days after sitting silently at Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney's side as he acknowledged causing "pain" in their marriage, Terry Mahoney filed for divorce Monday.
She filed a petition in Palm Beach County Court seeking the dissolution of their 23-year marriage, possession of their Palm Beach Gardens home and "a full accounting of all funds spent or dissipated by the husband within the last two years" -- the period since Mahoney was elected to Congress on a "faith, family and personal responsibilit" platform in the aftermath of the Mark Foley sex scandal.
Ed Morrissey comments:
In past political scandals involving sexual peccadilloes, the elected official usually hauls the wife on stage with him for the inevitable tearful apology. Eliot Spitzer and Jim McGreevy, among others, therefore managed to humiliate their wives even more by using them as human shields from the press. . . .
[W]hen the philanderer uses the betrayed spouse for political cover, that speaks volumes about the values that politician holds -- and "faith and family" aren't high up on that list.
(It should be noted that even Jesus recognized infidelity as grounds for divorce.) As with Spitzer and McGreevey -- and indeed, as with Bill Clinton -- it's obvious that Mahoney's promiscuity was habitual, not episodic. Mahoney wasn't a guy who fell prey to a moment of temptation and weakness, but rather a horndog who was continually on the hunt. Yet he found the married-man image politically convenient and so lived a life that was fundamentally false.

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