Every so often, a no-name politician thrusts himself onto the nation’s center stage. Occasionally, it’s the result of bad conduct.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned his office. The Republican up-and-comer is quitting in the midst of scandals involving a former paramour with whom he was having an affair. He allegedly threatened her by releasing a racy photo of her if she said anything publicly about their affair.
Greitens, a former Republican political star, denies wrongdoing. He calls the stories a “distraction.” He says it has put a strain on his family; uhh, yeah, do ya think?
Contrary to what this “family values” pol has said, this issue with his philandering (to which he has admitted) isn’t just a “private” matter. This former Navy SEAL proclaimed while running for governor that he is a “proud husband and father.”
Greitens’s pride in his marriage was then determined to be a lie. Bigly, man! He campaigned partly on the basis of his marital fidelity.
Thus, it becomes the public’s business.
He’s going to leave office. Fine. Don’t let the door hit you in the wherever, dude.
Let there be a lesson to be learned here. If you’re going to talk about family values while running for public office, you’d better be skeleton-free.
Eric Greitens is trying to have it both ways.
The Republican governor of Missouri has now been accused of forcing himself onto a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship. He has admitted to an extramarital affair, but denies the sexual assault allegation.
Oh, but there’s more. Greitens, once a rising star in the GOP — a handsome former U.S. Navy SEAL and all that kind of thing — says his transgression has “nothing to do with governing,” that it is a totally private matter.
But … it isn’t. Not really.
You see, this “family values Republican” proclaimed on the campaign stump while running for his office that he is a “proud husband and father.” That’s right. He used his alleged pride in marriage and parenthood as a campaign hook. He sought to win the support of fellow proud spouses and parents who share his so-called traditional family ethic.
I have to offer the young man a piece of unsolicited advice about his path to high public office. It is that he shouldn’t have bragged in the open, out loud about being a proud hubby and dad while he was messing around with a woman to whom he was not married.
I keep thinking of former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards, who made similar declarations about his ailing wife only to be shown to be a philanderer.
He, too, tried to have it both ways. It didn’t work for him. I cannot imagine how Eric Greitens can get away with it.
He is facing possible impeachment in Missouri. Hang on, dude. Your ride toward political oblivion is likely to get rather bumpy.