Tag Archives: family values

Righteous among us tumble

My head-shaking just won’t stop in the wake of this week’s stunning announcement regarding a North Texas congressman, a self-proclaimed conservative lawmaker who — I am going to presume — was proud of his “family values.”

Republican Van Taylor ended his re-election campaign Wednesday after disclosing he had an extramarital dalliance with a Plano woman, a so-called “ISIS bride” who once was married to an officer in the Islamic State terrorist organization. Geez, that alone is enough to make me wonder about a lot of other things.

Taylor was heading for a runoff after Tuesday’s GOP primary.

What is so damn disturbing about this — actually one of many things that ought to disturb any of us — is the way Taylor characterized himself as a staunch conservative, someone who stood for strong values. The implication of those values statements is clear, that he is a devoted to his wife and children. Well, the way I see it, one’s devotion must be complete, unequivocal and unconditional.

Taylor has apologized profusely to his family and to his constituents. I am one of the latter and I will accept the apology and I will wish him well as he tries to rebuild his life. Whether he is able to rebuild his family is a matter for them to decide.

My only concern — as a Third Congressional District constituent — is that Taylor stays away from public service. I don’t want him representing my interests at any level of government. You see, I don’t much care for public officials who profess to be of a certain stripe, but who are hiding dark secrets that reveal them to be something quite different.


So long, Gov. Greitens

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.

‘Proud husband and father’ faces the music

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.


Eric Greitens: latest casualty in ‘family values’ war

Don’t sit down, Gov. Eric Greitens. I’m going to talk about you for a moment.

This fellow is a Republican governor from Missouri. He’s been in office for only about a year. He also is making quite a name for himself.

He ran for office as a “family values” candidate. He once proclaimed his love for his wife and children and the happiness he feels at being a married man and father.

The former Navy SEAL — who was a Democrat until he switched parties in 2015 — was even discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024.

Then came this: He fooled around with a woman other than his wife before he was elected governor. What’s even more troubling is that he allegedly threatened her if she blabbed about it.

The woman, who was married at the time, is now divorced from her husband. Greitens remains married to his wife. He admits to the affair, but denies threatening the woman with whom he took the tumble.

Family values …

Wow. What are we to make of political candidates who make such a big show of their marriage? How are we supposed to react when they get caught in the big lie? I take this kind of thing quite badly. It doesn’t go down well. Why? Because of the show politicians such as Greitens make when they actually boast about their marital fidelity on the campaign stump — as if someone keeping a vow he makes before God is worth a boast.

This clown reminds me of so many politicians who’ve proclaimed their love for the spouse only to be revealed to be philanderers.

Does the name John Edwards ring a bell? Edwards was the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee who campaigned across the land declaring his devotion to his late wife, Elizabeth — while he was messing around with a woman who later gave birth to a baby, courtesy of that relationship with Edwards.

This kind of revelation sickens me in the extreme. Gov. Greitens makes me sick, too, given that he made such a phony show of his marital devotion.

Politicians who lie about their faithfulness then deserve all the scorn they receive.

Now … you may sit down, Gov. Greitens. And may you disappear from the national political scene.

Rep. Murphy quits Congress … see ya later

Tim Murphy is about to become a former member of Congress from western Pennsylvania. He had toiled in relative obscurity until he decided to make a politically fatal mistake.

This Republican lawmaker got involved intimately with a young woman, who became pregnant as a result of their extramarital affair.

Now, what grows legs under this story is that Murphy — whose main claim to fame as a member of Congress is that he has been fervently anti-abortion — asked his paramour to obtain an abortion. 

As the saying goes: Oops!

Murphy had intended initially to retire at the end of his current term. He has decided to quit the House and will depart Capitol Hill in about a month.

Good. I recognize that Congress is full of hypocrites. There will be more hypocrites coming along even as some of the current congressional hypocrites depart the scene.

When one of those hypocrites sacrifices his moral authority in such a callous matter, it’s good to show him the door and urge him to avoid letting that door hit him in the … you know.

‘Backbencher’ thrusts himself into the limelight

I had never heard of Tim Murphy before today.

He used to be an obscure member of Congress from western Pennsylvania. The Republican lawmaker was known mostly to his constituents and, I presume, his colleagues in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.

To the rest of this vast nation, he was a stranger.

No … longer.

Many more Americans now know Murphy as a duplicitous politician who got caught doing something he shouldn’t have done. The married pol got involved with an extramarital affair with a much younger woman. That relationship resulted in the woman becoming pregnant.

What did Murphy do at that point? He reportedly asked the woman to obtain an abortion. And why is that a big deal? It’s because Murphy has been an ardent political opponent of abortion. He’s a “pro-life, family values” Republican.

Murphy is going to finish the rest of his term. Then he’ll retire from Congress.

There you have it. An individual who labels himself a certain way behaves at a couple of levels like someone quite different.

He’s not the first politician to fall off the virtue wagon. He won’t be the last one. Politicians of all stripes have said one thing and done another. Former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards used to proclaim his love for his late wife — only to be revealed to have fathered a child with another woman. Ex-GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich wailed aloud about Bill Clinton’s misbehavior with a White House intern while taking a tumble with a female staff member.

The list is endless.

I just have to believe Tim Murphy wishes for a way he could return to the farthest end of the back bench — out of sight and out of mind.

Sorry, Rep. Murphy. You brought this unwanted attention on all by yourself.

What if roles were reversed?

clinton and trump

Do you want a good idea of the lunacy attached to this year’s presidential election campaign?

Try this on for size.

It’s making the rounds on social media, but I’ll share it here.

Just suppose Hillary Rodham Clinton was mother to five children from three husbands. Suppose, also, that she had cheated on two of her husbands and then bragged about it. What do you suppose would be the reaction from conservatives?

They’d be outraged. They’d vilify the Democratic nominee for flouting the very “family values” to which conservatives adhere.

Why, then, aren’t political conservatives as outraged that the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has produced five children with three wives, cheated openly on two of them and then boasted about it in public?

Gosh. There’s that terrible “double standard” so prevalent these days.

Trump keeps assailing Hillary Clinton’s husband because of his own alleged indiscretions — and the Clinton haters cheer him on while ignoring the amazing irony in Donald Trump’s attempt to grasp some kind of moral high ground.

Where is the outrage? Where is the indignation?

Someone has to explain to me how this guy gets away with this astonishing hypocrisy.

Trump channels late Texas congressman … more or less


Donald Trump said recently that he intends to respond to negative attacks and added — somewhat incredulously, in my view — that he’s not one to initiate a negative campaign.

Interesting, yes? Well, I think so.

He’s been pretty darn negative ever since he announced his Republican presidential candidacy.

He took it to a new level when he said that likely Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, has demonstrated a worse record regarding women that Trump has.

Hillary Clinton had accused Trump of being hyper-sexist in his outlook toward women. So, Trump decided to bring up President Clinton’s relationship with a young White House intern.  He vows to make an example of the former president.

Well, my thoughts turned to a former Texas congressman I used to know quite well. The late Democratic U.S. Rep. Charles Wilson used to say much the same thing about negative campaigning. He once told me he’d never start a negative campaign, but would be always be prepared to respond if an opponent decided to get nasty.

A candidate once did get quite nasty during the 1992 campaign, criticizing Wilson’s lifestyle — including his self-acknowledged affection for attractive women. She aired TV ads while running against Wilson for the East Texas congressional district he’d represented since 1973. The ads were highly critical of Wilson’s “Good Time Charlie” reputation.

What happened next remains a bit of a mystery. An audiotape showed up at the newspaper where I worked at the time; it contained a heated — and profanity-laced — conversation between the Republican challenger and her married campaign treasurer. The two of them discussed their own extramarital affair, with the candidate demanding that her lover leave his wife for her.

I suppose I should mention that Wilson’s opponent had portrayed herself as a deeply religious candidate who ran on what used to be called “family values.”

Wilson, who at the time served on the House Select Intelligence Committee, denied having anything to do with the tape. I couldn’t prove otherwise.

The difference between that example and the one that Trump is threatening to use is that the candidate who challenged Wilson was an active politician, while the former president that Trump threatens to drag into the campaign hasn’t been a full-time politician since his presidency ended in January 2001.

Somehow, I believe Charlie Wilson would laugh at what Trump is pledging to do to a potential political rival.

So long, ’19 Kids and Counting’

Well, that was a big surprise … not!

The Learning Channel has canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in the wake of an admission by one of the “19 kids” that he molested young girls when he was a teenager; some of the girls were his own sisters.


Josh Duggar’s been missing from family publicity photos. He’s become a sort of persona non grata while TLC decided what to do with the popular reality-TV series.

This cancellation had to occur. The Duggar family portrays itself as a group of deeply religious individuals. No, they aren’t “perfect,” as one or two of the daughters have sought to remind us. Then again, Mom and Dad Duggar have become politically active, supporting candidates who purport to stand for strict morality and, um, “family values.”

Well, young Josh messed up. He tarnished his very public family’s name and reputation.

TLC has decided it cannot continue the charade. The Duggars can now continue their rehabilitation in private, away from the TV cameras’ glare.

Good. So long, Duggars.

Say goodnight, Duggar family

Let’s just dispense with the rhetorical setup: The Duggars are done as TV celebrities.

That would be the family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents of “19 Kids and Counting.” The Learning Channel has just announced it is dumping the reality TV series in the wake of reports that one of the kids, Josh, fondled and touched young girls inappropriately when he was a 14-year-old.


What’s more, Josh Duggar misbehaved reportedly with some of his sisters.

This a big deal at a couple of levels

One, Josh Duggar was a big hitter with the Family Research Council, a conservative think tank dedicated to the promotion of “traditional family values.” He’s quit his FRC post.

Two, Josh’s parents have been outspoken critics of the gay rights movement, particularly the push for “marriage equality,” and allowing gay people to marry. Jim Bob and Michelle have been harsh critics of LGBT citizens, saying that homosexuality leads to pedophilia and other immoral behavior. How can they say those things now while ignoring what’s been plainly obvious throughout all of recorded history, which is that “traditional, heterosexual” Americans are capable of precisely the same kind of behavior?

The Duggars are close friends of another Arkansan, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who’s running for president. Huckabee has acknowledged agreement with Josh’s statement that his behavior was “inexcusable,” but adds that it isn’t “unforgiveable.” True enough. Scripture does tell us we’re entitled to grace. But that will have to come from within.

The Duggars certainly are entitled to believe what they wish politically. However, when those political beliefs run head-on into a seriously flawed personal history, well, that’s when you have to excuse yourself from the public limelight.

The Duggars have a huge following across the nation, particularly among those who have admired them for their stated belief in family tradition and their strict moral code.

That trust has been shattered, at least to the extent that their TV network benefactors — TLC — no longer feels comfortable thrusting this family into Americans’ living rooms.