Why affairs matter

When the whole Richardson/Cagle thing was going down last year, several people commented that an elected official having an affair was a matter between them and their spouse.

I strongly disagree. Beyond the fact that someone who cheats on their spouse lacks any integrity, there is a more fundamental issue at stake:

Can that elected official be blackmailed by someone with evidence of the affair?

Allow me to paint a hypothetical picture. Say you have a powerful committee chairman who travels out of town a lot. Lets also say this chairman has a kink, perhaps he likes to be tied up by scantly clad women other than his wife.

Now lets say, somehow, an unscrupulous lobbyist got hold of a picture of said chairman tied up in a bed with said scantly clad women other than his wife. What might said lobbyist do with the picture?

If said chairman were open about his kink with his spouse, and if his constituents were also open minded about such things, said picture would hold no power over said chairman. However if said chairman’s spouse didn’t know, or if his constituents were not open minded, well, the lobbyist with that picture could get said chairman to do all sorts of things.

How many pictures like this exist? How many bills have been introduced or passed that had no reason for being?

60 comments

  1. Peter Griffin says:

    Dude, is Peach Pundit really the best place to muse about your twisted sexual/political fantasies?

    • Truthteller says:

      Is there any difference between Peach Pundit and the AJC … REALLY?

      Here are some of today’s headlines on the front page of AJC.com

      From today’s AJC.com headlines…

      Bullock speaks out about sex tape
      Insider: Ex-porn star joins GOP
      Is Clooney single again?
      ‘Star Wars’ to become animated sitcom
      โ€˜Wicked’ sandwich leads to lockjaw
      Woods’ Q&A boosts TV ratings
      Gay former professional wrestler found dead in NYC
      The bright side of spending $1,900 at a bondage club

  2. Nathan says:

    I agree. How much bad legislation has been generated this session by the threat of a lobbyist going public with these types of photos? Just because this mess isn’t currently in the spotlight doesn’t mean that it’s “out of sight, out of mind”. The Republicans in the General Assembly still need to clean house. If the Republicans don’t, the people will come November.

    • Mozart says:

      I see a Republican sex test on the horizon:

      1) “Mr. Candidate for X office, do you consider yourself vanilla or non-vanilla?”

      2) “Ms. Candidate for Y office, do you wear those 5″ spike-heel boots in the summer out of comfort, or because you like to walk all over your opponent?”

      Okay…really gotta get some more coffee now.

  3. Peach Pundit needs to either post in full about Casey Cagle, laying whatever cards there are on the table, or else let it go. Crap or get off the pot.

    A week or two ago, somebody let slip a sex rumor about a state legislator… and the moderators went crazy, swinging into action to delete comments right and left. With Cagle, however, I’ve likewise seen nothing more substantial than a rumor… yet it’s pretty much anything goes in the comments, and even the front-pagers themselves joke about it and regularly link Cagle with “infidelity”. A few months back, during the Gold Dome blowup, Erick Erickson even referred to the, umm, other “blowup” explicitly.

    Does Cagle simply have fewer friends in the front-page ranks than the other guy? I doubt that. Is it that people just flat-out believe the Cagle rumors more? If so, why is that? We’re all over it when the mainstream press cities to blog rumors in order to generate a story out of thin air. Yet Peach Pundit has been doing the exact same thing… what was originally introduced as “stuff that people are whispering about at the GOP county BBQ’s” is now basically referenced as a credible story. If anybody has any solid dirt, then show it… otherwise, this is a pretty clear double-standard.

  4. Painterman says:

    Such info might make a politician not run for a higher office they wanted or even not run for re-election.

  5. Not to taint one of my premier appearances on PP by delving into conspiracies, but…

    This is the same logic used by those with quasi-legitimate concerns about Barack Obama’s Constitutional eligibility (no, not the people who think he was born in Kenya – but the ones who pondered relevant SCOTUS precedent; please hold the designated Birther tar and feathering until after class).

    The concern was thus – if BO was hiding something relating to his eligibility, he could be blackmailed with it by those who had access to his travel, adoption and/or school records – he would be a President completely susceptible to extortion from both internal and external sources. Hence the calls for him to release his records because, regardless of what came of the Birther movement, transparency removed that potential for blackmail.

    Now, at the risk of going all reductio ad infinitum on everyone… my point is this: If we say of adultery that it matters because of the potential for blackmail, do we run the risk of asserting an infinite regress – that is, can’t anything under the sun, potentially, present an opportunity for extortion?

    I think the obvious answer is less about what constituents think and more about what value system of the extorted party. If the person being blackmailed is an unapologetic adulterer, one can hardly hope to blackmail him with tales of fornication, regardless of what his constituents think – ร  la Mark Sanford.

    In short, do political affairs matter? Sure. Not simply because they lend themselves to blackmail, but because political adultery necessarily takes place between the politician and the single person he is supposed to treasure more than anyone or anything else in the world. If said politician can’t hold dear the single relationship that ought to matter most to him, he certainly can’t be trusted to treat his position of authority with the proper care.

    • Mozart says:

      Dude, you’re wayyyyy too logical and thoughtful to be here. You won’t fit in well here.

      (But, welcome, anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Mozart says:

          I liked his blog. But, again, PP posters don’t like that type of “smart thinking” stuff. They operate on gutteral, emotive thoughts and spew them out there at-will. Like, take Chris’s post, fer instance, that started this whole thread.

          And I will probably be banned for daring to toss some stones at the glass house of the Mighty PeachPundit….

        • benevolus says:

          I’m not too impressed. That cartoon would make more sense if it were an elephant, wouldn’t it? I mean, the whole problem with getting that thing passed was that the Dems WEREN’T marching in lockstep. It’s bizarro world humor.

          Other than that, there’s too many words. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Game Fan says:

      Yeah yeah. Great comment from Conservative Brawler. And I’m frankly I think it’s worth thinking about as to why so many Libertarian leaning folks and other assorted outsiders make a big deal about this. I mean, why would a Libertarian be against extramarital affairs by politicians you say? You thought Libertarianism was all about “Long hairs” and free love? And from some of the same folks who cry foul over the mixing of politics and religion? Did I answer my own question? Where was I? Oh yeah. It’s called the “honey trap”. Sort of an extension of corporate influence. Hence, the “multitasking hot blonde lobbyist”, ect… And it’s big. Fiscal conservatives should be outraged too. Hey, bringing up these fiascoes is sort of a “low budget alternative” to corporate influence, so why not? And GF is actually more opposed to some of these “ties” on the corporate side than, say the direct influence we see in the traditional political sense with federal power grabs, ect…

  6. Rick Day says:

    ahhhh..Politics a la JR Ewing.

    Ya gotta love it!

    I hear from 2nd hand gossip that the reason a certain BDSM club in a certain Atlanta suburb is allowed to operate within shady zoning occupancy issues because the owner is the Domme of a select few of DeKalb Counties finest elected and appointed, who, ahem, keep her abreast of any issues.

    Your point is taken. It does happen and it’s time we abolished monogamous marriage supporting statutes. And BOOT the church out of government too, they have all these impossible morals and standards event the most pious of them can not uphold *coughPOPEcough*, let alone us mortals.

                  • B Balz says:

                    PP events are curious in that some folks introduce by their real names, others by their handles.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      I really do plan to attend the next gathering. Any idea when that will be? Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to seeing the faces behind the names (real or not).

                    • Icarus says:

                      The events are somewhat random, and generally relate to myself or Tyler having a wild hair and saying, “hey, let’s go drink in public.”

                      We keep promising to have one in Macon, and have had several tentative dates, but they keep falling through. We kind of like playing Lucy to their Charlie Brown and the football that way.

                      I’ll try to see if we can get one together late April or early May.

                      And please (Note to all here) don’t use the following space to whine that we never have them 2 miles from your house. I frankly don’t care where any of you live, nor do I care to arrange my travel plans around your poor choices of residence.

                    • Chris says:

                      “nor do I care to arrange my travel plans around your poor choices of residence”

                      And yet you suggested Gwinnett as one of the options.

  7. Mayonnaise says:

    Nobody will care about this non-story until it actually becomes a story. And then they’ll care for about a week. Either run someone against Cagel or move on.

      • Doug Deal says:

        His opening sentence makes it clear that he is not talking about Cagle.

        It’s about how things like affairs can compromise a politican beyond the affair itself. I have had to get security clearance and one of the questions you are asked is if there is anything that a third party could use to blackmail you.

        • His opening sentence makes it clear that Cagle’s “infidelity” is taken for granted to the point of afterthought. The rest of the post makes it clear that we’re supposed to speculate and gossip about which other politician he has in mind.

          As for the “blackmail” angle… sheesh, after Peach Pundit has worked you over for a year does it matter anymore? That’s like someone trying to blackmail O.J. with proof that he killed Nicole and Ron.

          • Doug Deal says:

            If you are speculating whether he has another politican in mind, aren’t you the one speculating.

            I took this as a post to discuss the reason why it is important, the naming of names was just to put it in context. I think the willingness to have an affair, breaking an oath to your spouse and to God (if you believe that part) is much more telling about character than an oath to your government, political party or voters.

            Anyone who would risk destroying their families over a fling will sell you out in a heartbeat if the price is right.

            • Mozart says:

              Doug, he mentioned Cagle as if Cagle was ALSO involved in some affair as Richardson was.

              Since that claim has only appeared as a result of Erick being fed something for the purpose of someone trying to elbow Cagle out of running again, by Chris stating it as he did, he is stating it as though it is an absolute fact that it did happen.

  8. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    Umm..Aquaman….Really? He was using the opening sentence as a backdrop to lead into an underlying issue.

    Pretty sure Painterman’s comment above hit the nail on the head.

    • aquaman says:

      Chris is the one that said it wasn’t all about Cagle. I’m just sayin if not then………

  9. Shoot, why not have some fun perpetuating fictional stories to prop up “politicians”.

    Peach Pundit has been a valuable asset in that it is able to tap the political discourse in the state, from various angles. While most posters tend to be Republican, there are a good number of contributors from the Democrat side. And, all from various parts of Georgia, which really makes it valuable.

    For the past year, PP has seemed to veer into the Inquirer status on many of the Republican leadership. It’s been a shotgun blast of rumor, innuendo and downright smear. Some of it has been dead on, but a good amount has been nothing short of political propaganda designed to neuter certain individuals. That hasn’t worked and I would suggest that the constant bantering of lies and deceit only devalue the Peach Pundit and the credibility of its posters. It’s amazing how brazen and the amount of fortitude one has when posting anonymously. Or, is it shear cowardice?

    I would hope that if this garbage is happening, which is highly illegal, that the individuals be charged and at a minimum run out of office. To say a house is on fire when the fact is that there is merely a fire burning in the fireplace is just wrong.

    • B Balz says:

      I agree with you, Mr. Atkinson. It is easy to offer up rumor, innuendo to attempt an influence of events.

      Hubris takes many forms.

  10. benevolus says:

    I think I understand this to mean that it’s not really the AFFAIR that matters, but PHOTOS of the affair.

  11. Ornery says:

    Seeing local politics muddied about speculation of sexual innuendos, it does take upon the credibility. Personally, I’d like to see the state leadership wiped out and start anew. It appears that all Sonny and his crew have done is ticked people off, and not accomplish relevance. The problem is the “trial lawyer from Marietta” could work to his advantage. Handel has a attitude, Ox has a ego and Deal is just repugnant. So far I like Austin Scott. Casey Cagle comes across as someone that can’t tie his shoe laces without Perdue or “someone else’s help”. We have a LOT of issues, water, transportation, education, economic development among others. If the inability of the governor and General Assembly to do anything is because of blackmail, uncover it and let it go and bring in the bright bulbs.

  12. Technocrat says:

    Wanted snap shots [no photoshopping] of Handel, Ox, Deal, Johnson, Barnes, etc in leather outfit + boots and whip, will secure any appointed State Job you desire – qualified or not. Apply at any candidate campiagn office.

  13. newby says:

    You guys know I am new here but can someone tell me why evidence of actual unsavory behavior would come out when there is no political opponent in the Primary. Why wouldn’t the opposing party wait until the General and use it if there is proof. I don’t have a clue as to whether there are legs to this story. I do believe blackmail is a possibility if a legislator wanted to hide something.

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