Posted by: Godfångst | February 12, 2009

Sex in the City (D.C., that is

michelle-and-barack-obama1Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky (but she had the blue dress), Franklin Roosevelt had Lucy Rutherford (while Eleanor seemed to prefer Lorena Hickock), and who can forget Marilyn Monroe’s breathy birthday wishes to John F. Kennedy? Ronald Reagan was the first in a long line of divorced Republicans in politics*, though there have been no more divorced presidents, and we did have one president who remained unmarried the entire time he was in office: James Buchanan.

The sex lives of more recent presidents (Clinton being the notable exception) don’t invite attention; Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and the Bush father/son duo don’t have enough sexual charisma between them to charm a longhorn cow, much less a White House intern or an actual adult female.

This is a largely unheralded change that the Obamas have brought to the White House: SEX–and the kind that happens between an actual married couple!

How novel! How exciting! How rare!

As newly elected President Obama took the first dance with Michelle, he remarked, “First of all, how good looking is my wife?” They smile, they kiss, she looks at him with something much more than motherly devotion or resignation. He looks at her with affection and tenderness. As a recent AP wire story noted, they probably even have sex.

So, there’s some whoopee in the White House. Good! Everyone knows that liberals do it better.

They also do marriage better, as it happens.

Indeed, the divorce rate is higher in all of the conservative “red” states, and Massachusetts, one of two US states in which same-sex civil union is legal, has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Texas, incidentally, has the highest, according to a reputable study cited in the Boston Globe.

Christians have higher divorce rates than atheists or agnostics, according to studies done by the conservative Christian-oriented Barna Group.

It’s been fun to hear a bunch of adulterous hypocrites talk about family values for the last…umm…790,000 years. If I am doomed to hear close-minded tirades about family values for the rest of my natural life, I at least want to hear them from people who actually have functional families.

I think it’s great that the Obamas appear to have a happy marriage; it has been hard to look at Lyndon and Lady Bird, Dick and Pat, Gerald and Betty, Ronnie and Nancy, W. and Laura, Babs and George Sr., or even Slick Willie and Hillary and see a relationship one would want to emulate. It’s scary that if pressed, I’d have to name Jimmy and Rosalynn as the hottest presidential couple that has existed in my lifetime. The Obamas have brought a shine to the White House–and actual romantic love and sex appeal might be more than a small part of it.

I’m immensely disappointed that President Obama supports civil union but doesn’t believe in calling it “marriage.” Because gays and lesbians surely aren’t worthy of the same honor that has been bestowed upon the likes of Ken Starr, whose marriage is explicitly forbidden by the Bible, while mine (or the sort I would have if I had it) isn’t mentioned at all.

Surely a man who truly loves his wife and sees her as an equal partner would understand another person’s desire to make a commitment to join his or her life to that of his/her beloved. Surely a guy who actually has both love and sex would see how important intimate relationships are to our mental and physical health. Surely a guy who can actually sort of dance can appreciate the fundamental equality of all human creatures.

Come on, Mr. President. I’m glad you’re not a hypocrite, but have a heart.

* * *

*A short list of Republican or conservative political figures who’ve done their part to keep marriage sacred

  • Ronald Reagan (left his wife and two children to marry Nancy Reagan, who bore him a child seven months after the ceremony–do the math)
  • Bob Dole (divorced the mother of his child, who had nursed him through the long recovery from his war wounds)
  • Newt Gingrich (divorced his wife while she was dying of cancer)
  • Sen. John McCain of Arizona, presidential “hopeful” (divorced his wife after he returned from Vietnam. She had been disfigured in a car accident while he was a POW, and according to the Daily Mail, he admits to cheating on her, though she insists that her accident was not the reason for their divorce)
  • Former NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani
  • Dick Armey – House Majority Leader
  • Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas
  • Sen. Strom “Sperm” Thurmond of South Carolina (separated–never actually divorced, but when he married his last wife, she was 23 and he was 66; he also fathered an illegitimate daughter, whose mother was an African-American housekeeper)
  • Gov. Pete Wilson of California
  • Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia (married three times)
  • Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York
  • Sen. John Warner of Virginia (remember, he was married to Elizabeth Taylor?)
  • Gov. George Allen of Virginia
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • George Will

Coming up on WTANSGW: “Bush and Berlusconi will keep you alive!”


  1. […] reiterate what I wrote in a previous posting, “Sex in the City: D.C., That Is,” I’m not that anxious to have my 14th Amendment rights squashed or hear about morality […]

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