Wacky News: Peculiar politicians, then and now

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Mike Harris, Staff Writer

 

Sex, Drugs, and the Political Process

Politics in today’s word, as everyone well knows, are seldom far-removed from corruption.

As unfortunate as this corruption is for the citizens and administration of countries, the scandals that frequently manifest themselves on the stage of world politics have some considerable comedic value.

Statesmen, it seems, cannot separate themselves from embarrassment. Here are a few striking examples of scandal and mayhem from our upstanding, deviant leaders.

 

George W. Bush on white lightning:

While the rumors that our former president, notorious for incredible gaffes, was arrested in 2006 at a traffic stop for cocaine possession are false, there is evidence (in published and sourced works) to suggest he was no stranger to the drug.

There are allegations of a 1972 arrest on cocaine charges that his father managed to get erased, as well as testimony from people who knew him while he was at Camp David stating that he was certainly familiarized with the drug while he was there.

Some people claim that he used the drug from college through the end of his military career. To bolster such claims, you should know that he managed to perform a political evasion of drug-related questions throughout his campaign and tenure as President, making broad statements of youthful stupidity to answer questions about past substance abuse.

In addition, he managed to evade being drug tested while in the National Guard and has a history of bypassing similar such tests.

 

Congressman Weiner just couldn’t keep his to himself:

In 2011, Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was caught sending naughty photos of himself to a young woman over the internet via a Twitter link, the content of which was quite ironic considering his last name.

This exposé caused a scandal to erupt, prompting him to resign from Congress. He was not content with resigning into obscurity and got himself into more hot political water in 2013, when he entered the New York mayoral elections.

He proceeded to send additional “sexts” and photos to several different women over a period of time, at least one which was sent under an alias. Of course, the public found out. Severely embarrassed, but this time resolute, Weiner continued campaigning and placed fifth in the Democratic primary.

 

Mark Foley for Congressional pages

This scandal, which erupted in 2006, involved accusations that prominent anti-gay Republican congressman Mark Foley was soliciting suggestive messages from young boys (over e-mail and IMs) who served as congressional pages; several of the boys were minors at the time of the conversations.

The congressman’s lewd conduct spanned from 1995 to 2005. In some cases, his conduct included actual sexual contact or direct solicitation from boys who were former pages and had recently come of age.

An attempt at prosecution was made, but ultimately the charges were dropped on the basis of lack of evidence (which was in part due to Congress and Foley/his representatives refusing to provide relevant information) and the expiration of the statute of limitation.

The scandal did ruin his career and had some impact in the Republican’s loss of control in the house of Congress following the November 2006 elections.

 

Larry Craig’s bathroom bust:

June 11, 2007, Republican senator Larry Craig was arrested in an airport bathroom for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer sitting in the stall next to him, rubbing his foot against the officer’s and running his hand under the stall.

After a hesitant compliance with the arrest, he was taken to court for lewd conduct. He pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, which he later unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw.

His recalled account of the incident markedly contrasted that of the officer’s. In the aftermath of the arrest, Craig made sure to state that he was not, nor was he ever, gay, and has political roots in anti-gay legislation.

After the arrest, several gay men came forward saying that they had had sexual contact with him, at least one instance of which was allegedly paid for from an escort.

There was also controversy over that fact that Craig used campaign funds to pay for his legal defense. The scandal and aftermath ultimately ended his political career.

 

David Cameron and the Pig:

This scandal is one that went down quite recently. It involves the alleged insertion of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s non-parliamentary member into the mouth of a dead pig during his rambunctious youthful days in posh social clubs at Oxford.

Lord Ashcroft made this claim in an unauthorized biography, though online news source Vox has said it’s likely the story was fabricated.

The alleged act may have had something to do with a bizarre initiation ritual imposed by a campus group that Cameron joined. Some say such dalliances are somewhat commonplace among the young and wild British elite at university clubs and parties.

The incident has sparked an explosion on twitter, with some trending tags like #hameron, #piggate and other humorous variations.

The British media seems to credit the claims, though they have not been proven in court or confirmed by Cameron.

Many think that they are reasonably grounded if one has knowledge of elite university culture in Britain. Either way, the story sure provides interest and food for thought.

Though these are just a few of innumerable political scandals both in the U.S. and abroad, they certainly provide some perspective about what goes on with our “respectable” leaders.