Dangerous Liaisons

What's with some politicians? What are they thinking?

Governor Mark Sanford, Senator John Ensign -- both thought to be 2012 presidential candidates -- Senator Larry Craig and Senator David Vitter. Add to that Democrats like former Senator John Edwards, former Governor Eliot Spitzer, former President Bill Clinton, and there are certain to be more scandals lurking just out of sight.

It is no wonder that politicians are not highly regarded by Americans.

If you are the nation's leading Republican Governor and an outspoken critic of President Obama, what makes you think no one will notice if you decide to take off for a few days for some R&R with a woman other than your wife, and you don't tell anyone, not even your family, you are going to disappear?

If you are a prominent and very ambitious U. S. Senator, what makes you think no one will catch on if you have an affair with a campaign staff member who is also the wife of one of your former top administrative aides, and that you get her a big raise and get her son a job on your campaign committee?

If you are a prominent and righteous U. S. Senator, what makes you think that word won't get out if you decide to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of having sex in an airport bathroom with another man -- then you deny it?

If you are a prominent U. S. Senator who called for President Clinton's resignation over a sex scandal, what makes you think that no one will notice if you utilize the services of the "D.C. Madam" on several occasions and your phone number turns up in her records?

What kind of role models are they for our children? How can they be so hypocritical or so egocentric? Did the pain such acts would cause their wives and children ever factor into their equation?

And it's not so much the affair. It's disappearing for three days, arranging for your mistress to get a raise, pleading guilty then trying to worm out of it, or even asking a president to resign for the very sin you then commit again and again. What kind of judgment do these men have? Can they be trusted with our constitution?

Yet often colleagues offer comfort, support and a pat on the back. "Boys will be boys." "Man is not perfect (that's for sure)." "America loves a comeback story."

And when beginning that comeback, just take a page from the television producer's handbook:

"When caught, put on a humble face and say the following:

1. I don't know how it happened.

2. I am sorry.

3. It will never happen again."

But in these instances, saying, "I'm sorry" to your wife, family, friends and constituents, as heartfelt as it may seem, is really not enough.