American Puritanism and Eliot Spitzer

From the pen of Tom Clancy,

The dollar was already falling… In Europe, traders on their way home heard their cellular phones start beeping to call them back. Something unexpected was afoot. Analysts wondered if it had anything to do with the developing sex scandal within the American government. Europeans always wondered at the American fixation with the sexual dalliances of politicians. It was foolish, puritanical, and irrational, but it was real to the American political scene, and that made it a relevant factor in how they handled American securities. — From Debt of Honor, emphasis mine

Thought this relevant in light of the revelations emanating from the state of New York earlier this week. I have a European co-worker who more or less agrees with Clancy’s take.

To a lesser degree, my admiration for Pres. Bill Clinton was not stifled when the Lewinsky scandal broke, but in fact it grew. My “reasoning” had to do with what I, in my darkened understanding, perceived his dalliance with a woman half his age as a sign of the man’s virility. I wholeheartedly agreed (past tense) with comedian Chris Rock in thinking that it was all Hillary’s fault. As the ever witty Rock commented,

A man is only as faithful as his options

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