I know whose bare buttocks have landed on the mahogany desks of certain married congressmen; I've rubbed elbows with high-ranking Hill staffers with porn and prostitute addictions; I've clinked glasses with a girl who wore nothing but rain boots under the Capitol's cavernous dome. In short, I've seen political Washington at its worst.
Political affairs. As the world knows, they happen all the time. JFK got biblical with Marilyn Monroe, FDR had Lucy Mercer engaging in more than just shorthand, Eisenhower played tickle the pickle with Kay Summersby, and Bill Clinton was happy to clarify the difference between sex and oral sex for the entire world.
Of course, it took a little while for these steamy adulterous nights to make headlines. Yet staffers, friends, and the connected were aware of them for years. Mark Sanford's inner circle was queued in about his naked tango in Argentina, and John Ensign's coterie knew he was canoodling with Cynthia Hampton, but who would risk reputation and employment to enlighten the good people of America? Many Washingtonians on the Hill are au courant with their Rep's bedroom lambadas, but it's an ethical dilemma to be the confidant in a headline-worthy affair.
I happen to know the kinds of things Jenna Jameson would high-five me for, but what should I do with this X-rated information? I can't pen a piece about the naked gal in rain boots reclining in the Capitol because we're very good friends. Yes, she drank the Kool-Aid of power, but I still respect her and have no desire to sully her good name. As for the cad she got biblical with, do I want to be the one who ruins his illustrious career, even if it is crafted on lies and deception? The nature of Washington, inside-the-Beltway connections, and a desire to stay out of the private lives of the elite, keeps me, and many others, mum about such scandals.
The alarm could have sounded about the party going on in our political representation's pants many times during the 2008 presidential election, but only John Edwards fell and it was conveniently after he was out of the running. Richardson and McCain were cocooned in rumors of adultery, and amongst Washington insiders there was even talk of Cindy McCain having a lover in Florida, but nothing was ever confirmed. Washington is a small town and its pinstriped-loving people seldom forget a political affair...or the fink who leaked it.