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Somehow I missed this story until I saw it on the headlines of the National Enquirer. Perhaps that's because the "respectable" media has been trying to avoid it. And yet, it has all the elements of a great story: man who was elected president but cheated out of it by GOP dirty tricks then turns moral crusader for the environment attacks a massage therapist in a hotel room. In other words, Al Gore, a massage therapist, and a strange stain on a pair of pants.
According to a complaint filed by the massage therapist in Portland, OR, Gore attacked her in a hotel room where she was giving him a massage in October of 2006. The woman apparently saved her pants as evidence of her contact with Gore which leads to one and only one question: Where the hell was Al Gore when Clinton was impeached for "evidence" on Monica Lewinski's dress?
Of course there are a few other questions circulating too. According to the complaint, the sexual contact was unwanted. But if it was unwanted, why are there rumors that Al Gore left Tipper because of a relationship with a massage therapist? Also, why did the woman describe the former Vice President as a "giggling sex-crazed poodle." What does a sex-crazed poodle look like and how does it giggle? Finally, why did the woman initially refuse to cooperate with police even as she hired an attorney and carefully saved the pants as "evidence." She says she wasn't interested in money, that she didn't want to be labeled a "gold digger," but she simultaneously tried to sell her story to the National Enquirer for a million bucks.
Also, why do Americans continue to care about the sex lives of our political leaders? Why does Al Gore being "happily married" to Tipper for forty years mark him as a good person while Bill Clinton, who is married but has a clearly complex relationship with Secretary of State Clinton, is considered lacking in moral leadership?
Marriage is a property contract between two people, not a sign of moral superiority. It doesn't guarantee that the husband and wife will be better people, take more ethical stances in their lives, or even be nice to the family dog. The only thing "married" guarantees is that both will have a claim to any and all properties, including children.
But because our country is so embedded in the idea that good people are those that discipline their sexual impulses and confine them to marriage, we are unable to actually consider what politicians stand for until we have forced them to prove themselves "good husbands" (and sometimes "good wives"). Until we can stop believing the Disney fairytale that marriage is the only goal, the one path to a good and happy life, we will continue to elect leaders who are actually sex-crazed poodles but stand around waving with their wives tightly by their sides.
And that's too bad. Because a lot of those poodles would be better off chasing sticks than leading this country. And as for Al Gore- his real lack of ethical judgment was when he backed down from taking his rightful role as the elected leader of this country and gave it over to George Bush, leaving us with Afghanistan and Iraq to contend with ad infinitum. Anything else Gore does, moral or immoral, pales in comparison to the horror his lack of backbone visited on this country and the world. Bad dog indeed.