By John Cardillo
For the record, I hate the “gate” suffix when describing scandals, but it just seemed so appropriate in this case since the Democrats have had their “gates” for years, and capitalized on them. Now it’s our turn.
Mark Sanford, in taking an Argentine vacation with his mistress, and John Ensign in having an affair with a friend’s wife, both give the GOP a unique opportunity to drag out some old Democratic dirty laundry as the 2010 midterm elections quickly approach.
That’s right, I’m talking about William Jefferson Clinton and his cigar, Elliot Spitzer a/k/a “Client # 9″ and, of course, former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy, who not only had an affair, but a sexually harassing homosexual one. [I call him the "Jersey Meathook." -- Jeff]
Democrats love to point fingers whenever there is a Republican “sex scandal,” but that’s to be expected from a party that doesn’t like mirrors very much. However, when Democrat presidents seduce college kids, Democrat governors get caught paying prostitutes with whom they are cheating on their wives, or sexually harassing male employees, it is written off as human nature, and pressures of the job.
In the wake of their own infidelities, Clinton was listed in women’s magazines as a “sexy” man, and Spitzer recently was the feature of a Newsweek piece that implied he’d be back. McGreevy published a book and did the talk show circuit.
But whatever happened to Jack Ryan? Remember him? I do, and so should you. No, not the Tom Clancy character — the great candidate who was running for Senate against Barack “Barry Soetoro Hussein” Obama . . . and winning. Remember what the Democrats did to him? How they used their Hollywood connections to pressure his wife, Star Trek‘s Jeri Ryan, during their divorce, to describe a visit to a sex club years before while the two were still married? It sunk his candidacy, destroyed his reputation, took him out of politics, and he was vilified in the press. Republican leadership was nowhere to be found, and Ryan, who could have been a rising star in the party, was hung out to dry all alone, and without a shred of support. Shame on the GOP.
I was as embarrassed for the Republican party’s handling of that incident as I was impressed by the way Democrats galvanized around Bill Clinton like a sow to her cub. They attacked anyone who dared say Clinton was wrong for having oral sex . . . in the Oval Office . . . with an intern. Yet, the GOP couldn’t defend a guy who tried to spice up his marriage one night with his wife.
That’s why we as a party have a problem. We don’t defend our own. Every best friend and brother knows the rules. You defend your own in public no matter what they do short of criminal activity, then rip into them behind closed doors. Until we learn that, a strategy the Democrats know and use very well, we will never win the PR war.
Once the GOP defends, the candidate in question needs to apologize publicly and be contrite. After that, the scandal is a non-scandal, and the “move along, nothing to see here” mentality will set in. Sanford already handled the contrite apology part well, and so did Ensign to some degree, now the party must to do their part. The GOP needs to say “not this time.” The RNC and Michael Steele must stand behind Sanford and Ensign. They must roll out the same blanket apologetic rhetoric that the Democrats have done for their own for so long. Unless they do, we will be handing the Democrats a true patriotic, albeit eccentric, conservative in Sanford, and we will be weakening the party and our agenda that much more by losing a Republican Senator in John Ensign. It is time for us to stop storing ammunition, and start using it.
The left will try to use Sanford and Ensign to detract from Obama’s daily disasters, Pelosi’s mess, and upcoming vital votes and debates on energy and health care. We cannot let that happen. The right cannot “take the high road.” Instead the GOP needs to let loose the Clinton, Spitzer and McGreevy dogs of war, and put the left on the defensive. While the left has their gloves on their face defending those indefensible scandals, the right needs to hammer with body shots of North Korea, Iran, and Obama’s dismal poll numbers on his handling of the economy.
We need to control the news cycle as best we can and, even more important, we need to show the Democrats we are going to start street-fighting, just like them. Sanford and Ensign just gave us what we need, and we must use it. If we don’t, we will once again miss a great opportunity.
Of course, I am not condoning what any of these people did (except Ryan, as he and his wife, as consenting adults, should have been able to do whatever they wanted and had it kept private). Not the Republicans and not the Democrats. But I am saying that we must stop bringing knives to these gun fights, and finally fight fire with fire.
John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer now considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on online safety and security, is president and CEO of Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an Internet security company which specializes in online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and the protection of Internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. Cardillo lives in Miami, Florida and, in his spare time, can be found astride his Harley-Davidson, in the Florida Keys, at the shooting range, or on South Beach. He has been contributing to America’s Right since January 2009.