Did Watergate teach you nothing? (Yet another case of not learning from history.)
I got wind of this via a phone call at around 07:41 this morning, while I was still getting my head screwed on straight (on my first actual day off in about three weeks), and quite frankly, I have no idea how to categorize this one. “Wrong-headed thinking” seems like a solid characterization, and I’m well-aware of the double entendre involved.
Breaking this morning from the Detroit News (as well as WKZO, the Lansing News, WOOD, 9 & 10 News, the Detroit Free Press, and presumably elsewhere statewide) is word out of Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s Office (at 03:22 this morning) that he’s pursuing an “open-ended investigation” into the conduct of two state representatives who may have used legislative staffers to cover up an extra-marital affair, to “determine whether there was a violation of House rules or any evidence of illegal behavior.” A follow-up Detroit News article (as this is clearly a “developing story”) contains a damning audio recording and text transcripts, as well as references to evidence that this affair had been going on, not as far back as PowWow 1 in early 2012, but sure as hell “not yesterday,” either. And the press reports aren’t particularly clear on whether this affair is yet ongoing (though I imagine this breaking news story isn’t doing the mutual libido any favors).
“Keep it in your pants” is sound advice that smart parents always pass on to their children, and for damn good reason. I can tell you from harsh personal experience that nothing will get you into serious trouble faster than to surrender to the baser desires of the flesh. Contemporary American society is so desensitized to sexual misbehavior that the fact of a brief affair isn’t likely to draw so much as a batted eyelash, but when two tea party leaders and social conservatives, who openly speak of their Christian faith, get caught not only having an affair, but also abusing government resources to cover up the fact of the affair . . . to say that the PowWow network is well and thoroughly screwed is probably something of an understatement.
In meetings on May 19th and May 21st, Ben Graham repeatedly advised Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat that the proper way to get out in front of something like this is to publicly come clean about the matter and move on. Stuff like this never stays hidden, and the two of them have spouses and children to consider. Apparently, if this morning’s social media feeds are to be believed, the affair was a known item to the House staffers network, and may have been the reason that Courser and Gamrat were . . . “persuaded” . . . to endorse Ronna McDaniel over Norm Hughes for the state party chairmanship back in February.
And, honestly, at this point I really couldn’t give an airborne rodent derriere about how this affects Todd and Cindy; they made their bed, and they can lie in it. Nor, frankly, am I going to be overly concerned with how this impacts the Tea Party PowWow network. (In one conversation this morning, I was told that none other than Dave Wells is perfectly capable of picking up the pieces and moving forward.)
I am, however, deeply concerned with how this is going to impact two innocent spouses and seven innocent children, who may have been completely blindsided this morning. Those nine people I will be keeping in my prayers for the foreseeable future. I am, of course, also concerned with what legislative shenanigans are going to be slipped through while the conventional media is distracted by a good, old fashioned, sex scandal.
There is an ancient axiom that goes something like: “Say nothing you don’t want heard, write nothing you don’t want read, and do nothing you don’t want to be caught doing; always assume that you’re being watched.” I don’t recall the source of that wisdom, but a practicing lawyer like Todd Courser should have known better. That “controlled burn” he was referring to? Yeah, that’s two promising careers going up in smoke.