Citing McCain's caddishness toward his first wife, Ross argues that politicians should be held more accountable for their marital misdeeds:
I tend to agree with James Poulos that an America in which politicians had a more difficult time recovering from flagrant private misbehavior would be a better place to live and vote and marry in. It's not that I think an adulterer can't be an effective political leader; it's that I'd like to see the social costs of sexual misconduct go up, at least on the margins, and having certain avenues to prominence closed off to you if you decide to ditch your family and take up with a younger, richer, healthier woman seems like a reasonable cost to impose on would-be divorcees. All of that said, though, we're obviously a long, long way from that state of affairs, and things being what they are, I'm not going to argue that social conservatives should deliver the White House to Obama in order to make a futile protest against the decline of masculine honor among our politicians.
Well, how conveeenient. These things are best understood, in my view, simply in perspective: as minor issues compared to the public policies and secular arguments of the politicians involved. This is what liberalism allows for: it can simply say that an immoral private life may be a negative, but it is not to be conflated with much more salient matters of public import. With political liberalism, you can have your moral cake and your politics too. But this kind of separation of public and private, of politics and morals, is not as available to the theocons and Christianists, who want their politicians as moral avatars, not public servants. Which is why they keep getting hoist by their own wide stances.
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