Why do politically powerful men so frequently behave so badly?
This variation on Jane Austen's masterful opening of Pride and Prejudice came to mind in recent days during what seems like an endless procession of male politicos accused of, to varying degrees, sexual misconduct.
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Senate investigators found evidence that former Nevada Sen. John Ensign broke the law when he tried to cover up an extramarital affair. Then the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and later charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid. Next came the news that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with a household staffer and kept it a secret from his wife for 10 years. And in the latest development, ABC news reports that the Justice Department plans to prosecute former presidential candidate John Edwards for using campaign money to - sound familiar? -- cover up an extramarital affair.
(PICTURES: Political Sex Scandals)
Mind you, this has all taken place in a two-week period.
Which brings us back to Jane Austen. Why do politically powerful men so frequently behave so badly?
The answer is simple: Because they can. Because their money and power and connections and ego enable them to take whatever they want from women, often without any repercussions.