Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Why Female Politicians Avoid Sex Scandals. Following the latest sex scandal involving Anthony Weiner, Stolberg writes that male political sex scandals "would be easy to file this under the category of 'men behaving badly,' to dismiss it as a testosterone-induced, hard-wired connection between sex and power." Likewise, "some might conclude that busy working women don’t have time to cheat." But she argues that the underlying reason women avoid sex scandals is that there is a "substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office." In short, "women run for office to do something, and men run for office to be somebody,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. As women "have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so," they "are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw." Because they are under greater scrutiny, "women politicians are punished more harshly than men for misbehavior." Overall, the result is not only that there are fewer female political sex scandals, but that, "despite great inroads made by women, politics is still overwhelmingly a man’s game."
Doyle McManus on the Ground Forces in Libya. "Back in March, when the bombing began, the leaders of France, Britain and the United States hoped Qaddafi's regime would shatter under the shock and awe of modern munitions," writes McManus. "None of that happened. Instead, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Britain's David Cameron, President Obama and their allies are mired in a lengthening war of choice that none of them cared all that much about in the first place." But strangely, "the war hasn't become an overriding public concern in any of the countries in the effort." Even in Italy, where the war has given rise to refugee concerns, people are worried about the economy, an "endless series of soccer scandals," and whether Berlusconi is on his way out. "What this tells us is that Western countries can wage war for months without arousing much concern in their publics, as long as Western troops aren't on the ground and Western pilots aren't being killed or captured." However, in the long term, "there is likely to be a political cost, particularly for Sarkozy and Cameron," although "Obama may be less exposed." As Qaddafi holds his ground, what "if the only way to end it is with NATO boots on the ground?" Then the war may no longer look like such a good idea. "No matter how appealing the cause, military intervention is rarely as easy or as cheap as it looks."