MARTY RUSSELL: Why can't politicians keep their pants on?

When we ask why government doesn’t seem to work anymore apparently we’ve been asking the wrong question. Those in power seem to be under the impression that their job isn’t to work but to play. I mean who wants to spend all day poring over deadly dull legislation when, for the male politicians at least, there are so many good-looking young women out there throwing themselves at you like groupies around a rock star?
Why can’t politicians keep their pants on? These are supposed to be our best and our brightest that the country has to offer but as soon as they get to the statehouse or to Washington it seems they stop thinking with their brains and become dominated by another body part instead, and it’s certainly not their hearts.
History is rife with examples of politicians whose careers have been ruined because they took their eye off the ball and onto the bimbo instead. In recent years we don’t have to look far. There’s Bill “I-Did-Not-Have-Sex-With-That-Woman” Clinton, John “Love-Child? What-Love-Child” Edwards and our own late Gov. Kirk “I’m-Goin’-To-Memphis” Fordice. Now we learn that not only are the Governator and wife Maria Shriver splitting up after 25 years of marriage but the reason is that Schwarzenegger fathered a child with one of the hired help around the California governor’s mansion. I guess running a state with billions in deficits wasn’t enough to keep Arnold occupied. I wonder, after he found out she was pregnant, if he had to terminate her?
Now we have the latest political sex scandal with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and a favored contender to become the next president of France. Strauss-Kahn is accused of the attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York.
That is far worse, of course, than Europeans, particularly the French, viewing such scandals differently than we do. A friend of mine from there once told me that, if you’re a male politician in Europe and you don’t have a mistress in addition to your wife, voters think there must be something wrong with you.
But here in the states we like to think our politicians are statesmen who are elected to office to solve all of our problems and then go home to their wives and 2.5 children in a nice house with a picket fence. Role models, we call them, not like those Europeans chasing hotel maids around the bed.
But power corrupts and temptation lies around every intern. They’re only human, as those who get caught love to say. So if we really want our elected officials to look after the country’s affairs instead of their own, maybe we need to start a spay and neuter program before they’re sworn in.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at

Marty Russell

Click video to hear audio