The story on every news correspondent’s lips these days seems to be a scandal involving the President’s Secret Service employees and some members of the armed services who have been accused of schtupping prostitutes while preparing for a summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
So if I’m listening to those news correspondents correctly, this is how things stand: Both the President of the United States and the respective spouses of the agents involved are ready to fire and/or divorce the accused.
Wow, that sucks! All guys would have to admit that a double whammy like that just ain’t fair. I can’t imagine what’s going through the minds of the accused. Honestly, I feel a bit sorry for those poor schmucks.
Of course, a lot of people will feel differently (and by “a lot of people” I mean every married woman on the planet), but I can’t help it. That’s just the way I am.
Now I’m aware that any number of presidential security matters could have been compromised during a moment of, um, less-than-clear thinking. But come on. Is that really the issue? If we cared mainly about security matters, I think the course of action for such infractions would be a no-brainer: Instant job termination (which has already happened to some degree) and public hearings in a televised courtroom. And while we’re at it, public floggings are an effective and time-tested way of dealing with sloppy job performance and could easily be revived. Problem solved. See how simple that was?
Many pundits are trying to put this story into perspective, though. The Secret Service is, after all, an organization that rarely finds itself in this kind of pickle. Their behavior up till now (at least in the public arena) has been pretty good. And even if the accusations are true, prostitution is legal in Colombia. Assuming no compromising secrets were divulged, we should be able to chalk this up as a minor infraction. In technical terms: No biggie.
But there’s one thing that gets me a bit riled up. It’s the way every sanctimonious bureaucrat responsible for investigating this matter talks about how shocked and disappointed they are to hear about this rumpus. They wonder aloud if this indeed is the first time it’s happened. Are you kidding me? These are, after all, both law enforcement and military organizations we’re talking about here. How could anyone, in all honesty, be surprised? You would have to be either laughably naïve or pathetically dimwitted to be shocked by this (though I suppose a combo of the two would also do the trick).
So how did the Secret Service get swept along with these other gents to the local brothel? Even though details are still forthcoming, let me use my amazing powers of imagination. Ah…there it is! An image is coming into view. I see a bunch of manly men, getting drunk at a Colombian saloon, slurping up every umbrella drink known to South American bartenders, when quite suddenly – from out of the blue – they decide in unison (Go team!) to dip their corndogs in the local batter.
See? I could be the next flipping Nostradamus given my uncanny powers of clairvoyance.
Frankly, I don’t think lax security protocols and cheating really are the issues here. Sorry, folks, I know we all want to put the blame on those schlubs, but deep down it’s about America wrangling with the farcical double standard of its society. Everyone pretends that carnal activities are neatly penned up by strict adherence to moral codes, even though such codes are ephemeral in the best of times. The truth is, our real lives don’t match the sanitized ideal we profess to uphold.
Is that too fancy a way to say it? Okay, then, in simple terms: we’re a nation of hypocrites.
Let me expound upon few more truisms. Is this the first time this has happened. No! Can we enact rules to stop this from happening again? We could try. Will it happen again? My Magic 8-Ball says: Yes!
With that in mind, let’s be more grown up about all this. No matter what euphemism you use — bounce the pogo stick, do the horizontal hustle, vulcanize your whoopee post, ride the baloney pony, or park your Ferrari in the garage of love — it’s all the same.
It’s human nature. It’s been around since they invented butt-scratching, so maybe it’s time we got used to it.