The Housewives of Washington, D.C.

by Burt Prelutsky

I have long pondered why people want to get into politics. I’m aware of the obvious perks and I understand that some people want to be the center of attention. But, still, how can anyone stand having to spend hours in the company of egomaniacal dunderheads like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer? But then I realized that politics serves the same purpose as show business for those people who can’t act, sing, dance or play a musical instrument. But whereas show business attracts the gifted, the talented and the good-looking, politics attracts those who are none of those things.

And just as show business serves as an incubator for unleashed libidos, politics gives the homely, the boring and the totally unremarkable, a shot at being a chick magnet. I even recall thinking back in the 1970s when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was making a name for himself as a ladies man, squiring around the likes of Jill St. John and other starlets, that any administration that had a guy who looked and sounded like Kissinger as its resident sex symbol was in big trouble. As I saw it, Watergate was inevitable.

But lest you think I am indulging in hyperbole, I’ll give you a rundown on just those politicians who, over just the past two decades, were involved in sex scandals involving female members of their staff. That precludes, say, Mark Sanford, who left his heart and precious bodily fluids down in Argentina.

Frankly, I’m surprised that the wives of politicians don’t insist that their hubbies only hire men. Of course, as we discovered with Rep. Eric “Mr. Tickle” Massa, even male staffers aren’t always safe around randy politicians.

In the spirit of being fair-minded and non-partisan, I will indicate the party affiliation of these old goats who make our laws when they’re not busy just making out. (For the record, Massa was a Democrat and Sanford, a Republican.)

In alphabetical order: Bill Clinton (D), Gary Condit (D), John Edwards (D), John Ensign (R), Newt Gingrich (R), Steve LaTourette (R), Tim Mahoney (D), Robert Packwood (R), Mal Reynolds (D) and Mark Souder (R).

Keep in mind those are just the clucks who, like Ted Kennedy, got involved with their interns, secretaries and volunteers, and, God knows, I may have missed a few. It does not include TV reporters or the wives of staffers and contributors. Neither does it include those who prefer, like Eliot Spitzer, to have sex on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Clearly, these politicians have way too much time on their hands. In such cases, the prescription is generally to take up a hobby. The trouble is, these guys already have.

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • MarioP


    Regarding your “Adultery and Politics” blog attacking the infidelity of some of our politicians, everyone agrees with you that it would be more desirable to have family values officials in charge. If we had two identical and capable candidates running for office and the only difference was their extramarital affairs, or the lack of, the majority should elect the loyal one for the obvious reason. But once you throw in the varying political competence into the mix, one can’t judge the two candidates strictly on his family values. I, and many others, would rather elect a playboy with great economic ideas rather than a non-cheating economic failure. It irks me hearing voters stating that they voted for a certain candidate because of his moral values. With that kind of voting practices, should we be surprised why our nation faces so many problems? Your argument makes sense, but in a vacuum without any other considerable qualifications.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    The economy worked well during Clinton’s administration for two reasons: One, Gingrich and the GOP were running things after 1994 and, two, the scam brought in a lot of revenue.


    • Bob Hadley

      The Republican congress can certainly take partial credit for the balanced budgets and surpluses, but only an uber partisan would try to deny the Clinton’s administration’s role in that. Without Clinton’s persistence and negotiating skills, things would not have turned out so nicely.

      And that was only one side of the equation. The other side was Clinton’s “deficit busting” budget of 1993 that contained “the biggest tax increase in the history of the world.” (The right would only admit this only if water boarded.) That budget also contained a roughly equal amount of spending curbs. No Republican voted for it. In fact, many Republicans predicted it would lead to economic armageddon. Rush Limbaugh offered to bet anyone $1 million that one year hence the budget deficit would be larger. By the time the GOP cavalry took hold of the Congress and before the real bubble, the economy was humming.

      Besides, it’s hypocritical for those on the right to explain away great things that happen on Democratic presidents’ watch and blame them for whatever bad happens on their watch, while doing the opposite for Republican presidents. Remember President Reagan constantly and doggedly blaming the bad economy of 1982 on President Carter? And, yes, the left has its share of hypocrisy, but I needn’t address that on this website.

      • MarioP


        One truly can’t have a debate with these characters. They criticize their opponents before they worked out their own major issues. They constantly deflect their mistakes onto others, never admiting fault. Unfortunately trying to convince these clowns to see the truth is pointless. Yet I do my best to inform the uninformed with the facts. This way they’ll understand the passion and frustration of the Left. Any frustration the Right may feel towards the Left should be a joke compared to what the Left feels. That’s the best I can do here, to show them who truly has the right to feel that frustration.

        • Bob Hadley

          I know. Ideologues don’t care about the truth. But I not infrequently have to deal with those who have a fixed belief system, who see their beliefs as prized possessions to be jealously guarded, facts and reason be damned. I see this as good practice. But left ideologues are pretty much the same.

          Maybe our schools put more emphasis on critical thinking. I think we could all benefit more from critical thinkers of the left, right and center.

          BTW, I reread your post below. I did misread it. thanks.

          • MarioP


            I completely agree that the Left has its own ideologues one can’t reason with. Although I am a liberal, I do stand on some issues with the conservatives. Yet I still consider myself a Democrat, unlike the majority of the self-declared “independents”, like O’Reilly, who believe their 10% departure on issues from the Republican camp gives them the right to be considered independents. Bill O., an ideologue who will never change his faulty political views and is confused about his own political affiliation.

    • MarioP


      If you are going to claim the strong economic times in the 90’s were because of Newt and the GOP in congress were running the government and not Clinton, then my man I have to tell you that you are completely delusional. If the Congress runs the government, then why are the insane conservatives blaming Clinton’s lending bills of the 90’s for the Great Recession ten years later? Why are the conservatives blaming the only recession over the last half a century that started when the president was a Democrat on Carter? Today, why is the Right blaming the slow recovery on Obama? And why aren’t the misguided and brainwashed Republicans and the falsely self-declared “independents” not blaming the housing bubble on the GOP congress of the 2000’s? Like the typical stubborn and soar loser, you will NEVER admit your party’s faults. You will NEVER admit that the opposing party is right. It brings me the greatest joy to show every one of you delusional Right wingers that the Democratic presidents are considerably more capable to run our nation’s economy, even though they are more environmentally friendly. For whatever the reason my be, due to not understanding the way our nation works, for constantly presenting failing policies, or whatever, the GOP just can not deliver on their economic promises. Their theories are only that, theories, and they never work out in the real world. Maybe the idea a Republican president tries to present makes sense and sounds promising, he can never get it fully implemented because he needs to work with the entire government and the entire nation. The Democratic presidents work with the Republicans, yet they still manage to come ahead of their opponents.

      Finally, if you believe the Republican congress is the best bet for our economic prosperity, then why are the two worst economic dissasters as a result of Republican congresses working with Republican presidents? Wake up and smell that coffee! You’re coming across like a nut job. With voters like you who are unable to admit fault and change for the better, our nation is seriously paralized. Don’t you dare blame our nation’s problems on the liberals until your side starts outperfoming the Left. Otherwise, you’re coming across as a joke by handing out criticism instead of receiving it.

      P.S. I will give you that the dot-com boom was a significant reason for our prosporous times in the 90’s, but our nation didn’t end up in an economic dissaster like after the housing bubble.

  • MarioP

    Mr. Burt,

    You forgot to mention the latest rumor circulating around the current speaker of the house, John Boehner (R). Although Boehner didn’t admit to his two affairs, neither he nor his second mistress, lobbyist Lisbeth Lyons, denied the rumor when questioned about it. When asked about the affair, Boehner just walked away while Ms. Lyons commented with “no comment”. I don’t know about you, but if someone accused me of something I was not guilty of, I for sure would not state “no comment”.

    So now we’re faced with a dilemma. The Democrats can’t keep it in their pants and the Republicans can’t run the country. Who should I vote for…. hmmmmm….. that’s a toughie ….. hmmmmm……

    • CCNV

      The reason democrats can’t run the country is because of the ‘head’ they are using to think with.

      • Bob Hadley

        Then why did President Clinton manage the economy so well? What other president in modern times has done as well?

      • MarioP

        Well, it appears that Democratic “head” down there seems to be doing a better job than the Republican one above the shoulders. How else would you explain the higher unemployment rate, the job loses, the more recessions, the massive deficits, the higher inflation rate, and the slower GDP and stock growths under the GOP? Didn’t Tiger perform better before he stopped his shenanigans? The Republicans should start using both of their heads since the larger one isn’t doing the trick for them.

        • Bob Hadley

          When you’re obviously wrong it’s better to remain silent than to change the subject. Changing the subject is an admission that you’re wrong but can’t muster the courage to admit it.

          The point is that President Clinton, a democrat with a serious zipper problem, managed the economy better than any recent republican president, including President Reagan.

          • MarioP


            Are you talking to me? If so and you’re accusing me of changing the subject, please reread my posts.

  • stmichrick

    And let’s not forget Burt, some of these names are notorious for the one or two times they got caught. People would be amazed if they knew the total numbers of ‘engagements’ to the point of wondering how they made time for anything else. Fame, for any reason, appears to be catnip for certain female mindsets.

    A friend of mine is very much like Clinton and the numbers can be truly staggering.