Thursday, April 1, 2010

King of Sleaze

Let's see, Tiger Woods or John Edwards? Who to vote for in the King of Sleaze Sweepstakes?

I think maybe it is Edwards. First, his wife had cancer and that adds an extra element of ugliness to his affair. It's like he was playing both ends against the middle, hoping Elizabeth would just die and get it over with so he could move on with his life. Abandoning a loyal, desperately sick wife for his mistress would have meant the end of his presidential aspirations. (Although, not necessarily the end of his political reputation as that's exactly what Newt did and he's still a respected spokesperson for the Republicans).

And you have to count Edwards' raging hypocrisy against him too. After all, he was running for president by trying to sell the voters on his All-American boy-next-door virtue. Son of a millworker concerned about the common people, two Americas....blah, blah, blah. He billed himself as the "clean" Bill Clinton, giving us that oh-so-innocent white smile that fairly beamed - "trust me".  Maybe voters could have trusted him. Except for Elizabeth's cancer, Edwards followed in Clinton's footsteps and Bill proved to be an excellent president in spite of his questionable personal morals. (See also, John F Kennedy).

And then there's the matter of Edwards' child. Having another man claim paternity drops Smilin' John another notch in the Sleaze Sweepstakes (in which the lowest score wins). Look at the knowledge of his rejection his daughter will have to face as she grows up. It seems that Edwards was willing to sell out virtually everybody to protect his own ambition.

If there is any small thing to be said in Edwards' favor, it is that he seemed to confine himself to one woman. Maybe he really loved her. That hardly covers his multitude of sins but I guess it's something, if true.

Meanwhile,  here is Tiger engaging in multitudes of sordid affairs. The more we learn, the more like a total low-life Tiger appears to be. Come to find out, his keepers knew all about his proclivities for promiscuous sex, even helped make the arrangements with his various women. And he treated those women shabbily. He seemed to have an attraction to his inferiors in the socio-economic food chain, such as waitresses and strippers. I could feel a little more benign toward him if he'd at least given them a run for their money in return for their favors, a taste of the high life - expensive gifts, fine meals, etc. But, no, they all agree he was cheap.  According to what we hear, he wanted lots of sex with very little payback. Sex in the bathroom, the kitchen, the porch, the bedroom.  (Not in the master bedroom though. Come on! Give him credit for some integrity!)

Graciousness doesn't seem to be a part of Tiger's soul. He called one of his dalliances "my little coffee cup". Seriously! How freakin' romantic is that? Was this his own Freudian way of letting her know just how (un)important she was in the scheme of things?

On the other hand, unlike Candidate John Edwards, Tiger doesn't owe the public his honesty. He's not asking them to give him their faith or their vote. They can watch him or not, root for him or not, as they please. His grubby personal life has nothing to do with his golfing exploits (unless his endorsers decide it does).

I'd have more admiration for Tiger if he'd had the guts to tell everyone to go to hell instead of drowning us in crocodile tears and false remorse when we all know that if his affairs hadn't become public, he'd still be up to his eyeballs in the swamp of sexual slime.

So, in the end, who gets the Crown as the King of Sleaze? I think you have to call it a draw.