The Jack Ryan/Barack Obama race is my local Senatorial contest so I’ve been following it with some interest. This issue about Ryan’s divorce records has been going on since the primary. Over that whole time, he has wrapped himself with the cloak of “protecting his son”. This led me to believe that perhaps what was in those records was something sensitive with his son that put strain on the marriage until finally they divorced. I was surprised and shocked that what he wanted kept sealed were the allegations that he tried to coerce his ex-wife into swinging sexual activity. I’m going to discuss them the rest of the post – keep in mind that they are allegations and might not be actually true but they were what was in the records. I’m not going to put “allegedly” in front of every mention, but add them mentally.
I personally don’t believe this is really my business to know this, but now that I do it makes sense to put his policy beliefs in this context.
He is strongly pro-Bush and strongly anti-gay marriage. From his own website:
I believe that marriage can only be defined as that union between one man and one woman. I am opposed to same-sex marriages, civil unions, and registries.
Ryan believes in the union between one man and one woman, but he doesn’t mind if that union occurs in a leather sling in front of a crowd of onlookers. It’s pretty galling to hear one of the “sanctity of marriage” crowd talk when you know that he has some kinks. My position is that the kink is in fact perfectly fine. I don’t think that precludes him from being a Senator in and of itself. What does is that he supports bad policy, and that bad policy is made ironic by the fact that in his personal life he comports himself differently than many would consider “normal.” Even so, he doesn’t find normality in gay people who want nothing more than to monogamously commit to each other under marriage.
Like they always say, it ain’t the scandal that gets you, it’s the coverup and the reaction. Chicagoist has a piece that includes links to the story that Illinois GOP leaders feel sold out by Ryan. I can see why they’d be pissed – they did the right thing and stood by their man on his word that there was nothing embarassing in the records, which was a flat lie. That’s what we should be focusing on, not the titillating salacious aspects of it but that he misled even his backers and the closest people to him. How exactly can we trust his honesty in office when he lies to the GOP during the election?
Mitch Wagner feels we should extend him tolerance on this. I think we should extend him tolerance on his sexual preferences, yes. I also think he should absolutely have the hammer dropped on him for proposing policy counter to his personal conduct, and for failing to tell the truth to even his own side in this election. These are the keys here – don’t bounce him because he’s a swinger, bounce him because he’s a lying hypocrite. Also, bounce him because his opponent is smarter, more qualified and wants better policy enacted in this country.
Note too that I’m not even mentioning who his ex-wife is. Everyone seems to be focusing on that because she is highly visible and that just makes it all the more salacious. I’m ignoring that aspect of the story because it is unimportant. It doesn’t matter who his wife was, only that he lied and that he is unwilling to grant others the tolerance that he himself relies upon.