Putting The Boehner Affairs Into Perspective

100511_john_boehnerThe National Enquirer story on John Boehner’s boner came out yesterday. While I haven’t yet seen the entire article (our stores are always late getting the recent editions), something posted in the on-site excerpt really got my curiosity going:

But The ENQUIRER learned that Deborah was nowhere to be seen when the ruggedly handsome congressman attended a casino party at the home of a D.C. lobbyist in August 1997 - and reportedly hooked up with pretty congressional press secretary Leigh LaMora.

What really interests me here is the person and timeframe. In 1997, John Boehner was chairman of the Republican Conference, meaning he held a leadership position in the House. Not only was Boehner a superior to LaMora in terms of being a congress person, but he also had the added bonus of being part of the leadership. This could really fall under sexual harassment.

Now let’s think back to that same timeframe and another case of sexual harassment that gained the nation attention. That would be Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Even though the actual impeachment of Clinton revolved around an issue of perjury, that perjury was committed in connection with sexual harassment.

That is really interesting and could explain why Boehner was one of the softer Republicans on Clinton.

Now that I got that one out-of-the-way, I want to turn attention to the issue of double standards. Remember Mark Souder? He was a Republican congressman from Indiana’s 3rd district, who resigned last year after admitting an affair with a female staffer. See the connection to Boehner here? Well that isn’t the only role Boehner played into Souder’s demise:

Rep. Mark Souder’s (R-Ind.) resignation and public admission of an affair was as fast as it was stunning, a stark illustration of House Minority Leader John Boehner's effort to deal with ethics problems swiftly.

Boehner has repeatedly said he will take a hard-line on ethics issues for his members and Democrats, but whether Boehner can — or will — be able to apply his standard in every case has yet to be seen.

Boehner forced the resignation of Souder, citing ethics. I find that really interesting as I read reaction to the National Enquirer article and people on the right saying that “it’s a private matter between Boehner and his wife”. The previous actions of John Boehner dictate that that is not that case, per John Boehner.

And let’s remember, this isn’t a case of what he was doing, but rather “who he was doing it with”. This is again highlighted in the Souder case:

In Souder’s case, according to several sources, the Indiana Republican’s chief of staff, Renee Howell, contacted Boehner’s office on Sunday night to inform them that Souder was having an affair with a part-time staffer, Tracy Meadows Jackson. Jackson was hired by Souder’s office in December 2004, according to House payroll records.

Again we have a case where a person in a position of power if having an affair with a subordinate. Yes this is an ethical issue and  that’s why I am rolling my eyes over this:

“Boehner has been perfectly clear that he will hold our members to the highest ethical standards,” Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman, said.

So where are the ethical standards of John Boehner? Perhaps he should lead by example and ask the House ethics committee to investigate the report of his affairs. If he is truly innocent then he should have nothing to worry about. If he doesn’t take this route, then it not only raises suspicions of his guilt, but also highlights the double standard he imposes not only on Democrats, but also members of his own party.