Oneonta, N.Y. —
Most men — and you know who you are — are not to be trusted.
This is, of course, a given, an indisputable fact, as any woman would tell you if you bothered to ask.
Give a fellow the least opportunity to do something incredibly stupid, tawdry, dishonest or otherwise inappropriate, and he’ll roll up his sleeves, spit on his hands and get right down to it — all the while deluding himself into thinking he’ll get away with it ... somehow.
Being a card-carrying member of the gender, I have no problem relating to the basic premise that men — particularly prominent ones — are basically swine.
But women married to those guys remain a mystery, particularly those who adhere to the philosophy of the late Tammy Wynette, who sang and co-wrote the 1968 country hit, “Stand By Your Man.”
Despite their husbands doing the most despicable things, you keep seeing these women standing by their men ... sometimes in front of a jury.
I hasten to add that I am not married to one of those women. My wife would leave me if I left the toilet seat up.
The latest example of inexplicable loyalty is 69-year-old Dottie Sandusky, whose husband, Jerry, used his position as a longtime assistant football coach at Penn State University to sexually abuse children. He was convicted June 22 on 45 counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.
The evidence was so overwhelming that Dottie had to know her husband was guilty of these indefensible and heinous acts on vulnerable boys. The Sanduskys’ adopted son, Matt, even came forward and said Jerry Sandusky had abused him, too.
And yet, there she was during the trial, smiling at that evil man, encouraging him and winking at him in the courtroom.
On June 19, former baseball pitcher Roger Clemens was found not guilty on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs. Even after the verdict, there are few knowledgeable baseball people outside of that jury room who dispute that Clemens did steroids.
Supporting him all the way through the trial was his wife, Debbie, who implausibly testified that it was she, rather than her husband, who was injected with illegal drugs by the pitcher’s former strength coach.
There was Mrs. Clemens, the supportive wife despite being thrown under the media bus by her husband and having read all the newspaper accounts of his various extramarital relationships, including one with country music singer Mindy McCready that began when she was 15.
Back in 2007, Larry Craig was a very conservative anti-gay rights Republican senator from Idaho when he was arrested for making a sexual advance to an undercover male cop in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport.
Amid the ensuing political fury, Craig’s wife, Suzanne, stood beside him at a news conference as he insisted, “I am not gay. I never have been gay.” Craig, long rumored to be homosexual, pleaded to a lesser charge, chose not to run for re-election and remains married.
Wendy Vitter, wife of Louisiana family values conservative Republican Sen. David Vitter, defiantly scolded the media when standing by her husband at his 2007 news conference in the wake of his name appearing on a list of clients of a Washington, D.C., madam.
Her loyalty apparently has paid off. Vitter was re-elected in 2010.
Then there’s the unfortunately named Anthony Weiner, who was a Democratic member of Congress last year when he admitted he had “exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.”
Weiner resigned in disgrace. His wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime personal aide of Hillary Clinton’s, didn’t appear at Weiner’s farewell media conference, but she has stuck with him.
Speaking of Hillary Clinton, while her husband, Bill, was denying various alleged affairs during his presidential campaign in 1992, she famously stated on “60 Minutes” “I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.”
Hillary made little secret of how furious she was after her man fessed up about Monica Lewinsky, but hey, they’re still married.
Surely the booby prize for standing by her man has to go to Silda Wall, wife of disgraced former New York Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer had to resign in 2008 after it was revealed that he was an enthusiastic, regular customer of a high-priced prostitution agency.
In 2010, his wife was quoted in the Peter Elkind book, “Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.”
“The wife is supposed to take care of the sex,” she said. “This is my failing; I wasn’t adequate.”
Good grief. How could she say that? Is that what those other wives thought, too? It wasn’t their fault. The failing was not theirs, but their husbands’. Wynette had it absolutely right in that famous song when she sang:
“After all, he’s just a man.”
SAM POLLAK is the editor of The Daily Star in Oneonta, N.Y. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. CNHI News Service distributes his column.
Oneonta, N.Y. —
Most men — and you know who you are — are not to be trusted.
Witnesses missing; Behenna case could be heard at Supreme Court
The film “Breaker Morant” was nominated for an Oscar for the best screenplay in 1980. It told the story of Harry “Breaker” Morant, an Australian who served in the British Army and was court-martialed for alleged war crimes during the Boer War in Southern Africa in the early years of the last century.
That conflict pitted the British Army against the descendants of the Dutch settlers who had migrated to what is now South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. The majority of them were farmers and in their language of Afrikaans were known as “Boers.”
Don’t leave Oklahoma!
May is graduation season. As I have done every year as lieutenant governor, I have given multiple commencement speeches. Advice flows freely during this time and it usually runs the gamut. What to do, what not to do, how to do ‘x’, be sure not to do ‘y.’ Too often commencement speakers speak in big generalities. So general, the message is frequently lost or forgotten.
Last-minute funding proposals not in state’s best interest
All indications point to this being the last week of this year’s legislative session. The Legislature will go home a week early. This is good news for Oklahomans as not only will there be cost savings but all Oklahomans should breathe a sigh of relief when the Legislature stops making new laws a week ahead of schedule.
As usual, the Legislature will take a number of important votes during the last week. Some will be forced due to attempts to introduce and pass far-reaching, new policies that should have been introduced much earlier in the year.
BY THE NUMBERS: Oklahoma still needs to invest in its economy
After six months of stagnation, the Oklahoma economy finally appears to be expanding again albeit still weakly. Unfortunately, our leaders aren’t making the investments we need to give our economic prospects a boost.
Last week the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported that in April state General Revenue fund collections were 5.2 percent above the estimate and 14.7 percent higher than last year’s collections. Under normal circumstances, such a report would indicate that the Oklahoma economy was very strong. But this isn’t a normal circumstance, and April isn’t a normal month.
Americans deserve the truth on Benghazi
Lately, the media has been consumed by the controversies surrounding the White House. Among these controversies is the horrific terrorist attack on the United States’ diplomatic compound in Benghazi that took place Sept. 11, 2012. As more people come forward with additional information regarding the attack on the consulate, many Americans, including myself, are still asking for the truth.
The Obama Administration and the State Department have been less than forthcoming with key information on Benghazi and recent information points toward a major cover-up.
Seizure of AP phone records insult to independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
HEY HINK: Some people just are not cut out for command
Recent headlines cause me to remember an incident that occurred on an army base some years ago. Warning here: I’m taking some liberties with names and details, but the basic outline of events is accurate.
A certain company commander, let’s call him Captain Duntz, had command of a motor pool on a large army base in the continental U.S.
We’ve become our own worst enemies
The past couple months have been marked by a seeming unprecedented number of man-made tragedies, as distinct from those caused by violent outbursts of the natural world, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis.
You don’t want to dwell too long on the negative, but we do have to take notice of horrific human events and we owe it to ourselves to respond to them in some way. We don’t always agree on those responses, however, and that usually exacerbates the problem.
Let’s reimburse higher ed for remediation costs
The good news: Oklahoma schools are teaching phonics. The bad news: It’s in college.
Students at Tulsa Community College, for example, can take a college English course called “Spelling and Phonics,” which “helps students master basic spelling literacy, principles of phonics and decoding skills.”
This sort of higher education brings to mind former Boston University president John Silber’s quip: “Higher than what?”
AGAINST THE GRAIN: Department of Commerce highlights Main Street successes
The 24th annual Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet was at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum last week. Oklahoma Department of Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez addressed the gathering, and spoke of how the Commerce Department works with Main Street organizations throughout the state that are working to improve their downtown areas. Lopez pointed out that the partnership between his department and those local organizations has brought new life to those communities and that the attendees would see some of that revitalization in a video presentation. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also addressed the gathering, and said the Main Street program has resulted in more than $1 billion in investments in the state and more than 1 million volunteer hours in its 24 years of operation.
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