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Monday, March 17, 2008

Of governors and escorts...

This poem was in the Globe and Mail, our national paper, on Saturday. What do you think? (For foreign visitors, the governor of New York resigned last week after he was 'busted' for having an ongoing relationship with a high-priced escort. He was a law and order Mr. Integrity kind of wonk.)

The Politician's Wife
- by John Allemang

Why do you stand there at his side

And mutely stare past one who lied

His life away so he could screw

A girl, the world, but mostly you?

I'd like to think you've made some deal

So none of this would seem too real -

"The rich are not like you and me" -

A rule like that, which sets you free

From all those painful moral qualms

The mess up ordinary moms

Who don't know virtue's just a pose,

And what men crave are high-priced ho's.

Which isn't true: A life of trust

Means more than some implanted bust,

And pleasure that's procured in stealth.
But then I lack your husband's wealth,

And much prefer to moralize

Than look into your vacant eyes,

And try to figure what to say

When you're content to stare, and stay.

Well done, Allemang! (I'd read it, too.)
And well done, Gary, for posting it.

I don't understand those situations - and probably never will.
How those politicians' wives do it, I'll never know. Thankfully, I didn't choose that route, because I could never just stand there with a blank face and mutely stand by him. I would take no prisoners!!!
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Um, yeah... I wouldn't be standing there in that photo.
I like to think that her hands are in her pockets, holding her cell phone, and texting her family-law attorney.
I have to agree don't think I'd be standing there either
Thx for visiting my blog btw.
You asked about the Poem? I thought it must be Silda Wall Spitzer, the mother of 3, who is the wrongdoer?

What’s her crime?

Okay ~I think I get it “Standing alongside her man, as depicted from a carefully selected photo amongst the 100’s (that don’t show that expression), is tantamount to taking woman’s rights back 50 years.

Is that what all the fury is all about? Taking feminism back to the dark ages. But I thought feminism was all about choice, so if Silda decides to stay with her husband isn’t that her choice?

Dare I mention she is also an obviously intelligent woman who has shown guts to face a shocking humiliation head-on?

I might add the other photos I saw clearly indicate the disgust on her face.
Not that I would dare mention this is all about a judgment about her! Or that maybe many people ,( not that I am suggesting any moral superiority here ) regardless of whether they are wealthy , middle class or poor with children opt to work things out until such time as they believe a separation will have less impact.There are othere who will pack pronto ! Imm not casting any judgement,only suggesting in some cases there is a choice.

Does the Poet know the full story or is it a pandering to a judgment to be engulfed by eager equally judgmental readers ?

From The Daily Telegraph paper of the 14th March~“Associate Professor Barbara Baird of Flinders University said the decision to stay in a cheating marriage had major benefits for Democratic presidential campaigner Hillary Clinton, despite the Monica Lewinsky affair, which publicly embarrassed her husband Bill - then US president.
"Who knows whether it was a strategic decision for her to stay in the marriage and stay the supportive wife . . . if she left Bill Clinton then, she probably wouldn't be in the same position now."

Best wishes
Beth, I suspected you'd seen this - Saturday Globe and coffee?

Nova, from your blog I know you speak with some experience and wisdom.

Carol, Cheri and Ciara - I'd be interested to know what you think about LIndsay's comment above - a different perspective for sure.

Lindsay, thoughtful as usual... and this time, against the common response. I think you're correct that Mrs. Spitzer is not the creep, and the poem can be interpreted to criticize her. I interpreted it more compassionately.

I think for some of us (me for one), the press conference with the contrite husband and tight-lipped wife has been done so many times, that I have to wonder whose idea it is for the wife to be there. It so often seems like a communications ploy "If I can forgive him, then perhaps all you voters/shareholders/lawyers and judges can too." It's beginning to have the opposite effect I fear and what we hear is, "If I can make this personal and show that it's all about a loving and forgiving family, maybe you'll forget about the trust (or law) I broke.

As for the photo - I chose it (not the poet). I'm guilty!

As you imply, we don't know the ins and outs of their relationship or what is best for her - appreciate you for pointing it out!

As for Hillary, it's not for me to judge her either, and whether she stayed with wandering Billy out of integrity or opportunity is something I don't know. They certainly aren't my first choice for next occupants of the White House though.
Perhaps she's a really strong, forgiving woman. Who am I to judge?
I really don't care if someone else stays with a man like Bill or Spitzer. I was just speaking for myself - that I wouldn't be standing there if it were my husband. And it's easy for me to say that, since I'm not in that situation. Maybe in reality, I'd behave differently from what I think now that I would do.

I would have a big problem if my husband lied to protect himself or if he paid tens of thousands of dollars for prostitutes. Trust out the window...

I have no idea the motivation behind any of these women that appear with their husbands in these circumstances.

And the Clintons are not MY first choice for the White House, either...
Yes certainly a different perspective. I think I intrepreted the poem a tad more commpassionately too. I feel sorry for her but as Lindsay says it is her choice.
I try not to judge people in general & who am I to say whats right or wrong in her situation. Like you said we don't know the whole situation.

My comment was I wouldn't be standing there if it were my husband which would be 'my' choice. The whole trust issue is a big one for me & I can only talk about me & my feelings cos thats what I know about.
I don't really understand the motivation for these women either. Whether its right or wrong? Who knows? They are people too who just try to do what they think is best in the situation, whether that be a 'strategic' decision or not, only they can know that.

These situations made me sad for the families involved.
Thanks again for this becoming a thoughtful forum, in addition to a display of poetry!

Another good question:
- Do we hold those in public office to higher moral standards than others? Should we?
Hi Gary

Do we hold those in public office to higher moral standards than others?

Should we?

That’s a good question.

But morality is a rather tricky thing to start banding around don’t you think?

I think we all know what’s right and wrong (barring mental disease) and are particularly hurt and wounded by a breach of trust.

We know who we are and what we stand for, but there is also relativity involved dependant upon individual circumstances.

But as to the public sector, or public office the same principles surely must apply, otherwise we risk becoming self righteous.

I agree with your perpectives about press conferences etc, but as to the poem, it was indeed a creative abstraction, to which was added abstract values and a moral judgment, (given my interpretation) which was the basis of my argument, not what individual people might do or not, which will be dependant upon their individual circumstances and right of choice.

Best wishes
I wouldn't go up their either.
He made the wet spot,
he should lay in it.
Er... lie in it.
my personal experience has been that a man who can't be trusted by his wife, isn't trustworthy in other areas either. if we still hold, as a society, that marital fidelity is a desirable thing, we should expect no less than that from our 'leaders'.
I think the poem makes some good points about women in her position. It seeks to answer the question "why?"
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i think they stay for the money and the lifestyle. imagine the stress of having to worry about paying your own bils. . .

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