There's a beauty pageant of sorts taking place in our fair land these days.
Perhaps "beauty" is a poor choice of words.It's more like a rogue's gallery of miscreants.
We speak , of course, of the seemingly endless parade of political figures whose appetite for scandalous sexual behavior would make the Marquis de Sade blush.
It has become a game of can-you-top-this in which the biggest winner is a loser.
Lest they get left behind in the dust bin of history, we have devised special recognition for the most outlandish behavior displayed by an office holder. To him we will present the coveted FREAKS (Famous Reprobates Eagerly Advocating Kinky Sex) Award which we just now invented.
The winner gets a stay at a compulsive behavior clinic. He will also receive a statuette of a robust male whose brains have slipped below his belt.
We had thought at one point that the clear front runner was former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who disappeared after telling his staffers he was off "to hike the Appalachian Trail." Instead, we was flying down to Rio to spend some face time with his Argentinian "soul mate," much to the surprise of his wife, children, staff, constituents and the entire Republican Party.
But they are a forgiving lot down in the Brimstone and Bourbon Belt so Sanford is now a member of Congress, just recently elected. If he doesn't behave himself, he just might give the House of Representatives a bad name.
Eliot Spitzer was certainly in the mix. The former governor of New York, frequently mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate, was discovered to have patronized a high-priced prostitution service. According to published reports, investigators believe Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years while he was attorney general, and later as governor.
He has somehow managed to keep his family together, repair his image and is currently a candidate for New York City comptroller. Ironically enough, his opponent is a former madam. Honest.
It was almost a sure thing that Anthony Weiner was not only going to win the award but permanently retire it as well. Your remember Mr. Weiner: He was a Congressman and world-class sexter, one who sends explicit photos of himself to women throughout the country.
When his habit was disclosed, he resigned his office and threw himself on the mercy of the public, saying he was "deeply ashamed" of his "terrible judgment and actions, "which he called "very dumb."
Thus unburdened, he decided to run for mayor of New York City and amazingly enough became the frontrunner. Now, more explicit pix reportedly sent to women by Weiner after his humiliating exit from Congress were recently released by a website called "The Dirty." A poll taken a day after the newest revelations showed his favorability rating had dropped more than 20 points.
Despite a Fox News report that "a very significant percentage of young women today are not offended by being sent overt, intensely erotic material and respond in kind," Weiner is now officially toast.
Alas, in the race to be the most disreputable politician, he finished in second place.
The winner is clearly San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Based on the allegations of sexual harassment from women who were within his reach, he makes a drunken frat boy look like the ambassador to the Court of St. James.
Let me state right here that there's nothing funny about sexual harassment. And I salute the courage of the women who went public with their allegations. So far, there have been 13 of them. I suspect there are more waiting in the wings.
But any guy who can make Mr. Weiner look like a choir boy is worthy of special attention.
Irene McCormick Jackson, the mayor's former communications director, reportedly said that Filner had a penchant for putting her into a headlock and pulling her about, while whispering sexually explicit comments in her ear. She said the mayor often told her he wanted to kiss her, told her he wanted to see her naked and that she should work without panties at City Hall.
Michelle Tyler, a nurse, alleged that Filner asked her to engage in a personal and sexual relationship in exchange for his help in the case of U.S. Marine Katherine Ragazzino, who was wounded in Iraq.
The president of the National Women's Veterans Association of America, which supports survivors of military sexual assault, says he made a play with seven or eight women who were part of her group while they were trying to get him to take their issue seriously. "He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is complete violation of what we stand for," Tara Jones told CNN. "He's a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda."
For his part, Filner has checked himself into a clinic "for two weeks of intensive therapy" but has refused to resign. Indeed, his stay in the clinic ended about a week and a half earlyr. It's hard to say who got disgusted with who.
But in a move that defines the word "chutzpah," he and his attorney said the City of San Diego is liable for damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit due to the fact that Filner didn't receive his sexual harassment training within six months after taking office.
Congratulations, Mr. Filner. You are FREAK of the year. So far.