On Al Jazeera America, Hiram College political science professor Jason Johnson discusses legislation in Florida to extend in-state tuition to undocumented students known as DREAMers.
On Headline News, Dr. Jason Johnson discussed the failure of the election system in Florida.
Rule # 1 about Sex Scandals: If you’re a Democrat, just say you have some sort of emotional problem and insist that the issue must be taken care of in therapy or within your family. (See Bill Clinton, Jim McGreevy and Anthony Weiner)
Rule #2 about Sex Scandals: If you’re a Republican rabidly deny the allegation, in ways that actually end up making the scandal worse in the eyes of the public. (See Larry Craig, Chris Lee and Newt Gingrich about 3 different times.)
Given that these are the rules of American sex scandals we should not be surprised that Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll has made such a stink in her response to allegations of a former employee that she was carrying on a lesbian relationship with a former travel aide. Like many Republicans before her, the story isn’t necessarily weather Carroll is gay, or bisexual or was having an affair, it’s the ridiculously snide and petty answer she gave to the allegations.
A former staffer in the Governor’s office, Carletha Cole, is under investigation for illegally recording a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff and giving the tape to a local newspaper. While Cole, a pastor and grandmother is awaiting trial she filed papers alleging various shenanigans in Lt. Governor Carroll’s office including one instance where Cole claims to have walked in on the Lt. Governor and her travel aide Beatriz Ramos in a “compromising position.” Now, Cole alleges that Ramos and Carroll are having an affair, but let’s be honest, compromising position could be anything from the two of them shredding documents, doing lines of cocaine, making out with the governor’s seal of approval or just making prank phone calls to Eric Holder. But it’s Carroll’s response that’s made it worse. When asked by a reporter how she felt about the allegations the nation’s highest ranking elected black republican woman said:
The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it’s not just one person you’re attacking. It’s an entire family. My husband doesn’t want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For twenty-nine years – I’m the one that’s married for twenty-nine years. The accuser is the one that’s been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
Translation: Carletha’s ugly and single and I’m hot and married so I TOTALLY can’t be a lesbian and she so TOTALLY looks like a lesbian. What kind of junior high Mean Girl ish is that? This is the kind of petty stuff that makes 37% of the U.S. public think Republicans are just jerks. Let’s ignore the obvious questions like “What does a LESBIAN LOOK LIKE?” or even better ignore the fact that of course there’s NEVER been a lesbian who’s married to a man and had kids, and focus on the overall tone. What happened to politicians just saying “I’m not gay and these allegations or false.” Or if you want to appeal to swing voters add the Sienfeldian line “I’m not gay…Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Instead Jennifer Carroll goes after a disgruntled employee’s looks and dating history like this is a 2012 re-enactment of Heathers with a drop of “School Daze” mixed in. When this story finally blows over, I sincerely doubt that Carroll was engaging in any sexual trysts with her employee, or at least none that have come to light yet. But to be honest, I’m less interested in who she’s screws in her personal office than I am in the fact that she’s screwing over the citizens of Florida by pushing through draconian voter ID laws. Perhaps our scandal priorities are out – of – wack again.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.
The Source Politics Editor Jason Johnson, author of the new book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell, appeared on Al Jazeera English to discuss the political situation of Republican governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida as the struggle with their efforts to cut state budgets.