Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paul Stanley, Public Spokesperson for the Unfaithful Politician

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 5:37 AM

Paul Stanley
  • Paul Stanley
Politico has a story about what happened to four lawmakers after they got caught in sex scandals. Former Tennessee state senator Paul Stanley is one of them.

There's only one juicy bit of gossip in Stanley's part — where he seems to confirm rumors that he couldn't keep it in his pants, and that he slipped up more than once: "My affairs were purely sexual. There was no emotion in them." Note the plurals.

Otherwise, it's an interesting read just from a philosophical perspective. Stanley has a lot of advice on how to get forgiven:

You need to be honest with yourself. You know what you’ve done. You know what happened. Go to the ones you love… and tell the truth. When you do that, tell the entire truth. Don’t parcel it out, just tell it and ask for their forgiveness. When it becomes public, you’ve got to repent to God first. And then you need to genuinely say you’re sorry. Let me emphasize the word genuine. People will smoke you out in a heartbeat if your apology is superficial. They’re probably going to be disappointed in you, which they should, but the vast majority of them will forgive you.

And yet, his own words undermine him.

He certainly parceled out the truth, for instance. And how genuine is the apology of a man who bragged that he handled his scandal better than Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, saying, "I never really saw them truly say they were sorry and ask for the public’s forgiveness at the time"? And yes, for those of you keeping score, he once again tries to shift at least some blame onto a woman — this time, his poor ex-wife, whom he claims is partially responsible: "My spouse and I grew apart over time, and we didn’t deal with the issues when they occurred. That put me in a position where I was extremely vulnerable." Picture me rolling my eyes.

And yet, I think he's right about the heady mixture of weird adoration and authority that politicians are given, and how the long days away from home — coupled with women who wouldn't normally give you the time of day flirting with you because of your power — can be a powerful aphrodisiac.

So, why does Stanley still annoy me? I think it's because he thinks he's genuinely sorry. Even though he continues to try to spread the blame for his fuck-up(s) on women — either the gal he eventually got caught with or his ex-wife — he thinks he's genuinely sorry. But how can you be genuinely sorry when you're still shifting blame?

Allow me to wax feminist here: Stanley has a very traditional "men are the bosses, women are the subordinates" attitude. Men make the rules, they lead, they analyze things and come to important understandings, they have knowledge, and they share that knowledge when called on. Even look at the language he uses to discuss who should be dealt with first — your (presumably male) self, God, and then the ones you love, who, in this article, appear to be mostly his children. There's a hierarchy, and the woman wronged comes after the man, God, and the kids.

His ex-wife is still a little bit responsible for what happened, even though she didn't stick his penis in an intern or even know he was doing so, because she didn't fulfill her wifely duty of not growing apart from him, thus leaving him vulnerable.

That's a pretty major disconnect from the truth of the matter — which is that you really can't control what your spouse is doing in Middle Tennessee when you are in West Tennessee, and you can't keep him from "growing apart" from you when he's decided the "moment I laid eyes on her" that he was going to fuck his intern. (Also, note to Paul Stanley: A boss who decides the moment he lays eyes on an intern that he's going to fuck her is a creepster and possibly creating a hostile work environment.)

Aside from putting a blindfold on him, how was his wife supposed to keep him from ever looking at his interns and instantly deciding he was going to fuck one?

This is both woman as whore (the intern who mislead him) and woman as failed Madonna (his ex-wife, who was supposed to use her supernatural/holy powers to keep him on the straight and narrow). That's an old, old story.

But it's not the truth.

The truth is that Paul Stanley, regular old flawed person, decided to believe that he was a big important man who could do whatever he wanted, and that ended up hurting a number of other regular old flawed people. Not their faults. This isn't a battle of the archetypes.

And the thing is: I think some day Paul Stanley is going to get that. And when he does, that will be the memoir I'll be interested in reading.

But as long as he's still peddling a story to the public in which he hated to disappoint us all, but he was lead astray by a trollop and let down by his wife, Paul Stanley is a man who's still making the same mistakes about women and himself that got him into this predicament.

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