File this under "local news that might make a national splash due to the titillation and hypocrisy potential". Word of a blackmail attempt on local state Senator Paul Stanley, R, Germantown, hit the press late yesterday. The blackmail involved a 22 year old intern. At this point it's unclear as to whether we have a little league Mark Sanford or a legitimate victim here, but today Stanley resigned from his powerful committee post, which makes him appear somewhat more guilty than victim.
To make matters worse for the GOP, Stanley was a vocal advocate of family values and even tried to oppose gay adoption (not adopting gay people but them adopting kids) in the legislature (ruled unconstitutional). So the hypocrisy well runs deep here.
Although we don't have all the details yet; and even if Stanley didn't have sex with that woman, Miss Morrison; the notion of nude pictures of her in his apartment does enough damage.
There are questions, of course. Who took the pictures? Who put them on a memory stick? What was the boyfriend doing in Stanley's apartment, or did the paramour provide him with them? If so, why wasn't she charged as well? Is Stanley a complete moron? Or was the entire thing a setup/shakedown? Was Morrison sent to Nashville under deep cover to take down a Republican or was she the innocent victim, manipulated by an older man?
Whatever the case he's still innocent until proven guilty, except on the internet and within society at large. And while he seems a likable guy (it's always hard to say with politicos) it's normally a safe bet to assume his family will suffer the greatest damage from any proven peccadillo, which would be the true tragedy.
But at the same time the GOP really needs to refine their message going forward before every single member spontaneously erupts. Their family values apple cart has made it far too easy for sneering Dems who want an anything goes society to turn them into pinatas when they fall short (and they will), which hurts the entire program. How about a bit more humility and less judgment? After all, God recommends it. And it can be done. Despite all the slings and arrows over eight long years George W. Bush maintained his 'compassionate conservative' posture throughout. Then again..