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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Jack and Jeri show

Ya know, just for the record, I emphatically do not have an issue with Jack & Jeri and their kinky sex life. However, if Ryan wasn't such a smug Repug, he might have thought twice before running for political office in the U.S.: the stakes are just too high, and salacious stories are what our smutty national media covers best.

Anyway, as a follow up to my previous post, the Smoking Gun has 6 pages of the heavily redacted court documents posted.

Senate Race Sex Scandal - June 22, 2004:
"In what may prove a crippling blow to his U.S. Senate campaign, divorce records reveal that Illinois Republican Jack Ryan was accused by his former wife, actress Jeri Ryan, of pressuring her to have sex at swinger's clubs in New York, Paris, and New Orleans while other patrons watched. The bombshell allegation is contained amidst nearly 400 pages of records ordered released yesterday by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who ruled on media requests to unseal documents from the Ryan case"

Ryan seemed to more interested in power and control than just getting off. Some people who know Jack Ryan from his Goldman Sachs years consider him to be a bit of an asshole, but since I've never had the pleasure, I'll leave that judgement for posterity.

Eric Zorn of the ChiTrib has more on Jack Ryan's veracity, or lack therof

But I can and do blame him for this grotesque and ongoing attempt to hide his own alleged peccadilloes behind his little boy.

His invocation to me of his son's health problems and his incessant references Monday night to his son's need to be sheltered from these unpleasant allegations is an obscene misuse of his status as a father.

"The first job of a dad, of any parent is to protect your children," he told reporters Monday. He referred several times to that interest as his "highest priority."

But he said it in the context of trying to protect his political future.

Sure, the words and actions of parents can bring embarrassment upon their children down the line. Many times when society exposes or prosecutes an individual, innocent relatives are hurt; it's one reason, out of many, to behave well. We can't and shouldn't change the rules to protect third parties from rebounding mortification or shame.

Ryan charged repeatedly during his news conference that news of these allegations would be damaging to his son, which is regrettable, but besides the point.

He gambled his son's innocence on the notion that he could have it both ways--as Jack Ryan private citizen whose alleged kinks nobody cares about, and as Jack Ryan candidate for high public office whose life automatically becomes an open book--and he lost. The safe bet, of course, would have been to remain an investment-banker-turned-schoolteacher and not run for Senate.

The measure of Jack Ryan's character is not that he had a rough divorce, or that he may have or may at one time have had unconventional sexual interests. It's not even that he didn't spill every juicy detail when reporters came nosing around.

Few will fault him for not being perfect or heedlessly forthcoming.

The measure of Jack Ryan's character is that he continues to invoke his child to advance the increasingly flimsy idea that he has higher priorities than his own ambition.


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