Insane strategy for a U.S. presidential run: have no sexual allegations in your background!
In an unprecedented departure from presidential election norms, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) has announced the launch of an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run — without a single known allegation of sexual misconduct on his record.
The list of presidents and presidential hopefuls boasting a catalog of presidential sexual offenses and outright sexual assault is long and disgracefully distinguished. Thomas Jefferson has been accused of raping one of his slaves, Sally Hemmings (though admittedly two hundred years after the fact by someone who gave neither of them a chance to respond to the allegations.)
Grover Cleveland was accused of sexual assault “[b]y use of force and violence and without my consent” in an 1873 affidavit by a 38-year-old Buffalo, New York, woman who later gave birth to indisputable proof of her allegations.
In his book The Last President’s Men, journalist Bob Woodward accused President Richard Nixon of multiple unwanted sexual advances on and unacceptable touching of women working in the White House during his otherwise stellar presidency.
Both President Bushes have been accused of inappropriate touching, though the elder Bush was ninety and wheelchair bound at the time of the alleged incident and it is unclear he knew exactly what he was touching or why.
Bill Clinton, of course, is famous for proudly staining the national furniture in every room of the White House and needs no inventory of his well-publicized sexual misadventures.
Most recently, former Vice President Joe Biden has amassed a list of 8 such accusers, and the current Misogynist-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump ─ always keen to win any contest at any cost ─ has sexually offended every woman in America not wearing a MAGA hat and has physically assaulted at least twenty-five women that we know of, including one of his former wives.
All of this begs the obvious question: “What does Justin Amash think he is doing throwing his hat into a ring for which he is so obviously unqualified? A comprehensive internet search has turned up not a single accusation of any sexual misconduct in either public or private life by the Michigan Representative, a nearly unprecedented result in presidential elections.
The only other presidential candidate currently known to be unblemished by charges of sexual wrongdoing is Barack Obama, whose natural eloquence and compulsive honesty masked an uncharacteristic lack of depravity as a presidential hopeful, ultimately propelling him into the White House.
It is a bold and audacious move to so transparently separate oneself from the presidential rat pack with only six months remaining until Election Day. It remains to be seen if Rep. Amash, untried by the campaign trail and unbaptized by the fire of relentless media scrutiny can pull off the same thing. Is this the dawn of a new era in American politics, or just another disappointing con in the downhill race of presidential debauchery?