Glimmers of Good in the News of '08

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 28, 2008 | Go to article overview

Glimmers of Good in the News of '08


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As we ring out 2008, here are some notable events on the family. Bad news first, then some good news.

*Sex scandals crushed several political careers. Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison, a Democrat, resigned his office amid accusations he was harassing his mistress over an abortion investigation. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat who was elected in a landslide because he promised to fight corruption, resigned after he was unmasked as Client 9 in a prostitution sting. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a Democrat, lied for months about his affair but now sits in jail. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards admitted to an affair, but denied having a love child. Florida Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney, who once said restoring America's values begins at home, admitted to multiple affairs, but still ran for re-election; he lost to a Republican.

Speaking of Republicans, at least one partook of forbiddenfruit. New York Rep. Vito J. Fossella, who admitted to both adultery and having a love child, had the decency to decline to run for re-election.

Collateral damage in these scandals include six wives, one husband and 23 children, including two born out of wedlock who are unlikely to grow up with their father in the home.

Public leaders might want to take note. Americans are forgiving of premarital sex, but they condemn adultery - 80 percent tell the General Social Survey that extramarital sex is always wrong. Breaking one's marriage vow is still a third rail in politics.

*The costs of nonmarital sex and family breakdown equal the bailouts of mortgage-finance giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Unwed childbearing and divorce cost taxpayers $112 billion a year (Institute for American Values), father absence costs taxpayers $100 billion a year (National Fatherhood Initiative), teen pregnancy costs $9 billion a year (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy), and sexually transmitted diseases cost $15 billion a year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). …

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