all the Teabagger victory hoopla, stories about the questionable
sexual- and race-related attitudes
and behavior of two of the Tea Party’s principal proponents, Christine O'Donnell and New York’s Carl Paladino,
have garnered as much notoriety as their often-questionable policy pronouncements.
O'Donnell proposed in a 1996 MTV program and again in a 1998 article, “The Case for Chastity,”
that masturbation is sinful and that looking at pornography is equivalent to adultery. She proudly declared:
When a married person uses pornography, or is unfaithful, it compromises not just his (or her) purity,
but also compromises the spouse's purity. As a church, we need to teach a higher standard than abstinence.
We need to preach a righteous lifestyle.
She has apparently not revised or repudiated her position in the intervening years.
New York'a Paladino has come under scrutiny for a number of apparent indiscretions. They include revelations about
his porn collection which he shares with his construction “buddies” and racially-provocative e-mails depicting Obama
as an African tribesman or a ‘70s-era pimp (with his wife, Michelle, depicted as a “ho”). More troubling are revelations
about his extra-marital affair with an employee and the “love child” he fathered.
What is most striking about these incidents is not the specific actions, but the fact that Tea Party proponents
have shrugged off these embarrassments as inconsequential in assessing their candidates for public office.