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Are These Republicans Mocking Social Conservatives?

Froma Harrop on

South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace was in Washington telling a story about how her "fiance" wanted more action in bed earlier that day. "And I was like, 'No baby, we don't got time for that this morning.'" To which she added, "He can wait. I'll see him later tonight."

The occasion was a Christian prayer breakfast attended by evangelicals.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert famously vaped in a theater and grabbed her date's privates. When called out for her offensive conduct, she blamed a "difficult divorce." Meanwhile, self-described "Christian nationalist" Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene showers the House floor with profanities.

I honestly don't care who Nancy Mace shacks up with. But it is fascinating to hear her refer to the guy in her bed as a "fiance" as opposed to some random dude. Makes her adultery sound like almost-marriage.

What are these right-wing vixens up to? For starters, they're advertising their sexual availability. (Tinder never closes.) And as members of Congress, their forays into exhibitionism provide visibility and opportunities to raise money.

These ladies evidently think that they can get away with dishing this coarseness in public while posing as defenders of old-school morality. You sometimes wonder whether they are mocking social conservatives.

 

Some evangelicals are quite unhappy about this. They are joined by others who simply want more dignity in the political culture.

The road to right-wing vulgarity was paved with hypocrisy. Some of the credit goes to Bill Bennett, who long ago perfected the art of unprincipled rectitude. Former education secretary under Ronald Reagan, Bennett has long peddled a highly elastic moral code -- depends on which party benefits -- while maintaining a face frozen in pious judgment.

In his 1998 book, "The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals," Bennett piled moral censure on Clinton over his tryst with a White House intern. And he went after Democrats for not sharing his indignation.

The first chapter, simply titled "Sex," pounded the pulpit. "In extramarital affairs," Bennett wrote, "there are victims. In marriage, one person has been entrusted with the soul of another." If true, that's bad news for Melania.

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