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Oh, Grow Up


The LATimes reprints Micheal Kinsley’s daft essay on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “disgusting” sex life and in Santa Monica, women’s groups have gathered to protest. No Groper for Governor,” says the placard in today’s Chron.
Confusing, isn’t it?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a running as a Republican. The party that opposes liberalization of abortion rights, a party that came up with the label “femi-nazi,” a party that tends to attract guys like A.S. or guys who want to be like A.S. Red blooded, meat-eating, cigar-smoking, martini-drinking swaggerers who wear lots of loud jewelry, drive big, gas-guzzling four-by-whathaveyous, and talk down to everyone tend not to be Howard Dean supporters. They believe the world is a cruel hard place and that people should live with their decisions, regardless of how foolish they may have been. Women are women and men are in charge, gee, baby, life is unfair.
Groped a movie-magazine interviewer? Went of a tour or Rio’s Carnival with a scantily clad dancer? Had group sex with a bunch of other body builders? Or just fantasized about it with a porn mag writer? Hard to believe, huh? Arnold Schwarzeneger, according to those who knew him when he was Mr. Universe, was a crude, not very subtle, but very ambitious guy. The accounts we have of his behavior reinforce that image. And he probably hasn’t changed very much, he’s just gotten better at keeping his mouth shut and his hands to himself.
But his sex life doesn’t really have that much to do with his fitness to be governor, does it? We’re already well down that slippery slope. Bill Clinton’s affairs with various interns, secretaries, bar girls, nightclub singers, and on and on and on didn’t have anything to do with his ability to be president. So why are we talking about A.S.’s sex life as a young body-builder?
It’s the wrong conversation all the way around.
What does matter in considering Clinton as a leader is the calculated, class-conscious way in which he and his staff of prudes reacted to allegations of his marital infidelity. They attacked the women involved as lower-class, meaning they were sluts anyway, or as irrationally sexually obsessed, meaning they were sluts anyway, or they just winked and said, well, she’s a slut anyway. The Clinton people launched deliberate campaigns to demean women who had sex with Bill Clinton for being women who had admitted to having sex and were willing to talk about it because, of course, women who talk about sex are sluts anyway. The press ate it up. With a spoon.
It wasn’t until Monica Lewinsky — a woman who came from the same social class as Hillary Clinton’s wealthy, white suburban background — that Clinton got stopped in his tracks. A young girl form Beverly Hills where shopping and fucking are acceptable hobbies for her socio-economic cohort, Lewinsky was perfectly happy to be doing the president. It was her idea. She knew a good time when she saw one. She’s probably still not gotten over the condemnation for wearing thong underwear from the supposedly liberal media mafia and their compatriots in the Democratic party.
There has been lots of talk about how Schwarzenegger’s people hushed up his crude behavior, a sort of typical Hollywood pamper-the-star stuff. But, so far, A.S. hasn’t said anything about being misquoted, he hasn’t tried to allege that any of the groped reporters were mentally unbalanced groupies, coming on to him to take advantage of his stardom. No, A.S. has managed to keep his mouth shut. What happened, happened.
His behavior is repellent. But his quiet acknowledgment of what’s gone before is refreshingly honest and, for once, mature.
IN-BOX: David Yomtov writes in and provides a link to the Premier magazine article.
“It predates Schwarzenegger’s policital ambitions (or at least his openly admitted ambitions),” says Yomtov. The interesting thing is that he threatens to sue anyone who raises these allegations….These stories are much more telling… than what I’ve been seeing repeated. They demonstrate a callous disrespect for persons working ‘below’ him.”

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