Alexandra Petri raises a good point about one aspect of the Matt Gaetz’s sex scandal: Why did anyone who saw him showing pictures of the women he’d exploited just sit there?
To me, this is something you do, ideally, zero times. You never experience the impulse to do it, and you lead a pleasant life. You travel. You eat lunchmeat sandwiches. Maybe you do a marathon, or climb something. You lead a blithe existence for many decades, you die in your bed in your mid-nineties surrounded by your cherished relatives, and in all that time, you never walk up to a colleague on the floor of the House of Representatives and out of nowhere present him with a nude photograph of someone you claim to have had sex with.
But if you can’t do it zero times, then ideally it happens only once. It happens only once, because the moment you do it, the person you show it to responds the way a person should respond. You produce your photograph to your colleague, and your colleague looks at you and says, “Never show that to anyone, ever again. Go home and rethink your life. I do not feel closer to you. If anything, I want to have you removed forcibly from my presence by strong gentlemen whose biceps are tattooed with ‘MOM.’ The fact that you thought this would make us closer makes me question every decision in my life that has led me to this point. Leave now and never come back.”
The fact that apparently no one looked at him and said “What the hell is wrong with you?” or that this overpaid and obnoxious brat thought he could get away with it says more about the people he hangs out with than it does about him. After all, they didn’t seem to have a problem with a pussy-grabber in the White House for four years.