only in America: of the government by age of consent

I find it absolutely incomprehensible that in the end, after all the horrors of the last twelve years of Republican Congresses, the last six with a totally disastrous Republican administration, we might see the Republican ascendancy overturned because my fellow Americans are upset about another sex scandal.

I am amazed every time I open my laptop or newspaper, or listen to the radio, and find the story still continues. A middle-aged man who works in downtown Washington flirted with a "child" who was in fact of legal age in our nation's capitol at the time he was the object of the older and more powerful man's unwelcome attentions and poor judgment. Okay, it was several children, but it is for this that the Republicans must apparently now pay, not for their lies or their incredible venality, not for the deaths of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East or elsewhere, or for our fall (rise?) to the status of rogue terrorist nation, and not for the destruction of our ancient liberties or for the cynical incitement and manipulation of the fears of ordinary people all across the land.

Incidently, the idea of maturity or specifically the practical or legal "age of consent" is more a game of numbers than a science. Peter Tatchell, who has an argument with the laws of his own country, Britain, points out:

Already, 20 European countries have ages of consent lower than 16. The minimum age is effectively 12 in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Malta. It's 14 in Slovenia, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, Italy, San Marino, Albania and, in certain circumstances, Germany. All these laws apply equally to hetero and homo sex.

Great post, my thoughts exactly.

Perhaps Tocqueville's words still apply today: "there is not an opinion, not a custom, not a law that the New England origin of American civilisation does not explain" -- that is, the New England origin of Puritanism that included an obsession with sexual repression.