The Family Man
Clinton's lies, and now Condit's, have nothing to do with their families.


Rich Lowry

After having an intern sneak in out of his apartment to do housecleaning and other duties, after carrying on with a flight attendant, after what no doubt were many other similar “romantic” (perhaps the most misused word in Condit coverage) relationships, Rep. Gary Condit has made a decision: He’s a family man.

Condit’s minions justify his silence as a way to protect his family. This, as the Clinton scandal demonstrated, is the most convenient lie for adulterous public officials — they only want to protect their families. But Clinton’s lies, and now Condit’s, have nothing to do with their families, and everything to do with what motivated them to have their affairs in the first place — their all-consuming selfishness.

Gary Condit is now a family man in the same way he has probably always been a family man, when it suited his libido, his convenience, and his career ambitions. One of the most disturbing aspects of this story is not necessarily Condit’s reptilian sexual lifestyle — slimy and cold-blooded — but the willingness of the women involved to delude themselves about him.

Anne Marie Smith worried that he was to “two-timing” her. Two-timing! Smith needs to brush up on her math, because the married Condit was at least three-timing. And why would Smith be surprised? While sneaking around with her, was Condit supposed to magically acquire loyalty and decency? As for poor Chandra Levy, she wanted her relationship to be “monogamous” — a monogamous affair with a married man!

Condit at least seems to have been up-front about his intentions. According to published reports, he told women that as soon as they made demands on him he would dump them. Should we be surprised, given such an ethic of self-indulgence, that when the police made demands on Condit he could think of nothing but his own self-interest?


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