This election season just got dirty: Krystal Ball, 29, a Congressional candidate in Virginia, has seen embarrassing private photos taken at a Christmas party dug up by a right-wing blog and posted on the internet. In the saucy pics, Ball wears a Santa hat and thigh-high stockings and is leading her then-husband, who was wearing reindeer ears and a red dildo on his nose, around by a leash. In a couple of the pics, a giggling Ball has her mouth on the big red peen. Scandal!
I am not defending Krystal Ball for letting people take photos of her sucking on a dildo attached to a man’s nose. That was a stupid idea “after college” (around 2003) when she says the pictures were taken, regardless of whether she knew then that she wanted to run for Congress when she was older.
But be realistic: a lot of us have compromising photos taken of us at some point in our youth. Those moments should not have to define us entirely. Don’t equate the level of judgment we show at a Christmas party with friends — especially after a few glasses of punch — with the same judgment we’d show on the job. If I were a voter in Virginia, I wouldn’t particularly care about the Ball pics. So what if she’s got a sense of humor? She’s not hurting anyone.
Ball especially shouldn’t be punished for sexual behavior when so many male politicians do far worse things and keep their jobs. Let’s take a little stroll down Scandalous Memory Lane, shall we? South Carolina
Senator Governor Mark Sanford is still in Congress office after lying to both his wife and the entire country about hiking on the Appalachian trail while he was really consorting with his mistress in Argentina. Louisiana Senator David Vitter was also busted cheating on his wife and is still gainfully employed. You can watch ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer, the infamous Client #9, every night on his new talk show, “Parker Spitzer.” (Granted, Spitzer stepped down from his governorship, but I think that had more to do with the hypocrisy he exposed as someone who had been a crusading attorney general.) And anyone remember Bill Clinton?
Ball admits she’s “embarrassed” by the photos, but is more “angry” that the opposition stooped so low by digging up old photos. In a statement, Ball said:
“I have a message for any young woman who is thinking about running for office and has ever attended a costume party with her husband or done anything stupid on camera. Run for office. Fight for this country. Don’t let this sort of tactic deter you. Of course, I am embarrassed by these photos,that was the whole point of these political operatives when they put them up. But more than just embarrassed, I’m angry! I’m angry that when we are suffering from high unemployment, record budget deficits and a broken education system, that crass political operatives will resort to the politics of personal destruction when they can’t talk about the issues.”
Well said. Good luck, Krystal.