[guest post by Dana]
[It irritates me that I am compelled to push back against something so ridiculous. And what annoys me even more is the continuing case of the vapors from which the left side of the aisle suffers. For God sake, stop being such a bunch of little girls!]
On Wednesday, The Washington Post published a profile of Vice-president Pence’s wife, Karen Pence. Readers were able to catch glimpse of a steadfast woman who consistently puts her faith and family first. The picture of Mrs. Pence also revealed the high level of regard in which the Pences hold their 32-year marriage. And each other.
However, the portion of the profile that is causing a flurry of hysteria, is this:
In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.
The writer of the profile, Ashley Parker, also tweeted this to point readers to her story.
During his 12 years in Congress, Pence had rules to avoid any infidelity temptations, or even rumors of impropriety. Those included requiring that any aide who had to work late to assist him be male, never dining alone with a woman other than his wife, and not attending an event where alcohol is served unless Karen was there.
In a 2002 interview with The Hill, Pence called it, “building a zone around your marriage.”
“If there’s alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me,” Pence said.
Okay, now let’s look at the reaction of Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones. One reason I selected her response(s) from a slew of similar responses because hers covered the same territory in one long rant. Amusingly, I’m fairly certain Jeffery believes her response(s) to be logical and reasonable, while I see them as ignorant, knee-jerk and just a bit embarrassing:
This just doesn’t seem hard to me: A couple marries. They have promised to remain faithful to one another. They come up with a plan to help each other hold up their end of the bargain because they understand the human condition and challenges of marriage. It might not be your plan, but it’s their plan, and anyone who values marriage should be cheering them on. This is an investment in their future, and their children’s future. Even society at large benefits from stable marriages. This safeguarding is also an investment that will pay off in massive dividends of happiness for all parties involved. But if the method which Mike and Karen Pence have chosen to guard their marriage with doesn’t work for you, then fine, do something else. Just remember, it’s the fool who believes their own marriage won’t be tested at some point in time. However, at the end of the day, it’s really none of anyone’s damn business how the Pences run their marriage, so perhaps the naysayers and critics should butt out and focus on making sure their own marriages are secure.
Another reason I selected Jeffery’s response(s) is because she clearly demonstrates how a large segment of the country continues to be fairly ignorant about the evangelical community, and what Christians (and Conservatives) value. In this setting, the Pence’s risk management strategy is not at all strange or unusual. This making a conscious decision to pro-actively protect and maintain a sacred covenant made between a couple and God is pretty standard fare. As Aaron Blake put it over at The Fix:
If nothing else, the commentary from the left about Parker’s tweet confirms the initial reactions of those on the right: that plenty of people in the United States simply don’t understand them and have dismissed them as Neanderthals — deplorables, even. The fact that this kind of arrangement is so foreign and unthinkable to some people in this country reinforces what separate worlds we live in.
I’m sure David and Nancy French would agree. They also were treated in a fashion similar to the Pences when their own risk-management strategies put in place during David French’s deployment to Iraq were misrepresented and mocked by the usual suspects.
It’s mind-boggling that people who certainly know better, want us to believe that Washington D.C., the ultimate hub of power and money, is a scandal-free zone. In that town, one doesn’t even have to be having an illicit relationship to find themselves smeared on the covers of the The New York Times and The Washington Post . Thus it only seems wise for any married individual in any position of power, to be mindful of their actions with the opposite sex and give no opportunity for gossip or rumor, or for an insatiable media to zero in on a small nothing and make it into a big something. (Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant.)
Finally, in this honest look at our human frailties, fidelity, and honoring one’s marriage, noted author and icon of the left, Ta-Nehisi Coates demonstrates why it is wise to take steps to protect a marriage. Just like Mike Pence does.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)