About That Senate Hearing Room Sex Tape

Hart Senate Office Building Hearing Room. Public domain.
Hart Senate Office Building Hearing Room. Public domain.

US Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) says he’s “angry, disappointed” at a staffer — make that former staffer — for producing video of the “adult” variety in his off hours. The Daily Caller released the video of a sexual encounter, apparently shot in a US Senate hearing room better known for judicial confirmation hearings, on December 15.

If the employer was anyone else and the workplace anywhere else, I guess I could sympathize with Cardin’s take on the incident as a “breach of trust.” In most cases, sex at the office is a bad idea and filming it is a worse one.

But the employer isn’t anyone else, and the workplace isn’t anywhere else. That staffer worked for an organization that spends every day enthusiastically doing to the American public what the staffer’s companion was doing to him (I’m sure you can figure that part out), and doing it in, among other places, that same hearing room.

The Capitol Hill complex would no doubt take first place in any ranking of America’s raunchiest BDSM clubs. It’s somewhat exclusive as far as formal membership goes (536 members), but boasts thousands of staff members to see to those members’ needs, and proudly televises many of its orgies. In fact, C-SPAN should strongly¬† consider adopting “A Subsidized OnlyFans for Masochists” as a tag line / branding play.

This incident may well constitute the first event in Hart 216’s history where only one person got screwed.

Unwise, immature, and inappropriate as it may have been, the whole thing didn’t rise to anywhere near the filth level embodied by Congress’s daily operations.

Remember, these are the people who seize one out of every four dollars you earn and blow the money on a never-ending bacchanal of global murder, domestic police statism, and corporate welfare.

Unfortunately, the media and public thirst for “scandal” tends more toward pearl-clutching over the peccadilloes of individuals who get caught while still low enough on the ladder to be thrown under the bus (sorry for the mixed metaphor there) than toward skeptical analysis of what our Very Special and Important rulers constantly attempt to sell as “legitimate” and “dignified” proceedings.

This story will likely enjoy a shorter shelf life than Bill Clinton’s¬† blue dress wardrobe malfunction or Eliot Spitzer’s escort service escapades (both among the least of those two’s sins). As it should. At least we didn’t have to see Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer naked.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.