I don’t know about the allegations of sexual impropriety on the part of John McCain. The dude’s a former Naval Aviator, and those guys are famous for their chastity and propriety, just look at Randy "Duke" Cunningham for goodness sake. "Huggy Bear" himself has always been a model of proper behavior when it comes to fidelity issues.

May I just take a moment here to half-heartedly proclaim that I’ve always been really proud of my country?

Thanks.

Moving on, for someone of the Maverick’s advanced years, these sort of things, um, often pose "engineering" problems. My memory is fuzzy from the late 90s but I’m pretty sure that back then in order to fix this situation you had to throw a ball through a tire. Now, of course, science has advanced to the point — and again I’m not an expert on these matters (not to brag) — where erectile dysfunction is resolved by forming a cover band with your middle-aged male friends or sitting in adjoining tubs overlooking the Grand Canyon. These simple and practical solutions were not available nearly a decade ago.

But I digress, because the alleged sex scandal is not actually a sex scandal, it’s an influence scandal, the world’s second oldest profession.

McCain’s friend was a lobbyist before a committee he chaired and he may have gone to bat (so to speak, sorry) for her clients using his role as Chairman.

And, as Digby and Lerxst point out, the key paragraph in the New York Times story is this one:

“Unless he gives you special treatment or takes legislative action against his own views, I don’t think his personal and social relationships matter,” said Charles Black, a friend and campaign adviser who has previously lobbied the senator for aviation, broadcasting and tobacco concerns.

Oh, that’s rich, rich indeed.

(photo from Watertiger, of course)