It’s time for another edition of “What We’ve Lost: Wonkette’s Guide To Today’s Drearily Vulgar Washington.”
Today’s political sex scandal: A semi-closeted congressman types illiterate one-handed instant messages to the teenaged boys he’s trying to schtupp, and then pretends he’s an alcoholic.
The 1970s Argentine Firecracker scandal: House power-broker Wilbur Mills is caught “cavorting in the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxe, the Argentine Firecracker.” He doesn’t resign. He isn’t disciplined. More details … after the jump.
In fact, Mills is re-elected. He issued an incredibly vague written statement on the bizarre night and reportedly joined AA for a while, because he was obviously a drunk.
Only later, after he drunkenly appeared with Foxe on a strip club stage in Boston, did Mills lose the chairmanship of the House Ways & Means Committee.
Here’s how Time magazine reported the story in 1974 — and please note the punchy lede and tough-guy prose from an era when it seemed just fine to spell it all-caps, TIME:
Speeding without lights down a street near the White House at 2 o’clock one morning last week, the 1973 Lincoln Continental bore five people toward the Jefferson Memorial. Among them was an odd couple: an intoxicated, aging man with a badly scratched face and bloody nose and a hysterical, curvaceous woman. When police halted the car, the woman leaped out and jumped into the nearby Tidal Basin, a 10-ft.-deep estuary of the Potomac River. The man stumbled out after her, just before an officer dragged her to safety. When the police refused to let him drive her home, the man shouted: “I’m a Congressman, and I’ll have you demoted.”
You see, they got in a fight, probably at a strip joint called the Silver Slipper, possibly because the Argentine Firecracker decided Mills was paying too much attention to another stripper, the Vegas Vixen.
When the scandal broke, Foxe — real name: Annabell Battistella — was given yet another moniker, the Tidal Basin Bombshell.
That story swings.
Sadly, it’s one of the last Washington sex scandals that has any pizzazz. The rest are tawdry and depressing: Dick Morris sucking some whore’s toes, Bill Clinton enjoying the white trash banquet of pizza and a blowjob from a fat gal, Barney Frank’s male prostitution ring, Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas’ piggish harassment of underlings ….
The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall [Washington Post]
— KEN LAYNE