Scandalgate

Chris Christie and more.

You’d think politicians would figure out that doing bad things result in bad consequences. Not so, apparently, as money, sex and power are enough to tilt many a person into scandalous action.

Most recent is the fuzzy case of Bridgegate. Was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to blame? He was reelected this past November even after dubious lane closures in September at the George Washington Bridge cast doubts on his administration. More recently, the New York Times published an article pointing the finger at Christie for a possible bridge-related misuse of money. But Christie’s purported troubles are hardly the most embarrassing this country has seen.

Exhibit A: The Teapot Dome Scandal, where the secretary of the interior secretly leased federal oil reserves in the early 1920s.

Exhibit B: Watergate, a tangle of wiretapping, burglary and cover-up by the incumbent President himself.

Exhibit C: What is it about politicians and romance gone awry? You’d think that they’d learn from one another and at least stay away from Twitter (we’re thinking of you, Anthony Weiner).

More recently, the U.S. has seen some wacky, pseudo-political scandals, such as Fajitagate. In 2002, three off-duty police officers in San Francisco got in a fight with two guys carrying takeout fajitas, demanding they hand over the food. This incident helped lead to a “massive overhaul” for policing in San Fran, so that should give you an idea of how important fajitas really are.

Finally, it’s not just politicians who can’t avoid scandals; celebrities seem to be similarly susceptible, although the effects of scandals on celebrities are a bit unpredictable. People are still talking about how Janet Jackson’s career dwindled after Justin Timberlake tore off part of her top during the Superbowl halftime show in 2004. Meanwhile, JT skipped along to the Grammy’s.

Lessons learned? Don’t be petty. Don’t lease land that’s not yours. Don’t hire burglars, and if you do and get caught, don’t cover it up. Oh yeah, don’t steal fajitas either.