The Sex Scandal From Outer Space
Jack Ryan's Lesson: Don't Even Think About Messing With the Borg
By David Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 26, 2004; Page C01
"If you are here to fraternize, I do not have the time."
-- the character Seven of Nine, in "Star Trek: Voyager"
Actress and pouty object of desire Jeri Ryan is rewriting the political sex scandal script.
Unfortunately for her ex-husband -- toothy and good-looking GOP Senate candidate Jack Ryan of Illinois -- Jeri Ryan's departure from the old themes has been disastrous for his political career. He found it just a little difficult this week explaining to heartland constituents his alleged romantic brainstorm: public sex in the kinds of clubs featuring mattresses in cubicles and whips and cages hanging from the ceiling.
She says the notion repulsed her. He denies proposing anything of the sort. Yesterday he announced he is quitting the race.
Two things make this sex scandal breathtakingly unconventional, and it is not the whips and cages:
The people in question were
No sex occurred.
This may be the first sexless sex scandal to bring down a politician. Ryan is being punished for kinky thoughts he denies thinking. Talk about the pain of unrequited love.
In the usual lusty plot, the foxy blonde in question -- almost always she is blond, except when she is Monica Lewinsky -- is an avid participant in the devil-may-care gymnastics. We will not soon forget the star turn of Rita and Rep. John Jenrette (D-S.C.) one night in 1976 on the Capitol steps. Not to mention Monica and the pizza and the thong.
Another typical plot point is infidelity -- proven or suspected. Think of doomed 1988 Democratic presidential primary candidate Gary Hart with Donna Rice on his lap aboard the good ship Monkey Business.
Alleged misuse of public funds often helps drive the action: Elizabeth Ray being paid as a secretary by Rep. Wayne L. Hays (D-Ohio), even though she couldn't type.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company