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Jewish World Review August 30, 2001 / 11 Elul, 5761

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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What's love got to do with it? -- POOR GARY CONDIT. How outraged he must be that he has to deal with people who don't understand that he is more important than they are.

Start with Chandra Levy. According to her aunt Linda Zamsky, Levy had the cheek to believe that Condit would leave his wife and marry her so that she could bear his child. Clearly, the 24-year-old did not understand that the congressman's convenience and career came before her heart. Levy had ample reason to know she'd be ill-used -- by observing how Condit treated his wife. His words may have told Levy otherwise, but Condit's behavior bellowed that his desires were more important than those of others in his life.

Then, there's the Levy family. During his ABC television interview Thursday night, Condit claimed that he wouldn't disclose whether he had an affair with Levy, in part, he claimed, because of a specific "request by the Levy family." The Levy family, of course, denies making such a request; the parents have been doing nothing but charging Condit with having an affair with their daughter for months.

Again, the Levy family fails to understand that Condit's political career comes before their feelings.

Only his wife Carolyn and the Condit staff seem to understand that what Gary wants is far more important than what others want.

Over the years of their marriage, Condit has operated with the freedom of a single man. Now, appearing on the cover of People Magazine, he is hiding behind his wife's black Capri pants.

I have felt nothing but pity for Carolyn Condit through this whole story. But when she trots herself out to help her husband survive the disappearance of his mistress -- well, let's just say that not every Californian is eager to see her, a la Hilary Clinton, win a Senate seat as a consolation prize for putting up with her husband's extramarital dating.

Condit told ABC's Connie Chung that he was not in love with Levy. That's the one thing he has said that I believe. Loving Levy, after all, would have interfered with Condit's lifelong affair with himself.

Condit also told Chung that he considers himself a "moral man."

Why not? Words were made to be twisted.

If feminism hadn't committed suicide Madame-Butterfly style during the Clinton scandals, Americans would rage against a man who so cruelly used women.

If feminism were alive, Condit would not have dared deny an affair with flight attendant Anne Marie Smith, then say he is puzzled that Smith "gets to have her moment of publicity, of financial gain."

If feminism still lived, Condit would not have dared to refuse answering relevant questions in his quest to retain "some" of his "privacy."

If he had any fear of feminism, Condit would not have used his staff to help him to dispose of an inconvenient possession linking him to other affairs.

You know and I know why this is important. The question is: Did Condit have something to do with Levy's death or disappearance?

We don't know the answer. We may never know the answer. But we do know that even now, after his never-all-that-secret life (because he was an open philanderer) has been revealed to all, Gary Condit has shown America that he sees his feelings as more important than the feelings of his wife, his children and his mistresses, and even the parents of his missing mistress. To Condit, the only good people are people who are willing to do what it takes to help Condit thrive politically.

He has given voters no reason to trust him, no reason to believe that he would not do immoral things to sustain a charade of probity, no reason to think that foul play is not in his playbook.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate