Ethics in Washington: Maiming vs. Massaging

Republicans in Congress are pushing to make handjobs a federal crime. Well, not all of ’em – just the paid variety. (Dinners, or even multiple happy hour drinks,  are still apparently legal tender for such barter).  Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) is pushing legislation to provide federal grants to state and local law enforcement to target men who visit massage parlors and get excessive massaging. 

Ironically, Cornyn has been one of the biggest apologists for the Bush administration’s torture polices.  In June 2004, he condemned  the efforts of Democratic senators’ criticism of Bush torture policies as  “not only false—they dangerously undermine troop morale, put our troops at risk, and impede our efforts to win the global war against terrorism.” Cornyn has heaped scorn on anyone who favored limiting the power of US interrogators.

Cornyn apparently believes that federal agents are entitled to maim and brutalize and perhaps kill people while torturing them – but that private citizens should not be allowed to contract for any gratification much above a foot rub.  The government’s right to inflict pain is absolute, while citizens’ right to pursue pleasure is dependent on the latest whims of their rulers.

Perhaps in the interest of consistency, Cornyn should add an exemption for his proposed crackdown, specifying that paying for sex is OK as long as people are only beating or flogging one another. 


2 Responses to Ethics in Washington: Maiming vs. Massaging

  1. Kristopher December 20, 2005 at 5:16 pm #

    Not surprising … S&M is usually a favorite of repressed authoritarians.

  2. Kevin Carson December 22, 2005 at 9:23 pm #

    So what if you’re a masochist? Can a cop be prosecuted under the vice laws for beating the shit out of you, if you’re enjoying it too much?