Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Scandal.

It’s a movie about politics. And there’s a scandal. OOPS, SPOILER, SORRY.

Salut mes amis! That’s French for, “Happy Election Day America!!!!1!” We here at For Shame!, as avid followers of that perennially absurd circus known as the United States political system, feel that “today”, “November 6th”, might be maybe kind of a little bit of possibly a big deal.*

*Part of this post may have been written a few days ago but publishing was held up because somebody (LHB) couldn’t get her s-h-i-t together.

We are a scandal blog, and from where do more scandals emerge than behind the pressconference podium? We all know that a high pressure job in the political ring can lead to more than one job out of it. Who among us hasn’t snuggled down on the couch some dreary evening with a bowl of popcorn and a bottle of Jack to watch the Reps and Dems make eyes at each other on CSPAN? I mean, The Floor has nothing on PM Question Time, but the Brits are like our older, droller brother who grudgingly gives us alcohol and sometimes lets us hang out with his friends. And no matter how cool they are, those sorts of brothers generally never set very good examples.

So in honor of the past excruciatingly passive-agressive year and a half, filled with fliers, billboards, TV slots, editorials, woefully ill-organized campus rallies, and just constant sensory bombardment, MRG, LHB, and JAF bring you not one, not two, but THREE (count ’em THREE. onetwoTHREE. ’cause there’s THREE of us. …THREE) historical, sexual, political scandals, from that ever-generous vault of Americana, Wikipedia.

Settle in and exercise your democratic right to be titillated by reading our tales of a scandalous First Lady, Vice President, and President. For your consideration:

1. FLORENCE MABEL KLING DEWOLFE HARDING, FIRST LADY (March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923).

FloHard, 29th First Lady of the US and owner of an excellent portmanteau.

Guys, remember that time I wrote a post about Warren G. Harding, his eyebrows, and all the extramarital fucking he did in White House? Well color me embarrassed, because turns out that in neglecting to check out what was a-happening on the other side of the Lincoln Bedroom, I deprived you of a class-A, non-partisan scandal. That’s right, Americans. Florence Harding pulled a pre-term Schwarzenegger.

When she was in her late teens, well before she met ol’ Warren, Florence Mabel Kling was Marion, Ohio’s #1 Most Covetable Babe. She was beautiful and her dad was a powerful banker. I imagine her to have been the Cher Horowitz of her little town. But unfortunately, Henry Athenton DeWolfe, her childhood best friend and next-door neighbor, was no Ex-Stepbrother Josh……………….BECAUSE HE TOTALLY KNOCKED HER UP, WAY THE FUCK OUT OF WEDLOCK.

This was the 1880s! Florence was only 19! Her dad was HELLA mad! By all accounts, Henry should have immediately and discreetly put a ring on it. BUT historians can’t find any official records anywhere in Ohio regarding their marital status. After their son, Marshall, was born, they moved to the nearby town of Galion, where Henry got work at a skating rink and they pretended they were married until common law applied to them. Can’t fight a love like that.

What Florence/Cher said when she considered Marshall’s potential effect on her climb to the top.

Henry turned out to be a big ol’ alcoholic and spent ALL the money he made at the Skate Palace on liquor and curly fries from the snack bar (probably), but Flo stuck it out for six long years until she just couldn’t stand the mess she was in. She was Cher Horowitz, remember? And Flo was totally buggin’ when she saw that her life had become a cautionary tale. So in 1896, she common law divorced Henry and his sloe gin, changed her name back to Florence Kling, and refused financial help from her extremely wealthy parents. Sister was going to do it for herself, because civil rights. In this way, she became the paradigm of another seminal 1990s film character: Dorothy Boyd. And Dorothy/Florence met her Jerry Maguire/Warren Harding in 1890. He had her at hello, she completed him, etc., and the rest is history. Or at least a semi-factual blog post.

But whatever happened to li’l Marshall? Well I’m so glad you asked. Yeah, she just gave him to her parents to raise right before Warren Maguired her, because fuck all those previously held moral convictions, right? Right. And Marshall made things really easy on Warren’s political career by dying of alcoholism and/or tuberculosis five years before the Stepdad-in-Chief took office. Marshall’s kids, the “Harding grandchildren,” were mentioned in the press in the weeks leading up to the 1920 election, but not enough to affect the outcome.

So God Bless America, land o’ the free, home o’ the brave, where a pseudo-marriage and illegitimate, living, breathing child need not impede your path to the top. 

MRG

Admittedly, I don’t hate this….. yet.

2) RICHARD MENTOR JOHNSON, VICE PRESIDENT (MARCH 4, 1837 – MARCH 4, 1841).

The tale I’m about to weave for you is much like our current election—it started out fun and lively, with high dreams and hope and other horseshit like that. We had genuine affection for this election oh so many distant months ago, but now it is a bitter taste in our collective mouth, waiting to be washed away by the dawn of November 7th and gallons of celebratory/consoling liquor.

This election is how I feel about Vice President Richard Mentor Johnson. I mean, it should tell you something that the man has not one, but two euphemisms in his formal name for penis. That’s 2/3. That’s a majority. Look at that topical math.

Johnson started out his career in 1802 promisingly enough as a “good person” or whatever, passing the Kentucky Bar and opening and office in which he often did pro bono work for the plebs. When his father died he inherited an quadroon slave named Julia Chinn and started a relationship with her. Nothing big, nothing new, just a white dude banging his maid.

EXCEPT!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!1 Johnson totally flaunted social mores of the time and told everyone that he was having the secks with Julia, and that he viewed her as his wife. IT WAS LIKE HE PUT A RING ON IT BUT HE COULDN’T PUT A RING ON IT BECAUSE THAT WAS ILLEGAL BUT HE TOTALLY WANTED TO PUT A RING ON IT. It’s unclear how long he was with Julia, but he mos def was chillin’ with his bi-racial biddy for the duration of his time as Senator to Kentucky (1819-1829), until her death in 1833. They had two daughters, to whom Johnson both tried to give full legal status as heirs (didn’t work, but he gave them lots of property and stuff so it was cool), and full educations. He married ’em off to white dudes and they all lived happily ever after.

FALSE. THIS IS WHERE IT GETS SHITTY. ALL THOSE WARM FEELINGS YOU JUST GOT FROM READING ABOUT DICK PENIS? GONE. THEY’RE ALL GOING TO BE GONE IN SECONDS.

Beeeecccccccaaaaauuuse, after Julia died, Johnson started a relationship with another one of his slaves, and when she ran away with another man, he hunted her down and sold her at auction. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And then he started banging her sister. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH! That’s great, that’s really great, guys. So so great.

This is what Richard Johnson now sees EVERY. DAY.

He was Martin Van Buren’s veep from 1837 to 1841. After that he burned in hell for being the world’s biggest craphole.*

JAF

*Unconfirmed.

3) JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ; A PRESIDENT WHO LIKED WEARING HIS NUDDY PANTS

First of all, I’d just like to say that the reason we didn’t publish this baby on election day is because I was the one who didn’t get their shit written in time.  So I’m SORRY ok.  But I did get the idea to write about JQA’s butt from a friend of a friend at the returns party I went to, so I think we can all agree that all in all I’m doing you a favor, right?  

I would also like to add, before we get started, that the above “blurbs” by my co-writers are bu’shit, because we were supposed to be write A paragraph each.  Rude.  So, that’s what you’ll be getting from me.  Dealwidit:

Bet you wouldn’t not want to see what’s under those pantaloons.

On what I imagine to be a crisp fall day sometime between 1794 and 1797, Quincy threw on his flippy floppies and ran across his back lawn.  He found himself on the banks of his favorite watering hole, the Potomac river.  It was to these shores that he walked at 5:00am every morning in order to partake in his morning skinny dip.  A lady reporter named Ann Royall found out about his morning swim.  She had been snubbed by him before (I imagine at a press conference, but I don’t really think they let ladies into press conferences in the late 18th century), so she snuck into the white house lawn (probably they didn’t have the secret service yet) and down to the Potomac and sat her little ass down right on top of Quincy’s clothes.  I imagine she was sipping on a bloody mary or something, wearing sunglasses and tanning oil.  Ms. Royall said to the naked commander in chief, “Bro, there is no way I’m giving you your long johns…UNLESS you agree to let me interview you.” Mr. Adams did NOT want to let a madam interview him, but what he REALLy didn’t want, was for a lady to see his ding-dong.  Because, you know, he’s a gentleman AND a scholar.  So, he relents.  And THAT, my friends, is the story of how skinny dipping led to the very first interview of a president by a female journalist ever in the history of these United States.

LHB

Happy two days after election day, fellow Americans.  To this sweet land of liberty, we sing.*

*Drink.


A BABY of a Post.

Since we’re all kind of dying with papers/finals/killmenowseriouslydoit, here’s a little BABY of a post to tide you over until things get a little less hectic over here on the college front.

Speaking of college, you know who didn’t graduate from one?  Well, a lot of people, because college isn’t for everyone.  But more specifically, John Quincy Adams’ second son, John.  Because he got expelled.  But that’s not who this post is about.  That was just what we call a “segue” into talking about the real culprit, Mr. George Washington Adams.

MR. FEENEY!!!

I know what you’re thinking.  Is it George Washington?  Is it Adams?  Who are we talking about?  Who is the bad guy?  What did he do?  WHO did he do?  Why does he have 3x the historical names of most people? Let’s stop fooling around here (cuz that can lead to all sorts of trouble) and talk some historical dirt!

Well, listen folks.  Here’s what’s up: John Quincy Adams had a son named George Washington Adams, who he named after the country’s first president and his dad’s BFF, George Washington.  GW Adams is the brother of Harvard-expelled John Adams of aforementioned segue fame! We’re talking about the grandchildren of the founding father, John Adams, who was played by Mr. Feeney in MRG’s favorite movie/musical 1776Is that all clear now?

This is a boat from 1830. It's sort of relevant.

Here’s the good stuff:

John Quincy Adams, president of the US of A, had some disappointing children. The Adams’ family hopes of nepotistic world domination came to end with J. Quincy’s first son, George Washington.  He was a womanizing spend-thrift who died at an early age by “accidentally” falling off of a boat.  And by “accidentally falling off of a boat,” I mean he jumped off of a boat in order to kill himself by drowning.  Not to downplay the seriousness of suicide (regardless of its historiosity) but guess the name of the boat he jumped from!  I’ll tell you.  It was called the Benjamin Franklin.  Yeah, he killed himself by jumping from the deck of a ship named after his grandfather’s other BFF, world-class scandal-starting, syphilitic and always snazzy founding father Ben Franklin.  Seems pretty fitting if you ask me.  Especially considering the fact that after GW’s death, when his non screw up brother Charles was rummaging through his stuff, he came across an interesting letter.  What follows is a totally factual and not at all untrue account of the discovery of the letter.

Posthumously discovered letter written by George Washington Adams: Dearest Brother, Charles.  Question: would you mind if after I’m dead you could get in touch with a woman named Eliza Dolph. I met her while she was boarding with our family doctor.  Remember that? Good times.  Anyway, she may or may not have given birth to my illegitimate child.  Who we named John Adams.  Is that cool?  Anyway, I would TOTES appreciate it, dude.  I really owe you one.  Hope it’s not too much of a problem!  Gotta run, I have a boat to catch!

Charles (to himself): Oh yeah, sure, no problem, you goddam motherfucker.  It’s not like I have to pay back all of your fucking gambling debts and shit.  Jesus fucking christ.  Now what am I gonna do?  You fucking dick.

douchebag GWA

Well, here’s what he fucking did.  He paid all of Eliza’s medical expenses.  And I would imagine he gave her a little extra to keep her mouth shut.  And sent her and the baby away somewhere.  A while later, some of the people who took care of Eliza, keeping the whole thing a secret during her pregnancy decided they were going to go all Perez Hilton on everyone asses if they didn’t get a little extra cash.  John Quincy, who knew about the whole thing by this point (and had just lost the race for the presidency as the incumbent) was like, “Fuck it!” and told them they could all go suck his dick because he wasn’t giving them shit.  He was a strong black woman if I’ve ever seen one.  And they denied the whole thing whenever it was brought up.  The scandal sort of faded into obscurity, and after that and no one ever talked about it.

It’s really hard to find anything about the whole affair online. Probably because John Quincy and his son Charles were, like, masterminds at suppressing scandal.  Clinton could take a page out of his book.  Just sayin’.

Point is, very little is known about Eliza and GW’s love child.  Just a word or two on GWA’s wiki page and then a few notes about it in biographies of JQA.  A bunch of amateur genealogists seem to be pretty interested the bastard child’s family line, though.  I guess it would be pretty cool to be illegitimately related to a president.

But alas, we must return to our studies.  We hope your appetite for historical scandal is at least partially satiated by that little INFANT of a story.

LHB