Dawn Stensland and Me
In her letter, Ms. Stensland-Mendte accuses me of a number of things including.
1. Not understanding the great difference between her qualifications for Congress and Elin Woods'.
3. Discouraging young women from running for public office.
4. And, worst of all, not being funny.
Let's go through it, shall we?
Ms. Stensland writes:
(Mr. Spencer) implied that Elin Woods and I would have similar qualifications because of our husbands. Putting aside the ridiculous comparison of an athlete who had a dozen mistresses and a TV anchor who had a flirtatious relationship at work...I am perfectly willing to admit that this is something of a ridiculous comparison but I would argue that's what makes it kind of funny.
Of course, I never would have thought of it if she hadn't slyly encouraged a story about her running for office while the Tiger Woods bruhaha was in full bloom. Being embarrassed and cheated on by their husbands is something the famous Mrs. Woods and the locally famous out-of-work news anchor have in common.
It was particularly interesting how differently the two woman handled their husbands' betrayal.
According to the Philadelphia magazine story I cited (the one with which Ms. Stensland fully cooperated) she ignored all the signs of her husband's philandering, hoping he would come to his senses. He might have too. But then he got caught breaking the law, rifling through the private e-mails of the woman with whom he had this "flirtation" and went on to leak damaging details about her to a local newspaper.
Say what you will about Tiger Woods, but for all his philandering he didn't do anything that creepy. He didn't criminally attempt to ruin the careers of any of the girls with whom he slept.
Ms. Stensland told her husband's sentencing judge that her husband is a "good man" who did a bad thing. I'm willing to buy that. She knows him better than I do.
Still, about this "flirtation," Ms. Stensland claims to speak for "many women" when it comes her reaction to my column. I think I can speak for "many women" when it comes to her husband's "flirtation" as if that was all it was. They aren't buying it. And they think she is being either deliberately obtuse, woefully gullible, or lying when she makes such a claim.
Having said that, I admire her willingness to forgive and stand by her man. I think I made that clear at the end of the column Ms. Stensland found so objectionable.
I said her decency, loyalty and class made her unfit for Congress. That wasn't a slam against her. It was a slam against Congress, which, to my mind, is full of phonies, pimps, whores and back-biting power mongers.
To read that column was a slam against women suggests a weak but conscious-attempt to play the gender card. I thought Ms. Stensland was better than that. But then maybe she was just listening to one of her new political advisors. If so, she should get new ones.