Can you mix marriage with politics? Depends on your gender

The White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. EFE.
The White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. EFE.

I’ve written about politics for 30 years, and I’ve been happily married for half as long. And, from making my way through the trenches of both adventures, here is what I’ve learned: My wife and I will at times disagree about politics. And, when this happens, I’m always wrong.

Well, that explains the “happily married” part.

Even so, I’m beginning to think that for many people, marriage and politics don’t mix. The mainstream media can’t make up their minds about whether a public figure ought to be able to answer for the beliefs of his or her spouse. And things get even murkier when those beliefs spark actions — political contributions, even tweets — that put the public figure in a tight spot.

Are we our spouses’ keepers? The uncomfortable truth is that, to a large degree, the answer depends on whether the person expected to keep their spouse in check is a man or woman.

When we’re talking about White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the answer seems to be “yes.” But when it is NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, or former FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, it changes to “no.”

There seems to be a double standard for men and women. It is considered unfair to ask a man to answer for the political beliefs of his wife. But, even in 2018, we can’t seem to get beyond making that absurd demand of women.

And since we’re discussing absurdity, let’s check in with the cable network that has — in the era of Trump — taken that concept to new heights by taking itself way too seriously.

During a recent appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Conway was asked by host Dana Bash to explain tweets written by her husband, George, a prominent Washington lawyer and frequent critic of…

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